Review of Henry Handel Richardson: The Letters, edited by Clive Probyn and Bruce Steele, with Rachel Solomon and Patrick O'Neill.

Literary embargo is one of the banes of most researchers. Who has not had a promising track of inquiry suddenly blocked by the fruniliar catalogue entry 'restricted'? The positive aspect of this predicament - although hardly one likely to console a frustrated researcher at the time - is that eventually new papers will come to light, perhaps breathing life into a well-known field ru1d affording new perspectives on a writer and his or her work. The papers of Henry Handel Richardson are a case in point. W11ile a variety of material such as manuscripts and notebooks had been accessible to researchers, important caches of letters had been closed until March 1996. These previously closed collections, coupled with new letters w1earthed by her editors' efforts, have provided the basis for this superb three-volume edition of her correspondence. I use 'superb' advised- ly to refer to the overall quality of the publication ru1d to the editors' work. Fortunately the Miegunyah imprint of Melbourne University Press can finance works with ex- ceptionally high production values: elegant dust-jackets, quality paper, good type-face, generous layout and a wealth of previously unreproduced as well as very apposite photographic material. And the editorial work over nearly 2,000 pages is of a commensurate standard, with infonnative but unobtrusive notes, accurate texts ru1d a great deal of new information for even the Richardson scholar.

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Published 1 May 2002 in Volume 20 No. 3. Subjects: Henry Handel Richardson .

Cite as: Ackland, Michael. ‘Review of Henry Handel Richardson: The Letters, edited by Clive Probyn and Bruce Steele, with Rachel Solomon and Patrick O'Neill..’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 20, no. 3, 2002. https://doi.org/10.20314/als.5d8608b20a.