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Spanning three generations, Capricornia tells the story of Australia's north. It is a story of whites and Aborigines and Asians, of chance relationships that can form bonds for life, of dispossession, murder and betrayal.



'Capricornia will always be one of the greatest of Australian novels, a defining work in the search for what it is, or was, to be Australian.' Australian Book Review



Spanning three generations, Capricornia tells the story of Australia's north. It is a story of whites and Aborigines and Asians, of chance relationships that can form bonds for life, of dispossession, murder and betrayal. In 1904 the brothers Oscar and Mark Shillingsworth, clad in serge suits and bowler hats, arrive in Port Zodiac on the coast of Capricornia. they are clerks who have come from the south to join the Capricornian Government Service. Oscar prospers, and takes to his new life as a gentleman. Mark, however, is restless, and takes up with old Ned Krater, a trepang fisherman, who tells him tales of the sea and the islands, introduces him to drink, and boasts of his conquests of Aboriginal women - or 'Black Velvet', as they are called. But it is Mark's son, Norman, whose struggles to find a place in the world embody the complexities of Capricornia itself.



'My Capricornia is a hymn book written in adoration of Australia ... the Land of the Unshackled Southern Cross, the Australian earth itself, out of a passionate love of which alone can a true Australian Nation grow.' Xavier Herbert

 

Details

ISBN: 9780732296995
Series: A&R Classics
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 624
Publication Date: 1 Mar 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Publication City, Country: New South Wales, Australia
Dimensions (cm): 19.8(H) x 12.8(L) x 4.5(W)
Weight (gm): 578

 

Reviews

'Capricornia will always be one of the greatest of Australian novels, a defining work in the search for what it is, or was, to be Australian.' - Australian Book Review

 

Author Biography

Xavier Herbert was born in Port Hedland, WA, in 1901. He was educated there and in Fremantle, qualifying as a pharmacist. After World War I he travelled in Australia, reaching Darwin in 1927. There he worked as a railway fettler and visited the South Pacific, experiences that informed his first novel, Capricornia, first published in 1938.
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