Godley Gifts

the book set

A 2007 Limited Edition publication - Godley Gifts - brings together John Robert Godley, James Edward FitzGerald and Arthur Godley, in a substantial work of art.

'Godley Gifts' is a three-volume set in a beautifully crafted presentation box. It is published in a numbered Limited Edition of only 100 sets, each hand-dedicated by The Rt. Hon. Christopher Godley, 4th Baron Kilbracken.


The foreword to Godley Gifts is written by New Zealand's former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Helen Clark who has also generously hand-signed her foreword in each of the hundred sets.

In May 2008, Godley Gifts won three gold medals at the national 'Pride in Print' publishing awards in Auckland.

The artists of Godley Gifts are James Edward FitzGerald, the early Canterbury entrepreneur par excellence, and the contemporary actor/writer David McPhail. FitzGerald wrote and illustrated two of Godley Gifts' three volumes, gifting one to Canterbury’s founder John Robert Godley, and the other to Godley’s little son Arthur. David McPhail has written the third volume of the set, a collection of brilliantly observed anecdotal essays.

John Robert Godley, the gifted young Irish scholar-statesman, founded Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1850. Godley Gifts is among the most challenging examples of heritage-publishing ever attempted in New Zealand. Its centrepiece 'Seadrift', is one of two extraordinary gifts created by FitzGerald for the Godley family. The second such creation is presented as the third volume of Godley Gifts, 'Watercolours'.



  • All profits from the sale of these limited edition booksets go towards supporting Canterbury's heritage and culture.

James Edward FitzGerald

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