The Getting Of Wisdom

Henry Handel Richardson


The Getting Of Wisdom

The Getting Of Wisdom

  • Title: The Getting Of Wisdom
  • Author: Henry Handel Richardson
  • ISBN: 9781406927191
  • Page: 322
  • Format: None



The subject of this book is a young woman an awkward, insecure, restless and knowing child who learns that self realisation depends on rebellion and escape, but that the latter will first demand at least the semblance of conformity In telling lies, Laura learns both the astonishing allure of fiction and the social costs of stepping beyond the bounds of propriety, gendeThe subject of this book is a young woman an awkward, insecure, restless and knowing child who learns that self realisation depends on rebellion and escape, but that the latter will first demand at least the semblance of conformity In telling lies, Laura learns both the astonishing allure of fiction and the social costs of stepping beyond the bounds of propriety, gender, class, and family ties.The novel is only in part a fictionalised account of Richardson s school years at the Presbyterian Ladies College, Melbourne, where unlike her fictional counterpart she was not only academically successful but also an outstanding student of music Unusual for stories of school life, The Getting of Wisdom was clearly aimed at a mature readership able to understand irony and a critique of the colonial educational provision of its day, including a determination to preserve sexual ignorance in young women.


Recent Comments "The Getting Of Wisdom"

As I was reading the enchanting misadventures of the loveable (and irritating) scapegrace Laura I kept being struck with the impossibility of a male author having not only chosen this topic, but written such a sensitive account of a girl's attempts to relate to other girls in a female dominated setting (Bechdel test registers off the charts) so I googled "him". YeswellThe writing is great, there is an edge to it so that no matter how Laura goes from failure to failure- overimaginative, impulsive [...]

I was not in the mood for this period piece, but it is such a good depiction of the times that it’s hard not to appreciate it. Laura is a feisty little girl, eldest daughter of a widowed mother who sews and embroiders to keep the family together and to send Laura to boarding school in Melbourne in the late 19th century.The style and language may well appeal to lovers of Jane Austen and similar literature, but it’s not my first choice. She arrives at school, thinking she’s bright.”These e [...]

I have had this book on my shelves for years.I am an inveterate purchaser of books and to my shame it can take me a long time to get around to doing the required reading.In this case the effort was not misplaced.I always find it amazing that despite the sophistications of the modern age we still have the same underlying emotions as generations before us.

Laura is sent to a private girls' school in Melbourne for her education. Her mother is adamant that this will happen even though they struggle financially. She believes it is the best way:"To a State school, I've always said it, my children shall never go - not if I have to beg the money to send them elsewhere."The Getting of Wisdom was published in 1910 and we still have this kind of conversation about private versus public education today.Laura is thrown in with the lions immediately, her Cous [...]

I have a hard time believing this was written by a man. Come on! H.H. Richardson has to be a pseudonym! Really amazing insight into a young girl's struggles to fit in - something I could relate to so closely in partsI was very impressed with the author's grasp of the cruelty in female relationships. For anyone who grew up too poor to be fashionable, or who had parents too loud, or was embarrassingly back-country for the school sophisticates - this book will seem like it's about you. I was amazed [...]

Hilarious and subversive. Laura's character and morals are corrupted as she struggles (and fails) to become what society expects from her. I love HG Wells' description of Laura as 'an adorable little beast'. Though she is more a series of young girls, each focussing on a particular girlish folly (falling insanely in love with your roomate, lying to make people like you, being ashamed of your family), than a real person, Laura's character is charming and horribly likeable. The Getting of Wisdom i [...]

I don’t know a great deal about Ethel Richardson – who adopted a male pseudonym when she wrote – but I do know that this story, the story of an Australian girl sent to boarding school, is said to be autobiographical, and, if that is the case, I suspect that I would like her very much.The book dates from 1910, but the story that it tells could easily have happened years earlier or years later.I loved twelve- year old Laura Rambotham. At home she was a benevolent queen, ruling over her young [...]

There's something completely timeless about a coming of age school story. The innocuous beginnings of fitting in, the challenges of growing up, the daunting task of facing life's expectations. The Getting of Wisdom is a little different. Unlike Jane Eyre or even Amy March, Laura never quite fits in. She never loses her innate creativity. She doesn't fall prey to the path of teacher or wife that so many female protagonists of the mid to late 1800's do. She remains solely her own, she clutches her [...]

Una novela con algún altibajo, pero que me ha gustado mucho cómo muestra el proceso de aprendizaje de una niña criada sin muchas normas "académicas" que es internada en un colegio en el que aprenderá no sólo las materias habituales de la escuela, sino que adquirirá conocimientos mucho más sutiles y difíciles: cuál es su papel en la sociedad -como mujer de familia trabajadora-; qué se espera de ella como mujer; que es más fácil "escapar" si le dices a los demás lo que quieren oir, q [...]

blurb:The subject of this book is a young woman: an awkward, insecure, restless and 'knowing' child who learns that self-realisation depends on rebellion and escape, but that the latter will first demand at least the semblance of conformity. In telling lies, Laura learns both the astonishing allure of fiction and the social costs of stepping beyond the bounds of propriety, gender, class, and family ties.The novel is only in part a fictionalised account of Richardson's school years at the Presbyt [...]

3.5/5Laura is immature and a daydreamer, but what she doesn't realize is that she's also poor and unaccustomed to the habits of people outside her own family. When she's sent to boarding school, she has a terrible time. Her clothing is sadly out-of-date, she is not aware of what's considered appropriate fodder for discussion and what's taboo, and she doesn't know how to treat her elders. She's also woefully behind in her schooling. I think I liked The Getting of Wisdom mostly for its sense of ti [...]

I adore this story! I first read it as a teenager and a lot of it went over my head, and I can understand how the writing style might not grab the attention of teens. However over the last 40 years I've returned to it many times and I often notice new things in the story - like how subtly comic it is for instance. Or the way the style of speech changes according to who is talking, and reflects the different characters. The speech used by the private schoolboy cousin of Tilly is really amusing fo [...]

I want to compare this to Bilgewater by Jane Gardam because both are coming of age stories of young women in boarding schools. But it would be unfair to both authors and stories to do so. B had a protagonist confident in her intelligence, blooming in beauty unknown to her and pained by the cruelties of life in school when you're different, and she makes no attempt to conform. Conversely, Laura is not confident in anything and desperate to be liked. You already know she fails, and spectacularly t [...]

This is a great coming of age book. Laura, our heroine, is sent off to boarding school in Melbourne in the early 1900s. Her family has little money and her peers all seem rich and glamorous. Laura finds herself struggling to fit in and weaves a web of lies to gain status. She's too smart and too ambitious to ever be perfectly comfortable either in or out of the cliques in her school. As much as a coming of age story, this is a book about fitting in, our desire to belong and what lengths we shoul [...]

Despite its being published more than a hundred years ago, the central theme of this book: that of the effects of peer pressure: is still very relevant in today's society.Essentially, this is a compelling volume about an intelligent, sensitive girl's initiation into a society populated by self-seeking, egotistic individuals.Laura, a country girl, is sent to a boarding where (social) class consciousness is of paramount significance. Her own temperament and upbringing make her a target. Ultimately [...]

Picked up this book after seeing the authors portrait at the Portrait Gallery in Canberra. I am so glad that I did! Despite being written 100 years ago, the themes are not dissimilar to what teen girls experience today - excepting the more delightful vocabulary. This book was funny yet also quite brutal. I will definitely re-read this one.Visit 'Time to Read' for the full review

I'm really surprised so many people have given this book such a good review and rating. I didn't like it at all! None of the characters were at all likeable. The main character didn't become any more likeable as the book ended. Did she ever gain any wisdom? If she did, I couldn't tell! I don't recommend this at all.

i wasn't quite sure what the point of this book was when i finished it. What was i meant to take away from it? it was broken into episodic events, which is fine, but it had no clear line through. I also didn't like Laura. I thought she was meant to be kind of bratty at the start, but she never really changes. was expecting more from it.

Laura Tweedle Rambotham deserves to be recognised - alongside Vernon Gregory Little, Holden Caulfield, and even (arguably) A Clockwork Orange's Alex - as one of the most important voices of the brutal and difficult journey of young adulthood. Highly recommended and, again, would make a great selection for a paired text study.

written in 1910 and set in australia, this novel clearly demonstrates that 'teenage angst' is not just for the 21st century generation! unable to put it down, i read the book in a day. richardson's own life situation is clearly evident which means that her writing is from 'the heart'.

An enjoyable read, and a good way to learn about some parts of Australian society around the turn of the twentieth century, but without a lot of depth for a modern reader.

‘A gorgeous coming-of-age story that is both charming and deeply moving.’Guardian

Classic coming of age type of story, about a poor, country girl going to a fancy all-girls boarding school in the city and having to figure out how to survive the social climate. I had to keep reminding myself that this was written in 1910. In a lot of ways it felt more like a modern subversion of the typical coming of age story. Laura, the main character, starts out naive, thinking that she'll make friends quickly and that she'll naturally be able to take charge of situations the way she can at [...]

Laura, at age 12, is sent far from her country home to a strict boarding school in Melbourne. Suddenly she is an unimportant and frequently mocked member of a huge social stratosphere that she struggles to understand. Richardson captures the anxiety and fear of teenage years and trying desperately to fit in with one's peers. My favourite parts of the book are moments when Laura is disgusted and horrified by boys and FURIOUS that she is supposed to mollify them or that her friends show any intere [...]

If you like Pride and Prejudiced by Jane Austen, perhaps you'll like this. Imagine all that colonial society has bore upon and into the minds of girls told through the eyes of a flighty dreamer, easily assuaged and pressured into things, with unrealistic expectations as we follow her school days from childhood into young adulthood; now add irony. That's the recipe for this book. It's a quick read (or listen, often for free on various audiobook sites) and it's something to think aboutW, "Henry" i [...]

A lovely book, set in the 1890s but published in 1910, that approaches the "new child at school" trope so popular in British literature of the time and subverts it with a subtly Aussie skewer. The female writer (pseudonymously a man) creates some believable characters, especially in the heroine Laura, and ultimately tells the tale of a square peg who refuses to "be approved" by the round hole of her school, and thus of society. Is it a feminist novel? I'm not sure. But it's the kind of children' [...]

So The Getting of Wisdom has been sitting on my bookshelf for many months now and I finally got around to reading it. It has been described as a ‘coming of age’ story written by an Australian author, Henry Handel Richardson (the pen name for Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson) and first published in 1910.Set in Australia in around Melbourne, the story follows that of the bright, imaginative, young Laura Tweedle Rambotham as she is sent off to boarding school. Here she quickly discovers that [...]

I found this a remarkable piece of literature. To me it contains some fascinating insights into the human condition, and the author not only has those insights but is able to communicate them to the reader. That is all I ask of a writer and to me she has done it in spades.Before reading I would urge readers to forget about the gender of the protaganist, Laura. The fact that this is about a girl growing up at a girls boarding school in Melbourne is pretty much beside the point and if you allow th [...]

I really enjoyed this one. I suspect it helps being an Australian, even more so a Victorian, and even more so a Victorian who has lived in Melbourne and the country because when she describes the house in Chiltern and the blue gum down the side, the streets of Prahran, the walk between South Yarra and Collins Street, and the sands of Portsea, I could see and smell it all, even though it was written and set at the turn of the last century.It's a coming of age story, loaded with cliché. The (rela [...]

First published in 1910, The Getting of Wisdom is the coming-of-age story of Laura Rambotham, a 12-year-old country girl who is sent to an exclusive girls boarding school in Melbourne by her widowed mother, who scrimps and saves to afford to give her daughter a good education.Laura is a willful and creative child who struggles to fit in amongst her peers. She so desperately wants to be accepted yet is often ridiculed and ignored by her classmates and teachers. She continues to try and so often f [...]


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    Published :2018-08-17T19:16:43+00:00