Sliding Down the Hypotenuse: A Memoir

Author(s): Eric Beardsley


In the 80 years since veteran journalist and broadcaster Eric Beardsley arrived in Christchurch from the West Coast, he has lived a full and varied life and devoted much time to observing the Canterbury scene, its people, politics, conflicts and progress. The result is Sliding Down the Hypotenuse, an eclectic and wholly delightful mix of memoir, biography and history. Beardsley gives a breezy account of a satisfyingly free-range childhood spent in the wasteland of sandhills and scrub that was Aranui in the Jazz Age of the 1920s and the miserable Great Depression days of the 1930s. His is a story of distant and different schooldays when strap and cane ruled, where the Sugarbag Years dominated the lives of the workless poor, and of a career as night messenger, reporter, sub-editor and leader writer at the Press - work that did not always sit comfortably with his more radical outlook on life. As information officer for the University of Canterbury, he slipped readily into academic life for nearly a quarter of a century and used his journalistic skills to tell the university's story both to itself and to the city and province as it expanded into the spacious new Ilam campus, and began to turn from being a teaching to a learning institution intent on research. Superbly written and rich in humour and piquant, punchy observation, Sliding Down the Hypotenuse will bring lasting pleasure in its vivid portrait of a life well lived, of a province and its university, and of New Zealand over the last eight decades.

Product Information

Eric Beardsley, 85, has written prolifically as a journalist in Christchurch for more than 40 years. Author of the historical novel Blackball 08, he was also co-author of A History of the University of Canterbury 1873-1973 and of Design for a Century, the centennial history of the School of Engineering. In 1960 he was awarded a Commonwealth Press Union travelling fellowship, which allowed him to study newspaper editing on Fleet Street and at the Yorkshire Post, and to take a Commonwealth Affairs course at Oxford University. Educated at Aranui Primary School, Christchurch Boys' High School and the University of Canterbury, Eric is the father of six daughters.

General Fields

  • : 9781927145005
  • : Canterbury University Press
  • : Canterbury University Press
  • : July 2011
  • : 228mm X 152mm
  • : New Zealand
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Eric Beardsley
  • : Paperback
  • : 1st Edition
  • : Very Good
  • : 224
  • : b/w photographs