Agatha Christie Wiki
Advertisement

In the novel Dead Man's Folly, Sir George Stubbs is the owner of Nasse House in Devon. He is married to Hattie. It seems as if the "Sir" is something that he has adopted himself.

Mrs Masterton expresses the opinion that the idea of adding "Sir" to his name came from Lord George Sanger's Circus. However, although Sir George is not part of the landed gentry, she says that he fits the "type of the eighteenth-century country squire".

Sir George is described as being a "big man with a rather florid red face and a slightly unexpected beard". The beard gives "a rather disconcerting effect" of an actor who has not made up his mind whether he is playing a country squire or a "rough diamond" from the Dominions. His manner and voice are jovial, and his eyes are "small and shrewd, of a particularly penetrating pale blue".

Sir George is very wealthy, and gives his wife presents, such as jewellery, as well as money to play with at casinos. According to Miss Brewis, he also buys Lady Stubbs fur coats, and she already has two mink coats and a Russian ermine.

Shortly after his arrival at Nasse House, Poirot overhears Sir George speaking to Sally Legge with "an amorous intonation". He talks about wishing he had her in his harem, and says that he will come to her to get his fortune told during the fête. Sally is then heard telling Sir George that he "mustn't".

According to Mrs Folliat, Sir George is "a self-made man" and "a complete vulgarian". She also says that he is kindly and fundamentally decent. He does not ask for mental companionship from his wife, and is happy that Lady Stubbs is able to display clothes and jewels well, and that she is affectionate and willing.

Sir George is angry about the people staying at Hoodown Park trespassing on the grounds of Nasse House. He talks about getting more wire fencing, to put up where Hoodown Park adjoins Nasse House, in the woods. He also complains about the clothes they wear, and mentions a boy wearing a shirt with turtles on it.

Poirot later sees Sir George shouting at trespassers, and telling them that they must go back to the hostel, and take the road to get down to the quay.

During the fête, Sir George presides over the coconut shy "in his heartiest fashion". When Etienne de Sousa arrives, Sir George welcomes him, invites him to dinner, and offers to put him up.

Sir George at first appears irritated and alarmed that Lady Stubbs cannot be found. He later becomes very agitated when he realises that she is really missing, and tells Inspector Bland that he has to find her.

Sir George tells Inspector Bland that his wife did not know about Etienne de Sousa's visit until the morning of the fête. He also mentions that she had said that Etienne was wicked, and that he killed people.

The following morning, Sir George is unable to eat breakfast, and drinks coffee "with an air of not knowing what he [is] doing". He tells Miss Brewis that he cannot see anyone or attend to any business that day. He is unhappy that there does not seem to be anything he can do to help to find Lady Stubbs, and decides to put an advertisement in all the papers, asking her to come home.

Poirot observes that Miss Brewis is in love with Sir George, but that Sir George is unaware of it. He is of the opinion that Sir George would not be interested in a relationship with Miss Brewis, because he sees her as "an efficient machine" who takes "the drudgery of daily life off his shoulders", rather than as a woman.

Sir George is not considered a suspect in the murder of Marlene Tucker, because he was on the lawn for the entire afternoon during the fête, and would not have had the opportunity to go to the boathouse to kill her.

Towards the end of the novel, Poirot learns from Mrs Folliat that Sir George had mostly been in London since the disappearance of Lady Stubbs. He had not said so, but Mrs Folliat was of the opinion that he had given up hope of Lady Stubbs being found.

Hercule Poirot finds out that Sir George actually is James Folliat, the presumed dead son of Amy Folliat.

It is revealed that James Folliat had deserted during the war, and had later taken on the new identity of Sir George Stubbs. He had agreed to marry Hattie as a means to her wealth, but he was actually already married, and had no intention of parting from his Italian wife.

After returning to England with Hattie, he took her to Nasse House. He killed Hattie, and had his Italian wife pose as her. Hattie was buried on the grounds of Nasse House, and the folly was erected at that spot.

Advertisement