The Getting of Wisdom : Not ‘Merry’ at All


McFarlane challenges Richardson’s assertion that The Getting of Wisdom is a “merry little book” by revealing the bleakness of the narrative in several key scenes. McFarlane stresses the disappointment and embarrassment for Laura in these scenes and, while not subscribing to strict biographical criticism, praises the transfer of fact from life to art because of the power it produces.

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Published 1 May 1977 in Volume 8 No. 1. Subjects: Australian novels & novelists, Autobiographies, Decay, Narrative techniques, Henry Handel Richardson .

Cite as: McFarlane, Brian. ‘The Getting of Wisdom : Not ‘Merry’ at All.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 1977, doi: 10.20314/als.132e523bbb.