Australian Women’s Weekly NZ

The Governess

The train rattled down the country, stopping and starting, always in the worst areas of every town. Durham. York. Leeds. Doncaster. The factory chimneys and rows of blackened terraces all looked the same. So many poor people, Marion thought. And here she was, off to serve the richest. It was crazy, really.

But she gritted her teeth, remembered Miss Golspie and channelled her doubts into planning her alternative curriculum. It would include a bus ride and shopping at Woolworths, as Miss Golspie had suggested. And, perhaps, to give some insight into how the nation was run and protected, they would visit Parliament – but strictly the public gallery – and a police station. The London docks, for trade. The Bank of England, so Elizabeth might learn about how it worked, that substance of which her family had so much and most people so little.

Having made her notes, Marion reached for the Teacher’s World she had bought at the station. It was her favourite of the professional magazines because of the columnist, Enid Blyton. While its purpose was to interest children in animals, her weekly ‘Letter from Bobs’, supposedly written by her pet fox terrier, was one of Marion’s guilty pleasures. Bobs this week had been chasing the postman and causing ructions in Enid’s flower beds. It made Marion smile in spite of herself. Blyton would be wonderful at children’s books.

Would Princess Elizabeth enjoy ‘Letter From Bobs’? Did the Yorks even have dogs? She knew so little about where she was going, Marion thought. She dozed and read as the hours passed. People came and went. She

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