HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel…
Loading...

The Getting of Wisdom (1910)

by Henry Handel Richardson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4281037,383 (3.67)99
  1. 00
    Middlemarch by George Eliot (thesmellofbooks)
    thesmellofbooks: The Getting of Wisdom is the rare sort of book that provokes deep self-reflection and a nudge in the direction of peace-making with self and life, and in this way brings to mind [[George Eliot]]'s [Middlemarch]. I am gobsmacked. The novel begins as an entertaining tale of a headstrong young Australian girl going to meet the world at boarding school. It gradually evolves into a subtle, simple, and stunningly real observation of the pressures of conformity and the intolerance of naïveté, which, when paired with a strong desire to be accepted, can lead to many and often rending responses in an imaginative young person. Yet it is not a tragedy. I am left moved, affectionate, a little worried about the future, and yet joyful at the intactness of the protagonist's resilient soul. Bravo, Ms Richardson.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 99 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
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's literature that could still be appreciated, I hope, by another generation. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
This Virago Modern Classic is about a twelve-year old girl sent to boarding school from her home in the country where she lived with her Mom and sister and two brothers. The title is a bit of an oxymoron in that boarding school doesn't teach her to be wise at all, but to fit in. Kind of sad. ( )
1 vote LisaMorr | Jul 8, 2016 |
Can't believe I gave this books 5 stars on first reading. I could barely finish it on reread. Unrelenting dreariness which I kept expecting to let up and it continued till the end. ( )
  kayclifton | Sep 30, 2015 |
This is one of the classics of Australian literature, a hectic, ironic description of a young girl's experience at a classy but morally and intellectually stultifying boarding school in Melbourne somewhere around 1900. She arrives there lively, spontaneous and imaginative; when she leaves four or five years later she's turned into a calculating, rather snobbish hypocrite. In the meantime she faces humiliation from classmates finding out about her family's relative poverty (her mother is a widow who works to support the children) and she goes through all the classic boarding school experiences: "crushes", jealousies, deceptions, religious and literary enthusiasms, bullying and being bullied, etc. But it all happens at a breathless pace, and we really get the feeling that poor Laura has no time to draw breath and grow up in peace.

It's a formidable attack on contemporary notions of what middle-class young women were supposed to grow up into, as well as on the low quality of the education available to them. And by the standards of the time, it's also pretty outspoken about things like the total lack of sex-education. No wonder that H.G. Wells admired it (although one suspects that H.G. Wells would have enjoyed any book that featured teenage girls in an atmosphere of hothouse sexuality...). Despite being very political, it's always light and often very funny in tone, and it even has something very like an optimistic ending. If you think about other campaigning novels about education set about the same time - Young Torless and The child Manuela were the two that sprang to my mind, for instance - that's quite something. ( )
2 vote thorold | Jun 23, 2015 |
I am gobsmacked.

The novel begins as an entertaining tale of a headstrong young Australian girl going to meet the world at boarding school. It gradually evolves into a subtle, simple, and stunningly real observation of the pressures of conformity and the intolerance of naïveté, which, when paired with a strong desire to be accepted, can lead to many and often rending responses in an imaginative young person.

Yet it is not a tragedy. I am left moved, affectionate, a little worried about the future, and yet joyful at the intactness of the protagonist's resilient soul.

It is the rare sort of book that provokes deep self-reflection and a nudge in the direction of peace-making with self and life, and in this way brings to mind [[George Eliot]]'s [Middlemarch].

Bravo, Ms Richardson. ( )
2 vote thesmellofbooks | May 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Henry Handel Richardsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Greer, GermaineIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Probyn, CliveEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steele, BruceEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Proverbs, iv, 7
Dedication
To my unnamed little collaborator
First words
The four children were lying on the grass.
Henry Handel Richardson was the name in which Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson chose to make her bid for fame as a novelist. (Introduction)
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
'Fifty-five heads turned as if by clockwork, and fifty-five pairs of eyes were leveled at the small girl in the white apron who meekly followed Mrs Gurley down the length of the dining-room.  Laura crimsoned under the unexpected ordeal...'  At the turn of the century Laura Rambotham, a gangly dark-haired country girl, is sent to a select Melbourne boarding school.  Poor but proud, Laura longs for acceptance, but lacks the seemly restraint and conventional attitudes of her fellows.  Bewildered by the rigid code and strict discipline of school life, Laura uses her considerable powers to win the friendship she craves, with results often hilarious, usually devastating.  Laura learns to deal with life - and love - the hard way; and in doing so discovers, as thousands of girls have before and since, that learning plays but a small part in the getting wisdom.  First published in 1910, this is probably the best novel of girls at boarding school even written, its heroine Laura conveying quite perfectly the longings of every adolescent girl both to be herself, yet to be as others.  Ebullient, passionate, lovable, Laura is immediately recognizable as a heroine of her time - and of ours.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

Story of girls at a boarding school.

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.67)
0.5
1
1.5 1
2 3
2.5 1
3 19
3.5 12
4 28
4.5 4
5 8

Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0702231797, 1876485957, 0143202707, 1922079405

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,341,656 books! | Top bar: Always visible