M. H. Holcroft

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Montague Harry Holcroft (14 May 1902 Rangiora - 24 September 1993 Rangiora) was a New Zealand essayist, and novelist.[1]

Monte H. Holcroft
New Zealand essayist and author Monte.H. Holcroft
Born (1902-05-14)14 May 1902
Rangiora, New Zealand
Died 24 September 1993(1993-09-24) (aged 91)
Occupation Author
Nationality New Zealand
Citizenship New Zealand
Spouse Eileen, Ray, Lorna
Children Allan, Anthony, Jocelyn


Montague Harry Holcroft, known as Monte Holcroft and M. H. Holcroft, was born on New Zealand’s South Island in Rangiora on 14 May 1902. He was the second of three sons born to Harry Cooper Holcroft and Harriet Emily Soanes. Monte journeyed to Australia in 1921 with his best friend Mark Lund. Holcroft met and married his first wife, Eileen Allanah Mclean in Paddington, New South Wales in 1923. McLean was a seamstress and the couple’s only child and Holcroft’s first-born son Allan, was born in 1924. Allan became an auditor and married office secretary Shirley Frances Brereton in Sydney, New South Wales in 1948 and the couple had five children, Mark, Peter, Christopher, Liane and Nerida. Christopher Holcroft followed in his grandfather's footsetps in journalism and writing. By 1928 Holcroft’s first marriage had ended after he returned to New Zealand. McLean later married Fred Barlow, a newspaper compositor and together they brought up Allan.

In July 1931 Monte Holcroft married his second wife, Aralia (Ray) Jaslie Seldon Dale in Wellington in New Zealand’s North Island. The couple moved to Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island in 1932 had two children Anthony and Jocelyn. Anthony Holcroft followed in his father’s footsteps and became a children’s author. He married Julia and the couple had three children.

Monte Holcroft was offered the editorship of the New Zealand Listener in Wellington in 1949. His wife Ray refused to return to Wellington and the couple separated and divorced. Holcroft later moved to Paekakariki, 45 km north-east of Wellington and met Lorna Lund who used to be married to his best friend Mark Lund. When the divorce for Lund was complete, Holcroft married her in September 1962. She died in 1986.

Holcroft returned to the area of his birth in Rangiora and died in September 1993.


He wrote for the Southland Times, beginning in 1936. He edited the New Zealand Listener, starting in 1949.[2] He helped found the New Zealand branch of UNESCO.[3]




  • Beyond the Breakers, John Long, 1928
  • The Flameless Fire, John Long, 1931[4]
  • Brazilian Daughter John Long, 1931


  • The village transformed: aspects of change in New Zealand, 1900-1990. Victoria University Press. 1990. ISBN 978-0-86473-210-1. 
  • A voice in the village: the Listener editorials of M.H. Holcroft. Silver Fern Books. 1989. ISBN 978-0-908792-04-7. 
  • New Zealand: Essay by M.H. Holcroft. Illustrators Kenneth Bigwood, Jean Bigwood. Reed. 1966. 
  • Encircling seas: an essay by M. H. Holcroft. The Caxton Press. 1946. 
  • The Deepening Stream: Cultural Influences in New Zealand (1940)



  • Discovered Isles: a Trilogy : The Deepening Stream, The Waiting Hills, Encircling Seas. Christchurch: Caxton Press, 1950. Voyager link
  • Timeless World : a Collection of Essays, Wellington: Progressive Publishing Society, 1945. Voyager link NZ Listener 323.13 Aug (1945): 12-13.


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