y The Getting of Wisdom single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1910... 1910 The Getting of Wisdom
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'A 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.' (From the publisher's website.)

Adaptations

form y The Getting Of Wisdom Eleanor Witcombe , ( dir. Bruce Beresford ) Australia : Southern Cross Films , 1978 Z1446682 1978 single work film/TV (taught in 2 units)

In the early 1900s, the spirited and talented Laura Tweedle Ramsbotham arrives at an exclusive Melbourne ladies' college, only to be greeted with jeers and treated as a country bumpkin. Although she is defiant towards her peers, the pressure almost defeats her. She soon learns, however, to be as ruthless as the other girls. Caught out after inventing an illicit liaison with the handsome new minister, she becomes a pariah until she is taken under the wing of an older girl, the elegant and kindly Evelyn Suitor. Laura subsequently falls in love with Evelyn, causing the latter to leave the school in order to escape Laura's attentions. Laura eventually completes her schooling, winning a two-year music scholarship to study piano.

Source: Australian Screen.

Notes

  • Available in Braille, as sound and video recording, and as adapted secondary school text.

    For early reviews see also Gay Howells's bibliography Henry Handel Richardson.

  • Dedication: To my unnamed little collaborator
  • Epigraph: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs, IV, 7.
  • Other formats: Also braille and sound recording.

Contents

* Contents derived from the London,
c
England,
c
c
United Kingdom (UK),
c
Western Europe, Europe,
:
Virago , 1981 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Getting of Wisdom : Introduction, Germaine Greer , 1981 single work criticism

Greer discusses The Getting of Wisdom in relation to the themes expressed in Maurice Guest, Richardson's preceding novel, and identifies many parallels in the tensions between characters, ranging from sexual to artistic tension. Greer praises The Getting of Wisdom at the expense of Richard Mahony because the former is less ambitious and presents a subject that is "like the rest of us, ordinary, and therefore deeply important".

(p. v-xxi)
* Contents derived from the New York (City), New York (State),
c
United States of America (USA),
c
Americas,
:
Dial Press , 1981 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Getting of Wisdom : Introduction, Germaine Greer , 1981 single work criticism

Greer discusses The Getting of Wisdom in relation to the themes expressed in Maurice Guest, Richardson's preceding novel, and identifies many parallels in the tensions between characters, ranging from sexual to artistic tension. Greer praises The Getting of Wisdom at the expense of Richard Mahony because the former is less ambitious and presents a subject that is "like the rest of us, ordinary, and therefore deeply important".

* Contents derived from the Melbourne, Victoria,: Text Publishing , 2000 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
The Getting of Wisdom : Introduction, Germaine Greer , 1981 single work criticism

Greer discusses The Getting of Wisdom in relation to the themes expressed in Maurice Guest, Richardson's preceding novel, and identifies many parallels in the tensions between characters, ranging from sexual to artistic tension. Greer praises The Getting of Wisdom at the expense of Richard Mahony because the former is less ambitious and presents a subject that is "like the rest of us, ordinary, and therefore deeply important".

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Duffield ,
      1910 .
      Extent: 274p.
    • Melbourne, Victoria,: Penguin , 2013 .
      Extent: 264p.
      Note/s:
      • Published: 20/11/2013
      ISBN: 9780143569695

Works about this Work

26 Aussie Books You Must Read Blanche Clark , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 24 January 2015; (p. 18-19)
'With Australia Day upons us...26 great Australian Books that have helped shape and define our nation...'
y Empire Girls : The Colonial Heroine Comes of Age Mandy Treagus , Adelaide : University of Adelaide Press , 2014 7676477 2014 single work criticism

'The dominant form of the nineteenth-century novel was the Bildungsroman, a story of an individual’s development that came to speak more widely of the aspirations of nineteenth-century British society. Some of the most famous examples — David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Jane Eyre — validated the world from which they sprang, in which even orphans could successfully make their way.

Empire Girls: the colonial heroine comes of age is a critical examination of three novels by writers from different regions of the British Empire: Olive Schreiner’s The Story of An African Farm (South Africa), Sara Jeannette Duncan’s A Daughter of Today (Canada) and Henry Handel Richardson’s The Getting of Wisdom (Australia). All three novels commence as conventional Bildungsromane, yet the plots of all diverge from the usual narrative structure, as a result of both their colonial origins and the clash between their aspirational heroines and the plots available to them. In an analysis including gender, empire, nation and race, Empire Girls provides new critical perspectives on the ways in which this dominant narrative form performs very differently when taken out of its metropolitan setting.' (Publisher's website)

The Case for Henry Handel Richardson's The Getting of Wisdom Michelle Smith , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Conversation , 12 March 2014;
Etty and Nettie : When Nettie Palmer Visited Henry Handel Richardson Brenda Niall , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , February no. 348 2013; (p. 28-35)
Mary Gaunt and the Modern Waning of Affect Elizabeth McMahon , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 12 no. 1 2012;
'Prolific author and inveterate traveller Mary Gaunt (1865-1942) embodied and enacted her ideal of the enterprising white colonial woman in her three texts on Jamaica, including two works of non-fiction: a history titled Where the Twain Meet (1920); a travel book titled In Jamaica: Reflections (1932), and one historical novel titled Harmony (1933). The white colonial subject she celebrates is, in her view, best equipped to exploit the unrealised potential of Jamaica because of her particular mobility through the metropole and across the dominions of empire. This mobility also situates the colonial in time as a resolutely modern subject, one who is not locked in the past but attuned to the present and the future.

This paper argues, however, that the colonial's seeming capacity to align the spaces and times of modernity is arrested in Gaunt's writing by her performance of disregulated affect and a failure of sympathy. Her writing explicitly constructs a writing subject caught between the conventions of literary transport and the actual transport of her travels in ways that position her as too close to, or too distant from, people and place. This paper will first identify a range of these misalignments in Gaunt's work and then consider them as indicative of a dilemma at the heart of modern fiction, and of the reading subject of modernity more generally.' (Author's abstract)
Untitled Leonora Ritter , 2002 single work review
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , no. 73 2002; (p. 193-194) JAS Review of Books , August no. 8 2002;

— Review of The Getting of Wisdom Henry Handel Richardson 1910 single work novel
Some New Australian Books Nettie Palmer , 1931 single work review
— Appears in: All About Books , 14 September vol. 3 no. 9 1931; (p. 178-179)

— Review of The Rue Tree : Poems Mary Gilmore 1931 selected work poetry ; Songs and Poems : With an Introductory Essay on Poetry in Australia Brian Fitzpatrick 1931 selected work poetry ; Earth Kindred James Devaney 1931 selected work poetry ; The Getting of Wisdom Henry Handel Richardson 1910 single work novel ; The Sands of Windee Arthur W. Upfield 1931 single work novel ; The Butterfly with Big Feet Neville Hawthorn Smith 1931 single work novel
Years of Adolescence Margaret MacCallum , 1947 single work review
— Appears in: The Australasian Book News and Library Journal , June vol. 1 no. 12 1947; (p. 541-42)

— Review of The Getting of Wisdom Henry Handel Richardson 1910 single work novel
MacCallum also reviews Forrest Reid's Peter Waring.
Untitled Freda Barrymore , 1930 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 15 February 1930; (p. 40)

— Review of Maurice Guest Henry Handel Richardson 1908 single work novel ; The Getting of Wisdom Henry Handel Richardson 1910 single work novel ; The Fortunes of Richard Mahony Henry Handel Richardson 1917 single work novel
Untitled Freda Barrymore , 1931 single work review
— Appears in: The North Queensland Register , 15 August 1931; (p. 40)

— Review of The Getting of Wisdom Henry Handel Richardson 1910 single work novel
New Issues, Old Issues : The Australian Tradition Revisited John McLaren , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Overland , Autumn no. 170 2003; (p. 49-56)

McLaren discusses a number of Australian novels (all recently re-issued) which have been central to developing the way in which Australians and foreigners think about white society in this continent. He distinguishes several trends and traditions in describing and characterising Australia's social and political system. Whereas Clarke and Richardson present Australia as a prison, Palmer and Waten present it as a land offering the promise of freedom. Furphy, on the other hand, is seen as a writer 'who shows us a country seeming to offer plentitude but finally withholding its promise' (54).

McLaren concludes that the 'past expressed in these fictions variously produced values of solidarity, egalitarianism, harmony with the land, but their values remain circumscribed by fear of the powerless and the dispossessed, by the arrogance of the powerful, and by distrust of the outsider. Our future will be secure only as we accept continuity with the past, enter into dialogue with the differences of the present, and accept a common responsibility towards the land that supports us' (56).

"The Getting of Wisdom": Individuality vs. Conformity Jennifer Breen , 1991 single work criticism
— Appears in: Breaking Circles 1991; (p. 144-159)
Henry Handel Richardson: Some Associations G. A. Wilkes , 1987 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , June vol. 47 no. 2 1987; (p. 207-213)
Passion by Proxy: Henry Handel Richardson's Sapphic Investment in Her Early Fiction Michael Ackland , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 18 no. 2 2004; (p. 147-152)
A Reader's Notebook Nettie Palmer , 1930 single work criticism
— Appears in: All About Books , 15 July vol. 2 no. 7 1930; (p. 175-176)
Palmer argues for greater attention to be paid Australia's literary heritage. Also includes reviews of Book of the Knight of La Tour Laudry edited by Wyndham Lewis, books from the Everyman Library, Aino Kallas' The Wolf's Bride, Upton Sinclair's Mountain City, Edna Ferber's Cimarron and Degenerate Oxford? by Terrence Greenidge.
Last amended 17 Jun 2014 13:27:33
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