Henry Handel Richardson

Australia Felix

Australia Felix (1917) by Henry Handel Richardson is the first novel in the trilogy The Fortunes of Richard Mahony. "Australia Felix" is a description used by explorer Major Thomas Mitchell in 1836 for the lush plains he discovered between the Murray River and the south coast of Victoria, including the area that later became the site of Ballarat. The novel introduces the reader to Dr. Richard Townshend-Mahony, from Edinburgh, the proprietor of Diggers' Emporium in Ballarat township, near Melbourne, Australia, which he runs with his assistants. He came to the goldfields in 1852 based on advertising that made gold seem easy to acquire. He marries a servant girl from a hotel, and after his store has to be closed, he becomes a successful physician. The more successful Mahony gets, the more he longs to return to England. In the novel the reader can follow the tragedies and successes of him and of his wife's family.
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