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The Getting of Wisdom

by Henry Handel Richardson

Henry Handel Richardson’s The Getting of Wisdom is the coming-of-age story of a spontaneous heroine who finds herself ensconced in the rigidity of a turn-of-the-century boarding school. The clever and highly imaginative Laura has difficulty fitting in with her wealthy classmates and begins to compromise her ideals in her search for popularity and acceptance.

‘I have been reading your Getting of Wisdom with enormous admiration…Your little rag of a girl is a most adorable little beast.’ H. G. Wells, letter to Henry Handel Richardson



About Henry Handel Richardson

Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson was born into an affluent Melbourne family in 1870. After the death of her father, Richardson’s mother took her children to Maldon where she worked as the postmistress.Richardson was sent to board at the Presbyterian Ladies College in 1883—an experience that provided material for her novel The Getting of Wisdom. In 1888, she travelled to Europe with her mother and studied at the Leipzig Conservatorium where she met John George Robertson, a Scottish expert in German literature. The pair married and settled in London. Richardson published her first novel, Maurice Guest, in 1908. She made her only journey back to Australia in 1912 to complete her research for the trilogy that would become The Fortunes of Richard Mahony. Her final novel The Young Cosima appeared in 1939.

Other books by Henry Handel Richardson



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