Is part of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 series - author novel
Issue Details: First known date: 1929 1929
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Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Heinemann , 1929 .
      Extent: 345p.
      Note/s:
      • Published in January 1929 with a one thousand copy print-run. New Impressions in January, February and March 1929 due to unexpected demand.
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      W. W. Norton , 1929 .
      Alternative title: Ultima Thule
      Extent: 314p.
      Reprinted: 1962
      Note/s:
      • First printing in America September 1929.
  • 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. 659-941
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. 701-90
    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.
    • Ringwood, Ringwood - Croydon - Kilsyth area, Melbourne - East, Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 1971 .
      Extent: 279p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Leonie Kramer.
      ISBN: 0140033394

Works about this Work

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)
Who are You? No One : The Hacking Journalist in London Peter Morton , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Lusting for London : Australian Expatriate Writers at the Hub of Empire, 1870-1950 2011; (p. 111-132)
‘In 1909 the English journalist Philip Gibbs was in his early thirties and had already known both failure and success. That year he published a semiautobiographical novel, The Street of Adventure, drawing on his varied experiences. It was an immediate bestseller. The street of the title is Fleet Street. Shy, diffident Frank Luttrell has tried school-teaching after Oxford but he is bored. He determines to try the life of a freelance journalist in London. His friend is horrified…’ (From author’s introduction 111)
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)
Learning to Love the Gum Tree Elizabeth Webby , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Island , Autumn no. 120 2010; (p. 44-50)
New York City Limits : Australian Novels and American Print Culture Roger Osborne , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 299-308)
'One of the questions posed by this conference is, 'Why has Australia received so little attention in US literary circles?' This paper aims to propose an answer to that question by identifying American editions of Australian novels and by widely surveying reviews of these novels in journals and newspapers throughout the twentieth century. This survey will rely on searches conducted via the online version of the Book Review Digest and will be informed by Richard Ohmann's Politics of Letters (1987). Drawing on several sociological studies and other empirical data, Ohmann argues that canonization in the USA has relied on a small group of professional readers and a similarly small number of newspapers and journals in which these books were discussed, most of which were based within New York City limits. While Australian novels might not have been considered for canonization, the established print culture networks through which they moved ultimately influenced their critical and commercial success. Examining the degree to which Australian novels were included in the 'book talk' of these print culture networks provides a suitable foundation for statements about the space provided for Australian novels in US print culture. Ultimately, the limited and irregular inclusion of Australia in the 'book talk' of a small number of New York intellectuals and periodicals goes a long way to explaining why Australia has received so little attention in US literary circles.' (Author's abstract)
The Great Way Home : A Great Australian Novel Norman Bartlett , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australians are Different 1988; (p. 29-33)
Behind Heavy Lids i "Wriggling on the wooden form in Wyselaski Hall", Ailsa Barr , 1985 single work poetry
— Appears in: Poetry Day Australia 1985; (p. 51)
The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin in Ultima Thule George Seddon , 1981 single work criticism
— Appears in: Search , (1981-1982) vol. 12 no. 12 1981; European Relations : Essays for Helen Watson-Williams 1985; (p. 55-66)
y Henry Handel Richardson Vincent Buckley , Melbourne : Lansdowne , 1961 Z474243 1961 single work criticism

The series Australian Writers and Their Work aims to give an introduction to Australian writers, including biographical critical information and critical interpretation, and an assessment of their place in Australian literary history. Buckley suggests readings of HHR's principal works, discusses her use of naturalism, and ranks of her major works according to their 'literary value'.

Australian Literature Since 1939 Marjorie Barnard , 1955 single work criticism
— Appears in: Books Abroad , vol. 29 no. 1955; (p. 28-284)
`Richard Mahony's' Grave E. Morris Miller , 1949 single work biography
— Appears in: Meanjin , Spring vol. 8 no. 3 1949; (p. 177-180)
y Australian Literature Society Medallists Flora Eldershaw , Sydney : Australasian Medical Publishing , 1935 Z1040561 1935 single work criticism Summary of an address given to the Australian English Association 25th September 1935.
Louise Mack's Diary : Mrs. Nock of 'Neelungaloo' Louise Mack , 1933 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Women's Weekly , 1 July vol. 1 no. 4 1933; (p. 7)
Untitled Freda Barrymore , 1930 single work review column
— Appears in: Townsville Daily Bulletin , 20 December 1930; (p. 14)

— Review of Only the Morning John Dalley 1930 single work novel
Ultima Thule : Best Novel for 1929 1930 single work column
— Appears in: The News , 11 December 1930; (p. 13)
Australian Novel 1930 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 17 March 1930; (p. 6)
Literary Society's Medal Presented to Novelist 1930 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12 December 1930; (p. 11)
Building Jerusalem Nettie Palmer , 1930 single work criticism
— Appears in: Illustrated Tasmanian Mail , 14 May 1930; Nettie Palmer : Her Private Journal Fourteen Years, Poems, Reviews and Literary Essays 1988; (p. 396-399)
Australian Literature Society [Meeting Report] 1929 single work correspondence
— Appears in: All About Books , 18 July vol. 1 no. 8 1929; (p. 267-268)
Report of reviews given at the meeting by Palmer, Byrne, Serle and Lavatar.
A Reader's Notebook Nettie Palmer , 1929 single work criticism
— Appears in: All About Books , 21 October vol. 1 no. 11 1929; (p. 337-338)
Australian Writers to the Fore 1929 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 18 March vol. 1 no. 4 1929; (p. 120-121)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel ; Max Flambard : A Novel John Dalley 1928 single work novel ; 'Wirragoona' : Tales of Australian Station Life Charles Emerson Robertshaw 1928 selected work short story ; Up the Country : A Tale of Early Australian Squattocracy Brent of Bin Bin 1928 single work novel ; This Love Business : a novel John Fearn 1929 single work novel
Untitled Franziska , 1929 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Woman's Mirror , 12 March vol. 5 no. 16 1929; (p. 24)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
A favourable review which describes Ultima Thule as a 'masterpiece of tragic literature'.
Ultima Thule 1929 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 13 March vol. 50 no. 2561 1929; (p. 2)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
Untitled 1929 single work review
— Appears in: Times Literary Supplement , 17 January 1929; (p. 42)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
Untitled L. P. Hartley , 1929 single work review
— Appears in: Saturday Review , 19 January vol. 147 no. 1929; (p. 82)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
New Fiction 1929 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 2 March no. 28442 1929; (p. 12)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
An Australian Tragedy Nettie Palmer , 1929 single work review
— Appears in: Illustrated Tasmanian Mail , 3 April 1929; (p. 4)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
The Mahoneys [sic] Mary Ross , 1929 single work review
— Appears in: New York Herald Tribune Books , 8 September 1929; (p. 3-4)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
In "Ultima Thule" a Novel of Lasting Quality Louis Kronenberger , 1929 single work review
— Appears in: New York Times Book Review , 15 September 1929; (p. 2)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
Untitled C. Hartley Grattan , 1929 single work review
— Appears in: New Republic , 23 October vol. 69 no. 1929; (p. 278-279)

— Review of Ultima Thule : Being the Third Part of the Chronicle of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1929 single work novel
y Australian Literature Society Medallists Flora Eldershaw , Sydney : Australasian Medical Publishing , 1935 Z1040561 1935 single work criticism Summary of an address given to the Australian English Association 25th September 1935.
Australian Literature Society [Meeting Report] 1929 single work correspondence
— Appears in: All About Books , 18 July vol. 1 no. 8 1929; (p. 267-268)
Report of reviews given at the meeting by Palmer, Byrne, Serle and Lavatar.
A Reader's Notebook Nettie Palmer , 1929 single work criticism
— Appears in: All About Books , 21 October vol. 1 no. 11 1929; (p. 337-338)
Untitled Freda Barrymore , 1930 single work review column
— Appears in: Townsville Daily Bulletin , 20 December 1930; (p. 14)

— Review of Only the Morning John Dalley 1930 single work novel
Ultima Thule : Best Novel for 1929 1930 single work column
— Appears in: The News , 11 December 1930; (p. 13)
Australian Novel 1930 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 17 March 1930; (p. 6)
Henry Handel Richardson : Her Reputation Nettie Palmer , 1929 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Woman's Mirror , 5 March vol. 5 no. 15 1929; (p. 11, 30)

Nettie Palmer hails Henry Handel Richardson as a gifted and important writer. She discusses The Getting of Wisdom at some length, pointing out that it was Richardson's understanding of female psychology that revealed that the writer was in fact a woman.

Palmer describes Ultima Thule as a 'work of genius' and comments on an article in a London paper entitled 'Melbourne Woman's Leap to Fame' – Palmer points out that the leap took twenty years.

Palmer also notes that the first two novels in Richardson's eventual trilogy The Fortunes of Richard Mahony : Comprising Australia Felix, The Way Home, Ultima Thule are now hard to obtain, especially the first, Australia Felix, as it was published during the war. She expresses the hope that Heinemann will produce an omnibus of the trilogy.

Learning to Love the Gum Tree Elizabeth Webby , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Island , Autumn no. 120 2010; (p. 44-50)
Let's Talk About Gift Books Franziska , 1929 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Woman's Mirror , 10 December vol. 6 no. 3 1929; (p. 24)

Discusses giving books as gifts and makes recommendations, from both Australia and overseas, including the publication of the first unabridged version of For the Term of His Natural Life.

New York City Limits : Australian Novels and American Print Culture Roger Osborne , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 299-308)
'One of the questions posed by this conference is, 'Why has Australia received so little attention in US literary circles?' This paper aims to propose an answer to that question by identifying American editions of Australian novels and by widely surveying reviews of these novels in journals and newspapers throughout the twentieth century. This survey will rely on searches conducted via the online version of the Book Review Digest and will be informed by Richard Ohmann's Politics of Letters (1987). Drawing on several sociological studies and other empirical data, Ohmann argues that canonization in the USA has relied on a small group of professional readers and a similarly small number of newspapers and journals in which these books were discussed, most of which were based within New York City limits. While Australian novels might not have been considered for canonization, the established print culture networks through which they moved ultimately influenced their critical and commercial success. Examining the degree to which Australian novels were included in the 'book talk' of these print culture networks provides a suitable foundation for statements about the space provided for Australian novels in US print culture. Ultimately, the limited and irregular inclusion of Australia in the 'book talk' of a small number of New York intellectuals and periodicals goes a long way to explaining why Australia has received so little attention in US literary circles.' (Author's abstract)
Louise Mack's Diary : Mrs. Nock of 'Neelungaloo' Louise Mack , 1933 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian Women's Weekly , 1 July vol. 1 no. 4 1933; (p. 7)
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)
Who are You? No One : The Hacking Journalist in London Peter Morton , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Lusting for London : Australian Expatriate Writers at the Hub of Empire, 1870-1950 2011; (p. 111-132)
‘In 1909 the English journalist Philip Gibbs was in his early thirties and had already known both failure and success. That year he published a semiautobiographical novel, The Street of Adventure, drawing on his varied experiences. It was an immediate bestseller. The street of the title is Fleet Street. Shy, diffident Frank Luttrell has tried school-teaching after Oxford but he is bored. He determines to try the life of a freelance journalist in London. His friend is horrified…’ (From author’s introduction 111)
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)
The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin in Ultima Thule George Seddon , 1981 single work criticism
— Appears in: Search , (1981-1982) vol. 12 no. 12 1981; European Relations : Essays for Helen Watson-Williams 1985; (p. 55-66)
Literary Society's Medal Presented to Novelist 1930 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 12 December 1930; (p. 11)
The Great Way Home : A Great Australian Novel Norman Bartlett , 1988 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australians are Different 1988; (p. 29-33)
Behind Heavy Lids i "Wriggling on the wooden form in Wyselaski Hall", Ailsa Barr , 1985 single work poetry
— Appears in: Poetry Day Australia 1985; (p. 51)
y Henry Handel Richardson Vincent Buckley , Melbourne : Lansdowne , 1961 Z474243 1961 single work criticism

The series Australian Writers and Their Work aims to give an introduction to Australian writers, including biographical critical information and critical interpretation, and an assessment of their place in Australian literary history. Buckley suggests readings of HHR's principal works, discusses her use of naturalism, and ranks of her major works according to their 'literary value'.

`Richard Mahony's' Grave E. Morris Miller , 1949 single work biography
— Appears in: Meanjin , Spring vol. 8 no. 3 1949; (p. 177-180)
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