The Getting of Wisdom
Henry Handel Richardson
"Laura, a spirited and unconventional heroine, attempts to adapt herself to the discipline of school and the unrelenting judgements of her classmates. The freedom of her country childhood seems far behind, as she struggles for dignity and true friendship."
"Your little rag of a girl is a most adorable little beast...and the way it is done is wonderful; I do not think that particular thing could have been done better." - H.G. Wells, letter to the author, 1910
The four children were lying on the grass.
'...and the Prince went further and further into the forest,' said the elder girl, 'till he came to a beautiful glade - a glade, you know is a place in the forest that is open and green and lovely. And there he saw a lady, a beautiful lady, in a long white dress that hung down to her ankles, with a golden belt and a golden crown. She was lying on the sward - a sward, you know, is grass as smooth as velvet, just like green velvet - and the Prince saw the marks of travel on her garments. The bottom of the lovely silk dress was all dirty -'
'Wondrous Fair, if you don't mind you'll make that sheet dirty, too,' said Prin.
'Shut up, will you!' answered her sister who, carried away by her narrative, had approached her boots to some linen that was bleaching.
'Yes, but you know Sarah'll be awfully cross if she has to wash it again,' said Prin, who was practical.
From the Minerva paperback edition, 1993.
The Getting of Wisdom was filmed in 1977, directed by Bruce Beresford, from a screenplay by Eleanor Witcombe,
and featuring Julia Blake, Terence Donovan and Kerry Armstrong.
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Last modified: January 1, 2006.