The Woman Whose Doppelgänger Got Her Fired

The tale of a 19th-century teacher and her mysterious double

Kyrie Gray
History of Women


Image created by author with Canva Pro and public domain images

The principal of the small elite school sighed with contentment over her paperwork. It had been a risk to hire the 32-year-old teacher with no references. Yet her gut told her the woman was amicable, professional, and would be well-loved by her students. Now, three weeks into the school year, she sipped from a cup of tea, quite pleased with herself.

Her pride would be short-lived. At that moment, she heard screaming coming from somewhere within the school.

While the principal had been working in her office, Giselle’s hand was speedily transcribing what Ms. Sagée wrote on the board. Despite the other girl’s annoyance, she was a studious girl who liked to record her teacher’s exact words in her quest for approval. Of all the teachers Giselle wanted to impress, it was Emélie Sagée, the newest instructor she looked up to most.

While she was writing, all the other girls, who’d before been conversing as less-studious students often did, went unsettlingly quiet. Giselle looked around. Why were they all sitting so rigid and staring ahead?

Giselle turned to the front of the room and froze as well. She could not believe what she was seeing.