About the book

The Blue Lion tells of two people, Albion and Charlotte, who have arrived in newly colonised New Zealand. From very different backgrounds and experiences they must carve out lives for themselves in the bustling, still raw, settlement of Dunedin in the 1860s. They perceive each other, separate, and eventually come together in the traditional way.

But what gives an edge to the story is Graham Billing's passionate involvement with the landscape of Otago. His writing is sensuous, often lyrical, absorbing in its evocation of time and place.

Albion, employed by the Acclimatisation Society to set up and Guard New Zealand's first salmon hatchery, must do battle. He has to preserve the vulnerable salmon eggs which have been carried out from England by sailing ship, only to face dangers in unknown waters. When he is snubbed by the gentry he must do battle too, to find himself and see what he can offer to the woman he at last discovers he loves.

Through from his first book, Forbush and the Penguins , with novels such as The Slipway, The Chambered Nautilus and The Lifeboat , Graham Billing has once more crafted a powerful narrative, this time a love story on more than one level.

About the author

In turns tender, sardonic and passionate, The Blue Lion strikes a new note of hope in Graham Billing's writing career. But it will be his last book. Graham died suddenly in December 2001, just as, sustained by a writing grant from Creative New Zealand, he was under way with a new novel.


Graham Billing's eight novel, The Blue Lion , is a love story with a difference.