The Toll of the Bush

William Satchell. Edited and introduced by Kendrick Smithyman

‘This for many years to come is the definitive edition of Satchell's novel.’
– D. N. Ballantyne, Otago Daily Times

First published in 1905, The Toll of the Bush is widely regarded as William Satchell's best work. Set in the Hokianga district in the early twentieth century, it is an engaging portrayal of pioneer farming and trading on that lonely margin between sea and bush, where jealousies and intrigues punctuate the lives of the heroes and heroines. Above all, the brooding forest watches and waits to exact its toll on those who have sought to tame it. Kendrick Smithyman's introduction brings out a parallel, in the fusion of the legendary elements and a colonial setting, with Nathaniel Hawthorne.


William Satchell (1860–1942) is best known for The Greenstone Door, his novel of the New Zealand Wars, and for The Land of the Lost, set in the gumfields of Northland, which is included in the New Zealand Fiction series. The Toll of the Bush is widely regarded as his best work.


March 1985, 210 x 130 mm, 258 pages
Paperback, ISBN 9780196480503, $34.99