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Book Title: The Getting of Wisdom|
The author of the book: Henry Handel Richardson
Edition: Axiom Australia
Date of issue: 2001
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 5.61 MB
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Reader ratings: 5.9
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The Getting of Wisdom has been described as a small gem of a work. Richardson said that she wrote it as 'light relief' between two major literary projects, Maurice Guest and The Fortunes of Richard Mahony. The Getting of Wisdom is possibly the author's best known and loved novel. The theme of the story is a young girl's coming-of-age as she collides with the wider world in the form of a middle class Australian boarding school. We must view the account as fiction rather than autobiography, but Richardson did admit that her story contained 'a very fair account of my doings at school'.
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Read information about the authorEthel Florence Lindesay Richardson's use of a pen-name, adopted for mixed motives, probably militated against recognition especially when feminist literary history began. Maurice Guest was highly praised in Germany when it first appeared in translation in 1912, but received a bad press in England, though it influenced other novelists. The publishers bowdlerized the language for the second imprint. The trilogy suffered from the long intervals between its three volumes: Australia Felix (1917); The Way Home (1925) and Ultima Thule (1929). The last brought overnight fame and the three volumes were published as one in 1930. Her fame in England was short-lived; as late as 1977, when Virago Press republished The Getting of Wisdom, some London critics referred to the author as 'Mr Richardson'. Her short stories, The End of a Childhood (1934), and the novel, The Young Cosima (1939), had lukewarm receptions.
Henry Handel Richardson's place in Australian literature is important and secure. The Fortunes is an archetypal novel of the country, written about the great upsurge of nineteenth-century Western capitalism fuelled by the gold discoveries. With relentless objectivity it surveys all the main issues which were to define the direction of white Australian society from the 1850s onwards, within the domestic framework of a marriage. Powerfully symbolic in a realistic mode it is, as an English critic said in 1973, 'one of the great inexorable books of the world'.
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