Quirm


Quirm

Quirm is a fictional city in Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" novels.

Its most significant roles in the books are as the location of the Quirm College for Young Ladies (formerly attended by Susan Sto Helit) and the birthplace of Leonard of Quirm.

The Town

According to the books, Quirm is a quiet and peaceful town, and for this reason is a popular holiday destination, as well as where Morporkians go when they retire (including Lord Vetinari's aunt, Lady Roberta Meserole). In this regard, it relates to Ankh-Morpork as Eastbourne relates to London, or possibly as Spain relates to the United Kingdom.

The Quirmian language is occasionally mentioned in the books as being similar to French or Spanish, but the only substantial appearance of the town (in "Soul Music") had the inhabitants apparently speaking Morporkian (although the story is told from the perspective of Susan, who doubtless speaks fluent Quirmian). Spoken Quirmian is heard in Making Money, where it is identical to French.

Quirm is famous for its floral clock; a circle of flowers, each of which opens its petals at a different hour. Quirm is also famous for its (blue-veined) cheese.

Quirm is a duchy, ruled by the Rodley family. Members of this family seen in the books include Lord Rodley, an upper-class twit, in "Mort" and Brenda Rodley, the swamp dragon-breeding dowager duchess in "Guards! Guards!"

The Quirm College for Young Ladies

The Quirm College for Young Ladies is an educational institution located in Quirm. In the books, Susan Sto Helit, Lady Sybil Ramkin and Miss Perspicacia Tick were educated there.

History

The school's headmistress and founder is Miss Eulalie Butts. It is explained that, as few of the Discworld's higher-class schools (such as the Ankh-Morpork Assassins' Guild School), see fit to admit female students (although the Assassins have since changed this policy), Miss Butts founded the College "on the astonishing principle that, since gels had nothing much to do until someone married them, they might as well occupy the time with learning things." ("Soul Music").

Curriculum

The school resembles a traditional English independent girls' school, with an academic curriculum and a heavy emphasis on respectable and decent behaviour. The school's strong emphasis on decency reportedly makes it rather difficult to teach certain areas of Biology. Students come out of that class "with the vague idea that they were supposed to marry a rabbit." ("Soul Music")

Students at the school do not seem to be preparing for any particular profession. As the known universities on the Disc are solely for wizards (who must be male - see Unseen University), and most other higher education institutions on the Disc do not admit females, there is no clear lifelong aim for the school's alumni. Susan Sto Helit describes it as "an education in, well, education" ("Hogfather"). It appears that those students who do not marry upon leaving school generally go into the teaching profession themselves, or become governesses.

Known teaching staff

:Miss Butts - Headmistress:Miss Delcross - Biology mistress:"Iron Lily" - gym mistress

lang

The students use derogatory names for the school food; curry, for instance, is described as "Bogey and Rice".

Mentioned in

The school is mentioned in the following books:

* "Soul Music" (the most detailed description of the school)
* "Hogfather" (briefly)
* "The Fifth Elephant" (as the alma mater of Lady Sybil)
* "Wee Free Men" (as the alma mater of Miss Tick)


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