Although most people care about the truth, they can nonetheless—under certain circumstances and given proper precaution—be diverted.
— Nicholas Benedict, "The Mysterious Benedict Society"

Nicholas Benedict
Full Known Name Nicholas Benedict
Group/Affiliation Mysterious Benedict Society (supervisor, adviser)
Past Group Navy
Known Family Anki Benedict (mother, deceased)
Unnamed (father, deceased)
Ledroptha Curtain (identical twin brother)
Number Two, Rhonda, Constance (adopted children)
Book Appearances The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict

Nicholas Benedict is a distinguished man who is affected by narcolepsy, a condition which causes him to fall asleep whenever he experiences strong emotion, especially laughter. He is the main character of The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict and a very important central character in the Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy.


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Mr. Benedict has green eyes, white hair and a very bulbous nose that has been described more than once as a vegetable. He is generally unshaven or, when he remembers to shave, covered in cuts because of his haste. He is an average looking man, with an intelligence high above average. He is always seen wearing a green plaid suit, or something else plaid, because it supposedly calms down his narcolepsy—he falls asleep all the time due to strong emotions, such as being very joyous—although, since The Prisoner's Dilemma, after his narcolepsy was cured by Constance, he supposedly wears several other outfits. In the Mysterious Benedict Society's companion book, Mr. Benedict is revealed to have had blonde hair when he was younger.


Mr. Benedict is a jovial, yet serious man who enjoys laughing a great deal, even though he suffers from narcolepsy, a disorder characterized by sudden and uncontrollable attacks of sleep. Due to his narcolepsy, his adopted daughters—Constance Contraire, Rhonda Kazembe, and "Number Two"—make sure he is seated, in case he has a random attack, which he often does. He is a technical genius, an excellent chess player, a wise mentor, and wonderful friend who is very trustworthy and would rather give his own life than let someone he loves get hurt. Mr. Benedict is an honorable character, and very humble.

Mr. Benedict is a very avid reader, and a quick learner. He is disorganized and sometimes absent-minded, usually forgetting to water his potted violet.

He has great sympathy for children, especially young orphans, because of his childhood. This background partially influences his conviction that children should be with their family and protected from involvement in dangerous events, and his care for those around him.


Mr. Benedict is a technological and strategic genius. His areas of specialties include acoustics, waveforms, hypnosis, puzzles, and the human brain. He is also skilled at predicting the behavior of children such as Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance, and has a knowledge of military strategy.

Mr Benedict has ties to the government established during his time in the Navy, although he was briefly discredited during Curtain's Emergency.


Early ChildhoodEdit

Mr. Nicholas Benedict lived with his twin brother Mr. Curtain with his parents in the Netherlands, then his parents died when he was very young.

The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas BenedictEdit

At age nine, Nicholas moved from his previous orphanage to the orphanage that is the setting of the novel.

Navy ServiceEdit

Mr. Benedict deciphered coded messages for the U.S. Navy.

Before the EmergencyEdit


Before the events of The Mysterious Benedict Society, Mr. Benedict begins to understand that the Emergency is caused by secret sublimal messages transferred via radio and television into the minds of people, and the disappearances of several government workers are dismissed through the manipulation of these messages.

In his research, he discovers that the Sender is Ledroptha Curtain, famous for his tidal turbines, and that the neural messages are delivered by the voices of children.

Mr. Benedict sets up a series of tests designed to identify gifted children willing and able to stop the Sender. A few children were able to pass these tests, Rhonda Kazembe and Number Two among them, but due to the scarcity of testpassers, the ones that accepted his offer were unable to be active agents, because they matured before a team could be assembled.

The Mysterious Benedict SocietyEdit


Mr. Benedict's House

Mr. Benedict continues to administer his series of tests to find gifted children to assist him in stopping Ledroptha Curtain, who is carefully plotting to rule the world.

He places an advertisement in the Stonewall Times, and among the applicants arrive four very gifted children that he could have only hoped for—Reynie Muldoon, Sticky Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire. Upon their completion of his tests, Benedict hosts the four at his house. He explains to the children that he has narcolepsy, a disorder which causes him to fall asleep when he feels a strong wave of emotion, and informs them of the nefarious schemes of the Sender and the danger everyone is in. After all of the four decide to join the team, Mr. Benedict sends them on their mission to pose as students at LIVE (Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened) to investigate and stop Ledroptha Curtain.

While the children are at the Institute, they communicate with him and his team through purposely vague messages in Morse Code. By deciphering one such riddle, they discover that Curtain is his twin brother, a fact which Benedict himself realized when he observed Ledroptha through his telescope.

Eventually, he gives them the advice to make their final move to stop Mr. Curtain - leaving it up to the children to decide what that move actually is. At the end he comes swooping in with Rhonda and Number Two to help disable the Whisperer. He stays behind to finish off the Whisperer because of it only obeying Curtain's commands (and that of his twin). The others are forced to leave without him, but take a sleeping Mr. Curtain with them.

Mr. Benedict follows them disguised as his brother, misleading his brother's henchmen to join his friends, though Mr. Curtain has escaped. He expresses his gratitude that Reynie could discern him from Mr. Curtain and therefore avoided recieving a tranquilizer dart in his shoulder.

Our heroes escape and stay at Mr. Benedict's home until their parents are contacted. Mr Benedict eventually adopts Constance, for she was the only child of the four without parents.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous JourneyEdit

In The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey, the children travel during the one year anniversary of the events of the first novel to visit Mr. Benedict and his family. To celebrate, Mr. Benedict had planned a surprise—a series of riddles and clues—for them that would lead them across a few continents. However, when the children arrived at his home, they were told by Rhonda that Number Two and Mr. Benedict had been kidnapped by Mr. Curtain. Eventually, they manage to save Mr. Benedict and return to his home safely.

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's DilemmaEdit

The children are starting to feel oppressed in Mr. Benedict's home because they are rarely allowed in the fenced in backyard and never are allowed to run errands with the adults. This is for their own safety, of course, but they still feel trapped. Mr. Benedict provides challenges to keep their minds sharp, including the prisoner's dilemma scenario, which is where the book starts.


  • Mr. Benedict's first name, Nicholas, is not revealed until the second book, unless you were able to figure out the code in the back pages of the first book.