An Apple Books Classic edition.
Writing as Henry Handel Richardson, Ethel Richardson drew on her personal experience to tell the story of her fictional heroine, Laura Rambotham. At age 12, Laura’s mother sends her intelligent, high-spirited daughter to boarding school, even though she can barely afford it with the money she makes doing embroidery. Most of Laura’s classmates come from wealthy backgrounds and look down on her, but that’s not the only issue: Laura’s creativity is at odds with the school’s narrow-mindedness and focus on developing genteel ladies. Her mettle is tested as she navigates her way through a confusing and sophisticated world.
Initially published in 1910, The Getting of Wisdom is a timeless story of class conflict and the loss of innocence. The novel was adapted into a 1977 movie by Australian director Bruce Beresford.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This coming-of-age classic depicts a rude awakening for Laura Rambotham, a mischievous Australian country girl who finds herself newly surrounded by money and culture when she’s sent to boarding school. Written under a male pseudonym by Ethel Richardson, whose own experiences informed the fish-out-of-water plot, the book unpacks class divisions while fleshing out a memorably spirited protagonist in Laura. While the book was first published over a century ago, there are many lasting lessons here for the modern day, especially when it comes to morality.