Ethel Florence Richardson was a prominent Australian writer who wrote under the pen name Henry Handel Richardson. Some of Richardson's most famous works include The Getting of Wisdom, Maurice Guest, and The Fortunes of Richard Mahony. This edition of The Fortunes of Richard Mahony includes a table of contents.
The Getting of Wisdom, a wicked and satirical novel on the pain and confusion of growing up, first appeared in 1910. A century later, it has lost none of its bite. One of the most memorable characters in Australian fiction, Laura Rambotham, aged twelve, enters the portals of an exclusive girls' school eager to be accepted. But this precocious country girl is snubbed and ridiculed by her fellow students, who are richer, more attractive, and more adept at dealing with life's hypocrisies.
It is the story of a young girl Laura who encounters the conventionality of school society with great persistence. The story starts when admitted in a boarding school in Melbourne, Laura tries hard to adjust but as the author writes She could not know the right hole seeming unfitness prove to be only another aspect of special fitness. The girls at the school are generally from rather wealthy families and those, like Laura, who come from less fortunate backgrounds learn very early not to divulge their circumstances for fear of ridicule. From time to time Laura lets little snippets of information about her family slip out, and she suffers for it.