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In the novel Dead Man's Folly, Hattie, Lady Stubbs was the wealthy young wife of Sir George. She was the cousin of Etienne de Sousa. He had not seen her since she was sent to a convent school, at the age of fifteen.

According to Etienne, as a child, Hattie "promised to have good looks". As an adult, she was beautiful. She was described as being "heavily made up in an exotic un-English style", with dead-white matt skin, "vivid cyclamen lips", and a lot of mascara. Her hair was black and smooth. There was "a languorous un-English beauty" about her face. Her eyes had "a childlike, almost vacant, stare". Her nails were very long, and were varnished in a deep puce colour. She often wore big coolie-style straw hats.

When Poirot first met Hattie in the drawing room of Nasse House, she seemed not to be paying attention to what was going on around her. Instead, she was turning her hand from left to right, so that the emerald in her ring caught the light. She showed the ring to Poirot, and asked in a "confidential childish way" if it was pretty. She later burst out laughing with a "loud uncontrolled laugh".

Hattie told Poirot that she liked nightclubs, because she liked the music and dancing, and she got to wear her nicest clothes and jewellery. According to her, the other women all had nice clothes and jewels, but not as nice as hers. She also mentioned that she liked casinos.

When Poirot asked if she had been busy preparing for the fête, Hattie said that she thought it was all very boring and very stupid. She thought that servants and gardeners should make the preparations.

According to Mrs Folliat, Hattie's family had sugar estates in the West Indies. There had been an earthquake and a resukting fire, and her parents and siblings had been killed. Hattie was at a convent in Paris at the time, and the executors of the estate thought that it was advisable for her to be chaperoned and introduced to society, after she had spent some time abroad. Mrs Folliat accepted the charge of her.

Mrs Folliat told Poirot that Hattie was not mentally deficient, but she was simple. She was "easily imposed upon, over docile", and "completely open to suggestion". Mrs Folliat was able to deliberately influence her to accept Sir George, when he wanted to marry her.

Shortly after his arrival at Nasse House, Poirot saw Hattie go down the path that led to the river, and Michael Weyman come out from behind a tree, and follow her. He later heard from Miss Brewis that Hattie had "done her best to make a fool of" Michael, taking him to see the camellia gardens and pretending to be interested in the tennis pavilion which he was designing. According to Miss Brewis, Hattie knew perfectly well what she was doing, and was shrewd. Michael later expressed a similar opinion, that Hattie knew "which side her bread [was] buttered better than most", but enjoyed playing "the dim nitwit".

On the day of the fête, Hattie received a letter from Etienne de Sousa, saying that he was coming to visit. She went to lie down, saying that she had a headache. When Poirot mentioned Etienne, she said that she did not want to see him, that he was bad, and that she was afraid of him.

During the fête, Hattie wore a cyclamen dress with a large black coolie-shaped hat, and a lot of diamond jewellery. She asked Miss Brewis to take a tray of cakes and a fruit drink to Marlene Tucker, who was in the boathouse. She was supposed to judge the Children's Fancy Dress, but could not be found.

It was revealed that the woman at Nasse House, whom Poirot had met, was not the real Hattie, but Sir George's Italian wife, posing as Hattie. Hattie's family had been wealthy, and Sir George had accepted a marriage with her as a means to that wealth. However, he was already married, and had no intention of parting from his Italian wife.

Immediately after returning to England with the reall Hattie, Sir George took her to Nasse House. The real Hattie was murdered and was buried at the place where the folly was later erected. Sir George's Italian wife then posed as Hattie, making herself up the way Hattie had been made up, and behaving "roughly much as Hattie behaved".

Portrayals[]

In the 2013 Agatha Christie's Poirot episode Dead Man's Folly Hattie is portrayed by actress Stephanie Leonidas.

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