I love that Gertrude’s last act is one of defiance. It’s a good way to end – by not doing as you’re told. I mean, surely it would be better to live than die – but to die because you refused to do as you were told? Heroic death, in my view.
I just finished reading Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded (which I enjoyed very much, btw) and the girls in that book are all taught to be “shamefast and biddable.” Their deportment is more important than all their magical skill. Doing as one has been told, especially by a man, is the highest good in that world. And, of course, the heroine discovers her inner rebel. She sets aside all obedience and gets a lot done. It’s very satisfying. Also there’s a dragon.