The Commoner of Flanders (フランダースの庶民, Furandaasu no Shomin) is the favorite book of Misery. Its protagonist is Mary Smith and Misery is constantly on the lookout for the perfect girl to be a real-life Mary as well as for representations of other characters.
The Commoner of Flanders appears to be about a girl, Mary Smith, of low social standing and with little money to her name who tries to get by in life. One of the few things she owns is a cat. A section of the book reads as follows:
"Lying down on the cold stone floor, Mary thought to herself, "It was wrong for a commoner like me to dream, wasn't it?" Right now, the warmth of Nyaro, as she purred in her arms, was Mary's only possession."
There is a movie adaption of the book with Hade Kirabiya as Mary Smith, but Misery dislikes the casting. To make up for it, Misery keeps track of everyone, detailed person files and all, in her environment in order to put together a cast she approves of. Upon meeting her, Misery assigns the role of Mary Smith to Tsugumi Harudori and from there builds on. Kana Altair gets to be Mary's cat and Sid Barrett is cast as Mary's grandfather. Clay Sizemore becomes one of two masters in Mary's life (presumably, "master" as in "artist") and Akane☆Hoshi his child. Hao is an employee of this master, who has a wife, Raid, and a son, Aaron. This master's employee's son tries to become friends with Mary. The other master, whom Mary looks up to, is Maka Albarn and her masterpiece is Soul Evans. Anya Hepburn is a logger befriended to Mary and Meme Tatane is an old neighbor. Kim Diehl is the private eye hired at some point and Jacqueline O'Lantern Dupré her sister. Mai Thi Hoang, Ox Ford, Black☆Star, and Tsubaki Nakatsukasa are village folk.
In her obsession, Misery is both dangerous and simple. The first night Tsugumi spends at the Girls' Dormitory, Misery ties her up to train her into becoming the perfect Mary. This includes hitting her nose with a hammer to make it shorter. At the same time, because Mary is brave and friendly, Misery lets Tsugumi go get Anya despite orders from higher up to keep her under house arrest. Misery even goes so far as to send in an application for the role of Mary on Tsugumi's behalf to a stage adaption casting of The Commoner of Flanders. It is rejected, infuriating her.
- The Commoner of Flanders is a reference, both in name and content, to A Dog of Flanders (フランダースの犬, Furandaasu no Inu), an English book about a Flemish boy and his dog that is extremely popular in Japan. This is more obvious in the anime than it is in the manga of Soul Eater NOT!.