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Miss Smith-Rhodes appears once in the canon, in a list of Assassins' Guild School teachers linked to the school Houses for which they are Housemaster or Mistress. This was created for the Assassins' Guild Diary. Therefore the only two canonical facts about her are that her name is Miss Smith-Rhodes (no forename or initials are given) and that she is housemistress of the presumably all-female Raven House. An inferred detail is that she is one of a group of female teachers, only three of whom are named in the canon, who were employed especially to deal with the influx of female pupils enrolled after the Assassins' School went fully co-educational. Her closest colleagues are therefore the Honourable Miss Alice Band, and Madame les Deux-Epées, as well as the pre-existing and formerly the only woman teacher at the School, Lady T'malia.

She is named as a tutor in Domestic Science and Organic Poisons. The group iconograph of teaching staff reproduced in the Discworld's Assassins' Guild Yearbook and Diary 2000, vexingly for one particular fanfic interpretation, shows a plain matron in her possible late fifties, dourly unattractive, with more than a passing hint in face, dress and demeanour, of the famed nineteenth-century housekeeper Mrs Beeton. The German text names her as Frau Richtsgutan. (Richts gut an - of good reputation? As in the older English "Goodwife"?)


Cecil Rhodes was a Victorian adventurer passionately committed to expanding the British Empire. He put his money where his life was, and with minimal assistance conquered modern-day Zimbabwe for the British, calling it, with superb modesty, Rhodesia. His ultimate goal was a British-controlled railway system starting in Cairo and finishing in South Africa that bisected the continent at its longest point but at no point left British territory. He got it. And if Cecil Rhodes created the colony of Rhodesia and was its first governor, a chap called Ian Smith, dedicated to maintaining white colonial rule into the very late 1970's, was its last colonial Prime Minister before Rhodesia became Zimbabwe...

Given that names like this very rarely happen accidentally to Discworld characters, Miss Smith-Rhodes could be a Howondalandian adventurer, perhaps with a regrettably reactionary turn of mind? She would have the capacity to organise really interesting nature trails, summer camps and field trips... somehow I see her as having the Discworld equivalent of a Sed-Efrrrrikan accent and dressing in safari suits...

Interestingly, the Howondalandian region of S'belinde has a principal coastal settlement called Smithville, and Howondaland Smith hunted his Balgrogs here. Does this act as another pointer to not only White Howondaland, but also to the country of origin of Miss Smith-Rhodes?

And in the context of academia, a Rhodes Scholar is a gifted student selected from former British Colonies, now Commonwealth of Nations members/former members, the United States and Germany. The full list includes fourteen areas where it is applied: Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong (China), India, Jamaica, Commonwealth Caribbean, Kenya, New Zealand, Pakistan, Southern Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Swaziland), United States and Zambia and Zimbabwe. Those who receive a Rhodes scholarship (established under the will of Cecil Rhodes above) can study for free, and with a grant, at Oxford University. Notable receivers include U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Hmm. The pencil sketch in the Assassins' Yearbook might only be Paul Kidby's interpretation... I hope it is....