William Pember Reeves

William Pember Reeves books and biography

William Pember Reeves

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The Hon. William Pember Reeves (10 February 1857-16 May 1932) was a New Zealand statesman, historian and poet, who promoted social reform.

Before entering politics, Reeves was a lawyer and journalist. He was editor of the Canterbury Times in 1885 and the Lyttelton Times (1889-1891). He entered Parliament in 1887 and went on to serve as Minister of Labour (1891-1896), indtroducing the Industrial Conciliation and Arbitration Act (1894) during John Ballance's premiership.

In 1896 he left New Zealand for London, where he was Agent-General (1896-1905) and High Commissioner (1905-1908). He then became Director of the London School of Economics (1908-1919). While in England, Reeves became a friend of a number of left-wing intellectuals, such as George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, and Sidney and Beatrice Webb. He was also a member of the Coefficients dining club of social reformers.

In his later life, Reeves served as Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of New Zealand (1917-1931) and President of the Anglo-Hellenic League (1913-1925).

Some of Reeves's more influential writings include his history of New Zealand, The Long White Cloud (1898), and State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand (1902). He also published a number of poems, such as The Passing of the Forest and A Colonist in his Garden.

William Pember Reeves married, in 1885, the feminist Magdalen Stuart Robison, who joined the Fabian Society. They had one son (Fabian Pember Reeves, who died in the First World War) and two daughters, one of whom was the feminist writer Amber Reeves.

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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