Introduction by Carmen Callil
A passionate and controversial novel set in turn-of-the-century Europe
Henry Handel Richardson’s debut, published in London in 1908, is set in the music scene of Leipzig, a cosmopolitan centre for the arts drawing students from around the world—among them Maurice Guest, a young Englishman, who falls helplessly in love with an Australian woman, Louise Dufrayer.Maurice Guest is the story of this overwhelming passion.
The novel was deemed too controversial to be published as Richardson intended, and she was forced to cut twenty thousand words from the original manuscript and tone down its language.
Carmen Callil, in her introduction, writes: ‘it remains a great novel, one that, once it grasps your imagination, is impossible to put down for more than a moment, leading every reader into a dreamtime remembrance of the terrible pain the human heart is heir to.’