Eleanor Stredder was an English author who wrote a number of books for children with colonial settings in the 1890s. One of these was Doing or daring: a New Zealand story (1894). It tells the story of young English boy Edwin Lee and his family, who have immigrated to New Zealand and settled in the North Island's volcanic interior. The book's cover reveals the story's central event, the eruption of Mount Tarawera:
The sacred Maori hills, which at sunset had reared their snowy crests in majestic calm, were ablaze with fire. The intensity of the glare from the huge pillar of flame, even at so great a distance, was more than eyes could bear. With both hands extended before his face to veil the too terrific light, Edwin lay entranced. That vision of a thousand feet of ascending flame, losing itself in a dome of cloud blacker and denser than the blackness of midnight, might well preclude the day of doom. Unable to bear the sight or yet to shut it out, he watched in dumb amazement. White meteor globes of star-like brilliancy shot out from the pall of cloud in every direction, and shed a blue unearthly light on all around. They came with a roar as of cannon, and the rocks were riven by their fall. Hugh fissures, opening in the mountain sides, emitted streams of rolling fire.
Eleanor Stredder, Doing or daring: a New Zealand story. London: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1894, pp.102–103
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Reference: Eleanor Stredder, Doing and daring; a New Zealand story. London: Nelson and Sons, 1894
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