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Henry Handel Richardson

  • But hers was one of those inconvenient natures which trust blindly or not at all: once worked on by a doubt or a suspicion, they are never able to shake themselves free of it again.

  • But then Mary belonged to that happy class of mortals who could set up their Lares and Penates inside any four walls.

  • To wake in the night: be wide awake in an instant, with all your faculties on edge: to wake, and be under compulsion to set in, night for night, at the same point, knowing from grim experience, that the demons awaiting you have each to be grappled with in turn, no single one of them left unthrown, before you can win through to the peace that is utter exhaustion.

  • That most sensitive, most delicate of instruments — the mind of a little child!

  • In health, in the bustle of living, it was easy to believe in heaven and a life to come. But when the blow fell, and those you loved passed into the great Silence, where you could not get at them, or they at you, then doubts, aching doubts took possession of one.

  • Oh! mothers aren't fair — I mean it's not fair of nature to weigh us down with them and yet expect us to be our own true selves. The handicap's too great. All those months, when the same blood's running through two sets of veins — there's no getting away from that, ever after. Take yours. As I say, does she need to open her mouth? Not she! She's only got to let it hang at the corners, and you reek, you drip with guilt.

    • Henry Handel Richardson,
    • "Two Hanged Women," The End of a Childhood ()
  • There are enough women to do the childbearing and the childrearing. I know of none who can write my books.

    • Henry Handel Richardson,
    • in Tillie Olsen, Silences ()
  • ... he was seized by the sense of desolation that lies in wait for one, caught by nightfall, alone in a strange city. It stirs up a wild longing, not so much for any particular spot on earth, as for some familiar hand or voice to take the edge off an intolerable loneliness.

    • Henry Handel Richardson,
    • Richard Guest
    • ()
  • The truth that could be extracted from words was such a fluctuating, relative truth.

    • Henry Handel Richardson,
    • Richard Guest
    • ()
  • Like most wrongdoers, Laura soon acquired a taste for dwelling on her misdeed.

Henry Handel Richardson, Australian-born English novelist

(1870 - 1946)

Real name: Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson.