In a frontier society full of colourful characters in early nineteenth century New Zealand, Jacky Marmon, more commonly known as Cannibal Jack, was more colourful than most.
Jumping ship off the New Zealand coast, he first lived among Ngāpuhi at the Bay of Islands, where he acquired five wives and served his chief as a trader and white priest. Joining Hongi Hika’s great Musket Wars campaigns against the Tamaki and Kaipara tribes, he claimed to have served as Hika’s personal war tohunga. He survived to settle in the Hokianga from 1823 and was involved in Hone Heke’s Flagstaff War of 1845.
In this biography of a wonderfully curious character, the author of the bestselling Pākehā Māori traces Marmon’s life and times, drawing on his own knowledge and research as well as on Marmon’s own – not always reliable – personal accounts.