Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author

22 October 2011

New Zealand Odyssey: Larnach's Castle, Otago Peninsula

'New Zealand Odyssey', published in 1989 by Heinemann, was authored by me, Don Donovan (who did the text and illustrations) and Euan Sarginson, who did the photography and design. In this series of blog posts, I will publish some of my drawings.

To my mind Larnach's Castle is a folly and was built by a man whose capacity for self-aggrandisement knew no bounds. Larnach was an Aussie of Scots descent who made lots of money from trading, gold exploitation and other speculative enterprises. How much of a hand he had in designing his folly I don't know but I get the impression that his architect was taking the piss out of him!

For all that, the putative castle is an attraction and sits in a most wonderful position on Otago Peninsula. It's so bad that it's good - like the Albert Memorial in London, William Randolph Hearst's pile in California or any of Saddam Hussein's palaces. I had great fun with all that cast iron 'lace'; it's drawn with a pen nib full of liquid rubber solution, allowed to dry, then washed over and peeled off. Hey Presto!


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By Don Donovan