Henry Handel Richardson and Her Fiction
Allen & Unwin, 616 pp, $24,95 pb.
Occasionally, there are books of literary criticism which stay in the mind’s eye, so to speak; they endure beyond the point of short-term recall: the central argument, the general impress of thought, the singular, illuminating ideas and catchments of insight. As with Dorothy Green’s massive and intense scrutiny of Henry Handel Richardson, these books have the authority of a kind of passionate clarity, even when they seem paradoxical, or odd.
First published under the title Ulysses Bound, this new 1986 edition takes the earlier subtitle: Henry Handel Richardson and Her Fiction. The book will be well-known to many readers, not least for its scrupulous and pioneering research and trenchant discussion. Although the main text remains unchanged – barring minor corrections – the inclusion of a lengthy afterword, thirty photographs, and the new title, mark this edition’s strategic differences from the earlier volume.