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Digital book

You’re telling me!

A memoir of Peg Fleming

Robin Fleming


Out of print
hardback with dust jacket, 208pp, photos.


A daughter’s loving memory of her mother, Robin Fleming’s book gives us all a gift. The gift is Peg Fleming’s story and story-telling. At the fulcrum of family lives, scientific discov­eries, the sometimes unrhyming calls of husband and children, of activism and diplomacy, Peg’s world exposes the unconventionality of convention. And the richness of a life built on listening to birdsong.
~ Professor Charlotte Macdonald, Victoria University

Lady Peg Fleming, née Chambers, wife of scientist Sir Charles Fleming, and mother of Robin, Mary, and Jean, was a science graduate from the University of New Zealand and an amateur historian in later life. Peg had a lifelong interest in travel, research, and learning, and filled her spare moments with voluntary work. Her greatest commitment was to the Federation of University Women, in which she was active until her death in 2000.

Robin Fleming’s memoir of her mother describes the tensions that existed for Peg between supporting her husband’s career, raising her daughters, and pursuing these varied interests and activities. It is a portrayal of a richly-lived life within the conventions and expectations of the then middle-class society.

About the author

Robin Fleming

Robin  is Peg Fleming’s eldest daughter, born in 1942. She went to Samuel Marsden Collegiate School, and later studied at Victoria University, completing her MA in 1964.

During the 1970s Robin worked as a photographer and later returned to university to complete a PhD in anthropology.

During the 1980s Robin was a social researcher and policy analyst in the Department of Health, Internal Affairs and Women’s Affairs while carrying out funded social research projects on a part-time basis.

After 1993 she retired from social policy and research to focus on writing. She studied under Fiona Kidman and later gained an MA in creative writing under Bill Manhire at the IIML, Victoria University.

Robin was married to Peter McKinlay between 1965 and 1990, and has three children and five grandchildren. She lives with her partner on the Kapiti Coast.