He had never got within measurable distance of what he called life, at all…deep down in him, he knew, was an enormous residue of vitality…It was like a buried treasure, jealously kept for the event of his one day catching up with life: not the bare scramble for a living that here went by that name, but Life with a capital L.
Richard Mahony is a restless man. Ballarat, England, Melbourne, Europe, the bush: elsewhere is always better. Searching for a place, a meaning, a life, and always loyally supported by his wife Mary, he journeys from shopkeeping to medicine, from poverty to wealth, from order to chaos. With its wisdom, intelligence and effortless narrative power, The Fortunes of Richard Mahony is a masterpiece.
About the Author
Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson was born into an affluent Melbourne family in 1870. After the death of her father, Richardson’s mother took her children to Maldon where she worked as the postmistress. Richardson was sent to board at the Presbyterian Ladies College in 1883—an experience that provided material for her novel The Getting of Wisdom.
In 1888, she travelled to Europe with her mother and studied at the Leipzig Conservatorium where she met John George Robertson, a Scottish expert in German literature. The pair married and settled in London.
Richardson published her first novel, Maurice Guest, in 1908. She made her only journey back to Australia in 1912 to complete her research for the trilogy that would become The Fortunes of Richard Mahony. Her final novel The Young Cosima appeared in 1939.
'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.'