By: Henry Handel Richardson (1870-1946)
The Getting of Wisdom
The Getting of Wisdom tells the story of Laura Rambotham, a 12-year-old girl who is just starting at her boarding school. This is based on Henry Handel Richardson’s experiences of her own school, the Prebysterian Ladies College in central Melbourne. The story goes through her friends and enemies and all the life of a boarding school in early 20th century Australia, and all the subjects and learning too. Laura learns a lot but her education does not satisfy her, and her social life is thrown upon her as very different from her peers.
The story of Richard Mahony, a doctor trained in Edinburgh who comes to Ballarat in the gold rush of the 1850s. At first he runs a shop but later he marries and returns to medical practice. His story is interwoven with that of his wife’s brothers and sister. Even after his medical practice becomes successful he is still unhappy living in the colony and decides to return home to Britain. Richard is a restless irritable man whose character is said to be based on the author’s own father. This book is the first of the trilogy ‘The Fortunes of Richard Mahony’, but stands well on its own...