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An Australian Classic: The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by Henry Handel Richardson

The Fortunes of Richard Mahony is a 943 page classic and an Australian one at that. It is also a tragedy. The author relentlessly follows the ‘fortunes’ of both Richard Mahony and his wife, Polly (known as Mary later in the book), the ups and downs of their rollercoaster-like lives, the inevitable sadness of their circumstances. Mahony is an Irish immigrant whose restless nature will never allow him to settle anywhere for very long. Although he is proud and exceptionally thin-skinned, he is at heart a kind man. Mary is originally from England and puts down roots easily. She is loyal, tends to see the best in people and makes the most of circumstances. They are as different as chalk and cheese in many ways but they care for each other and life goes on reasonably well it becomes clear that Mahony will never settle anywhere.  The Fortunes of Richard Mahony was written between 1917 and 1929 as a trilogy: Australia Felix, The Way Home, and Ultima Thule, but was re-published as one book i

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