Mrs. Richardson received a B.A. in English from St. Andrews Presbyterian College, an M.A. in English from Duke University, and "Advanced Certification" ("Triple A Certification") in English from Campbell University. While an undergraduate at St. Andrews Presbyterian College, Mrs. Richardson spent her junior year at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

The Ruthwell Cross in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. Verses of the Anglo-Saxon poem, "The Dream of the Rood," appear in runic letters carved on the cross.