"The Montforts is the colourful chronicle of the Montfort family, descendants of a fascinating French ancestress, Remy des Baux.
"It embraces three generations of the family, from the goldrush days in Melbourne in the 1850s through to the 1940s. It tells of the harsh journeys to Australia of the first members of the family to settle here, of their life in Australia and England, to which they periodically return.
"It also shows how the older members of the family resent the way in which the younger members gradually become Australian in thought and habit."
The motion of the ship gave rise not only to physical discomfort but to mental apprehension. When her bow plunged down over huge successive waves, her stern hung in the air, and Henry Montfort's rather unwieldy bulk gave a short, uncomfortable slide towards the head of his berth. He wondered how his wife in the bunk below was enduring this privation, and raised himself on one elbow to look down at her. She heard him move.
"Are you comfortable, my dear?" she asked.
"I was about to ask you that question," he replied.
"I find it a little difficult to sleep."
"This pitching motion is very disconcerting. I shall be relieved when we are free of 'Biscay's sleepless bay."
From the Lansdowne paperback edition, 1975.
This edition was published with an introduction by Brenda Niall.
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Last modified: October 24, 2003.