• An autobiographical novel, Maurice Guest

    Maurice Guest

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  • The Getting of Wisdom - 1910


    The Getting of Wisdom

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  • The Fortunes of Richard Mahony

    The Fortunes of Richard Mahony

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  • The Young Cosima - 1939


    The Young Cosima

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Short Stories

  • ‘Death’(afterwards re-named Mary Christina) in English Review, October 1911.
  • ‘The Bath’, in Harper’s Magazine, October 1929. Reprinted in Best Short Stories of 1930, (ed. E.J.O’Brien), Cape, London, 1930
  • Two Studies, (Mary Christina and Life and Death of Peterle Luthy), Ulysses Press, London, 1931
  • ‘Life and Death of Peterle Luthy’, in Good Housekeeping, June 1931
  • ‘The Grown-Up Ball’, in Good Housekeeping, November 1931
  • ‘The Professor’s Experiment’, in Good Housekeeping, October 1933
  • ‘The Wrong Turning’, in Lovat Dickson’s Magazine, December 1933
  • ‘Conversation in a Pantry’, in Everyman, February 1934
  • ‘Three in a Row’, in Lovat Dickson’s Magazine, February 1934
  • ‘Substance and Shadow’, in Nash’s Magazine, April 1934
  • ‘Preliminary Canter’, in The New Statesman, April 1934
  • The End of a Childhood, and other stories. Heinemann, London, 1934
  • ‘The Coat’, in Good Housekeeping, February 1940


  • Translation of Neils Lhyne by J. P. Jacobsen under the title Siren Voices. Heinemann, London, 1896
  • Translation of Fiskerjenten by Bjornstjerne Bjornson under the title The Fisher Lass. Heinemann, London, 1896


Myself When Young -1948

In 1942, as HHR was ‘suffering from the general war-strain & war-weariness’, she put aside fiction writing for the less strenuous task of bringing to life what she described as ‘the particular small child that was me.’

She initially set out to write intimate reminiscences for a small group of readers, perhaps only family and friends. Later, she saw the work as a way to secure the narrative of her early life for a would-be biographer. Myself When Young is a set of unvarnished and lively, albeit not always reliable, recollections.

HHR brings to life stories of early family life in various Victorian townships, schooldays at PLC, time as a music student in Leipzig, and marriage to John George Robertson in Dublin in 1895. HHR continued working on Myself When Young throughout her final illness, until her death in March 1946.

Olga Roncoroni wrote a short ‘postscript’ to HHR’s work based on notes by J.G. Robertson and faithfully prepared the book for its publication in 1948. (Rachel Solomon)


  • ‘Music Study in Leipzig’, in The Lady, June, 1985
  • ‘The Schubert Centenary’, in The Speaker, January, 1897
  • ‘Ibsen in Translation’, in The Speaker, July, 1897
  • ‘A Danish Poet’, [on Jacobsen] in Cosmopolis, November, 1897
  • ‘The Magic of the New Concert Room’, in Radio Times, May 1929
  • ‘The story of Wagner and von Bulow – and the woman behind the music’, in Radio Times, August, 1930
  • ‘Some Notes on my Books’. Article in Virginia Quarterly Review, Summer, 1940
  • A Short Autobiographical Sketch in Twentieth Century Authors (ed. Kunitz and Haycraft), H. W. Wilson, New York, U.S.A., 1942


  • Henry Handel Richardson Project

    In the 1990s all her known songs and music fragments came to the Henry Handel Richardson Project at Monash University. In 1999 they were edited by Bruce Steele and Richard Divall and published in two volumes by the Marshall-Hall Trust: 26 pieces to English poems in Volume 1 and 31 in German and other languages in Volume 11.

    Soprano Vivien Hamilton and baritone Lucas de Jong have recorded a selection of her songs from English and German poets. The CD is available from Presbyterian Ladies College in Melbourne.

    • Christmas Carol: Christkindleins Wiegenlied. Shenval Press, London, 1931
  • HHR’s Musical Career

    We do not know when HHR began to write songs, but she was encouraged in her efforts while at school at PLC (1883-7). In her first years at PLC as a boarder, home was still the Post Office in Maldon. She said she carried the words of a poem around in her head and soon a melody suggested itself. Three of her songs were performed at school concerts and reviewed very favorably in Melbourne newspapers. Unfortunately, none of them has survived. She did not write the words of her songs but set poems she knew and liked to her own music.

    She continued to write songs in this way for the rest of her life. She studied music at Leipzig Conservatorium, where she met her husband. While they were living in Munich and Strassburg, she composed many little songs to German poems. Only one of her works was ever published – a little German Christmas Carol - Christkindleins Wiegenlied - appeared in a limited edition from the Ulysses Press in 1931. It was a facsimile of her manuscript and beautifully bound in individual Javanese paper covers.

    Her music was for her own enjoyment: she said she found it a relaxation from writing. However, towards the end of her life, she asked her friend Olga Roncoroni to keep her manuscripts perhaps with a view to their publication.

  • Christkindleins Wiegenlied – a special gift from Germany

    When Christkindleins Wiegenlied was published in 1931 HHR signed 250 copies, 50 copies being kept for private distribution, and each had a unique Javanese style of binding. One of her own copies, inscribed in pencil to her husband, John George Robertson, was inscribed using their nicknames for each other (just seventeen months before his death in 1933): ‘For Nub from Pif.’      

    This copy remained in the HHR estate, passing from Olga Roncoroni to HHR’s literary executor Margaret Capon. On 21 May 1992 Margaret Capon of Bexhill-on-Sea presented this copy to the world-famous novelist, the Lyme Regis author of The Collector, The Magus, and The French Lieutenant’s Woman, John Fowles (1922-2004). He was the curator of Lyme Regis Museum from 1979-1988 and had moved to an impressive house in the town called Belmont in 1968, where he was evidently compiling an ‘archive.’

    Professor Stefan Welz, from Leipzig University, who recently completed a translation into German of Maurice Guest with Fabian Dellemann most generously presented this fascinating copy of the carol to the Society. It carries the bookplate of John Fowles.

  • Performances of HHR’s music

    HHR’s music has been performed at a number of the Society’s events in recent years. In June 2018 at the annual oration at PLC one of the students at the school sang a HHR song, accompanied by a member of the school music staff.

    In August 2018 the Little Choir from Trentham conducted by Val Goodwin sang a number of HHR’s songs. Four of the songs were poems by G.K. Chesterton, Walter de la Mare, Thomas Hardy and Rudyard Kipling, set to music by HHR. There was also an Irish song and a Lullaby, including a duet in German sung by Val Goodwin and Robert Franzke. The Little Choir performed more of HHR’s songs in 2019 at the annual oration held at PLC.

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