Bambridge is a Middlemarch horse dealer. Fred Vincy
sinks into his debt; Raffles meets him at a horse-fair and tells
him everything about Bulstrode's past.
Dorothea is a kind-hearted
and honest woman. She longs to find some way to improve the world.
She thinks Casaubon is a great intellectual, but after she marries
him, she quickly discovers that he is not passionate enough to make
her happy. She also learns that she is not as submissive and sacrificing
as she had previously thought. She draws plans for comfortable cottages
to replace the ramshackle buildings on large estates. She helps
Lydgate when he suffers for his connections with Bulstrode. She
falls in love with Casaubon's young cousin, Will Ladislaw. She defies Casaubon's
machinations and marries Will even though it means losing her inheritance
as Casaubon's widow.
in-depth analysis of Dorothea Brooke.
Brooke is Dorothea and Celia's bachelor uncle. He is
a bumbling man who can never stick to an opinion, always wanting
to please everyone. He hires Will Ladislaw to write for his paper,
the Pioneer. He runs for a seat in Parliament on the Reform platform,
but he lets his own tenants live in poverty and squalor. The scandal
resulting from his hypocrisy prompts him to improve conditions on
his own estate, Tipton Grange.
Celia is Dorothea's sister. She marries Sir James Chettam.
Nicholas Bulstrode is a
wealthy Middlemarch banker. He is married to Walter Vincy's sister. Bulstrode
professes to be a deeply religious Evangelical Protestant, but he
has a dark past: he made his fortune as a pawnbroker selling stolen
goods. He married Will Ladislaw's grandmother after her first husband
died. Her daughter had run away years before, and she insisted that
Bulstrode find her daughter before she re-married, because she wanted
to leave her wealth to her only surviving child. Bulstrode located
the daughter and her child, Will Ladislaw, but he kept her existence
a secret. He bribed the man he hired to find her, John Raffles,
to keep quiet. John Raffles blackmails him with this information.
When Raffles becomes ill, Bulstrode cares for him. However, he disobeys
Lydgate's medical advice, and Raffles dies as a result. When the
scandal about his past and the circumstances of Raffles's death become
known, Bulstrode leaves Middlemarch in shame. He purchases Stone
Court from Joshua Rigg Featherstone.
Harriet Bulstrode is Walter
Vincy's sister. She is a kind, honest, religious woman. No one in Middlemarch
blames her for her husband's misdeeds. She resolves to stay with
her husband even after she learns of his wrongdoing.
Elinor Cadwallader is
the wife of the Rector at Tipton Grange, Brooke's estate. She was
born to a good family, but she married down and angered her friends and
families. She is a practical woman who is forever trying to play
matchmaker to unmarried young people, including Dorothea, Celia,
and Sir James.
Humphrey Cadwallader is the Rector at Tipton Grange,
Brooke's estate. Unlike his wife, he doesn't believe in meddling
in other people's affairs.
Edward Casaubon owns a large estate called Lowick.
He is a scholarly clergyman. His lifelong ambition is to write the
Key to all Mythologies, but he is insecure and uncertain about his
own abilities. He marries Dorothea because he thinks she is completely submissive
and worshipful. Her stubborn independence frustrates him, and he
mistakenly believes that she is constantly criticizing him. Casaubon
is Will Ladislaw's cousin. His mother's sister was disowned by her
family for running away to marry a man they didn't like. Her own
daughter, Will's mother, also ran away to marry. Casaubon offers financial
support to Will because he feels obligated to make amends for his
aunt's disinheritance. He becomes jealous of Will's relationship
with Dorothea. He includes an addendum in his will stating that
Dorothea will lose his wealth and property if she ever marries Will
Ladislaw. He dies before finishing his Key.
Sir James Chettam is
a baronet. He owns a large estate called Freshitt. He courts Dorothea,
but she chooses to marry Casaubon. He later marries her sister. He
enacts Dorothea's cottage plans on his own estate.
is one of Brooke's impoverished tenants. His son is caught poaching
on Brooke's lands. He refuses Brooke's request that he chastise
Camden Farebrother is a Vicar, but he doesn't consider
himself to be a very good clergyman, though many people like his
sensible sermons. He becomes fast friends with Lydgate and supports
his mother, sister, and aunt on his small income. He must gamble
to make ends meet and to pursue his scientific hobbies. He loses in
the election for the chaplaincy at the New Hospital. He receives
the Lowick parish after Casaubon's death. Fred Vincy enlists his
help in courting Mary Garth. He himself loves Mary, but he does
Mrs. Farebrother is Camden Farebrother's widowed
Winifred Farebrother is
Camden Farebrother's unmarried sister.
Peter Featherstone is
a wealthy, manipulative old widower. He owns Stone Court. He married
twice, but had no legitimate children. His first wife was Caleb Garth's
sister. His second wife was Lucy Vincy's sister. He hints for years
that he plans to leave his entire estate to Fred Vincy, his nephew
by marriage. He even writes two separate wills. Mary Garth refuses
to burn one of them. He leaves his property to his illegitimate
son, Joshua Rigg.
Garth is a poor businessman. He earns his living managing large
estates. He co-signs a debt for Fred Vincy. When Fred is unable
to pay, Garth's family suffers. He receives new business, overcomes
the loss, and hires Fred Vincy to work for him. He declines to manage
Stone Court for Bulstrode after Raffles reveals Bulstrode's dark
Susan Garth is Caleb Garth's
wife. She is a former schoolteacher.
Mary Garth is the daughter of Caleb and Susan Garth. She
loves Fred, but she refuses to marry him if he becomes a clergyman
and fails to find a steady occupation.
Ladislaw is the grandson of Casaubon's disinherited aunt. Bulstrode
tries to give him money to atone for hiding his existence from his
grandmother. He refuses the money because he knows it came through
thievery. He worships Dorothea. He doesn't care for money and loves
everything that is beautiful.
Tertius Lydgate is the orphan
son of a military man. He chose the medical profession at a young
age, much to the chagrin of his wealthy, titled relatives. He comes
to Middlemarch hoping to test new methods of treatment. He marries
Rosamond Vincy, whose expensive habits get him into debt. He takes
a loan from Bulstrode and becomes embroiled in Bulstrode's scandal.
Dorothea aids him in his darkest hour. He hopes to find the tissue
that is the most basic building block of life.
in-depth analysis of Tertius Lydgate.
Sir Godwin Lydgate
is Tertius Lydgate's uncle.
Captain Lydgate is Tertius Lydgate's foppish cousin.
He takes Rosamond out riding. She suffers a miscarriage as a result
of an accident on horseback.
is Ladislaw's painter friend in Rome. He uses Casaubon as a model
for Thomas Aquinas as a ruse to draw a sketch of Dorothea.
Miss Noble is Mrs. Farebrother's sister. She steals
small items of food to give to the poor. She becomes fond of Will
Selina Plymdale is a good
friend of Harriet Bulstrode. Her son courts Rosamond Vincy, but
he is rejected.
Plymdale courts Rosamond, but she refuses him.
Raffles is an old business partner of Bulstrode. Bulstrode bribed
him to keep the existence of the daughter and grandchild of his
first wife secret. He comes back to blackmail Bulstrode. He is Joshua
Rigg Featherstone's stepfather. He dies at Stone Court because Bulstrode
interferes with Lydgate's medical treatment.
Joshua Rigg Featherstone
is Peter Featherstone's illegitimate son. John Raffles is his stepfather.
He inherits Stone Court. He sells it to Bulstrode because he wants
to become a moneychanger.
Borthrop Trumbell is an auctioneer in Middlemarch.
Walter Tyke is an Evangelical Protestant minister. Bulstrode
is a supporter of his. He wins the election for the chaplaincy at
the New Hospital, beating out Farebrother.
Rosamond Vincy is the daughter
of Walter and Lucy Vincy. She grows up accustomed to an expensive lifestyle.
She marries Lydgate because she thinks he is rich and because he
has titled relatives. She dreams of leaving Middlemarch and living
an exciting, aristocratic lifestyle, but her expensive tastes get Lydgate
deeply into debt.
in-depth analysis of Rosamond Vincy.
Fred Vincy is the oldest son of Walter and Lucy Vincy. His
father sends him to college because he wants Fred to become a clergyman,
but Fred doesn't want to work in the Church. He gets himself into
debt by gambling. He is accustomed to a lavish lifestyle. He causes financial
difficulty for the Garths because he cannot pay the debt on which
Caleb Garth co-signed his name. He wants to marry Mary Garth, but
she won't have him unless he finds a steady occupation other than
the Church. He hopes to inherit Stone Court from his uncle, Peter
Featherstone. These hopes are disappointed, so he works for Caleb
Walter Vincy is a modestly well-off businessman in manufacturing.
He is also mayor of Middlemarch. Fred and Rosamond's expensive tastes
infuriate him. He refuses to lend Rosamond and Lydgate money to
pay Lydgate's debt. He is Harriet Bulstrode's brother.
Lucy Vincy is Walter Vincy's
wife. She is the daughter of an innkeeper, much to Rosamond's chagrin.
She dotes on her son and doesn't want him to marry Mary Garth. She
is the sister of Featherstone's second wife.
Wrench is a Middlemarch doctor. He misdiagnoses Fred when Fred catches
typhoid fever. Lydgate treats Fred's illness, and the Vincys fire
Mr. Wrench. Mr. Wrench becomes Lydgate's enemy as a result.