Graeme Horncastle – Author

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The Horncastle family is prominent in the New Zealand business world, but their ancestors are far less well known. This new book explores the life of Charlie Jacobsen, grandfather and great-grandfather of generations of Horncastles who, often from humble beginnings, have achieved success in many fields including building, hospitality, fishing, retail, property management and advertising. “Old Charlie” Jacobsen led an extraordinary life of adventure and mayhem – gold miner, fisherman and launchmaster in the remote French Pass and Marlborough Sounds, and the first in New Zealand to discover uranium, in 1955. He had the proverbial nine lives and used up most of them. Spanning the 1880s to the 1960s, this book provides a snapshot of life in New Zealand and an often hilarious background to one of New Zealand’s most interesting families.

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‘Why does everything happen to me? I must be the most unluckiest bastard in the world…’ This is Jim Horncastle’s constant refrain as he struggles to provide for his eight children and devoted, forebearing wife Noeline on a run-down farm at Karamea, on the west coast of New Zealand’s South Island. Forty years later his second son Graeme tells the family’s story across two generations. Tinged throughout with humour, tragedy and pathos, it is a remarkable account of life in New Zealand.

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