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Dickens' Characters → Characters A-B

Dickens' Characters A-B


Adams ( David Copperfield ) Top student when David Copperfield attends Dr. Strong's school in Canterbury. One Adams, who was the head-boy, then stepped out of his place and welcomed me. He looked like a young clergyman, in his white cravat, but he was very affable and good-humoured; and he showed me my place, and presented me to the masters, in a gentlemanly way that would have put me at my ease, if anything could. (top)

Adams, Captain ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Second for Lord Frederick Verisopht in the duel with Sir Mulberry Hawk. Described, along with Westwood, second for Sir Mulberry Hawk, as Both utterly heartless, both men upon town, both thoroughly initiated in its worst vices, both deeply in debt, both fallen from some higher estate, both addicted to every depravity for which society can find some genteel name and plead its most depraving conventionalities as an excuse, they were naturally gentlemen of most unblemished honour themselves, and of great nicety concerning the honour of other people. (top)

Adams, Jack ( Dombey and Son ) Subject of a story by Cousin Feenix. I dare say my friend Dombey;' for the general attention was concentrated on Cousin Feenix; 'may remember Jack Adams, Jack Adams, not Joe; that was his brother. Jack - little Jack - man with a cast in his eye, and slight impediment in his speech - man who sat for somebody's borough. We used to call him in my parliamentary time W. P. Adams, in consequence of his being Warming Pan for a young fellow who was in his minority. Perhaps my friend Dombey may have known the man?' Mr Dombey, who was as likely to have known Guy Fawkes, replied in the negative. (top)

African Swallower ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Sword swallower with Crummles' acting troupe. Looked and spoke remarkably like an Irishman. (top)

Allen, Arabella ( Pickwick Papers ) Black-eyed beauty, sister of Benjamin Allen. Marries Nathaniel Winkle.

Geolinks: George and Vulture (top)

Allen, Benjamin ( Pickwick Papers ) Medical student, brother of Arabella, and drinking buddy of Bob Sawyer. (top)

Alphonse ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Page boy for the Wititterlys. (top)

Anny ( Oliver Twist ) Old pauper women who calls Mrs Corney to the deathbed of Old Sally. Withered old female pauper, hideously ugly.

Anny ( Oliver Twist ) Old pauper women who calls Mrs Corney to the deathbed of Old Sally. withered old female pauper, hideously ugly. (top)


Artful Dodger ( Oliver Twist ) PIX Alias of Jack Dawkins, he is the most successful and interesting of Fagin's thieves. He shows Oliver the ropes of the pickpocket game and is later captured and sentenced to transportation. He was a snub-nosed, flat-browed, commonfaced boy enough; and as dirty a juvenile as one would wish to see; but he had about him all the airs and manners of a man. He was short for his age; with rather bow-legs, and little, sharp, ugly eyes. His hat was stuck on the top of his head so lightly, that it threatened to fall off every moment and would have done so, very often, if the wearer had not had a knack of every now and then, giving his head a sudden twitch, which brought it back to its old place again. He wore a man's coat, which reached nearly to his heels. He had turned the cuffs back, half-way up his arm, to get his hands out of the sleeves, apparently with the ultimate view of thrusting them into the pockets of his corduroy trousers; for there he kept them. He was, altogether, as roystering and swaggering a young gentleman as ever stood four feet six, or something less, in his bluchers. (top)


Bachelor, The ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) Friend to the parson in the village church where Nell and her grandfather end their journey. He turns out to be the brother of Mr Garland and is instrumental in helping the Single Gentleman find his brother, Nell's grandfather. (top)

Badger, Bayham ( Bleak House ) Doctor, cousin of Kenge, to whom Richard Carstone is apprenticed. A pink, fresh-faced, crisp-looking gentleman with a weak voice, white teeth, light hair, and surprised eyes, some years younger, I should say, than Mrs. Bayham Badger.

Geolinks: Chelsea (top)

Badger, Mrs. ( Bleak House ) Wife of Bayham Badger. She makes much of her two previous husbands: Professor Dingo and Captain Swosser. She was surrounded in the drawing-room by various objects, indicative of her painting a little, playing the piano a little, playing the guitar a little, playing the harp a little, singing a little, working a little, reading a little, writing poetry a little, and botanizing a little. She was a lady of about fifty, I should think, youthfully dressed, and of a very fine complexion.

Geolinks: Chelsea (top)

Bagnet, Matthew ( Bleak House ) PIX Matthew is head of a musical, military family and is an old army friend of George Rouncewell. Matthew is guarantor to George's loan from Smallweed, when Smallweed calls in the debt George is forced to deliver a document Smallweed needs to help lawyer Tulkinghorn learn Lady Dedlock's secret. An ex-artilleryman, tall and upright, with shaggy eyebrows and whiskers like the fibres of a coco-nut, not a hair upon his head, and a torrid complexion. (top)

Bagnet, Mrs ( Bleak House ) PIX Matthew Bagnet's wife, whom he refers to as 'the old girl', she knows Matthew so well that he always calls upon her to supply his opinion. Not at all an ill-looking woman. Rather large-boned, a little coarse in the grain, and freckled by the sun and wind which have tanned her hair upon the forehead, but healthy, wholesome, and bright-eyed. A strong, busy, active, honest-faced woman of from forty-five to fifty. Clean, hardy, and so economically dressed (though substantially) that the only article of ornament of which she stands possessed appear's to be her wedding-ring, around which her finger has grown to be so large since it was put on that it will never come off again until it shall mingle with Mrs. Bagnet's dust. (top)

Bagnet, Malta ( Bleak House ) Daughter of Matthew Bagnet. Born in Malta and, like the other Bagnet children, nicknamed for the place where the Bagnets were stationed at her birth. (top)

Bagnet, Quebec ( Bleak House ) Daughter of Matthew Bagnet. Born in Quebec and, like the other Bagnet children, nicknamed for the place where the Bagnets were stationed at her birth. (top)

Bagnet, Woolwich ( Bleak House ) Only son and eldest child of Matthew Bagnet and Godson of George Rouncewell. Born in Woolwich and, like the other Bagnet children, nicknamed for the place where the Bagnets were stationed at his birth. Got an engagement at the theayter, with his father, to play the fife in a military piece. (top)

Bagstock, Major Joseph ( Dombey and Son ) PIX Neighbor of Miss Tox and friend of Paul Dombey who introduces Paul to Edith Granger and Mrs Skewton. The Major describes himself as tough, Sir, tough, and de-vilish sly! (top)

Bailey, (Benjamin) ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Street-wise servant boy at Todgers's Boarding House. Later goes to work for Tigg Montague and is nearly killed in a coach accident. A small boy with a large red head and no nose to speak of...'He's the most dreadful child,' said Mrs Todgers, setting down the dish, 'I ever had to deal with. The gentlemen spoil him to that extent, and teach him such things, that I’m afraid nothing but hanging will ever do him any good.' (top)

Bailey, Captain ( David Copperfield ) Suitor of the eldest Miss Larkins and therefore a rival of David Copperfield. (top)

Bangham, Mrs ( Little Dorrit ) Charwoman and messenger in the Marshalsea prison. She attends the birth of Amy Dorrit. (top)

Bantam, Cyrus Angelo ( Pickwick Papers ) Grand Master of the Great Pump Room in Bath. ...a charming young man of not much more than fifty, dressed in a very bright blue coat with resplendent buttons, black trousers, and the thinnest possible pair of highly-polished boots. A gold eye-glass was suspended from his neck by a short, broad, black ribbon; a gold snuff-box was lightly clasped in his left hand; gold rings innumerable glittered on his fingers; and a large diamond pin set in gold glistened in his shirt frill. He had a gold watch, and a gold curb chain with large gold seals; and he carried a pliant ebony cane with a gold top. His linen was of the very whitest, finest, and stiffest; his wig of the glossiest, blackest, and curliest. (top)

Baps, Mr ( Dombey and Son ) The dancing-master at the Blimber school. Mr Baps was a very grave gentleman, with a slow and measured manner of speaking. Mrs Baps, his wife. (top)

Barbara ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) Modest and pretty servant of the Garlands. She befriends Kit when he is also employed by the Garlands. Barbara later marries Kit. (top)

Miss Barbary ( Bleak House ) 'Godmother' who raises Esther Summerson. Later found to be Esther's aunt, the sister of Lady Dedlock. She was once engaged to Lawrence Boythorn. She was a good, good woman! She went to church three times every Sunday, and to morning prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays, and to lectures whenever there were lectures; and never missed. She was handsome; and if she had ever smiled, would have been (I used to think) like an angel--but she never smiled. She was always grave and strict. She was so very good herself, I thought, that the badness of other people made her frown all her life. (top)

Bardell, Martha ( Pickwick Papers ) Landlady of Samuel Pickwick in Goswell Street. Mrs. Bardell is duped by unscrupulous lawyers, Dodson and Fogg, into bringing a breach of promise to marry suit against Pickwick. When Pickwick refuses to pay damages and is consigned to the Fleet prison, Dodson and Fogg sue Mrs Bardell for costs and have her consigned to the Fleet. Pickwick pays the penitent Bardell's costs to get her released.

Geolinks: Guildhall (top)

Barker, Phil ( Oliver Twist ) Drunk at the Three Cripples whom Fagin has plans to use for some undisclosed purpose. (top)

Barkis ( David Copperfield ) A carrier between Blunderstone and Yarmouth. He marries Clara Peggotty. The carrier had a way of keeping his head down, like his horse, and of drooping sleepily forward as he drove, with one of his arms on each of his knees. I say 'drove', but it struck me that the cart would have gone to Yarmouth quite as well without him, for the horse did all that; and as to conversation, he had no idea of it but whistling. Quote: Barkis is willin'. (top)

Barney ( Oliver Twist ) Jewish waiter at the Three Cripples who talks through his nose. He aids Fagin in planning the robbery of the Maylie house. Younger than Fagin, but nearly as vile. (top)

Barley, Old Bill ( Great Expectations ) Clara Barley's bedridden father, a retired ship's purser, who suffers with gout which he treats with an abundance of rum and pepper. (top)

Barley, Clara ( Great Expectations ) Herbert Pocket's fiancee, she cares for her invalid father, Old Bill Barley, in a waterside house at Mill Pond Bank where Magwitch is hidden. After her father's death she marries Herbert. A very pretty slight dark-eyed girl of twenty or so. (top)

Barnacles ( Little Dorrit ) Family that controls the Circumlocution Office, where everything goes round in circles, and nothing ever gets done. Includes Lord Decimus Tite Barnacle, his wife, Lady Jemima Bilberry, nephew Tite Barnacle, and his son Clarence Barnacle (Barnacle Junior).

Geolinks: Grosvenor Square (top)

Barsad, John/Soloman Pross ( A Tale of Two Cities ) Barsad testifies against Charles Darnay at the treason trial at the Old Bailey. Later Barsad turns up as a spy in Paris and is found to be the brother of Miss Pross. Threatened with exposure, Barsad helps Sydney Carton exchange places with Charles Darnay in prison. Age, about forty years; height, about five feet nine; black hair; complexion dark; generally, rather handsome visage; eyes dark, face thin, long, and sallow; nose aquiline, but not straight, having a peculiar inclination towards the left cheek; expression, therefore, sinister. (top)

Bates, Charles ( Oliver Twist ) Member of Fagin's band of thieves whom Dickens often refers to by the curious appellation of Master Bates. He mends his ways after Fagin is captured. (top)

Bayton, Mrs ( Oliver Twist ) Pauper woman on 'outdoor relief' (pauper who doesn't reside in the workhouse) who starves and is buried by the parish. Mr Sowerberry arranges the poor funeral with Oliver in attendance. (top)

Bazzard ( The Mystery of Edwin Drood ) Clerk to Hiram Grewgious who writes an unproduced tragedy, The Thorn of Anxiety. Grewgious admits that Bazzard has a strange power over him. (top)

Beadwood, Ned ( David Copperfield ) Character in a story told by Miss Mowcher. It won't do to be like long Ned Beadwood, when they took him to church "to marry him to somebody", as he says, and left the bride behind. Ha! ha! ha! A wicked rascal, Ned, but droll! (top)

Becky ( Oliver Twist ) Barmaid at the public house where Bill Sikes and Oliver stop to beg a ride on their way to Chertsey to rob the Maylie house. (top)

Bedwin, Mrs ( Oliver Twist ) Mr Brownlow's housekeeper. A motherly old lady, very neatly and precisely dressed. (top)

Belle ( A Christmas Carol ) Scrooge's former fiancee whom he had forgotten until reminded by the Ghost of Christmas Past. A fair young girl in a mourning-dress.And later A comely matron. (top)

Belling ( Nicholas Nickleby ) New pupil at Dotheboys Hall. A diminutive boy. (top)

Belvawney, Miss ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Member of Crummles' acting troupe. Seldom aspired to speaking parts, and usually went on as a page in white silk hose, to stand with one leg bent, and contemplate the audience. (top)

Benjamin ( Barnaby Rudge ) Member of the 'Prentice Knights with Simon Tappertit. (top)

Benjamin, Thomas ( David Copperfield ) Plaintiff in a divorce proceeding heard by Francis Spenlow and David Copperfield who applied for his marriage license under false pretenses enabling him to wriggle out the marriage. ...Under an ingenious little statute (repealed now, I believe, but in virtue of which I have seen several marriages annulled), of which the merits were these. The husband, whose name was Thomas Benjamin, had taken out his marriage licence as Thomas only; suppressing the Benjamin, in case he should not find himself as comfortable as he expected. NOT finding himself as comfortable as he expected, or being a little fatigued with his wife, poor fellow, he now came forward, by a friend, after being married a year or two, and declared that his name was Thomas Benjamin, and therefore he was not married at all. Which the Court confirmed, to his great satisfaction. (top)

Berinthia (Berry) ( Dombey and Son ) Mrs Pipchin's middle-aged niece who performs menial tasks in her establishment. (top)

Betsy (Bet) ( Oliver Twist ) Prostitute and friend of Nancy. Goes mad after identifying Nancy's body. Nancy and Betsy wore a good deal of hair, not very neatly turned up behind, and were rather untidy about the shoes and stockings. They were not exactly pretty, perhaps; but they had a great deal of colour in their faces, and looked quite stout and hearty. (top)

Betsey Jane ( Dombey and Son ) Mrs Wickam's cousin. When Betsey Jane took a liking to someone they died. Mrs Wickham uses the cautionary story of Betsey Jane to warn Berenthia not to get too close to Paul Dombey. (top)

Bevan, Mr ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Boston doctor whom Martin and Mark meet at Pawkins' Boarding House in New York and one of the few positive characters they meet in the America. Bevan later loans them money to return to England. His profession, which was physic, though he seldom or never practised. (top)

Bevan, Mrs ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Woman with whom Mrs Nickleby dined 'in that broad street round the corner by the coachmaker's, where the tipsy man fell through the cellar-flap of an empty house nearly a week before the quarter-day, and wasn't found till the new tenant went in.' (top)

Bib, Julius Washington Merryweather ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Boarder at the National Hotel in America and member of the deputation awaiting the arrival of the Honorable Elijah Pogram. A gentleman in the lumber line...and much esteemed. (top)

Biddy ( Great Expectations ) Mr. Wopsle's great aunt's granddaughter. She loves Pip but he ignores her as his fortunes improve. When Pip realizes that he loves her too she has married Joe Gargery. She was an orphan like myself; like me, too, had been brought up by hand. She was most noticeable, I thought, in respect of her extremities; for, her hair always wanted brushing, her hands always wanted washing, and her shoes always wanted mending and pulling up at heel. This description must be received with a week-day limitation. On Sundays, she went to church elaborated. (top)

Biffin, Miss ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Subject of one of Mrs Nickleby's rambling remembrances. Sarah Biffin (1784-1850) was a woman born without arms or legs but developed artistic skill using her mouth. (top)

Bill ( Oliver Twist ) Gravedigger at the funeral of Mrs Bayton. (top)

Bill ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Guard on the coach that Tom Pinch takes to London. (top)

Billickin, Mrs. ( The Mystery of Edwin Drood ) London landlady of Rosa Bud and her chaperone, Miss Twinkleton. She insists on using the title 'Billickin' in business matters fearing being taken advantage of because she is a woman. Mrs. Billickin and Miss Twinkleton take a comical dislike for each other.

Geolinks: Bond Street (top)

Bitherstone, Bill ( Dombey and Son ) Father of Master Bitherstone and friend of Major Bagstock (top)

Bitherstone, Master ( Dombey and Son ) Paul Dombey's fellow pupil at the Blimber school and boarder at Mrs Pipchin's establishment. (top)

Bitzer ( Hard Times ) A student in Gradgrind's school of hard facts. Later a light porter in Bounderby's bank and spy for Mrs. Sparsit. The boy was so light-eyed and light-haired that the self-same rays appeared to draw out of him what little colour he ever possessed. His cold eyes would hardly have been eyes, but for the short ends of lashes which, by bringing them into immediate contrast with something paler than themselves, expressed their form. His short-cropped hair might have been a mere continuation of the sandy freckles on his forehead and face. His skin was so unwholesomely deficient in the natural tinge, that he looked as though, if he were cut, he would bleed white. (top)

Black Bill ( Great Expectations ) Prisoner in Newgate Prison who is visited by Wemmick and Pip. (top)

Blackboy, Mr ( David Copperfield ) Name inscribed on Mr Barkis's box to disguise the fact that it indeed belonged to Mr Barkis. For years and years, Mr. Barkis had carried this box, on all his journeys, every day. That it might the better escape notice, he had invented a fiction that it belonged to 'Mr. Blackboy', and was 'to be left with Barkis till called for'; a fable he had elaborately written on the lid, in characters now scarcely legible. (top)

Blackpool, Stephen ( Hard Times ) A worker in Bounderby's mill. His wife is a drunk and he befriends Rachael. He falls out with his employer and leaves to look for work elsewhere. Bounderby's bank is robbed and Blackpool is suspected. On his way back to Coketown to clear his name he falls down a well, is rescued too late, and dies of his injuries. His name is later cleared with the discovery that the robbery was committed by young Tom Gradgrind. Forty years of age. Stephen looked older, but he had had a hard life. It is said that every life has its roses and thorns; there seemed, however, to have been a misadventure or mistake in Stephen's case, whereby somebody else had become possessed of his roses, and he had become possessed of the same somebody else's thorns in addition to his own. He had known, to use his words, a peck of trouble. He was usually called Old Stephen, in a kind of rough homage to the fact. A rather stooping man, with a knitted brow, a pondering expression of face, and a hard-looking head sufficiently capacious, on which his iron-grey hair lay long and thin, Old Stephen might have passed for a particularly intelligent man in his condition. Yet he was not. (top)

Blathers ( Oliver Twist ) Bow Street Runner (London Policemen) who, along with Duff, investigates the attempted robbery of the Maylie home. A stout personage of middle height, aged about fifty: with shiny black hair, cropped pretty close; half-whiskers, a round face, and sharp eyes. (top)

Blimber, Cornelia ( Dombey and Son ) Daughter of Dr Blimber and a teacher at the school. A slim and graceful maid, did no soft violence to the gravity of the house. There was no light nonsense about Miss Blimber. She kept her hair short and crisp, and wore spectacles. She was dry and sandy with working in the graves of deceased languages. None of your live languages for Miss Blimber. They must be dead - stone dead - and then Miss Blimber dug them up like a Ghoul. (top)

Blimber, Dr ( Dombey and Son ) Headmaster of the school in Brighton where Paul Dombey Jr attends. Blimber is assisted at the school by his wife and daughter Cornelia. Dickens describes Blimber as a portly gentleman in a suit of black, with strings at the knees, and stockings below them. He had a bald head, highly polished; a deep voice; and a chin so very double, that it was a wonder how he ever managed to shave into the creases. (top)

Blimber, Mrs ( Dombey and Son ) Wife of Dr Blimber. She was not learned herself, but she pretended to be, and that did quite as well. She said at evening parties, that if she could have known Cicero, she thought she could have died contented. (top)

Blinder, Mrs. ( Bleak House ) Proprietor of a chandler's shop and Neckett's landlady in Bell Yard. She looks after the widower Neckett's children. A good-natured-looking old woman with a dropsy, or an asthma, or perhaps both. (top)

Blockson, Mrs ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Mortimer Knag's charwoman. (top)

Bodgers, Mr and Mrs ( David Copperfield ) Name on a tablet that David Copperfield ponders over at the church in Blunderstone. (top)

Bobster, Cecelia ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Girl whom Newman Noggs mistakes for Madeline Bray and takes Nicholas Nickleby to see. (top)

Bobster, Old ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Father of Celelia Bobster. A ferocious Turk. He frequently boxes his daughter's ears. (top)

Boffin, Noddy ( Our Mutual Friend ) PIX John Harmon's servant. When John's son is supposed drowned, Boffin and his wife inherit the Harmon fortune, for a time.

Geolinks: Cavendish Square, Clifford's Inn (top)

Boffin, Henrietta ( Our Mutual Friend ) Noddy Boffin's wife.

Geolinks: Cavendish Square (top)

Bogsby, Mr James George ( Bleak House ) "Highly respectable" landlord of the Sol's Arms tavern. (top)

Bolder ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Pupil at Dotheboys Hall. An unhealthy looking boy, with warts all over his hands. (top)

Bonney, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Representative for the United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company. a pale gentleman in a violent hurry, who, with his hair standing up in great disorder all over his head, and a very narrow white cravat tied loosely round his throat, looked as if he had been knocked up in the night and had not dressed himself since. (top)

Borum, Mr and Mrs ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Patrons of Miss Snevellici's bespeak performance. Parents of the misbehaving Augustus, Charlotte, and Emma. (top)

Bounderby, Josiah ( Hard Times ) Coketown Banker, mill owner, and "self-made man" proud that he raised himself in the streets after being abandoned as a child. His story is exposed as a sham when Mrs. Pegler, his loving mother whom he has discarded, is found. Bounderby marries his friend Gradgrind's daughter, Louisa, and later discards her. He was a rich man: banker, merchant, manufacturer, and what not. A big, loud man, with a stare, and a metallic laugh. A man made out of a coarse material, which seemed to have been stretched to make so much of him. A man with a great puffed head and forehead, swelled veins in his temples, and such a strained skin to his face that it seemed to hold his eyes open, and lift his eyebrows up. A man with a pervading appearance on him of being inflated like a balloon, and ready to start. A man who could never sufficiently vaunt himself a self-made man. A man who was always proclaiming, through that brassy speaking-trumpet of a voice of his, his old ignorance and his old poverty. A man who was the Bully of humility. (top)

Bowley, Sir Joseph ( The Chimes ) Member of Parliament who condescendingly calls himself "the poor man's friend and father" and exhorts Trotty to Live hard and temperately, be respectful, exercise your self-denial, bring up your family on next to nothing, pay your rent as regularly as the clock strikes, be punctual in your dealings. His wife is Lady Bowley. (top)

Boythorn, Lawrence ( Bleak House ) Neighbor of Sir Leicester Dedlock, with whom he is feuding. Also a friend of John Jarndyce. Once engaged to Miss Barbary. "I went to school with this fellow, Lawrence Boythorn," said Mr. Jarndyce, tapping the letter as he laid it on the table, "more than five and forty years ago. He was then the most impetuous boy in the world, and he is now the most impetuous man. He was then the loudest boy in the world, and he is now the loudest man. He was then the heartiest and sturdiest boy in the world, and he is now the heartiest and sturdiest man. He is a tremendous fellow." (top)

Brandley, Mrs ( Great Expectations ) Widowed society woman and old friend of Miss Havisham with whom Estella is "placed" in Richmond to be sponsored in London society. She has a daughter several years older than Estella. (top)

Brass, Sally ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) PIX Sister and partner of Quilp's unscrupulous attorney, Sampson Brass. She is the mother of the Marchioness, the below-stairs maid.

Geolinks: Bevis Marks (top)

Brass, Sampson ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) PIX "An attorney of no good repute" and "One of the greatest scoundrels unhung". Brass served as Daniel Quilp's lawyer. He helps Quilp get the Curiosity Shop from Nell's grandfather and when he tries to help Quilp frame Kit Nubbles he is undone with the help of his clerk Dick Swiveler and the Marchioness, his below-stairs maid.

Geolinks: Bevis Marks (top)

Bravassa, Miss ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Attractive member of the Crummles' acting troupe. Once had her likeness taken 'in character' by an engraver's apprentice, whereof impressions were hung up for sale in the pastry-cook's window, and the greengrocer's, and at the circulating library, and the box-office, whenever the announce bills came out for her annual night. (top)

Bray, Madeline ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Young woman with whom Nicholas falls in love when he first sees her at an employment office. She cares for her selfish, invalid father who tries to sell her in marriage to Arthur Gride, assisted by Ralph Nickleby. Her father dies and the scheme is exposed. She marries Nicholas at the end of the story. This was a young lady who could be scarcely eighteen, of very slight and delicate figure, but exquisitely shaped...a countenance of most uncommon beauty, though shaded by a cloud of sadness, which, in one so young, was doubly remarkable.

Geolinks: Kings Bench Prison (top)

Bray, Walter ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Tyrannical father of Madeline. Heavily in debt, and living in the Rules of the King's Bench debtor's prison, he promises his daughter's hand in marriage to Arthur Gride in return for the forgiveness of his debt to Gride and Ralph Nickleby. He dies on the morning of the wedding thus saving Madeline from the unwanted marriage. He was scarce fifty, perhaps, but so emaciated as to appear much older. His features presented the remains of a handsome countenance, but one in which the embers of strong and impetuous passions were easier to be traced than any expression which would have rendered a far plainer face much more prepossessing. His looks were very haggard, and his limbs and body literally worn to the bone, but there was something of the old fire in the large sunken eye notwithstanding.

Geolinks: Kings Bench Prison (top)

Brick, Jefferson ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX War correspondent for the New York Rowdy Journal, edited by Colonel Diver. A small young gentleman of very juvenile appearance and unwholesomely pale in the face; partly, perhaps, from intense thought, but partly, there is no doubt, from the excessive use of tobacco, which he was at that moment chewing vigorously. He wore his shirt-collar turned down over a black ribbon, and his lank hair – a fragile crop – was not only smoothed and parted back from his brow, that none of the Poetry of his aspect might be lost, but had here and there been grubbed up by the roots; which accounted for his loftiest developments being somewhat pimply. He had that order of nose on which the envy of mankind has bestowed the appellation ‘snub’, and it was very much turned up at the end, as with a lofty scorn. Upon the upper lip of this young gentleman, were tokens of a sandy down – so very, very smooth and scant, that though encouraged to the utmost, it looked more like a recent trace of gingerbread, than the fair promise of a moustache; and this conjecture, his apparently tender age went far to strengthen. (top)

Brick, Mrs Jefferson ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Wife of Jefferson Brick. Sickly little girl...with the tight round eyes. (top)

Briggs ( Dombey and Son ) Along with Tozer, a roommate of Paul Dombey at Dr Blimber's school. Described as "not naturally clever". (top)

Britain, Benjamin ( The Battle of Life ) Manservant of Dr. Jeddler. He later marries Clemency Newcome and together they run the comfortable Nutmeg-Grater and Thimble Inn. (top)

Brittles ( Oliver Twist ) Lad of all work, although he was something past thirty, at the Maylie home. He, with Mr Giles and a traveling tinker, gives a half-hearted chase after Bill Sikes, Toby Crackit, and Oliver after the attempted burglary of the Maylie home. (top)

Brogley, Mr ( Dombey and Son ) Second Hand furniture broker with a shop in Bishopsgate Street. Brogley takes possession of the Wooden Midshipman when Sol Gills cannot pay his debts. Sol is loaned money from Paul Dombey to pay the debt. Walter Gay stays with Brogley when he returns from being shipwrecked.

Geolinks: Bishopsgate (top)

Brooker, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Ralph Nickleby's former clerk turned criminal. He knows the secret of Smike's birth and tries to profit by it. Later he shares the story with Newman Noggs. A spare, dark, withered man...with a stooping body, and a very sinister face rendered more ill-favoured by hollow and hungry cheeks, deeply sunburnt, and thick black eyebrows, blacker in contrast with the perfect whiteness of his hair; roughly clothed in shabby garments, of a strange and uncouth make; and having about him an indefinable manner of depression and degradation. (top)

Brooks ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Pupil at Dotheboys Hall. His bed is full of other boys. (top)

Browdie, John ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Son of a small corn-factor. He gives money to Nicholas Nickleby on his escape from Dotheboys Hall. John marries Matilda Price. Later assists in Smike's escape from Squeers in London. Honest blockhead...was something over six feet high, with a face and body rather above the due proportion than below it. Dickens captures his Yorkshire accent perfectly 'does he ca' this a pie—three yoong pigeons and a troifling matther o' steak, and a crust so loight that you doant know when it's in your mooth and when it's gane? I wonder hoo many pies goes to a breakfast!' (top)

Brown, Good Mrs. ( Dombey and Son ) An ugly old rag and bone vendor and mother of Alice Marwood (Brown). She kidnaps Florence Dombey and steals her clothes. Later she helps Dombey find Carker and Edith after their elopement. Very ugly old woman, with red rims round her eyes, and a mouth that mumbled and chattered of itself when she was not speaking.

Geolinks: City Road (top)

Brown, Alice (alias Marwood) ( Dombey and Son ) Daughter of Good Mrs Brown and cousin of Edith Granger. (top)

Browndock, Miss ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Subject of one of Mrs Nickleby's rambling remembrances. Why, your poor dear papa's cousin's sister-in-law—a Miss Browndock—was taken into partnership by a lady that kept a school at Hammersmith, and made her fortune in no time at all. (top)

Brownlow, Mr ( Oliver Twist ) PIX Befriends Oliver after he is charged with pickpocketing. He later establishes Oliver's true identity and adopts him. a very respectable-looking personage, with a powdered head and gold spectacles. He was dressed in a bottle-green coat with a black velvet collar; wore white trousers; and carried a smart bamboo cane under his arm.

Geolinks: London Bridge, Pentonville (top)

Bucket, Mr. ( Bleak House ) PIX Detective in charge of finding Tulkinghorn's murderer. After Lady Dedlock's disappearance Sir Leicester hires Bucket to find her. He later uncovers the will that is instrumental in clearing up the Jarndyce and Jarndyce chancery case. Mr. Bucket notices things in general, with a face as unchanging as the great mourning ring on his little finger or the brooch, composed of not much diamond and a good deal of setting, which he wears in his shirt...A stoutly built, steady-looking, sharp-eyed man in black, of about the middle-age. (top)

Bucket, Mrs ( Bleak House ) Wife of Mr. Bucket the detective who is frequenty without her husband's company due to his profession. A lady of a natural detective genius, which if it had been improved by professional exercise, might have done great things, but which has paused at the level of a clever amateur...Mrs. Bucket is dependent on their lodger (fortunately an amiable lady in whom she takes an interest) for companionship and conversation. (top)

Bud, Rosa ( The Mystery of Edwin Drood ) PIX Betrothed to Edwin Drood in childhood, they later agree that they cannot marry. Edwin disappears and John Jasper declares his love for Rosa. In terror she flees to London to her guardian, Grewgious. The pet pupil of the Nuns' House is Miss Rosa Bud, of course called Rosebud; wonderfully pretty, wonderfully childish, wonderfully whimsical. An awkward interest (awkward because romantic) attaches to Miss Bud in the minds of the young ladies, on account of its being known to them that a husband has been chosen for her by will and bequest, and that her guardian is bound down to bestow her on that husband when he comes of age.

Geolinks: Furnival's Inn (top)

Buffam, Oscar ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Boarder at the National Hotel in America and spokesman for the deputation awaiting the arrival of the Honorable Elijah Pogram. (top)

Buffy, William ( Bleak House ) Member of Parliament and friend of Sir Leicester Dedlock. (top)

Bullamy ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Porter at the Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company. A wonderful creature, in a vast red waistcoat and a short-tailed pepper-and-salt coat--who carried more conviction to the minds of sceptics than the whole establishment without him. No confidences existed between him and the Directorship; nobody knew where he had served last; no character or explanation had been given or required. No questions had been asked on either side. This mysterious being, relying solely on his figure, had applied for the situation, and had been instantly engaged on his own terms. They were high; but he knew, doubtless, that no man could carry such an extent of waistcoat as himself, and felt the full value of his capacity to such an institution. (top)

Bulph ( Nicholas Nickleby ) The Crummles' landlord in Portsmouth. A pilot, who sported a boat-green door, with window-frames of the same colour, and had the little finger of a drowned man on his parlour mantelshelf, with other maritime and natural curiosities. He displayed also a brass knocker, a brass plate, and a brass bell-handle, all very bright and shining; and had a mast, with a vane on the top of it, in his back yard. (top)

Bumble (Oliver Twist) PIX Beadle at the workhouse where Oliver is born. He mistreats the residents in his care and becomes the symbol of Dickens' distaste for the workhouse system. Marries Mrs. Corney and later is disgraced and becomes a resident in the same workhouse. A fat man, and a choleric one (top)

Bunsby, Jack ( Dombey and Son ) PIX Seafaring friend of Captain Cuttle who is always called in times of crisis for advise. The advise given confounds everyone listening except his friend Cuttle, who values it immensely. Bunsby is later trapped into marriage by Mrs MacStinger. Bunsby's ship is the Cautious Clara. Bunsby is described by Dickens as having one stationary eye in the mahogany face, and one revolving one, on the principle of some lighthouses. (top)

Buzfuz, Serjeant ( Pickwick Papers ) Barrister who represents Mrs Bardell in her suit against Samuel Pickwick. He bullies the witnesses into giving incriminating testimony and Pickwick is falsely convicted. (top)