“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” – Proverbs, iv, 7 (from the dedication to The Getting of Wisdom)
In its annual Honouring Australian Writers series, the NSW Writers’ Centre pays tribute to writers who have made an important contribution to our literary culture.
This year we honour Henry Handel Richardson (1870-1946), the pen name of Ethel Florence Lindesay Richardson. The author of nine novels including The Getting of Wisdom and The Fortunes of Richard Mahony, she is considered to be one of our great foundation novelists.
Henry Handel Richardson was born in Melbourne, Victoria, to a prosperous family that later fell on hard times. Her novels The Getting of Wisdom and Maurice Guest were both adapted into films after her death and have recently been released in new editions by Text Publishing. She was also the author of three short story collections and a memoir, Myself When Young.
Speaking on the significance of Henry Handel Richardson’s writing are director Bruce Beresford (The Getting of Wisdom, Driving Miss Daisy), author Sophie Cunningham (Melbourne, Bird), historian Anna Clarke (Private Lives, Public History; History Wars), and Professor Michael Ackland (Henry Handel Richardson: A Life).