Neha Patil

The Madeleine Heritage

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedIn
Language  English
Publication date  1928
Preceded by  Bangrane: a memoir
Author  Martin Boyd
Genre  Novel
Followed by  Dearest Idol
Publisher  Bobbs-Merrill, USA
Pages  404
Originally published  1928
Page count  404
Country  Australia
Media type  Print (Hardback and Paperback)
Similar  A Difficult Young Man, Lucinda Brayford, Outbreak of Love, The Cardboard Crown, When Blackbirds Sing

The Madeleine Heritage (1928) (also known as The Montfords) is a novel by Australian author Martin Boyd. It won the ALS Gold Medal in 1928.


Plot summary

The novel tells the story of the "Montford" family who settled in Melbourne before the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s. The story commences with the arrival of the Montfords on the brig Chamois in Hobson's Bay near the new settlement of Port Phillip. Henry Montford, a young barrister from Lincolns Inn, has transported his family to the new colony to start a new life. Henry's brother Simon is already living in the colony, and the novel follows the reunion of the two families and their rise through the social ranks during the 1850s, and on to the turn of the century.


  • A reviewer in The Age noted that "Australian perceptions failed to comprehend the genuine merit of this book" when it was first published. The reviewer then went on to conclude "Mr. Boyd has written, in the opinion of the present writer, a masterpiece of which can be said, in conclusion, that it is still waiting for its rightful recognition despite the fact that its first English edition was published in 1928."
  • Writing on the theme of "The Englishman in Australia" in 1929 Nettie Palmer stated that "In this book the Englishman-in-Australia theme was marked to the point of nervous self-consciousness in almost every page. The author showed his English family as feeling uncomfortably English in the colonies, but uncomfortably 'colonial' when they visited England, unhappily, rootless even down to the present. It made a problem novel of a kind. But when the publishers arranged for an American edition they felt, perhaps, that such a theme was too parochial, and decided to stress the personality of that eighteenth century Frenchwoman who had been grafted on to the family tree before the book opened."
  • Awards and nominations

  • 1928 winner ALS Gold Medal
  • References

    The Madeleine Heritage Wikipedia

    Similar Topics
    A Difficult Young Man
    Lucinda Brayford
    The Cardboard Crown