WAKEFIELD CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS Male Characters
The Mill Owner
Something of a hypochodriac, Old Ayersleigh is a tall, meager man, with a nose like a turnip. He has garrulous manners, a raspy voice, and a self-deprecating smile. He refuses to allow his grandson, Martin Linkwater, to marry Victoria Littimer.
Henry waits tables at the Red Goose Inn. He is a tall, meager man, with a nose like an adze and a gaunt and bony figure. He has a cringing manner and a raspy voice, but his smile is bland as cottage cheese.
Mr. Brownstone is James Edwin Wakefield's eccentric old uncle and executor of the will which names James Edwyn as sole heir to the Wakefield fortune. Bamber has a jaded cast to his eye and a slight slur in his speech. He constantly refers to a large, old pocket watch in his waist coat which, regrettably, does not keep time. He has the unsettling habit of saying the right thing to the wrong person.
A harmless lunatic recently escaped from St. Mary's of Bethleham, Sam is under the protection of Madge Spenlow. He is a dark-haired youth with a large face and his hands continually in his pockets. He has a tendency to whistle and hum tunes. Unfortunately poor Sam has trouble communicating, speaking only in single-word sentences and using a lot of hand signals.
The Retired Major
An ex-military man in his sixties, Major Bedwyn is a tall, no-nonsense individual with erect carriage. Despite his stern demeanor, he is a kind and loving person. He is a member of the Boldwig Club.
A darkly handsome and somber man, Blackpoole wears a black velvet waistcoat with thunder-and-lightning buttons. An adventurer and wastrel, he is in love with Dora Brownstone.
Founder of the Boldwig Club
A fat, bald, jovial, kind-hearted old man in his fifties, Mr. Boldwig is given to cracker-barrel philosophy, homespun literary criticism, and travel around the British Isles. He is in the full bloom of life; his hat and coat are comfortable, and he clutches his cane with the vigorous tenacity of robust health. He is a self-styled lover of roguish fun.
The Old Bachelor
A stout, pink-faced, gingery man with sparkling teeth and boyish eyes, Mr. Bounderby is a member of the Boldwig Club. He wears mutton-chop whiskers and a high top hat, and is called "Old Bounder" by his fellows. He is as kind and hearty, and withal as eccentric an old bachelor as you could hope to find.
The Riverboat Captain
A steel-eyed, hard-drinking, two-fisted river captain, honest as the day is long. Captain Browdie is master of a fine steamer, the Manchester Dorset. He wants to solve the murder of Sadie Boffins.
The Wealthy Banker
Mr. Brownstone is a stout personage of middle height, aged about fifty, with curly brown hair cropped close, half whiskers, a rotund face, and shrewd eyes. A pink-complexioned, crisp-haired man of a bulky figure and easy temper. He gives his daughter Dora anything she wants.
A portly Scottish gentleman in a kilted army uniform, Captain Carstone has a military-looking moustache, a bald head (highly polished), a gravelly voice, and multiple chins so vast that it is a wonder he ever manages to shave into the creases. A member of the Boldwig Club, Captain Carstone is also trying to contact his beloved dead wife through séances.
Captain Browdie's Mate
Casby is a fishy little fellow worth twelve men in a pinch. He'd back a friend if it meant swimming to Hades in a sewer. Joe is seeking to solve the murder of Sadie Boffins.
A stoutly built, steady looking, sharp eyed man with a Limehouse accent, Edward is a thoughtful fellow, used to heavy work, but composed, sure, and secure.
Travel-worn and bronzed by a tropical sun, this gallant gentleman is well and richly attired, with an elegant emerald tie-pin and a mysterious mask.
This swine, cad, scoundrel, and villain is a dark, coarse man whose eyes are icy cold. It is doubtful that a more selfish or ruthless fellow has ever lived. This sinister brute holds the mortgage on Trotter's Cheese House.
'erbert has a dark complexion and a rather striking visage, with dark eyes, a long face, and an aquiline nose. A gentleman in a wide suit of dark grey, 'erbert has a hook instead of a hand attached to his left wrist. He is one of the rivermen helping Captain Browdie to solve the murder of Sadie Boffins. When angered or amazed, he opens both eyes very wide and growls, "ARRRrrr!"
The Cruel Headmaster
A large stout man with a florid face, Finching has an abusive manner and a harsh voice; his blandest smiles are extremely forbidding, and his presence on the path sends the children of Canterbury School scurrying.
Grover is a member of the Boldwig Club. He is a high-shouldered, peppery little man with a pot-belly and pointy nose, a fixed grim smile on his face, and a keen mind. His insight and quick thinking have often saved the Boldwiggians from unpleasant situations. He works in Mortimer Brownstone's bank.
Flintwich is a convivial lusher and hanger-on at the Red Goose Inn. Such a mana lame, drunken creature, barely able to preserve his sitting posture on the bench by steadying himself with one begrimed hand on the wainscotting.
Heep is a fawning, slinking rascal and knave of callow complexion, with the eye of a reptile. The whole expression of his face is concentrated in a wretched leer compounded of cunning, lecherousness, slyness, and greed.
Barnaby is a tall, scrawny rogue with the face of a horse. A jaunty, dirty, ragged fellow, who looks like a scoundrel but has a heart of gold.
A specialist in Patent Law, Mr. Joram represents Cyrus Winkle in his lawsuit against Nicodemus Heep. He is a learned man as well as an accomplished settler of disputes and dispenser of other men's brandy ....
A small man with twinkling eyes and a pockmarked face, Jorkins wears a fur cap, a dark corduroy jacket, and grey fustian trousers.
A handsome young law student of a hale, athletic figure, Stewart has a mysterious past.
A dashing young fellow, rather handsome, with expressive eyes and sensitive fingers, Martin studies poetry under Daniel Tulkinghorn while working as Tulkinghorn's secretary. Martin's grandfather, Jacob Ayersleigh, has threatened to disinherit him if he marries Victoria Littimer.
This wanderer is a mature gentleman with too much nose on his face and too much sparkle in his studs, his eyes, his buttons, his talk, and his teeth. Chester joined Owen Browdie to find out who killed Sadie Boffins.
The Kindly Teacher
This gentle man teaches at Canterbury School. Mr. Mallard has a simple faith that might soften the stone heart of the dourest curmudgeon but only irritates Headmaster Finching.
The Detective in Disguise
Marklehiem is investigating the Mystery of James Edwin Wakefield. [ Staff Part ]
The Errand Boy
Jesse is a cheerful looking, merry lad; fair faced, bright eyed, curly haired, and wearing a corduroy cap.
Russel is a staid, grave, placid lad; soft spoken, delicately made, precise and elegant. He is the newest and youngest member of the Boldwig Club.
The Patent Officer
A pantywaist officer in the Patent Office, Namby is known for taking bribes. He has a pink complexion, with two unbroken rows of glistening teeth whose regularity and pearly whiteness are quite distressing. He has been processing Nicodemus Heep's patent application for the Brighton Fabricator.
The Cracker-box Philosopher
Pardiggle considers himself a pholosopher and gentleman of leisure. He is also a n'er-do-well whose ragged clothes are rich men's castoffs.
Ruggs is a coarse, stocky, thick-headed man with hair cut short and a pock-marked face. His expression is neither a scowl nor a leer, yet might easily be mistaken for either. Frances Grummer is his mistress.
Lord Thomas Sac-Ville
The Royal Governor
Lord Thomas is a kindly, middle-aged Peer of the Realm with a deep and sensitive appreciation for British literature and poetry. He served as Governor of the Faulkner Islands for the last three years. A somewhat shy and introspective man, he lives comfortably on his wife's money.
Slackbridge usually dresses in a slightly threadbare grey suit. He has no great quantity of hair, but what he has is rust colored and tortured into long corkscrew curls, through which he occasionally thrusts his very dirty fingers. This petty blackmailer and rogue is a cold, hard, dry man, but he lacks the ambition to be a major villain.
A Runaway Orphan
Jack is a round-faced lad wearing a floppy cap and corduroy jacket with brass buttons. He and his sister ran away from Mrs. Link's Orphanage.
The Hopeful Young Man
A handsome youth, Jimmy has an ingenuous face and a most engaging laugh. He is youngperhaps one and twentywith a keen, dark eye, and a quickness of look and manner. A hail-fellow-well-met, he is wonderfully hopeful, but is fated to mediocrity. Cornelius Bamber pays for James Edwyn Wakefield to live with Jimmy and his sister, Minnie, until the Wakefield estate is settled.
'erbert is a dapper, medium sized gentleman with rosy cheeks and a somewhat foolish expression on his homely features. A benign bachelor, he has long been infatuated with the Pipkin sisters, but he's not sure which one. He hopes to contact his dead Aunt Mehitabel Murgatroyd at the séance.
This ruddy-cheeked, cherubic little man has pearl buttons on his waistcoat and owns Trotter's Cheese House. Mr. Trotter and his wife raised Nellie after her mother died in childbirth.
The Shy Man
Mr. Tulkinghorn is a solemn gentleman, with a careful and measured manner of speaking. He is a member of the Boldwig Club.
A cheerful little gentleman in a flannel coat; clean, comfortable, and absent-minded, Mr. Winkle invented the Brighton Fabricator, but his plans were stolen by Nicodemus Heep.
James Edwyn Wakefield
A likable young man who has lost his memory, this lad is a good fellow, with impetuosity and hesitation, boldness and diffidence, action and dreaming mixed in his temperament. His face has a tired and haggard look, as he is recovering from a severe blow to the head. Cornelius Bamber, Wakefield's uncle, claims that James is the sole heir to the Wakefield fortune. James is living with Jimmy Timbury till his claim is settled.
Charles R. Wield
Inspector of Detective Police
A slender, inoffensive man of a timid, restive temperament dressed in a flat-topped bowler hat and frock coat; Mr. Wield's boots are square-toed and his cravatof the broad chest-protector patternis buckled into place behind a conservative collar. He is about fifty-two years of age and precisely polite in his demeanor. He has salt-and-pepper side whiskers, wears steel-rimmed pince-nez through which he never looks on the end of his nose. His strongest expression is "Oh, dear !"but he spreads grim terror among London's worst criminals.
Sergeant of Detective Police
A quick-thinking young man, Arthur is possessed of a great deal of self-control during a crisis. A broad-shouldered, hale fellow; one of the cleverest in Bow Street. Sergeant Witchem and Amanda Nipper hit it off.
A clairvoyant and medium. A dapper and exotic little gentleman of mixed ancestry with a marvelous command of the supernatural. [ Staff Part ]
The Practical Joker
Lucille is an ample-bosomed young woman with dusky locks and a complexion that looks best with heavy makeup. She loves practical jokes and is Barnaby Jinks' mistress.
The Nice Girl
Margaret has an agreeable facenot absolutely beautifulbut extraordinarily pleasant; she is one of the most genial, unaffected, frank, and engaging of creatures.
The Old River Woman.
This sensible old woman had a habit of snorting when someone said something foolish. Sadie was a better physician than any of the Harley Street specialists. She was murdered last week in her riverside shack by persons unknown.
Rebecca has dark hair, eager eyes, and a thin sturdy figure. She appears to be about thirty years of age and is unmarried. She is the niece of old Conrad Bounderby.
Wonderfully pretty, delightfully childlike, and charmingly whimsical, Dora is in love with Neville Blackpoole. Her dark brown curls are long and freefree as her gentle face, her sparkling eye, her soft hand, and her sweet voice. She is the daughter of the wealthy banker, Mortimer Brownstone.
The Lovely Young Girl
Elizabeth wears a gingham dress, and in her eyes there are tears which reflect the sorrow of a lost love.
Polly is a stout, portly female between forty and fifty, she dresses poorly in a twice-turned gown, but brave in ribbons, which are cheap. She rescued James Edwyn Wakefield from his attacker in Hyde Park. She has the disconcerting habit of referring to her family's medical problems with rather astonishing adjectives. For example, "My late husband suffered from homophones all his life," "Aunt Jane died of elephant-eyes," or "Poor man, he had sarcophagus of the throat."
The Fallen Woman
Emily is a tall, dark, black-eyed young woman with a fine figure. In her long silken hair are the same curls she had as a child; around her lips, a child's expression lingers still.
The River Hag
Henrietta is a pale, puffy-faced, straw haired woman, well past her prime; with big, red-rimmed eyes that wholly lack lustre, and a dissatisfied cheesy complexion. Were she not in the habit of drinking rather more than is exactly good for her, she might have brought action against her own face for libel, and have recovered heavy damages.
The Downstairs Maid at the Red Goose Inn
A woman of a gaunt and bony figure, and a resolute bearing, Maggie has a kind of screw in her face and a carriage expressive of suppressed emotion.
Catherine "Kate" Dithers
An intelligent, mild-spoken, fair-eyed young widow, Miss Dithers is a strong-minded young woman who hates practical jokers. She is one of the river folk who are looking for Sadie Boffins' murderer, and on the side, she is looking for a second husband.
The Literary Assistant
Penelope is in full bloom now, with roses on her skirtsand roses worth gathering, too, on her lips. Miss Fibbit is a bright and talented young lady with an interesting secret. She works for Mrs. Markelheim as her literary assistant at Boudoire Magazine.
The Blind Girl
Viola's father is imprisoned in Marshallsea Debtor's Prison, and her brother was lost at sea. In her sweet face, one finds the blush of the rose set against the pale ivory of the lily. She is cared for by her brother's sweetheart, Betsy Stagg.
The Old Maid
Disappointed in love long ago, Miss Grimwig has not left her room in the Red Goose Inn for fifty-two years. Alice Grimwig knows more about what's going on at the Red Goose Innor in all of London, for that matterthan anyone else. But this Wakefield Mystery has got her going. Drat and bother ! An amazing old lady with a stiff cardboard face and outmoded dress.
Dick Ruggs' Mistress
Francis is possessed of a good deal of hair the colour of wet clay, not very neatly pinned up behind, and she is rather untidy about her boots and stockings.
A very ugly old woman, Jessica has red rims around her eyes and a mouth which mumbles and chatters of itself when she is not speaking. Stern of face and unrelenting of heart, she sits with a Bible clasped in her hands.
A sweet, intelligent young woman who loves Martin Linkwater, Victoria has sworn to win over Martin's invalid grandfather, Jacob Ayersleigh, who has forbidden the marriage. There are hidden depths behind her beautiful eyes ...
The Cheesemaker's Foundling Daughter
Nellie young woman orphaned at birth and raised by cheesemaker Joshua Trotter and his wife. Of a slim and delicate figure, but most exquisitely shaped, she has a countenance of a most uncommon beauty. A sweet, patient, young woman neatly dressed in homespun.
A sharp-eyed, intelligent business woman in late middle-age and of medium height, Mrs. Markleheim is big boned and tending toward plumpness, with strong but not sharp features. Assertive, but not shrill, she exudes competence and dignity. She owns Boudoire Magazine. She may not be able to write poetry or do needlepoint, but she certainly knows what genteel Victorian ladies want in a magazine.
The Barmaid at the Red Goose Inn
Mandy is comely woman of bustling manners and congenial appearance, fond of her customers and of her wares .... Sergeant Witchem and Amanda Nipper hit it off.
Olivia's dream in life is to find a husband. If she has few wrinkles, it is because her mind has never left the slightest trace of its existence on her face.
A beautiful woman; her teeth are so perfect you can't tell which ones are false .... Annabelle's dark eyes and mysterious smile, her long dark heir, ruby lips, and ivory skin, serve to conceal her cold heart, brilliant scheming mind, and ruthless soul.
Sister of Annabelle. Jezabelle is a tall, dark-haired young lady, with large dark eyes and a slender figure. A ruthless breaker of men's hearts, she is very much addicted to American thriller novels, whose themes were "deceit, sin, death," and whose heroines were "forcefull, independent, sexually demanding, and who don't do housework." She is a dangerous lady.
A cousin of Annabelle and Jezabelle. Melanie is lovely girl with flowing yellow hair, soft blue eyes, and a bright, innocent, trusting face. That it is possible to be an angel, a child, and a woman all at the same time, is proven in Melanie's existence. She outshines her cousins in the beauty of her spirit and the purity of her soul. There are hints of romance between Inspector Wield and Melanie Pipkin.
Lady Christina Sac-Ville
The Governor's Lady
Her Ladyship beautiful, charming, and gracious wife of Lord Thomas Sac-Ville. Many of those in the know believe she is the secret of her husband's success.
Innkeeper and owner of the Red Goose Inn, Madge is a crass, crusty old gal with more intelligence than any four Oxford dons. She certainly could not be considered youngthat is a matter of fact; and probably cannot be considered handsomebut that is purely a matter of opinion ... She is the only female member of the Boldwig Club.
The Young Spinster
Betsy is a serene young woman, sober, bright, and precise in her manners, with a glow from her love that has never faded. She has cared for blind Viola Fladdock for years since Betsy's sweetheart Ashley, Viola's brother, drowned at sea.
The Upstairs Maid at the Red Goose Inn
A prettier foot, a gayer heart, a more dimpled face, or a sprightlier figure never bounded so lightly over the earth. A bright, pleasant lass given to prophetic visions, she is always humming to herself or singing under her breath. Minnie catches the eyes of many young men, but has yet to settle on any one .... She is Jimmy Timberry's sister.
The Medium's Assistant
Clara is a stout lady of a florid and jovial aspect. A mirthful creature, Clara is broad of frame and artless in nature.
Agatha "Aggie" Trotter
The Cheesemaker's Wife
The cheesemaker's wife, Affie is a large-boned woman, not bad looking, with a wide mouthand knows how to use it. A hardy, robust old gal with a flounce of flannel petticoat beneath her homespun dress. She raised Nellie as her own after Nellie's mother died during childbirth in Agatha's arms.
A buxom person, handsomely dressed, and rather good looking; Agnes is older than she appears to be. She hopes to wed rich Mr. Carstone, if the spirits permit.
Henry Bagstock's Sweetheart
Cynthia is a short, brown, womanly girl with a little snub nose, black eyes like jet beads, and a wagonload of common sense.
A Runaway Orphan
Jenny is a pretty, slight, dark-eyed girl of twelve or so. There is something guileless and winning in her compliant nature and something confiding, affectionate, and trusting in her modest manner. She and her brother have run away from Mrs. Link's Orphanage.
Mary Belle Withers
There is no nonsense about Miss Withers. She wears her hair short and crisp, and peers at the world through dainty spectacles. She is musty and starched; and her dress rustles with arid crispness. She has her failingsas who does notbut certainly never when there is company present ....
Madame Zaplotkin affects a "vagabond gypsy" appearance to reinforce her mystique. Her curly black hair always wants combing, her face always wants washing, and her stockings always want mending and pulling up at the heels. She speaks with a veryalmost too-affectedeastern-European accent. [ Staff Part ]