Author

Henry H. Richardson

Henry H. Richardson books and biography

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Australian Felix


By Henry H. Richardson
Novels

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Coat


By Henry H. Richardson
Short Stories

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End Of Childhood


By Henry H. Richardson
Short Stories

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Getting Of Wisdom


By Henry H. Richardson
Novels

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Growing Pains


By Henry H. Richardson
Short Stories

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Mary Christina


By Henry H. Richardson
Short Stories

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Maurice Guest


By Henry H. Richardson
Novels

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Sister Ann


By Henry H. Richardson
Short Stories

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Succedaneum


By Henry H. Richardson
Short Stories

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The Way Home


By Henry H. Richardson
Novels

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Two Tales Of Old Strasbourg


By Henry H. Richardson
Short Stories

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Ultima Thule


By Henry H. Richardson
Novels

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Henry Handel Richardson

The image “http://www.nla.gov.au/pub/nlanews/2004/apr04/images/p09i01.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Henry Handel Richardson, the nom de plume of Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson, (January 3, 1870-March 30, 1946) was an Australian author.

Contents

Life

Born in East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia into a prosperous family which later fell on hard times, she was the elder daughter of Walter Lindesay Richardson (c. 1826–1879), M. D., and his wife Mary (nee Bailey). She lived in various towns in Victoria during her childhood and youth, and attended Presbyterian Ladies' College (PLC) in Melbourne in 1883 between the ages of 13 and 17. (This experience was the basis for The Getting of Wisdom, arguably one of the finest coming of age novels in the English language.)

She excelled at music during her time at PLC and her mother took the family (her father having died in 1879) to Europe in 1888 to enable Ethel to continue her musical studies at Leipzig Conservatorium.

Leipzig would provide the setting for her first novel Maurice Guest, a novel of youthful angst, obsession and suicide which has a mixed reputation--some critics regard it as a masterpiece of psychological realism, others see it as a mere imitation of the French and Russian realists of the 19th century.

The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, her trilogy about the slow decline of a successful Australian physician and his family due to his character flaws and brain disease, is the only one of Richardson's works to obtain wide readership throughout the English speaking world. It was highly praised by Sinclair Lewis, among others, but its plot is too rambling for it to be regarded as an altogether successful experiment. Yet all three volumes contain powerful scenes, and the final volume, Ultima Thule, can be read by itself as a gripping example of a somewhat dated biological and social determinism.

Richardson also wrote a single volume of short stories, at least two of which are of lasting value, and a charming autobiography that greatly illuminates the settings of her novels.

Ethel married J George Robertson in 1894 who was a Scottish student of German literature and moved to London in 1903, where her husband had been appointed to a chair of German at the University of London as a Professor of German Literature.

She returned to Australia in 1912 for several months to research family history for her trilogy The Fortunes of Richard Mahony before returning to England where she lived for the rest of her life.

Ethel Richardson died of cancer on March 30, 1946 in Hastings, East Sussex, England.

Bibliography

Novels

  • Maurice Guest 1908
  • The Getting of Wisdom 1910
  • Australia Felix 1917
  • The Way Home 1925
  • Ultima Thule 1929
  • The Fortunes of Richard Mahony 1930
    • Comprising the novels: Australia Felix, The Way Home and Ultima Thule
  • The Young Cosima 1939

Short Story Collections

  • Two Studies 1931
  • The End of a Childhood 1934
  • The Adventures of Cuffy Mahony 1979
  • The End of Childhood: The Complete Stories of Henry Handel Richardson 1992 edited by Carol Franklin

Non-Fiction

Myself When Young 1948

Biography

  • Henry Handel Richardson and some of Her Sources 1954 by Leonie Kramer
  • Henry Handel Richardson 1961 by Vincent Buckley
  • Myself When Laura 1966 by Leonie Kramer
  • Ulysses Bound 1973 (revised 1986) by Dorothy Green
  • Henry Handel Richardson 1985 by Karen McLeod
  • Henry Handel Richardson: Fiction in the Making 1990 by Axel Clark
  • Henry Handel Richardson: A Life 2005 by Michael Ackland

Film

Adaptations: The Getting of Wisdom was filmed in 1977, directed by Bruce Beresford, from a screenplay by Eleanor Witcombe, starring Susannah Fowle as "Laura Rambotham" with supporting roles by Julia Blake, Terence Donovan and Kerry Armstrong. The screenplay adheres closely to the novel, and Fowle's performance is a triumph.

Maurice Guest was adapted, very loosely, for the screen in Rhapsody (1954) starring Elizabeth Taylor, with the setting in Switzerland rather than Germany.



This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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