Study Guide

A Great and Terrible Beauty Chapter 12

By Libba Bray

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Chapter 12

  • On an outing to the caves, Miss Moore's class hikes to the same caves where Mary Dowd's diary was.
  • Inside, the drawings on the walls are very old, and Miss Moore tells her students about the goddesses in the pictures drawn in blood.
  • She also mentions magic being practiced here.
  • Hmm, magic you say? Where? What?
  • Miss Moore explains that the women who practiced magic long ago were healers, and she also explains who some of the goddesses are, like Diana and the Morrigan.
  • The goddesses on the walls are strong, independent, and fierce—everything these girls are not supposed to be.
  • Cecily thinks it is awful, and Pippa dislikes it all too, but Felicity thinks this stuff is fantastic.
  • Miss Moore encourages all the girls to read, and says their minds are like gardens, not cages.
  • Once they are sketching away, Gemma draws the necklace symbol on her picture and Miss Moore tells her that it is called the crescent eye, the symbol of the Order.
  • Begging to know more, Miss Moore tells the girls about the Order and the realms, all of which piques Gemma's curiosity.
  • The greatest power of the Order was illusion, so Miss Moore explains to the confused girls about how illusion works in real, everyday life; Gemma also learns how the crescent eye necklace is protective, but only a little.
  • After the timely lesson about magic and the Order, the girls gossip about Miss Moore and Gemma, and of course, make fun of Ann, which really ticks Gemma off.
  • While they walk back, Felicity hangs with Gemma, tries to avoid being seen by the Gypsies, and pitches her new idea to start their own Order—she wants to have a little break from all the rules of conduct society puts on them.
  • Gemma agrees, but only if Ann is invited. Felicity doesn't want Ann in the group, but she owes Gemma, so Ann and Pippa are in—and since the other girls won't talk to Ann because she is lower class, they are out.
  • They make a plan to meet at midnight.
  • Up ahead on the path, Ithal offers a rose to Felicity where everyone can see, and she throws it on the ground and stomps on it, calling him trash; he is crushed, and looks after her as she leaves.

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