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In the novel Third Girl, Miss Battersby is the former headmistress at Meadowfield School. By qualification she is a mathematician of some repute. She retired from her post as the headmistress of the school at the age of seventy, about a year before the events in the book. She told Poirot that it was because she was having less and less patience for parents. They had aims for their daughters which she considered "short-sighted and quite frankly stupid." After retirement, she continued to keep active by coaching senior students.

Poirot called on her in order to seek background information about her former student Norma Restarick. Miss Battersby remembered Norma well--Norma was not academically brilliant but adequate. As for being neurotic, Norma was no more so than any other girl, especially considering she came from a broken home. Miss Battersby observed that Norma had no definite personality of her own, no intellectual ambitions. She would not have recommended Norma for a career. A nice ordniary job, marriage and children is what she would have recommended. But as for Norma being mentally unstable, to Miss Battersby, that was "rubbish".

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