AustLit logo
y separately published work icon The Madeleine Heritage single work   novel  
Alternative title: The Montforts
Issue Details: First known date: 1928... 1928 The Madeleine Heritage
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A entertaining example of the family history kind of novel. This particular family, descended from the historic Simon to begin with, has been enlivened about a hundred and fifty years ago by the irruption of a frivolous and enchanting French lady, Madeleine des. Baux. One of her grandsons, :Henry, sails with his family to -join a brother, Simon, who has taken up land near Port Phillip ; and becomes one of the makers of his colony. The 'marriages of his children and their cousins, and their inter-mixture with Spanish; Irish and Scots colonists, provide the matter of the book ; and, since their characters are varied and whimsical, it is entrancing matter. Incidentally we get some vivid impressions of Australia before and after the gold rush. The early love story of Richard and Aida provides a passage of singular beauty ; and when at the end of the book Raoul, who looks " like a cynical angel," sinks into the frank embrace of her daughter Madeleine, we feel that the French ancestress is still triumphant. This is a witty and picturesque book, with a keen sense of flavor in place and personality. ...'


  • First published under the pseudonym Martin Mills - as The Madeleine Heritage in America in February 1928 and as The Montforts in England in April of that year. Revised and published under Boyd's own name in Adelaide in 1963. For an explanation of the genesis of the work see Brenda Niall's introduction to the 1986 ed. of The Montforts (Ringwood, Vic: Penguin)
  • Letters from the James B. Pinker archives show that the working title for this novel was 'Great Grandmother Madeleine'. The Bobbs-Merrill imprint was printed by 8 February 1928 with reviews published in early March. The Times Literary Supplement of 19 April 1928 carries an advertisement for Constable books 'Published Today' that includes Mills' The Montforts.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Alternative title: The Montforts
    • London,
      United Kingdom (UK),
      Western Europe, Europe,
      Constable ,
      1928 .
      Extent: 350p.
      • Dedication: To Miss Creswick of Melbourne, to whom I am indebted for many tales of the early days of Victoria.
      • The Constable edition is a slightly shorter version of The Madeleine Heritage published a few weeks after the American edition.
      • Includes genealogy table

Other Formats

  • Also braille, sound recording.

Works about this Work

"Australia Is Very American" : Australian Historical Fiction in America 1920s-1940s David Carter , Roger Osborne , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Books and Authors in the American Marketplace : 1840s-1940s 2018; (p. 231-270)

The previous chapter revealed how, in the early 1930s, Norton's publication of Henry Handel Richardson s Ultima Thule and the Fortunes of Richard Mahony trilogy brought Australia and its literature "deep into the consciousness of reading America' The impact of Richardson's novels was strengthened by the appearance of Katharine Susannah Prichard's Coonardoo in 1930 from the same publisher. Richardson's and Prichard's novels were in fact part of a longer sequence of ambitious Australian works published in the United States from the late 1920s to the mid 1940s. In contrast to the decline in the number of Australian novels published in America across the first three decades of the twentieth century, at the very end of the 1920s we begin to see a cluster of substantial novels appearing together - and being brought together by reviewers. Fiction publishing in general in the United States grew rapidly from a low point in 1919 to a peak in 1929; the number of titles dipped slightly through the Depression years but high levels continued until the early forties. Against this background, the pattern of publication and increased receptivity for Australian novels was sustained until the mid-forties, but with little continuity into the postwar years when many writers had, in effect, to begin again in establishing the viability of Australian work in the American marketplace. There is, then, a relatively discrete historical trajectory across the two decades from the late twenties, emerging from almost nothing and collapsing in the later forties as both cultural and industrial circumstances change.' (Introduction)

Brenda Niall's Life of Archbishop Mannix Wins Australia's Oldest Literary Prize Jason Steger , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Brisbane Times , 6 July 2016;
'Among the first things Brenda Niall read about the novelist Martin Boyd, one of her early biographical subjects, was that in 1928 he had been the inaugural winner of the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal for his novel The Montforts. It was published under the pseudonym Martin Mills because Boyd had based the book on his mother's family. Winning the medal revealed his real identity. ...'
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)
Transpacific or Transatlantic Traffic? Australian Books and American Publishers David Carter , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 339-359)
'This paper will attempt to describe the determining factors and structural patterns of relations between Australian books and American publishers from the 19th century to the present. Its central question will be: how did 'Australian books' find their way to American publishers? Can we discern any distinctive patterns over time or for particular genres, or simply an accumulation of one-off cases? To what extent, if at all, did the traffic in Australian books depend on cultural symmetries? Did Australian books travel as Australian or British books? In what ways were they dependent upon relations between Australian (or British) publishers or literary agents and their American counterparts? What role did international copyright regimes or trade agreements play? And how might the American connection change our understanding of 'Australian literature'?' (Author's abstract)
The Outlook and Morals of an Ancient Greek Robert Darby , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 193 2008; (p. 55-59)
The Montforts Nettie Palmer , 1928 single work review
— Appears in: The Brisbane Courier , 8 September no. 22034 1928; (p. 25)

— Review of The Madeleine Heritage Martin Mills , 1928 single work novel
A Reader's Notebook Nettie Palmer , 1929 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 5 December vol. 1 no. 13 1929; (p. 405-406)

— Review of To Meet the Sun Robert D. FitzGerald , 1926 selected work poetry ; The Book of Beauty H. M. Green , 1929 selected work poetry ; The Meeting-Pool : A Tale of Borneo Mervyn Skipper , 1929 selected work children's fiction ; A House Is Built M. Barnard Eldershaw , 1929 single work novel ; The Madeleine Heritage Martin Mills , 1928 single work novel ; Up the Country : A Tale of Early Australian Squattocracy Brent of Bin Bin , 1928 single work novel ; The Man Hamilton Vance Palmer , 1928 single work novel ; A Diver Went Down Jack McLaren , 1929 single work novel
Beginning with an ironic anecdote illustrating that an Australian novel are a 'safe' present because the receiver is sure not to have read it, Palmer goes on to recommend some titles.
Untitled Nancy Keesing , 1964 single work review
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 24 no. 1 1964; (p. 65-67)

— Review of The Letters of Rachel Henning Rachel Biddulph Henning , 1952 selected work correspondence biography ; Five Senses : Selected Poems Judith Wright , 1963 selected work poetry ; Poems Kenneth Slessor , 1957 selected work poetry ; The Madeleine Heritage Martin Mills , 1928 single work novel ; Capricornia : A Novel Xavier Herbert , 1938 single work novel ; The Young Desire It : A Novel Seaforth MacKenzie , 1937 single work novel
Martin Mill's Writing Nettie Palmer , 1928 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 10 October vol. 49 no. 2539 1928; (p. 5)

— Review of The Madeleine Heritage Martin Mills , 1928 single work novel
Untitled 1928 single work review
— Appears in: Boston Transcript , 21 April 1928; (p. 3)

— Review of The Madeleine Heritage Martin Mills , 1928 single work novel
y separately published work icon 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.
Vance Palmer on the Australian Novel K.G. (interviewer), 1930 single work interview
— Appears in: All About Books , 19 April vol. 2 no. 4 1930; (p. 87-88)
The Outlook and Morals of an Ancient Greek Robert Darby , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 193 2008; (p. 55-59)
The Search for a Colonial Metropolis : Martin Boyd and the Myth of the Noble Settler Frank Davidson , 1992 single work criticism
— Appears in: Populous Places : Australian Cities and Towns 1992; (p. 166-175)
The Cultural Logic of Martin Boyd's Anti-Puritan Novels Patricia Dobrez , 2007-2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Australienstudien , no. 21-22 2007-2008; (p. 46-56)
Last amended 3 Feb 2017 13:44:33
    Powered by Trove