Prudence Stanley is Phryne's aunt (her mother's older sister). In her youth, she attended Warleigh Grammar. She is a society matron, she fundraisers for various charities in Melbourne and is on the board of the local hospital where Phryne's unconventional friend Dr Mac works. She cares greatly about keeping a good reputation and in contrast to Phryne, is perfectly content with the current class system and thinks the underprivileged should stay where they are. Aunt Prudence and Phryne are constantly in conflict due to their differing world views. Interesting, that Mrs Stanley is a life member of the Spiritualistic Society. She was part of the program to give jobs to the Gratitude Girls, a group of the "best behaved" young women living in poverty at the convent.
Aunt Prudence is the widow of Edward Stanley and mother of two sons, Guy Stanley and Arthur Stanley. Guy is shown to be a frivolous and hedonistic individual who marries an equally frivolous and hedonistic English woman. Her other son, Arthur, is shown to have a mental disability, possibly down-syndrome, as a result, she is very protective of him. While she is shown to love Arthur dearly, she also tends to hide him away, either for his own protection or out of shame.
Prudence's godson, Roland Claremont, was killed during the Great War. He wrote poems, and Prudence carried a copy of his final poem with her at all times.
Involvement with Miss Fisher
Prudence doesn't approve Phryne's investigations, her habits, involvements and behavior.
Prudence: Speaking on behalf of the hospital board and for myself personally, I... I should like to express my deep, deep regret for what seems to have been a somewhat over-hasty decision regarding your suspension. However, in light of recent ameliorating events, I'm pleased to say that the aforesaid suspension is to be lifted.
Prudence: Two more dead bodies! Isn't that a little excessive, Phryne, even for you!?
Phryne: They do say charity begins at home.
Prudence: Honestly, Phryne! I sit on thirteen boards. I spend most of my life raising money for worthy causes. Don't you think I do enough?
Dot: The Grand Hotel's having another dance tonight, Miss, if you need to look around.
Aunt Prudence: suddenly excited Not the Twilight Waltz!
scene change to the Twilight Waltz
Aunt Prudence: sadly Oh, how the mighty've fallen!
Phryne: I didn't know you'd been here before.
Aunt Prudence: A lifetime ago. I was here the night your father proposed to your mother. Unfortunately I arrived too late.
Aunt Prudence is a Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries TV show's original character that does not appear in the novels.