Monday, October 5, 2020

New biography sheds light on the private side of the legendary Bernard Freyberg

Freyberg: A Life’s Journey

Matthew Wright

Biography out tomorrow (6 October) focuses on Bernard Freyberg the man to reveal 
the reality behind a towering 20th-century hero

The name Freyberg appears all across New Zealand, in streets, parks, schools, buildings, public spaces, pools and more. 

For much of the 20th century Bernard Freyberg was a household name: a swimming champion, an action-hero, military commander and Governor-General —a physically imposing figure known to most Kiwis as ‘Tiny’, following his childhood nickname. 


Freyberg receiving support as he attempts to swim the English Channel

Now in this new, concise biography, prolific author Matthew Wright reveals the complex man behind the myth for 21st-century readers less familiar with Freyberg — tracking his personal journey from lower middle-class Wellington to his death in London as Lieutenant General The Right Hon. Lord Freyberg. 

Bernard Freyberg with son Paul during the Allied advance in Italy, 1944 

Who was this man, who presented initially as innocent and vague, yet showed a sharp intellect to those who knew him? How much of his action-hero status came from an effort to validate himself? 

Being sworn in as Governor-General, 1946

Why was he so ferociously private he did not even have a photographer at his own wedding? Why did he try to keep his 1914 adventures during the Mexico Revolution secret to the point of having his biographies censored?

Freyberg Beach, Wellington – one of many places named after the man

Freyberg: A Life’s Journey is the most accessible and revealing  Freyberg biography yet, with numerous photos. 


The author

Matthew Wright is one of New Zealand’s most published historians and writers. His work includes more than 600 articles, papers and reviews, and over 60 books on topics from biography to military and social history. His other Oratia books are The New Zealand Wars (2014) and The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front (2017) (see

Publication: 6 October 2020  |  ISBN: 978-0-947506-72-8  | RRP $45.00

Paperback with flaps, 234 x 153 mm portrait, 232 pages, b&w


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...