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The Getting of Wisdom : Text Classics - Henry Handel Richardson

The Getting of Wisdom

Text Classics

By: Henry Handel Richardson, Germaine Greer (Introduction by)

Paperback | 22 August 2012 | Edition Number 1

At a Glance

Paperback


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The Getting of Wisdom was first published in 1910 and has continued to sell well. Germaine Greer’s introduction, of course, makes this new handsome edition even more appealing to the reader.

‘Sexual tension tightens every page’ writes Germaine Greer. ‘The enduring truth is that The Getting of Wisdom is Richardson’s only great book, precisely because the subject is, like the rest of us, ordinary, and therefore deeply important.’

About the Author

Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson was born into an affluent Melbourne family in 1870. Her father Walter was a doctor of medicine. When Richardson was nine he died of syphilis after being admitted to Melbourne’s Kew mental asylum. His illness and suffering had a huge impact on his family. After his death, 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. At school she developed into a talented pianist and tennis player.

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. She published her first novel, Maurice Guest, in 1908. She took the pen name of Henry Handel Richardson and used it for all of her books.

Richardson 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. Henry Handel Richardson died in Sussex in 1946.
Industry Reviews
`A gorgeous coming-of-age story that is both charming and deeply moving.' * Guardian *

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