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December 4, 2017


Power Without Glory

by NancyElin




  1. Frank Hardy wanted to expose poverty and
  2. the extent of political corruption in various aspects of Australian life.
  3. Hardy also wanted to make the case for the Communist Party.
  4. A novel aimed at a popular readership
  5. …about prominent figures in Australian politics
  6.  and Catholic Church could do real damage.
  7. Weak point: Explosive at the time of publication (1950)
  8. ….the book loses some punch if you are not familiar
  9. ….with Australian politics 1920 – 1950.
  10. Archbishop Malone = Archbishop of  Melbourne Daniel Mannix
  11. John West = John Wren
  12. John Wren was not a gangster, but a big city boss who
  13. excelled at machine politics, and even funded the Catholic Church.

  1. Title: reference pg 390:
  2. “He (Wren) did not want glory — he wanted  power without glory.”
  3. The title of Hardy’s novel is
  4. ….derived from the the end of the Lord’s Prayer (Pater Noster).
  5. “…For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever.”


  1. I had the luck having read the biography about  Mannix by
  2. Brenda Niall … so the puzzle pieces all fell into place!
  3. Hardy does embellish the novel with claims of adultery.
  4. In 1951 Hardy was slapped with a libal suit.
  5. He had implied that John Wren’s wife Ellen had an affair by having her
  6. …“character”, Nellie West, bear another man’s child.
  7. Frank Hardy was found not guilty.


  1. Last thoughts:
  2. Coined as the most influential novel published in Australia in the 20th C
  3. you have to read it taking into account
  4. the political climate in Melbourne at the time.
  5. It is and remains an…
  6. #AustralianClassic.
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