Sunday, August 02, 2015

Ten top fictional headmistresses

Esme Kerr went to ten schools and studied History at Oxford and Cambridge. The Glass Bird Girl and Mischief at Midnight are the first two boarding school mysteries in her Knight’s Haddon series.

One of her top ten fictional headmistresses, as shared at the Guardian:
Miss Pinkerton in Vanity Fair by William Thackeray

It is at the “majestic” Miss Pinkerton’s Academy for Young Ladies, set behind a “great iron gate” on Chiswick Mall, that we find Becky Sharp at the start of Vanity Fair, having just completed her studies and preparing to set out for the grander horizons of Russell Square. To her reverent admirers, Miss Pinkerton is “the Semiramis of Hammersmith, the friend of Doctor Johnson, the correspondent of Mrs. Chapone herself”; to Becky she is a tiresome old bore. Life at the academy is a daily “battle between the young lady and the old one”, and when Becky finally escapes she takes the dictionary Miss Pinkerton’s sister has given her, and throws it from the window of her coach.
Read about another entry on the list.

Vanity Fair also appears on a list of five books that changed Vikram Chandra, Joanna Trollope's six favorite books list, Maddie Crum's top ten list of fictional characters who just might be psychopaths, Allegra Frazier's list of five of her favorite fictional gold diggers, John Mullan's list of ten of the most memorable governesses in literature, Stella Tillyard's list of favorite historical novels, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best fat men in literature and ten of the best pianos in literature, and Thomas Mallon's list.

--Marshal Zeringue