The Fortunes of Richard Mahony
Comprising Australia Felix, The Way Home, Ultima Thule
by Henry Handel Richardson
The Discovery Press, 1968, decorated end-papers, hardcover with gilt lettering and decoration
'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 dissatisfied 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 more universal one for a meaning that will validate and give purpose to his existence.'