Chester-Stokes is an ex-clerk whose promotions became so great that she succumbed to them, ascending clerkhood. She was the Institute's administrator prior to Clerk Wayle taking her place. It is unknown whose position she took as administrator, if any. In current days, she is known as the Shushbaby. Aided by her self-described "Alexandrian memory", she is the author of many transcriptions of the Eremite's work that has been lost to manhandling.
Not much is known about Chester-Stokes' appearance, but she is considered to have been overweight and white-skinned.
"Perhaps not every civilisation is as obsessed with failed potential as yours was." -- Wayle
Chester-Stokes lived with her parents for some time in England when she was younger. Her father was a soldier during a time of war, possibly World War I. She tells the story of how her father’s sergeant returned his wedding ring one night, making his way back to England through the trenches. This may have indicated that he was killed in battle. Though she encourages the use of Latin and seems to have strong knowledge of the language, her primary language is English. (having been born in England)
Chester-Stokes possesses some knowledge of farming and pig-rearing. In His Latitude, The Stars, she recalls how her parents would handle plague amongst the herd, locating the happiest, healthiest pig, and killing it. She can also be credited as the author of a text on farming called The Ablutionists, written under the name Lady Beatrice Chester-Stokes.
She refers to Oscar Parlay as “Uncle Oscar.” It is not known if the two are actually blood related.
Chester-Stokes possesses an intimate knowledge of the Eremite, though his writings do not explicitly state that the two knew each other personally (unlike his tales of meeting Whale-Bane). She clashes with Wayle over who among the two is superior, claiming, “I think we can establish who knows the Eremite better, out of you and I” (Up Amongst A Pervert’s Limbs). Their frequent quarrels are documented in various Trottering Notes.
Chester-Stokes is an aficionado of Latin, and Wayle remarks that she would insist upon its proper use, “regardless of a ____clerk's_/// mother tongue” (The Worst Cook [Transcript M12]).
As leader of the Institute, she appears to take on the role of mother figure. She encourages the \\\\Clerks//// to remember things about their personal lives before the Institute, and upon hearing of Wayle’s promotion, tells him, “I shall have to come and find you, and see to your pain.” (Up Amongst A Pervert’s Limbs). She can calm the \\\\Clerks//// with a SHHHHHHHHHHH. Through Trottering Notes, it is eventually revealed that she has become the Shushbaby (see below). In the endgame, it's suggested that she may have been Rosetto.
From The Worst Cook:
- They will not find ____Clerk____ Chester-Stokes. Following her promotion up and out of clerkhood, I will be taking her place. Though this may come as a shock and relief to many of you, I would ask you not to speak too ill of her, or groan too loudly; she will still be amongst you, in a supervisory role. However, those of you who tired of her constant boasts about her breeding, her overbearing attendance to every Excavation, her insistence on the use of proper Latin, regardless of a ____clerk's_/// mother tongue, the smug accomplishments of her parents, their riches, their castle high on some muggy moor, you may be secure in the knowledge that your Work may begin afresh, free of interference. For those of you who miss her most comforting words and coos, the ones on the edge of hearing, hear this.
In the game, her purpose is to relieve the player's pain when it gets too high, by smacking them thrice on the back, SHHHHHing.
The name "Chester" means "A Fortress, Camp". "Stokes" can mean "a place". http://www.surnamedb.com/Surname/Stoke