Sister Herschel-Teape is the head of household management at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. She also teaches medicinal cures and poisonings, and encrypting with flower arrangements.
Her classroom looks like a mix between a potting shed and a manor house kitchen.
She is described as short and dumpy, and dresses in a nun's habit. This strange affectation is unexplained.
Called "Sister Mattie" by the students, she is respected and seen as benign and absentminded.
In her teaching, she feels that if she's done her job properly, the students should have access to any poison they wish, as well as good nutrition.
In the books Edit
Manners & Mutiny Edit
After the events of the Great Picklemen Revolt of 1854 and the closure of Mademoiselle Geraldine's, Sister Mattie leaves for Cornwall, where she settles into a seaside resort, grows prizewinning foxgloves, and sells medicinal herbs, common pest poisons, and fancy soaps.
- SIster Mattie has a tendency to speak in mixed up platitudes.
- "Sister Mattie was a bit of a mystery; her preference for a simulated nun's habit--wide-skirted and to the current fashion, with a wimple partly configured like a bonnet--remained unexplained. The girls saw her as a nice sort of mystery and one of the more benign teachers, so they mostly respected her eccentric choice of dress." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 1st Test)
- "'Is there no peace for the naked?' Sister Mattie wore a bed cap of sensible white lace. 'I think you mean peace for the wicked,' corrected Lady Linette. 'Why would that apply?' asked Sister Mattie, before closing her door on both the problem and the noise." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 5th Test)
- "Sister Mattie could be rather fatalistic at times; it was why she was such a good poisoning instructor. Death, felt Sister Mattie, must come to everyone in the end. Sometimes it simply required a little help." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 13th Test)