The Fortunes of Richard Mahony

The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Set in Australia during the gold mining boom this remarkable trilogy is one of the classics of Australian literature Henry Handel Richardson s great literary achievement comprising the novels Austra

  • Title: The Fortunes of Richard Mahony
  • Author: Henry Handel Richardson
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 410
  • Format: Paperback
  • Set in Australia during the gold mining boom, this remarkable trilogy is one of the classics of Australian literature.Henry Handel Richardson s great literary achievement, comprising the novels Australia Felix, The Way Home and Ultima Thule, weaves together many themes Richard Mahony, despite finding initial contentment with his wife Mary, becomes increasingly dissatifiedSet in Australia during the gold mining boom, this remarkable trilogy is one of the classics of Australian literature.Henry Handel Richardson s great literary achievement, comprising the novels Australia Felix, The Way Home and Ultima Thule, weaves together many themes Richard Mahony, despite finding initial contentment with his wife Mary, becomes increasingly dissatified with his ordered life His restlessness is not understood by Mary, who has to endure the constant shattering of her security as Richard desperately attempts to free himself his attempts finally plunge them into poverty In the figure of Richard Mahony, Richardson captures the soul of the emigrant, ever restless, ever searching for some equilibrium, yet never really able to settle anywhere Richard s search, though, is also the universal one for a meaning that will validate and give purpose to his existence.

    One thought on “The Fortunes of Richard Mahony”

    1. Cry Me a RiverI don't think I have ever cried so hard and so long as when I arrived at the end of this book.In Defence of Slow ReadingI read it at a time when I had the time and inclination to embrace and be embraced by a genuine epic.I don't know whether I would be as patient now, but that is my loss.Hopefully, you, with the time available to you, will be more patient than me and you will be rewarded more recently as well.Some things in life, as Paul Keating once said of his political opponent, [...]

    2. Warning: plot spoilers. When your country has a tiny population, like Australia's, authors often have to symbolize more than one thing. Richardson, for instance, is Australia's Joyce (insofar as she wrote one of the great Australian young person comes of age novel). She is Australia's Eliot; not only did she, like George, give herself a 'man's' name; she also knew far more about 19th century intellectual life than most people of her circle would have known, and put that to good work in her novel [...]

    3. I read this book shortly after the birth of my second child (who turns 29 in about six weeks time). It was on the syllabus for a university course I was doing at the time. My enduring memory is sitting in bed at 2.00 am, reading while feeding the baby, with my tears falling onto his head. And then, continuing to read, well after the baby was asleep again, because I couldn't put it down. An epic book.

    4. It's about the life of the restless Richard Mahony, from the Ballarat goldfields in the 1850s, via many adventures in Australia and abroad, to the latter part of the nineteenth century. It’s also a stunning portrait of a marriage, and an incredibly detailed account of colonial Australia: Ballarat, Melbourne, the bush and the seaside.Reading it was one of the most fulfilling literary experiences I’ve ever had. This is mainly due to the character of Richard Mahony and his self-induced tribulat [...]

    5. Fantastic epic of what it means to be human, by following the life of a man and a marriage, with all the foibles of humanity and love and weakness and fear, but the memory is love. A rereading of a favourite.

    6. This was a difficult one to rate. For most of the book (nearly 90% of it, according to my Kindle) I was ready to give up at any moment. I was going to give it a two-star rating. Not one star, because even in the depths of its interminably meandering middle, it had clear literary merit. But god, it was so BORING. In the chronicle of the lives of Richard and Mary Mahony, it felt as though the author left not a single day undescribed. And then, towards the end, it suddenly became not only interesti [...]

    7. The Great Australian Novel. Heavy going in spots, but worth it. Mahony (pronounced MAhony as he would remind you) is an intelligent man with ambitions to rise. He has a restlessness and a somewhat contrary nature, both of which characteristics contribute to his eventual downfall. He is championed only by his long suffering wife- he loves her deeply but never really understands her. Mahony is like a warped version of Micawber- he believes that if he picks up and moves to a new situation then ever [...]

    8. I can see why this book was a classic, but I found it too long. I disengaged several times. The strength of thos book to me, was the characters. They really evoked strong emotions ranging from sympathy and affection to disgust and annoyance, often about the same character in the same chapter.

    9. One of the most enjoyable books I have ever read, and easily the best Australian book. I continue to be amazed that this is not more well known and recognised as one of the best examples of Australian fiction. I read it as a three volume set and couldn't put it down.Highly recommended.

    10. It takes a perverse type of courage to write a 900 page novel about such an obstinate and unlikeable man. The three books tell the repeating cycle of Richard Mahony's attempts to settle and find happiness in various towns in Australia and England. Each time he disastrously upheaves his family, plunging them into more financial peril, he ignores all the advice and experience of those around him in order to make the same mistakes yet again.The incredible frustration of this pattern is only tempere [...]

    11. ‘The Fortunes of Richard Mahony is a masterpiece, a great novel. Reading it was one of the most fulfilling literary experiences I’ve ever had.’Angela Meyer, LiteraryMinded‘More than any other novel in our literature, more than Voss, The Fortunes of Richard Mahony deserves the accolade of the Great Australian Novel… it is a mighty and moving work, this bursting at the seams anti-epic to the muse of a vanity which sees every golden bowl broken and every silver cord loosed.’Peter Craven [...]

    12. * 1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive list: Family and SelfSelected by the Guardian's Review team and a panel of expert judges, this list includes only novels – no memoirs, no short stories, no long poems – from any decade and in any language. Originally published in thematic supplements – love, crime, comedy, family and self, state of the nation, science fiction and fantasy, war and travel – they appear here for the first time.

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