What do you give as a birthday present to a beautiful, intelligent fourteen year old girl who says that she doesn’t want any birthday presents this year and insists that you donate the money to a worthwhile cause instead? When that girl is Harriet Rose, it can’t be an easy decision. After all, how many fourteen year olds have as their hero the Roman Emperor and Philosopher Marcus Aurelius and choose Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason as their favourite book (which they particularly like because it has a happy ending)? Yet Harriet’s mother and grandmother think they have the answer. They present Harriet with a unique gift – they take her notebooks of philosophical ‘Meditations’ which she has been writing for some time in the style of Marcus Aurelius, and publish them as a book called ‘The Infinite Wisdom of Harriet Rose’. The title is derived from one of Harriet’s Meditations which she composed after her father’s death, the impact of which has had a profound influence on Harriet and her writing.
With the help of her publishing team – her mother as Publicist, and Nana as Sales Rep – Harriet’s book becomes a runaway success. Harriet is soon being mobbed by press, appearing on television and radio as a celebrity author and fighting to keep fans, critics and a French admirer at bay. Just what would her philosophical heroes make of it all? And, more importantly, what philosophical conclusions will Harriet derive from her experiences, about the concept of fame and the changes that her new-found status bring not only to her but to those around her?