Agatha Woosmoss is a character in the Finishing School Series. She attends Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality alongside Sophronia and Dimity, and rooms with Sidheag Maccon.
She is noted as, "small, round, and redheaded with a freckled face that wore a perpetual expression of distressed confusion, not unlike that of a damp cat." Gail Carriger describes her as, "Red hair, slightly curly (usually falling flat), white skin with freckles, eyes probably green, chubby, smallish, rather dumpy. Blushes a lot."
As of Manners & Mutiny, Agatha has thinned out a bit around the middle and filled out in the bust.
In Reticence, Agatha reappears as The Wallflower, entirely unprepossessing female, matronly in the extreme, pudding faced and grave.
She is perceptive enough to realize when someone has a good heart. She is also very loyal.
Gail Carriger says, "I always imagined Agatha might blossom a bit, but she will always remain slightly timid and unsure of herself. She struggles with Finishing School lessons, but she does try hard, for her family's sake.
Agatha has pretty terrible taste in clothing but a whole lot of money to spend on it. Thus she tends to buy rich fabrics in awful muted color combinations exactly wrong for her complexion."
As an intelligencer, Agatha utilizes the fact that she is good at being invisible and dowdy, thus escaping notice.
Agatha was born May 4, 1838. Secretly, Agatha is not actually very wealthy but is funded by the rich vampire, Lord Akeldama, her patron. The vampire pays for her education and clothing.
In the Books Edit
Agatha is put on probation at Mademoiselle Geraldine's. In an effort to prove she belongs, she gets roped into a scheme by the other girls to feign being a sycophant to Monique in the hope of being invited to the girls' coming out ball (and to keep tabs on the girl).
In the beginning, Agatha is with the girls at Mademoiselle Geraldine's. However, she is left behind as the action moves forward.
It is revealed that Agatha has been working as an intelligencer for Lord Akeldama ever since her admittance to Mademoiselle Geraldine's. She becomes instrumental in getting Sophronia the help she needs to deal with the Picklemen occupation of the school and setting up a rescue for Sophronia.
It is implied by Preshea Buss (Villentia) that she is still in his employ ten years after leaving Mademoiselle Geraldine's, as she is the most likely of Preshea's former classmates to be able to retrieve a set of secret documents he shows her.
Agatha reappears in Reticence. Her old, fellow intelligencers ask the crew of the Spotted Custard to look for her in Japan because she has gone missing. When they find her in Japan, it turns out she was stranded because her transportation exploded. However, she has information for the crew on their current mission.
- Agatha is introduced as the daughter of a noted railroad baron (Etiquette & Espionage)
- Agatha's preferred assassin's weapon is the garrote. (Waistcoats & Weaponry, Chapter 4)
- Agatha is very bad at cards (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson 8)
- She is good at sums and household management. (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson 14)
- More than once, Agatha has misplaced her handkerchief.
- Agatha attends the ball in Manners & Mutiny as Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott, as Sophronia attends as Agatha.
- Her intelligencer moniker is the Wallflower. (Discovered in Reticence.)
- "The chubby girl looked up quickly from her shoes, nodded, and then returned to her intense scrutiny of her own feet. Sophronia thought that, even at thirteen, poor Agatha looked like she ought to be someone's maiden aunt." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson Six)
- "Sophronia thought that, even at thirteen, poor Agatha looked like she ought to be someone's maiden aunt." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson Six)
- "Agatha didn't look like she knew how to joke." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson Six)
- "Agatha, so shy it was almost disruptive, never seemed to get excited about anything." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson Ten)
- "She was intrigued to find, however, that Agatha had the most expensive gown and nicest jewelry, much to Monique's annoyance." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson 10)
- "...Sophronia and the others neglected to notice that Agatha wasn't with them. The poor thing wasn't exactly a friend, but they did try to keep an eye on her, as they might Bumbersnoot." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson Fourteen)
- "Did you hear Monique cornered Agatha in the hallway this afternoon? Apparently she said she wondered how someone of Agatha's vulgar proportions even got admitted to Mademoiselle Geraldine's. She said that Agatha probably wouldn't be asked back after the winter break, even if she did come from a long line of intelligencers." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson Fourteen)
- "They heard a little gasp from the doorway and looked up to see Agatha's round, crestfallen face as she ducked away. 'I thought you closed that!' Dimity said to Sophronia, horrified. 'I thought I did, too. Perhaps she's not so bad an intelligencer as you thought." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson Fourteen)
- "...there was one thing Agatha was really very good at, and that was holding her tongue." (Etiquette & Espionage, Lesson Fifteen)
- "Agatha, in particular, hated public exposure." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 1st Test)
- "Agatha looked like she might faint, or cry, or palpitate, or all three - which would be a real feat." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 2nd Test)
- "Agatha Woosmoss was small, round, and redheaded, with a freckled face that wore a perpetual expression of distressed confusion, not unlike that of a damp cat." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 2nd Test)
- "Poor Agatha was generally overset by anything new, from the advent of a birthday scarf - How to wear it? What to match it with? - to boys wandering willy-nilly into classes." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 4th Test)
- "Agatha was definitely their weakest link." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 6th Test)
- "Unlike Sidheag and Dimity, Agatha actually wanted to stay at Mademoiselle Geraldine's-to please her papa." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 6th Test)
- “The redhead looked back and forth between them with dread in her eyes. 'Oh, dear, scheming. I was afraid this would happen if we got chummy again.'” (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 6th Test)
- "Unlike Sidheag and Dimity, Agatha actually wanted to stay at Mademoiselle Geraldine's - to please her papa." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 6th Test)
- "People with money never act like it. Take Agatha, for example." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, 7th Test)
- "Really, thought Sophronia, she is a better intelligencer than the school gives her credit." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 10th Test)
- "There was the dandy that had been dancing with Dimity; now he was dancing with Agatha." (Curtsies & Conspiracies, The 14th Test)
- "Agatha... well, perhaps Agatha was a bit of a wet blanket. She was loyal to a fault and she did try. She tried too hard sometimes." (Waistcoats & Weaponry, Session Two)
- "Yes, I can.' Agatha only really had any gumption with Sidheag. Which was funny, because Sidheag was so gruff and Agatha so timid." (Waistcoats & Weaponry, Session Two)
- "Agatha tried to recover her emotions. She was terrified of Professor Lefoux. Professor Lefoux had no respect for finer feelings, even when they were being applied with purpose." (Waistcoats & Weaponry, Session Three)
- "Agatha simply didn't have that much of an interest in anything covert. Also, given the option between sleep and pretty much anything else, Agatha would always rather sleep." (Waistcoats & Weaponry, Session Four)
- “Agatha, who was spending time in their room as her own was lonely, perked up. "I preferred the garrote myself."The others looked at her, startled. Aside from the theater, and sleeping, Agatha rarely expressed an interest in anything. Let alone something espionage related."You do?" Dimity encouraged. Agatha nodded. "You can wear it as jewelry, it hides away easily, and it's a nice clean death.” (Waistcoats & Weaponry, Session Four)
- "What? I like Agatha. She's no fuss and doesn't chirrup on. Unlike some people I know.' Pillover huffed." (Waistcoats & Weaponry, Session Five)
- "Agatha Woosmoss, their other close friend, was notably reticent when confronted with large gatherings involving in the opposite sex. She had very flushed cheeks that suggested interest - or possibly paralytic fear." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis One)
- "She had recently exchanged much of her tubbiness around the middle for endowments further up. Mademoiselle Geraldine was most impressed by what she referred to as Miss Woosmoss's increased assets and aesthetic abilities. Agatha was mortified." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis One)
- "And Miss Woosmoss looks like a'-words failed him-'chandelier in slippers!" (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis One)
- "Pillover had a soft spot for Agatha. He thought her restfully chatter free-the most desirable quality in a girl." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis One)
- "Agatha was nothing if not generous." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis One)
- "Agatha was never pert and rarely had answers." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Two)
- "Agatha had hidden depths of shallowness. Or she was a better study than anyone thought, and merely needed a different personality to bring out her abilities. Or she had partaken too freely of the absinthe-spiked punch." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Two)
- "Agatha's hands clasped together in a maneuver they had been taught by Lady Linette, but which Sophronia suspected in Agatha's case was instinctual." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Twp)
- "Agatha was showing affinity for Encrypting with Flower Arrangements with Sister Mattie, which surprised everyone, including Agatha." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Four)
- "Agatha was mooning, purposely not bothering to pack. Much as she disliked school, it was better than home." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Four)
- "The vampire? Oh dear." Dimity was crestfallen. "You don't think he wants to eat us, do you?" (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Six)
- "And Agatha, poor Agatha, was convinced she was a failure in all things fashionable, although her dress was a la mode and her hair had taken three hours." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Six)
- "Agatha paid rapt attention to the proceedings, inserting an occasional well-timed and seemingly innocent question that tossed more coal upon the fire." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Six)
- "They won't want to believe us. Too scary.' Agatha showed unexpected insight." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Seven)
- “He wants to know why my marks aren’t better. Why I don’t speak fluent French. Why I can’t kill a fully grown man with a nutcracker.” (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Eight)
- “It is a valuable thing for an intelligencer to be forgotten.” (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Eight)
- "And there's a note that says they think she's running a long-form field operation.' 'Agatha? Really? On whom? Her family?' 'Didn't specify. Could be on the school. Could be on us, I suppose. But there you have it.' Sophronia frowned. She could hardly believe it. Agatha wasn't that good. Or was she?" (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Eight)
- "She was calculating all the times Agatha had been in the right place at the right time, or absent when she might have been caught. She thought over all the strange glances she had interpreted as social awkwardness. All those gifts from Agatha's wealthy, but absent, father. All those dresses, so exactly wrong for Agatha's coloring and figure. Almost too exactly wrong. 'Lord Akeldama,' Sophronia stated rather than asked. Agatha, looking miserable, nodded." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Eleven)
- "I'm better at being invisible and dowdy. Being the wallflower. No, don't try to make me feel better. I know what I'm good at. But I also know I'm an object of pity. That's useful, too, but doesn't make a girl feel all that nice most of the time. He saw through it, you know? From the very first time we met. I was only ten. But he won't take me for a drone and he won't put me in the field where my talents aren't up to Sophronia's standards." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Eleven)
- "I would be an independent woman of means. I could love as I willed without consulting my family. He even promised me an allowance, if I continued to pass on information." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Eleven)
- "Perhaps she would be a good match of Pillover. If they married, they'd have a wedding as near to a wake as might be." (Manners & Mutiny, Crisis Eleven)
- "Aunt Softy slid over a photograph of an entirely unprepossessing female, matronly in the extreme, pudding faced and grave. The kind of woman doomed to unfinished crochet projects." (Reticence, Chapter 3)
- "She was matronly, well padded but over muscles, in the manner of a farmer’s wife. She seemed the type of redoubtable woman who might whip up a custard with one hand and plough a field with the other. Her face was forgettable. Her hair had started life blond or red or somewhere in between but was now predominantly grey." (Reticence, Chapter 13)
- "The Wallflower was not the type of woman Arsenic would suspect of being an intelligencer. She was the type of woman who ought to be home in Cornwall with too many cats and a lapful of something chartreuse and badly knit. Which was, no doubt, exactly what made the Wallflower an effective spy." (Reticence, Chapter 13)
- “We British learned the wrong things from our supernaturals. We went out into the world with no idea but them. We built our armies around werewolf packs. We built our government around vampire hives. We failed to realize that it could be different. We failed even to understand there might be others. Supernaturals are not the same the world over. Any more than countries, governments, or people are the same. Our failure as a nation is in thinking not only that our method is best, but that it is the only option.” (Reticence, Chapter 13)
- “The longer I live and the more I travel the more I find that practicality is the enemy of wonder.” (Reticence, Chapter 13)
- "They turned back to the Wallflower, remembering she was there. She’s verra good at being forgotten. Must get annoying, that." (Reticence, Chapter 14)
- "The Wallflower drifted off, presumably to wherever she spent her time when she wasn’t skulking near them in the shadows being cryptic." (Reticence, Chapter 14)