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Henry Handel RichardsonPrint Page Print this page

03-August-2014
03-August-2014

Photographs supplied by Nancy Alford

Plaque erected in memory of author Henry Handel Richardson who lived in Maldon as a child from 1880 to 1886 where her mother was the post mistress. 

'Henry Handel Richardson' was the pen-name of Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson, who was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1870. Her father was a medical graduate of Edinburgh University, and her mother was the daughter of a Leicester solicitor; they married after migrating to Australia during the Victorian goldrushes. After her father's death in 1879, her mother worked as a postmistress in country towns, but later she was able to take Ethel and her sister Lilian to Europe, to study music at Leipzig. Ethel, who became a skilled pianist, married John George Robertson, a science graduate turned philologist. Robertson was appointed Professor of German and Scandinavian Languages and Literatures at London University in 1903, where he became one of the foremost scholars of his day. By this time Ethel had begun to write, having given up all thought of a musical career. Her first novel, Maurice Guest, was published in 1908 and had a number of imitators. Her second, The Getting of Wisdom, published in 1910 was described by H. G. Wells as the best school story he knew. Her most important work was The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, published in three volumes, comprising Australia Felix, The Way Home and Ultima Thule, from 1917 to 1929.

After the death of her husband in 1933, Richardson moved to a house near Hastings with her devoted companion Olga Roncoroni. The End of a Childhood and Other Stories was published in 1934 and the novel The Young Cosima in 1939 when she was sixty-nine years old. During the war she began an autobiography, Myself When Young, but, left it unfinished at her death in 1946.

Location

Address:95 High Street (Cnr Francis Street), Post Office, Maldon, 3463
State:VIC
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.996078
Long: 144.06805
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Arts
Approx. Event Start Date:1880
Approx. Event End Date:1886
Link: http://adb.anu.edu.au/

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1968
Front Inscription

MALDON POST OFFICE
It Was In This Building
the authoress... 'Henry Handel Richardson'
spent portion of her early life as recorded in her book..
`Myself When Young`, her mother being the postmistress
from 1880 to 1886.

This plaque is erected in her memory by the
Maldon Progress Association - 1968

Source: MA,VMR,RHSV, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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