'Capricornia will always be one of the greatest of Australian novels, a defining work in the search for what it is, or was, to be Australian.' Australian Book Review
Spanning three generations, Capricornia tells the story of Australia's north. It is a story of whites and Aborigines and Asians, of chance relationships that can form bonds for life, of dispossession, murder and betrayal.
In 1904 the brothers Oscar and Mark Shillingsworth, clad in serge suits and bowler hats, arrive in Port Zodiac on the coast of Capricornia. They are clerks who have come from the south to join the Capricornian Government Service. Oscar prospers, and takes to his new life as a gentleman. Mark, however, is restless, and takes up with old Ned Krater, a trepang fisherman, who tells him tales of the sea and the islands, introduces him to drink, and boasts of his conquests of Aboriginal women - or 'Black Velvet', as they are called.
But it is Mark's son, Norman, whose struggles to find a place in the world embody the complexities of Capricornia itself.
'My Capricornia is a hymn book written in adoration of Australia ... the Land of the Unshackled Southern Cross, the Australian earth itself, out of a passionate love of which alone can a true Australian Nation grow.' Xavier Herbert
About the Author
Xavier Herbert was one of Australia's leading writers. In 1938 he published his award-winning first novel Capricornia. Herbert's next major work of fiction, Soldiers' Women, was published in 1962. A collection of short stories, Larger Than Life, and Disturbing Element, an autobiography, were both published in 1963. He is perhaps best remembered for his Miles Franklin-winning book Poor Fellow My Country. Published in 1975, this magnificent epic deals with themes of illegitimacy, Australia's postcolonial beginnings and its relationship to Britain, and the terrible treatment and exploitation of the indigenous population.
Known for his insight into, and articulation of, a particularly Australian experience Herbert's writing encompasses complex psychological, historical, social and racial landscapes. He died in 1984.
'Capricornia will always be one of the greatest of Australian novels, a defining work in the search for what it is, or was, to be Australian.' - Australian Book Review
Series: A&R Classics
For Ages: 11 - 14 years old
For Grades: 7 - 9
Number Of Pages: 624
Published: 1st March 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8
Weight (kg): 0.58