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In the novel They Came to Baghdad, Rosa Clayton is the wife of Gerald Clayton, the British consul in Basra. She is described as "a bouyant personality with abounding vitality" and, being a highly hospitable person, delights in hosting visitors passing through Basra. Through the course of the novel, she hosted, among others, Richard Baker, Victoria Jones, Captain Crosbie and Edward Goring.

One of her other delights is shopping. When she is not buying anything herself, she liked to urge on her friends and acquaintances to seek out bargains in the local souks. Apparently she has a wonderful sense of values and is an excellent bargainer. She recalls how in a previous visit, Dr Pauncefoot Jones and Richard Baker had gone to the bazaars with her and (with her help) bought some rugs, which Baker acknowledges politely as one of the best purchases he ever made.

Rosa Clayton is also inquisitive and wants to know if Richard Baker is married. When Baker says that he doesn't think he is the marrying kind, she retorted: "Nonsense." She asserted that archaeologists make splendid husbands, and there were several young women coming out to his dig that season.

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