WHITE, Patrick. Riders in the Chariot. London: Eyre & Spottiswode, 1961
8vo, original brown boards lettered in gilt to spine; original unclipped pictorial dust wrapper, with wrap-around design by Sidney Nolan; pp. 552; a fine copy overall, just a trifle spotted to the upper edge, and some very light nicking and creasing to spine of jacket.
First UK edition.
White's sixth novel is set a in a fictional mid-20th century suburb in Australia, often thought to be based on his own residence at the time, in Castle Hill, Sydney. In it, he weaves together the lives of an aboriginal painter, a Holocaust survivor, a washerwoman married to a drunkard, and a child-like heiress, with remarkable results.
Patrick White was born in England in 1912 and taken to Australia, where his father owned a sheep farm, when he was six months old. He was educated in England at Cheltenham college and King's College, Cambridge and settled in London, where he wrote several unpublished novels. He served in the RAF during the war and after returned to Australia in 1948, where in 1973 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. To date, he remains the only Australian to have been awarded the prize.