y The Fortunes of Richard Mahony single work   novel   historical fiction  
Alternative title: Australia Felix
Is part of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 series - author novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1917 1917
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'He had never got within measurable distance of what he called life, at all…deep down in him, he knew, was an enormous residue of vitality…It was like a buried treasure, jealously kept for the event of his one day catching up with life: not the bare scramble for a living that here went by that name, but Life with a capital L.

'Richard Mahony is a restless man. Ballarat, England, Melbourne, Europe, the bush: elsewhere is always better.

'Searching for a place, a meaning, a life, Mahony and his wife Mary journey from wealth to poverty, order to chaos, sanity to the asylum. The Fortunes of Richard Mahony is a towering novel.' (Publication summary)

Notes

  • Dedication: To W. L. R.
  • Other formats: Also braille and sound recording.

Affiliation Notes

  • Associated with the AustLit subset Australian Literary Responses to 'Asia' as the work contains references to Chinese people.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Heinemann , 1917 .
      Extent: 406p.
      Reprinted: 1917 Second impression November 1917. , 1929 Reissued June 1929.
      Note/s:
      • Title page title: The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson

        Two pages previous to title page: Australia Felix: I. : The Fortunes of Richard Mahony.

      • 'End of book one.' (p. 406.)
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Henry Holt , 1917 .
      Extent: 445p.
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      W. W. Norton , 1930 .
      Alternative title: Australia Felix
      Extent: 483p.
      Note/s:
      • Dedication: To M. L. R.
      • Epigraph: 'Every man is not only himself; ...men are lived over again; the world is now as it was in ages past; there was none then, but there hath been some one since, that parallels him, and is, as it were, his revived self.' Religo Medici.
  • Appears in:
    y The Fortunes of Richard Mahony : Comprising Australia Felix, The Way Home, Ultima Thule Henry Handel Richardson , London : Heinemann , 1930 Z472111 1930 selected work novel historical fiction

    The Fortunes of Richard Mahony was 'first published as a sequence. Australia Felix, the first volume, which covers twelve years of Richard Mahony’s life from the early 1850s, was published in 1917; The Way Home, which deals with his subsequent eight years, appeared in 1925; and Ultima Thule, the final volume covering his last four years, in 1929. The novel was first published as a trilogy in 1930.'

    Australia Felix 'begins the story of Richard Mahony, a 28-year-old medical graduate of Edinburgh University and now the keeper of a general store in Ballarat'. Part one of the novel 'follows Mahony’s career until his marriage; the second part deals with the Eureka Stockade, the growth of the varied society of Ballarat and legal hearing in Melbourne'. It 'concludes with Mahony’s decision to start a practice in Ballarat instead of returning to England'. In parts three and four, 'Richardson extends her panoramic picture of a dynamic colonial society in which individuals are subject to great reversals or advances of fortune'.

    The Way Home begins with Mahony’s 'arrival in England and concludes with his final, second return to Australia, as a ruined man. In the intervening years he grows disillusioned with English society, returns to Australia to find his investments have made him suddenly rich, attempts to settle into the wealthy community of Melbourne and becomes the father of three children'. His sojourn in England leads to the discovery that he is uncomfortable with the ‘offensive and cramping’ English social hierarchy.

    Ultima Thule picks up the story with Mahony’s 'return to Australia, his attempts to establish himself as a medical practitioner, first in Melbourne and then at Barambogie, a small town in northern Victoria'. When Mahony’s skills as a doctor as increasingly questioned, the family moves to the coast and later to Gymgurra where Mahony’s wife, Mary, 'secures a position as postmistress'. Mahony is moved to a private nursing home, then to a government asylum and finally returns home. He is 'devotedly cared by Mary, until paralysis incapacitates his body. After his death he is buried in the local cemetery, within sound of the sea'.

    Source: The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. 2nd. ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1994: 294-295.

    Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2012
    pg. 1-383
Notes:
When preparing the Richard Mahony trilogy for publication by Heinemann in the omnibus edition, Richardson significantly revised each novel to remove repetition and improve narrative unity. In this process, around 12,000 words were cut from Australia Felix and thousands of changes were made to the other volumes. (The Letters, vol.2, p. 171.)
  • Appears in:
    y The Fortunes of Richard Mahony : Comprising Australia Felix, The Way Home, Ultima Thule Henry Handel Richardson , London : Heinemann , 1930 Z472111 1930 selected work novel historical fiction

    The Fortunes of Richard Mahony was 'first published as a sequence. Australia Felix, the first volume, which covers twelve years of Richard Mahony’s life from the early 1850s, was published in 1917; The Way Home, which deals with his subsequent eight years, appeared in 1925; and Ultima Thule, the final volume covering his last four years, in 1929. The novel was first published as a trilogy in 1930.'

    Australia Felix 'begins the story of Richard Mahony, a 28-year-old medical graduate of Edinburgh University and now the keeper of a general store in Ballarat'. Part one of the novel 'follows Mahony’s career until his marriage; the second part deals with the Eureka Stockade, the growth of the varied society of Ballarat and legal hearing in Melbourne'. It 'concludes with Mahony’s decision to start a practice in Ballarat instead of returning to England'. In parts three and four, 'Richardson extends her panoramic picture of a dynamic colonial society in which individuals are subject to great reversals or advances of fortune'.

    The Way Home begins with Mahony’s 'arrival in England and concludes with his final, second return to Australia, as a ruined man. In the intervening years he grows disillusioned with English society, returns to Australia to find his investments have made him suddenly rich, attempts to settle into the wealthy community of Melbourne and becomes the father of three children'. His sojourn in England leads to the discovery that he is uncomfortable with the ‘offensive and cramping’ English social hierarchy.

    Ultima Thule picks up the story with Mahony’s 'return to Australia, his attempts to establish himself as a medical practitioner, first in Melbourne and then at Barambogie, a small town in northern Victoria'. When Mahony’s skills as a doctor as increasingly questioned, the family moves to the coast and later to Gymgurra where Mahony’s wife, Mary, 'secures a position as postmistress'. Mahony is moved to a private nursing home, then to a government asylum and finally returns home. He is 'devotedly cared by Mary, until paralysis incapacitates his body. After his death he is buried in the local cemetery, within sound of the sea'.

    Source: The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature. 2nd. ed. Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1994: 294-295.

    London : Heinemann , 1930
    pg. 3-405
    Note: Omnibus editions of the series were also published and reprinted by Norton and Penguin. Follow the link to the omnibus edition for further details.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Melbourne, Victoria,: Toronto, Ontario,
      c
      Canada,
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Heinemann , 1960 .
      Alternative title: Australia Felix
      Extent: 341p.
      Reprinted: 1962 , 1963
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      W. W. Norton , 1962 .
      Alternative title: Australia Felix
      Extent: 466p.
    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 1971 .
      Alternative title: The Fortunes of Richard Mahony: Australia Felix
      Extent: xxvii, 376 p.p.
      Reprinted: 1975 , 1981 , 1978
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Leonie Kramer.
      ISBN: 014003386
    • Adelaide, South Australia,: eBooks@Adelaide , 2009 .
      Alternative title: Australia Felix
      Link: Full text document This web edition published by eBooks@Adelaide. See copyright information on site for any usage restrictions.

Works about this Work

The Godfather : Peter Corris on the Making of Audiobooks Peter Corris , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Newtown Review of Books , February 2016;
Kiera Lindsey: Books That Changed Me 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 22 April 2016;
'Kiera Lindsey lecture in Australian history at the University of South Australian and won the inaugural Greg Dening memorial prize. ...'
Books That Changed Me : Kiera Lindsey Kiera Lindsey , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 1 May 2016; (p. 12)
Australia and the Post-Colonial Novel Helen Andrews , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Quadrant , October vol. 59 no. 10 2015; (p. 70-73)
The Taste of Class : Colonial Australian Food Writing, Fact or Fiction? Charmaine O’Brien , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT Special Issue Website Series , no. 26 2014;
'Writers of Australian history, including food history, typically present the same negative stereotypes of colonial eating habits with little attempt at holistically examining and explaining the context and circumstances informing food choices in the period. Nor has there been significant challenge to these unsavoury representations. This paper looks at how social class may have influenced period reportage on the cookery and eating practices in Australia in the nineteenth century with particular reference to meat consumption. ' (Publication abstract)
Australian Literature and Summer - Books That Sizzle Stephanie Green , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 14 January 2014;

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel ; The Swan Book Alexis Wright 2013 single work novel ; Eyrie Tim Winton 2013 single work novel ; Boy, Lost : A Family Memoir Kris Olsson 2013 single work biography ; Barracuda Christos Tsiolkas 2013 single work novel
The Case for The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson Paul Giles , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 9 April 2014;

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
It's Absurd that Our Best Books Are Not Made into Films Peter Craven , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 21 January 2013; (p. 11)
We Must Film Tales of Our Sunburnt Country Gay Alcorn , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 7 June 2013; (p. 18)
‘Women’s Writing’ and ‘Feminism’ : A History of Intimacy and Estrangement Zora Simic , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Outskirts : Feminisms Along the Edge , May no. 28 2013;
'Women’s Liberation in Australia and elsewhere created feminist readers and writers. Consciousness-raising and reading and writing were intimately linked. Within the women’s movement, journals, magazines and newspapers were launched, small presses inaugurated and writing and reading groups formed. Subscription lists charted the explosion in new titles by, for and about women, and feminist bookshops stocked them. Women’s writers’ festivals, poetry readings and book launches were opportunities to find and promote new work, and to meet other feminists. Some women writers from the past were rediscovered and many contemporary female writers were championed. One of the most successful writers to emerge on the Australian literary scene in the 1970s – Helen Garner, whose debut novel Monkey Grip (1977) won the National Book Council’s Book of the Year award in 1978 – directly linked her ascendency to feminism. A specifically feminist literary criticism began to develop. More generally, feminism also helped to expand the market for women’s writing, so much so that by the 1980s major publishers were developing lists of women’s fiction and/ or subsuming feminist presses into their operations.' (Author's introduction)
Literary Heroes Forgotten Michael Heywood , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 22 January 2012; (p. 9)
Australian Favourites 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 6 May 2012; (p. 18-19)
Word on the Street 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 13 May 2012; (p. 17)
A Literary Visit to the USA : A Memoir Laurie Hergenhan , 2012 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 26 no. 1 2012; (p. 74-78)
Untitled Angela Meyer , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 25)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
The Silver Age of Fiction Peter Pierce , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Summer vol. 70 no. 4 2011; (p. 110-115)
Peter Pierce looks at contemporary Australian fiction to define Australia's 'Silver Age of Australian fiction' .
The Dear Old Mother Country : Richardson's the Way Home and Stead's For Love Alone Peter Morton , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Lusting for London : Australian Expatriate Writers at the Hub of Empire, 1870-1950 2011; (p. 133-163)
Passports to the Past Dominique Hecq , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Etchings , no. 2 2007; (p. 164-173)
'If the past is a foreign country, then we are all exiles shipwrecked in the present. Our fate is fraught with risks. We need only think of The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, Lord of the Flies, Wide Sargasso Sea, The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, the Transit of Venus, The Commandant, and A Fringe of Leaves. Then turn our thoughts to Remembering Babylon and The Secret River. Different spaces - temporal, geographical, political, and textual -different risks. (p 164)
Irish Words in Australian English Dymphna Lonergan , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: Ozwords , May vol. 10 no. 1 2003; (p. 6)
Identifying the Australian Gaze : Identifying an Australian Perversion : Rereading 'The Fortunes of Richard Mahony' Jennifer Rutherford , 1997 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meridian , October vol. 16 no. 2 1997; (p. 281-303)
Twelve Australian Books That Should Be in Every Australian Home Mary Gilmore , George Mackaness , Frederick T. Macartney , 1937 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 10 November vol. 9 no. 11 1937; (p. 172)

— Review of The Singing Gold Dorothy Cottrell 1927 single work novel ; Landtakers : The Story of an Epoch Brian Penton 1934 single work novel ; Confessions of a Beachcomber E. J. Banfield 1908 extract autobiography ; The Sentimental Bloke : The Play C. J. Dennis 1914 single work poetry ; Songs of a Campaign Leon Gellert 1917 selected work poetry ; Heart of Spring John Shaw Neilson 1919 selected work poetry ; Satyrs and Sunlight : Being the Collected Poetry of Hugh McCrae Hugh McCrae 1928 selected work poetry ; His Natural Life Marcus Clarke 1870-1872 single work novel ; The Pearl and the Octopus, and Other Exercises in Prose and Verse Alfred George Stephens 1911 selected work short story poetry ; Such Is Life : Being Certain Extracts from the Diary of Tom Collins Tom Collins 1897 single work novel ; Flynn of the Inland Ion L. Idriess 1932 single work biography ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel ; Man-Shy Frank Dalby Davison 1934 extract novel ; We of the Never-Never Mrs Aeneas Gunn 1908 single work novel ; Speaking Personally Walter Murdoch 1930 selected work essay ; Best Australian One-Act Plays 1937 anthology drama ; The Wide Brown Land : A New Anthology of Australian Verse 1934 anthology poetry ; The Magic Pudding Second Slice : Being the Adventures of Bunyip Bluegum and His Friends Bill Barnacle and Sam Sawnoff Norman Lindsay 1971 extract children's fiction ; Separate Lives Vance Palmer 1931 selected work short story ; Modern Australian Literature, 1900-1923 Nettie Palmer 1924 single work criticism
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— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 15 February 1930; (p. 40)

— Review of Maurice Guest Henry Handel Richardson 1908 single work novel ; The Getting of Wisdom Henry Handel Richardson 1910 single work novel ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
An Australian Trilogy 1929 single work review
— Appears in: The Brisbane Courier , 23 February 1929; (p. 22)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Untitled Angela Meyer , 2012 single work review
— Appears in: The Lifted Brow , no. 14 2012; (p. 25)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
The Books That Made Us 1995 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 19-20 August 1995; (p. rev 1-2)

— Review of My Brother Jack : A Novel George Johnston 1964 single work novel ; The Lucky Country Donald Horne 1964 single work non-fiction ; Joe Wilson and His Mates Henry Lawson 1901 selected work short story ; My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901 single work novel ; Monkey Grip Helen Garner 1977 single work novel ; Voss : A Novel Patrick White 1957 single work novel ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Australian Fiction Arthur H. Adams , 1917 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 6 December vol. 38 no. 1973 1917; (p. 2)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Untitled 1917 single work review
— Appears in: Times Literary Supplement , 30 August 1917; (p. 416)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Untitled 1917 single work review
— Appears in: The Spectator , 1 September 1917; (p. 221)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
The Honest Man's Burden Arthur Waugh , 1917 single work review
— Appears in: Outlook , 1 September vol. 40 no. 1917; (p. 204-205)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Untitled 1917 single work review
— Appears in: New York Times Book Review , 23 September 1917; (p. 360)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
'Australia Felix' is a fine unit in a great trilogy C. Hartley Grattan , 1930 single work review
— Appears in: World , 9 February 1930; (p. Metropolitan section, p. 10)

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
"Maurice Guest" and "Richard Mahoney" [sic] Edna Kenton , 1918 single work review
— Appears in: The Bookman , January vol. 46 no. 1918; (p. 580-582)

— Review of Maurice Guest Henry Handel Richardson 1908 single work novel ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Australian Literature and Summer - Books That Sizzle Stephanie Green , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 14 January 2014;

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel ; The Swan Book Alexis Wright 2013 single work novel ; Eyrie Tim Winton 2013 single work novel ; Boy, Lost : A Family Memoir Kris Olsson 2013 single work biography ; Barracuda Christos Tsiolkas 2013 single work novel
The Case for The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson Paul Giles , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Conversation , 9 April 2014;

— Review of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Introduction : The Australian Tradition Brian Fitzpatrick , 1945 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southern Stories, Poems and Paintings 1945; (p. 5-17)
Surveys, from a socialist perspective, some key figures in Australian literary history in their contribution to the growth of a 'democratic' Australian literature and a multicultural literary community.
Some Comments on the Style of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony and Voss 黄源深 , 1995 single work criticism
— Appears in: A Unique Literature : A Critical View of Australian Literary Works 1995; (p. 163-175)
Some Australian Books Victor Kennedy , 1932 single work criticism
— Appears in: Northern Affairs , 4 March vol. 1 no. 11 1932; (p. 16-17)
Kennedy identifies what he considers to be the best Australian novels.
Passports to the Past Dominique Hecq , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Etchings , no. 2 2007; (p. 164-173)
'If the past is a foreign country, then we are all exiles shipwrecked in the present. Our fate is fraught with risks. We need only think of The Tempest, Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver's Travels, Lord of the Flies, Wide Sargasso Sea, The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, the Transit of Venus, The Commandant, and A Fringe of Leaves. Then turn our thoughts to Remembering Babylon and The Secret River. Different spaces - temporal, geographical, political, and textual -different risks. (p 164)
Henry Handel Richardson Jane Mander , 1929 single work biography
— Appears in: The Home , 1 June vol. 10 no. 6 1929; (p. 28, 72)
'A further emphasis on the significance of this Australian novelist, together with an interview with her for "The Home".' (appears under title)
Won Fame Eventually 1933 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Women's Weekly , 1 July vol. 1 no. 4 1933; (p. 39)
Points of View : Women Writers 1933 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Women's Weekly , 9 September vol. 1 no. 14 1933; (p. 10)
The Silver Age of Fiction Peter Pierce , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin , Summer vol. 70 no. 4 2011; (p. 110-115)
Peter Pierce looks at contemporary Australian fiction to define Australia's 'Silver Age of Australian fiction' .
Literary Heroes Forgotten Michael Heywood , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 22 January 2012; (p. 9)
Australian Favourites 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 6 May 2012; (p. 18-19)
Word on the Street 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 13 May 2012; (p. 17)
A Literary Visit to the USA : A Memoir Laurie Hergenhan , 2012 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 26 no. 1 2012; (p. 74-78)
The Dear Old Mother Country : Richardson's the Way Home and Stead's For Love Alone Peter Morton , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Lusting for London : Australian Expatriate Writers at the Hub of Empire, 1870-1950 2011; (p. 133-163)
It's Absurd that Our Best Books Are Not Made into Films Peter Craven , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 21 January 2013; (p. 11)
Criticism and the Individual Talent Harry Payne Heseltine , 1972 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meanjin Quarterly , Autumn vol. 31 no. 1 1972; (p. 10-24)
The Great Way Home : A Great Australian Novel Norman Bartlett , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australians are Different 1988; (p. 29-33)
Henry Handel Richardson John Barnes , 1969 single work criticism
— Appears in: Biblionews and Australian Notes & Queries , vol. 3 no. 3 (2nd Series) 1969; (p. 23-25)
y A Companion to Australia Felix Leonie Kramer , Melbourne : Heinemann , 1962 Z473639 1962 single work criticism biography
y Henry Handel Richardson and Some of Her Sources Leonie Kramer , Carlton : Melbourne University Press , 1954 Z484577 1954 single work criticism
Identifying the Australian Gaze : Identifying an Australian Perversion : Rereading 'The Fortunes of Richard Mahony' Jennifer Rutherford , 1997 single work criticism
— Appears in: Meridian , October vol. 16 no. 2 1997; (p. 281-303)
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