Miss Twinkleton, the “excellent lady” who runs a “Seminary for Young Ladies” in Cloisterham, has a great respect for the “shrine of Propriety”, and as such frequently combats the “romantic aspect” of life as regularly entertained by the young girls under her care and education, appearing to them like Queen Elizabeth at Tilbury to quash rumours circulating around Neville Landless and Edwin Drood.
And yet...Miss Twinkleton has a secret, and every night when her charges are asleep, a transformation occurs; she smartens up her curls, brightens her eyes, to become “a sprightly Miss Twinkleton whom the young ladies have never seen”. It is in this state that she and her companion Mrs Tisher will discuss the scandals of the day and remember with fondness “a certain finished gentleman” called Mr Porters who offered her the “homage of the heart”.
Whether the pragmatic schoolmistress of the day, or the romantic gossiper of the night, these two phases of Miss Twinkleton’s being remain “distinct and separate” from one another, neither interfering in the life of the other. And so both Miss Twinkletons observe the world and people around them, whether among the intrigue and romance at the Crisparkle house where her pupil Rosa is proudly displayed, or keeping a watchful eye on Rosa’s guardian Mr Grewgious while he explains the details of her father’s will. She recently admitted a new girl to the school, Miss Helena Landless who along with Rosa has been at the centre of the Drood scandal, being the sister of the unfortunate Neville Landless who is widely suspected of being involved in Edwin Drood’s disappearance. While the rest of Cloisterham seemed thrilled at Rosa and Edwin’s engagement, Miss Twinkleton often looked upon Rosa as though going to the sacrifice, and since the breakup of the engagement and Rosa’s flight to London, Miss Twinkleton has resumed care of her favourite charge again, by residing with her at Mrs Billickin’s lodgings in London, where her jealous care of Rosa has set her odds with their landlady.