"If I ever have a daughter, I will tell her this: Life is full of contraries, and we cannot know happiness unless we have known unhappiness; we cannot know pleasure unless we have known pain; and we cannot know trust unless we have also known betrayal."

Priscilla "Pringle" Duncan Rose (born c. 1857) was the older sister of Gideon Rose. Her parents died in a carriage accident in 1871. Several months later, Pringle ran away to Chicago with her brother. She and Gideon briefly lived with the Pritchard family until the Great Chicago Fire struck.


Early life

Pringle was born Priscilla Duncan Rose[1] around 1857.[2] She grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania with her parents, Franklin and Eliza, and her younger brother, Gideon. Her parents later sent her to live at Merrywood School for Girls in Philadelphia. She became friends with "Merricat" Fisher there.

Parents' deaths

On April 13, 1871,[6] Gideon and their parents were involved in a carriage accident. Gideon was the sole survivor. Pringle was pulled out of school by their uncle Edward, who was appointed guardian over the two children. Her uncle along with his wife Adeline and daughter Ellen moved into Pringle's family's home. Pringle did not get along with her aunt, who was abusive toward her and her brother.

Pringle fled Scranton with her brother, when Adeline decided to send him away. She boarded a train to Chicago, where she planned to lived with her mother's best friend, Beatrice Ringwald. On the way, she became acquainted with Gwen Pritchard and her children. Near Lake Michigan, the train had a wreck, causing the car to topple onto its side. There were no fatalities, but Pringle and Gideon's cat Mozie disappeared.

The siblings finally reached Chicago, where they learned that Beatrice was at a sanitarium. Gwen and her husband Peter took them and eventually hired Pringle as a nursemaid. The arrangement was a happy one until the arrival of Gwen's brother, Cager. Pringle had first met him as "Rabbit" in Scranton. He admitted to his involvement in her parents' deaths. Pringle left their house. She nearly perished in the Great Chicago Fire, while searching for Gideon, who had ran away upon seeing Cager. The siblings then headed to San Francisco.

Later life

Pringle worked as a nursemaid in San Francisco, while continuing her education. She took her teaching examination at sixteen and began teaching eighth grade at a public school. When she turned twenty-one, Pringle returned to Scranton to claim her inheritance. She used the money to open Miss Rose's School for Girls. Gideon worked at the school as a custodian and groundskeeper until his death in 1880.

In 1892, Pringle was reunited with Merricat, when her daughter began attending the school. Pringle read Merricat her old diary. She encouraged Pringle to publish it. The book became a bestselling novel. On tour in England, Pringle received news that her school was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. She stayed in England and lived the rest of her life in Lake District.

Personality and traits

Pringle was a brave and caring person with a rebellious streak. She and Merricat often got into trouble at Merrywood because of their antics. Pringle had a talent for taking care of children, being a patient older sister. Despite her privileged upbringing, she did not shun work, and gradually learned how to cook and clean. Pringle also had a thirst for knowledge. Her favorite book was Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

Family tree

The Rose Family Tree
Eliza Rose
(d. 1871)
Franklin Rose
(d. 1871)
Edward Rose
(d. 1877)
Adeline Rose
Priscilla Rose
(b. 1857)
Gideon Rose
Ellen Rose
(b. 1862)
Eddie Rose
(d. 18??)

Behind the scenes



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