This three volume set marks the first time any Australian literary writer has had his/her correspondence published in its entirety. The letters of Henry Handel Richardson were opened in March 1996 to unrestricted access, but none of the letters may be published until this edition of the complete correspondence has been released. At present, there are approximately 1800 unpublished manuscript letters to and from HHR, which form a correspondence between Australia, England, German, Italy and the USA for the period 1874 to 1946. The letters shed much new light on HHR's biography, her artistic methods, her personal life, her friendships (and antagonisms), her response to Australian readers and to expatriation, and her efforts to maintain a literary life apart from her personal life. They include HHR's earliest letter, and trace her student days in Leipzig, the publication of Maurice Guest, The Getting of Wisdom, The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney, The End of a Childhood, and The Young Cosima, and her experience of life in wartime England.
Some of the most vivid letters describe her schooldays (the biographical context for The Getting of Wisdom), her memories of the Australian bush, her relationship with Vance and Nettie Palmer, her meetings with Miles Franklin and her views on contemporary writing. The letters to Mary Kernot provide constant linkages between life in England and Australia during the most formative period for modern Australian literature (including the negotiations for HHR's Nobel Prize nomination).
Publisher: Melbourne University Press