Victorian novel; sensation novel; detective novel


The Moonstone features eleven different narrators: an unnamed cousin of John Herncastle; Gabriel Betteredge (steward to Lady Verinder); Miss Clack (Lady Verinder's niece); Mr. Bruff (Lady Verinder's lawyer); Franklin Blake (Lady Verinder's nephew); Ezra Jennings (assistant to Dr. Candy); Sergeant Cuff; Dr. Candy; Sergeant Cuff's investigator; the Captain of the steamboat Bewley Castle; Mr. Murthwaite (traveler to India). Gabriel Betteredge and Franklin Blake narrate more than two sections each. Everyone else narrates one section.

Point of View 

The point of view is first person, according to whoever is narrating. Franklin Blake has solicited all of the characters' first-person narrations and acts as editor. He occasionally steps into a narrative with a footnote to offer a different viewpoint.


The tone differs according to narrator. Betteredge's narrative has a tone of provincial good humor. Miss Clack's has a tone of self-righteous piety. The tone of the remaining narrators is mainly journalistic.


Franklin Blake begins to solicit the narratives in May of 1850, so the narrators are writing in 1850 of events that took place in 1848 or 1849. Their narratives are largely in the past tense, slipping into the present tense to describe current interactions with Franklin as editor.

Setting (time) 

June 1848–November 1850

Setting (place) 

Yorkshire; London; India


Franklin Blake or Rachel Verinder

Major Conflict 

The Moonstone is stolen from Rachel Verinder's bedroom. Rachel eventually reveals that she saw the man she loves—Franklin Blake—steal it, but Franklin has no memory of taking the diamond.

Rising Action 

Sergeant Cuff is called in to investigate the stolen Moonstone, but his suspicions are disproved and he is dismissed from the case. Rosanna Spearman, a suspicious housemaid in Lady Verinder's house, commits suicide and seems to have hid a package.


Ezra Jennings correctly guesses that Franklin was under the influence of opium when he took the diamond. Godfrey Ablewhite is revealed to have taken the diamond from Franklin and to have pawned it. Godfrey is killed by the Indians, who then take the diamond.

Falling Action 

Franklin and Rachel are married. The Indians return the diamond to its proper place in the forehead of a Hindu idol in India.


Rosanna Spearman's death is foreshadowed in the conversation between Betteredge and Rosanna in Chapter 4 of the First Period. The discovery of the non-criminal nature of the diamond theft is foreshadowed in Sergeant Cuff's comment of Chapter 12: "Nobody has stolen the diamond."