Henry Handel Richardson Fifty Years On
Having been asked to speak at a Henry Handel Richardson seminar, on the particular question of developments in the study of her life and work in the half century since she died, makes me feel that in one basic way the question answers itself. The very fact of this seminar being held, producing plenty of new ideas and information, together with reports of new publications and research projects, testifies to the continuing vitality and expansion of what I'll call 'Richardson Studies'. Testifies also to a broad though by no means unambiguous critical agreement that she was a major Australian novelist, whose work merits and repays serious, extensive study - a view held at least as strongly today as it was at the time of her death in 1946. She wasn't one of those artists famous in their lifetime whose reputation faded soon after they had themselves passed on.
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