Bernadetta is the Count of Varley's eldest daughter and sole heir. She is terrified of meeting new people and only feels safe in her dorm room while she is away from home.
To some extent, Bernadetta's shyness can be attributed to the abuse she endured as a youngster at the hands of her own father. Varley put her through rigorous training in order for her to become "the perfect wife," including tying her up in a chair for hours on end while she remained quiet and submissive. They were dreaded by Bernadetta, who would fight tooth and nail to avoid them. Only in her seclusion did she find solace.
As a child, she was forbidden by her father to associate with people of the lower classes because he considered them trash. Bernadetta became fast friends with a commoner boy. When her father learned about what was going on, he immediately returned her to her house. The next day, she learned that her father's men had captured and brutally murdered the boy, further instilling fear in her of social interaction and of her father.