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y separately published work icon 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 The Fortunes of Richard Mahony
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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)

Exhibitions

18006817
18005672

Notes

  • Dedication: To W. L. R.

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 .
      image of person or book cover 2277348672259464948.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      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 separately published work icon 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 separately published work icon 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

Other Formats

  • Sound recording.
  • Braille.

Works about this Work

Films Hollywood Almost Made about Australia Stephen Vagg , 2019 single work essay
— Appears in: FilmInk , 14 February 2019;
Exile’s Return : Change Was in the Air Andrew Taylor , 2019 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 19 no. 1 2019;
'In September 1963 I boarded the ship, the Fairsky, in Port Melbourne, and waved goodbye to my parents and my girlfriend. I was 23 years old and leaving Australia for the first time. The Fairsky was one of many ships that had served in the Second World War and then been repurposed in the immediate post-war years. In this case, she had served for both the USA and Royal navies, firstly as USS Barnes and then as HMS Attacker, before being converted initially for use as a cargo carrier (the Castel Forte), and eventually undergoing another major refit for passenger use in 1957, from which she re-emerged as Fairsky.' (Introduction)
Bold Women in Print Grace Blakeley-Carroll , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Unbound : The National Library of Australia Magazine , September 2017;

'Curator Grace Blakeley-Carroll looks at early twentieth-century Australian female writers and the publishing industry.'

Books That Changed Me : Kiera Lindsey Kiera Lindsey , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 1 May 2016; (p. 12)
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. ...'
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
[Review ] The Getting of Wisdom Freda Barrymore , 1930 single work review
— 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
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)
Last amended 28 Apr 2020 16:16:53
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