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Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.


MULGAN, Alan Edward, O.B.E.


Journalist and author.

Alan Edward Mulgan was born at Katikati on 18 May 1881, the eldest son of Edward Ker Mulgan, a farmer who had emigrated from Ballanahinch, County Down, Ireland, and who later became an Inspector of Schools. His mother was Frances Maria, née Johnston, of Connor, County Antrim, Ireland. Alan Mulgan was educated at Auckland Grammar School. He entered journalism in 1900 as a cadet on the Auckland Star, which he left for a term on the Press, Christchurch. But he returned to the Star in 1916, remaining until 1935. For the greater part of his life thereafter he continued to do literary articles and reviews for the same journal under the pseudonym of “Cyrano”. In 1935 he joined the Broadcasting Service as supervisor of talks, from which post he retired in 1946. Mulgan was lecturer in journalism at Auckland University, 1924–35, and president of the New Zealand P.E.N., 1940–42. He was awarded an O.B.E. in 1947.

On 9 April 1907, at St. Mark's Church, Remuera, Mulgan married Marguerita Blumfield, daughter of Ralph Pickmere. The Mulgans had two sons and one daughter. One of the sons, John, later became well known as a novelist. Alan Mulgan died at Lower Hutt on 29 August 1962.

Mulgan was a facile, versatile, and sensitive writer of poetry and plays, as well as of more factual work. He published one novel, Spur of Morning, in 1934. His other works include Maori and Pakeha (1921) (with A. W. Shrimpton); The New Zealand Citizen (1914) (with E. K. Mulgan); Three Plays of New Zealand (1922); The English of the Line (1925); Home, a New Zealander's Adventure (1927); Golden Wedding (1932); A Pilgrim's Way in New Zealand (1935); Aldebaran and Other Verses (1940); The City of The Strait (1940); Literature and Authorship in New Zealand (1943); A Book of Australian and New Zealand Verse (edited with Professor Walter Murdoch) (1950), and The Making of a New Zealander (autobiography) (1958).

by Clyde Romer Hughes Taylor, M.A., DIP.JOURN., formerly Chief Librarian, Turnbull Library, Wellington.


Clyde Romer Hughes Taylor, M.A., DIP.JOURN., formerly Chief Librarian, Turnbull Library, Wellington.