- 1 Personality and Facts
- 2 In the Books
- 3 In the Film
Personality and Facts
Rose is an enslaved woman in the Merriman household, and both cooks and is a maidservant. Her age is never stated though she has been with Martha Merriman since before Felicity was born. While the books often refer to Rose as a "servant", it is clear that she is enslaved and not a free working woman. In the notes in Felicity's Cookbook and Felicity's Cooking Studio, as well as in various "Looking Back" sections, Rose is explicitly referred to as enslaved without ambiguity.
Because of her position in the household, Rose does not speak back roughly to the elder Merrimans, and refers to Felicity as "Miss Felicity". However, she is allowed to mildly discipline or correct the children in Mrs. Merriman's stead such as when Felicity tried to sneak out of the house to ride Penny before the birth of Polly Merriman and reminds Felicity often that she must be responsible as the eldest child. She is rather knowledgeable about childbirth and babies and likely has had a hand in all four Merriman children's births, explicitly shown assisting with Polly's birth (albeit indirectly as Felicity does not see the actual birth taking place).
In the Books
Meet Felicity: An American Girl
Felicity Learns a Lesson: A School Story
Felicity's Surprise: A Christmas Story
Happy Birthday, Felicity!: A Springtime Story
Rose is the one that catches Felicity trying to sneak away from the house and firmly reminds her that her mother was having a breakfast party Felicity is expected to attend. Rose tells Felicity that while she knew Felicity would rather ride her horse, she had to help her mother as her baby was coming and that being the eldest sister is a responsibility she can't run away from." She tries to cheer Felicity up by telling her she made tarts for breakfast, but it does not work.
Rose serves the family and Mrs. Wentworth during the breakfast party. When Mrs. Wentworth suggests for Mrs. Merriman and her family to go to Grandfather's plantation to relax, Rose rattles the plates she is carrying--attracting Mother's and Felicity's attention--and has a disapproving look. Mrs. Merriman explains that Rose believes that the baby is likely going to come sooner then what the midwife expected and thus doesn't want her to leave the house; Rose confirms this when asked. Felicity is personally mad at Rose's suggestion and Mrs. Wentworth doubts that Rose knew as much about babies as the midwife did (quite possibly because Rose is enslaved), but Mrs. Merriman explains Rose had been with her since before Felicity was born. Rose sighs when Mrs. Merriman announces they would still travel to the plantation regardless, but comes along.
On Thursday, Rose tucks her bag under her seat next to the driver, Caleb. When the carriage crashes, she and Caleb wade through the water to get to the carriage. She then helps Mrs. Merriman and then Mrs. Wentworth out of the badly damaged carriage. She tells Felicity she must get out of the carriage and help her siblings exit before the carriage falls over. When everyone is inside the abandoned house and Caleb leaves for the plantation, Mrs. Merriman starts going into labor. When Mrs. Wentworth tells Mrs. Merriman to wait, Rose tells her that babies don't wait; she and Mrs. Wentworth both go into another room with Martha to have the birth. Later Rose exits the room and asks Felicity to get the bag from under her seat from the carriage. She explains she would go, but she had to stay with Mrs. Merriman. When Felicity returns with the bag, Rose quickly takes it and goes back to the other room.
When Felicity looks into the room, she sees Rose holding a bundle, her new baby sister. Mrs. Wentworth apologizes to Rose and tells her she was right. She also says that if Rose wasn't here to help, she probably wouldn't of been able to help Polly be born. Rose smiles at Felicity and simply says everyone had to help in any way they could when a baby was arriving. Rose gives the baby to Felicity to hold and comments that such a pretty thing was almost born in a creek like a pollywog, inspiring the baby's new name Polly.
A Traitor in Williamsburg
Nan wants to go to the market with Mother and Felicity, but she is told to stay behind to watch William and Polly so Rose can do the spinning. When Felicity gets sick after being out in the rain one day, Mrs. Merriman has Rose bring up herb tea for her. Rose goes to the market for the family later in the book. At the end, when Mr. Merriman has returned home, Rose has made a Brunswick stew for the family for dinner and apple cobbler in a sweet sauce for dessert.
Rose travels with Mrs. Merriman, Nan, William, and Polly when they visit Martha's elderly aunt Prudence. Rose is traveling to help care for Polly.
In the Film
Rose was played by Robinne Fanfair.