The publication of Henry Handel Richardson's correspondence is a major event in Australian scholarly publishing. There are approximately fifteen hundred unpublished manuscript letters to and from HHR, of which almost a thousand are in her own hand. They form a correspondence between Australia, England, Germany, Italy and the USA over a seventy-year period, 1874 to 1946. The letters shed new light on Henry Handel Richardson's biography, her artistic methods, her personal life, her friendships (and antagonisms), her response to Australian readers and to expatriation, and her rigorous efforts to maintain a literary life apart from her personal life. The collection begins with HHR's earliest letter, then traces her student days in Leipzig, the publication of "Maurice Guest", "The Getting of Wisdom", "The Fortunes of Richard Mahony", "The Young Cosima" and "The End of a Childhood", and her struggle late in life with the stringencies of wartime England. In this volume the widowed HHR moves to the Sussex village where she lived until her death.
The letters cover the publication of "The End of a Childhood and Other Stories", the ill-fated "The Young Cosima" and her incomplete memoir "Myself When Young". War dominated the closing years of her life, and she reported her experiences graphically to Mary Kernot. She refused to leave her house, even while the Battle of Britain was being fought in the skies above her. The strain and deprivations of war weakened her. When unable to write, her companion and secretary Olga Roncoroni wrote for her, and these letters are included. Her last letter is a little pencilled note to Mary Kernot.
"This is a monumental work of Australian scholarship. This is a noble trilogy." --"The Australian Financial Review" "Punctiliously annotated, sumptuously bound and splendidly illustrated edition of the letter . . . an outstanding work of scholarship which would have delighted even that most fastidious of letter-writers." --"Times Literary Supplement" This is a monumental work of Australian scholarship. This is a noble trilogy. "The Australian Financial Review"" Punctiliously annotated, sumptuously bound and splendidly illustrated edition of the letter . . . an outstanding work of scholarship which would have delighted even that most fastidious of letter-writers. "Times Literary Supplement""