Introduction

Patrick Victor Martindale White (1912-1990) is Australia's only receiptent of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973.

Patrick White's grandfather settled in the colony of N.S.W. in the 1820's; however White was born in England in 1912. He and his parents returned to Australia where he lived until he was thirteen years of age when he returned to England for his education.  His four years at Cheltham College were not happy ones but coped by reading widely and writing poetry.  However, on his return to Sydney he felt as alien in Australia as he had in England.  With no desire to remain on the land he returned to England to read French and German at King's College, Cambridge.  Unlike his early years in England he relished his time at Cambridge, and during this time he continued to write poems, plays and novels.

In November 1940 he was commissioned into the RAF where he served as an operational intellligence officerr.  In 1948 he returned to live in Australia with his life-long partner Manoly Lascaris.  Between 1935 and 1987 he published twelve novels, three short-story collections and eight plays. His prose attracted admirers and often dectractors, however the Nobel Prize acknowledged his epic and psychological narrative art which has introduced a new continent into literature.'