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Dickens' Characters → Characters N-Q

Dickens' Characters N-Q


Nadgett ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Private investigator hired by Tigg Montigue to provide information on the customers of the fraudulent Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company. Nadgett exposes Jonas Chuzzlewit as Montigue's murderer. Nadgett is also the landlord of Tom and Ruth Pinch in Islington. He was the man at a pound a week who made the inquiries. It was no virtue or merit in Nadgett that he transacted all his Anglo-Bengalee business secretly and in the closest confidence; for he was born to be a secret. He was a short, dried-up, withered, old man, who seemed to have secreted his very blood; for nobody would have given him credit for the possession of six ounces of it in his whole body. How he lived was a secret; where he lived was a secret; and even what he was, was a secret. In his musty old pocket-book he carried contradictory cards, in some of which he called himself a coal-merchant, in others a wine-merchant, in others a commission-agent, in others a collector, in others an accountant: as if he really didn’t know the secret himself. He was always keeping appointments in the city, and the other man never seemed to come. He would sit on ‘Change for hours, looking at everybody who walked in and out, and would do the like at Garraway’s, and in other business coffee-rooms, in some of which he would be occasionally seen drying a very damp pocket-handkerchief before the fire, and still looking over his shoulder for the man who never appeared. He was mildewed, threadbare, shabby; always had flue upon his legs and back; and kept his linen so secret by buttoning up and wrapping over, that he might have had none – perhaps he hadn’t. He carried one stained beaver glove, which he dangled before him by the forefinger as he walked or sat; but even its fellow was a secret. Some people said he had been a bankrupt, others that he had gone an infant into an ancient Chancery suit which was still depending, but it was all a secret. He carried bits of sealing-wax and a hieroglyphical old copper seal in his pocket, and often secretly indited letters in corner boxes of the trysting-places before mentioned; but they never appeared to go to anybody, for he would put them into a secret place in his coat, and deliver them to himself weeks afterwards, very much to his own surprise, quite yellow. He was that sort of man that if he had died worth a million of money, or had died worth twopence halfpenny, everybody would have been perfectly satisfied, and would have said it was just as they expected. And yet he belonged to a class; a race peculiar to the city; who are secrets as profound to one another, as they are to the rest of mankind.. (top)

Namby ( Pickwick Papers ) Sheriff's Deputy who comes to arrest Mr. Pickwick when Pickwick refuses to pay costs after the Bardell vs Pickwick trial. He incurs the wrath of Sam Weller. (top)

Nancy ( Oliver Twist ) PIX Prostitute and member of Fagin's band of thieves. Befriends Oliver and is eventually murdered by Sikes trying to help Oliver escape Fagin's clutches. 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.

Geolinks: London Bridge (top)

Native, The ( Dombey and Son ) Indian servant of Major Joe Bagstock who had no particular name, but answered to any vituperative epithet. (top)

Neckett ( Bleak House ) Sheriff's officer who arrests debtors and delivers them to Coavin's sponging house (temporary debtor's prison) thus Skimpole gives Neckett the nickname "Coavinses". Neckett dies leaving three orphans: Charlotte (Charley), Emma, and Tom. (top)

Neckett, Charlotte (Charley) ( Bleak House ) Daughter of sheriff's officer Neckett. When her father dies Charley cares for her two younger siblings: Emma and Tom. Charley becomes Esther Summerson's maid, nursing Esther through smallpox. She later marries a miller. A very little girl, childish in figure but shrewd and older-looking in the face--pretty-faced too--wearing a womanly sort of bonnet much too large for her and drying her bare arms on a womanly sort of apron. Her fingers were white and wrinkled with washing, and the soap-suds were yet smoking which she wiped off her arms. But for this, she might have been a child playing at washing and imitating a poor working-woman with a quick observation of the truth. (top)

Neckett, Emma ( Bleak House ) Daughter of Neckett and baby sister to Charley and Tom. a heavy child of eighteen months. Later becomes Esther Summerson's maid after Charley gets married. (top)

Neckett, Tom ( Bleak House ) Son of Neckett and brother to Charley and Emma. a mite of a boy, some five or six years old. Later apprenticed to Charley's husband, a miller. (top)

Ned ( Oliver Twist ) Chimney sweep whom Bill Sikes laments has been lagged (sentenced to transportation) and the small boy Ned "kept small on purpose" and was formerly available for thief work, has been reformed and given honest work. (top)

Ned, Mrs ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) 'Strong-minded' widow of Old Martin Chuzzlewit's brother who had outlived three husbands. Almost supernaturally disagreeable, and having a dreary face and a bony figure and a masculine voice, was, in right of these qualities, what is commonly called a strong-minded woman; and who, if she could, would have established her claim to the title, and have shown herself, mentally speaking, a perfect Samson, by shutting up her brother-in-law in a private madhouse, until he proved his complete sanity by loving her very much. Beside her sat her spinster daughters, three in number, and of gentlemanly deportment, who had so mortified themselves with tight stays, that their tempers were reduced to something less than their waists, and sharp lacing was expressed in their very noses. (top)

Nell's Grandfather ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) PIX Owner of the Old Curiosity Shop. He has a secret gambling habit, hoping to make a fortune for his granddaughter. He borrows money to gamble from Quilp, when he cannot pay he takes Nell and escapes London to the country. When Nell dies he is heartbroken and dies soon after. (top)

Nemo ( Bleak House ) Alias of Capt. Hawdon (Nemo is Latin for nobody). Nemo is doing some law copying for Snagsby and is a boarder in Krook's rag and bottle shop when he dies of an opium overdose. He is later found to be the former lover of Lady Dedlock and the father of Esther Summerson. When Nemo approaches Mrs. Snagsby about copying work she was rather took by something about this person, whether by his being unshaved, or by his hair being in want of attention.

Geolinks: Chancery Lane (top)

Nettingalls, Misses ( David Copperfield ) Proprietors of a girls school in Canterbury attended by Miss Shepherd, an early love of David Copperfield. (top)

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

Nickleby, Godfrey ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Grandfather of Nicholas Nickleby. Originially from Devonshire, where he married. He relocated to London, became financially embarrassed, and was contemplating buying a life insurance policy and then jumping off of the Monument in order to provide for his wife and two sons. His rich uncle Ralph, whom he had named his eldest son after in hopes of garnering favor, died leaving him 5000 pounds sterling. He purchased a small farm, near Dawlish in Devonshire, whither he retired with his wife and two children, to live upon the best interest he could get for the rest of his money, and the little produce he could raise from his land. The two prospered so well together that, when he died, some fifteen years after this period, and some five after his wife, he was enabled to leave, to his eldest son, Ralph, three thousand pounds in cash, and to his youngest son, Nicholas, one thousand and the farm, which was as small a landed estate as one would desire to see. (top)

Nickleby, Mrs Godfrey ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Wife of Godfrey Nickleby who died five years before her husband. (top)

Nickleby, Kate ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Sister of Nicholas. She is placed by her uncle, Ralph Nickleby, with Madame Mantalini. Kate becomes the object of the undesirable attentions of some of the evil-minded clients of her uncle, who is using her to his advantage. She is rescued by Nicholas with the help of Newman Noggs. Later she marries Frank Cheeryble. A slight but very beautiful girl of about seventeen.

Geolinks: Strand, Thames Street (top)

Nickleby, Mrs ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Mother of Nicholas and Kate. Absent-minded and self-absorbed, she continues to "put on airs" even in the reduced situation of her family after the financial ruin and death of her husband. The character is heavily drawn from Dickens' mother. The daughter of a neighbouring gentleman with a dower of one thousand pounds.

Geolinks: Strand, Thames Street (top)

Nickleby, Nicholas Sr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Father of Nicholas Nickleby. He lived a single man on the patrimonial estate until he grew tired of living alone, and then he took to wife the daughter of a neighbouring gentleman with a dower of one thousand pounds. This good lady bore him two children, a son and a daughter, and when the son was about nineteen, and the daughter fourteen, as near as we can guess--impartial records of young ladies' ages being, before the passing of the new act, nowhere preserved in the registries of this country--Mr Nickleby looked about him for the means of repairing his capital, now sadly reduced by this increase in his family, and the expenses of their education.

'Speculate with it,' said Mrs Nickleby.

...Speculation is a round game; the players see little or nothing of their cards at first starting; gains MAY be great--and so may losses. The run of luck went against Mr Nickleby. A mania prevailed, a bubble burst, four stock-brokers took villa residences at Florence, four hundred nobodies were ruined, and among them Mr Nickleby. (top)

Nickleby, Nicholas ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Brother to Kate and nephew of Ralph. Hoping to provide support for his mother and sister after the death of his father, he turns to his uncle Ralph for assistance. Ralph wants nothing to do with his late brother's family and feigns to help Nicholas by securing a position as assistant master at the Dotheboys Hall school, run by unscrupulous Wackford Squeers. Nicholas soon becomes disgusted with Squeer's treatment of his pupils and leaves, giving Squeers a sound thrashing and liberating Smike, whom Squeers has mistreated for years. Nicholas and Smike move in with Newman Noggs in London and then travel to Portsmouth where they take up acting in Crummles stage company. On hearing of the mistreatment of his sister at the hands of his uncle, Nicholas, with Smike, returns to London. Nicholas secures employment with the philanthropic Cheeryble brothers and later marries Madeline Bray whom he has helped rescue from the evil designs of Ralph and Arthur Gride. Bright with the light of intelligence and spirit. His figure was somewhat slight, but manly and well formed; and, apart from all the grace of youth and comeliness, there was an emanation from the warm young heart in his look and bearing.

Nicholas seems to have a bit more pluck than many of Dickens young heroes and in the preface to the 1848 Cheap Edition of Nicholas Nickleby Dickens writes If Nicholas be not always found to be blameless or agreeable, he is not always intended to appear so. He is a young man of an impetuous temper and of little or no experience; and I saw no reason why such a hero should be lifted out of nature. (top)

Nickleby, Ralph (1) ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Uncle of Godfrey Nickleby who leaves him 5000 pounds sterling. The amiable old gentleman, it seemed, had intended to leave the whole to the Royal Humane Society, and had indeed executed a will to that effect; but the Institution, having been unfortunate enough, a few months before, to save the life of a poor relation to whom he paid a weekly allowance of three shillings and sixpence, he had, in a fit of very natural exasperation, revoked the bequest in a codicil, and left it all to Mr Godfrey Nickleby; with a special mention of his indignation, not only against the society for saving the poor relation's life, but against the poor relation also, for allowing himself to be saved. (top)

Nickleby, Ralph ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Uncle to Nicholas and Kate (and later we find, father of Smike). A rich and miserly moneylender who feigns to help his late brother's family but, in reality, tries to humiliate Nicholas and use Kate to his own advantage. His evil plans and schemes prove his ultimate undoing and he eventually hangs himself. He wore a bottle-green spencer over a blue coat; a white waistcoat, grey mixture pantaloons, and Wellington boots drawn over them. The corner of a small-plaited shirt-frill struggled out, as if insisting to show itself, from between his chin and the top button of his spencer; and the latter garment was not made low enough to conceal a long gold watch-chain, composed of a series of plain rings, which had its beginning at the handle of a gold repeater in Mr. Nickleby's pocket, and its termination in two little keys: one belonging to the watch itself, and the other to some patent padlock. He wore a sprinkling of powder upon his head, as if to make himself look benevolent; but if that were his purpose, he would perhaps have done better to powder his countenance also, for there was something in its very wrinkles, and in his cold restless eye, which seemed to tell of cunning that would announce itself in spite of him.

Geolinks: Golden Square (top)

Nickleby, Mrs Ralph ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Wife of Ralph Nickleby and mother of Smike. Ralph married her for her money, which he could only obtain by keeping the marriage secret. A child was born (Smike) and put out to nurse a long way off. She constantly urged [Ralph] to avow their marriage; he peremptorily refused. She remained alone in a dull country house: seeing little or no company but riotous, drunken sportsmen. He lived in London and clung to his business. Angry quarrels and recriminations took place, and when they had been married nearly seven years, and were within a few weeks of the time when the brother's death would have adjusted all, she eloped with a younger man, and left him. (top)

Nickits ( Hard Times ) Former owner of Bounderby's country estate. (top)

Nipper, Susan ( Dombey and Son ) PIX Florence Dombey's maid who is discharged when she confronts Paul Dombey about his treatment of Florence. She later marries Toots. Dickens describes Susan as a short, brown womanly girl, with a little snub nose, and black eyes like jet beads. (top)

Noggs, Newman ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Once a well-to-do gentleman but he squanders his money and is reduced to serving Ralph Nickleby as clerk. He befriends Nicholas and eventually helps him defeat the designs of Ralph. A sallow-faced man in rusty brown, who sat upon an uncommonly hard stool in a species of butler's pantry at the end of the passage, and always had a pen behind his ear when he answered the bell. He was a tall man of middle age, with two goggle eyes whereof one was a fixture, a rubicund nose, a cadaverous face, and a suit of clothes (if the term be allowable when they suited him not at all) much the worse for wear, very much too small, and placed upon such a short allowance of buttons that it was marvellous how he contrived to keep them on.

Geolinks: Golden Square (top)

Norris family ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) New York friends of Mr Bevan whom he introduces to Martin Chuzzlewit. The family consists of Mr and Mrs, two daughters, a son, and the grandmother. Their initial warm welcome cools when they discover that Martin made the trip to America in steerage. (top)

Nubbles, Kit ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) PIX Kit is shop boy at the Curiosity Shop owned by Nell's grandfather and is devoted to Nell. Kit lives at home with his widowed mother, his brother Jacob, and baby brother. Kit is later hired by the Garlands and is wrongly charged with theft by Brass. At the end of the novel we find Kit has married Barbara.

Geolinks: Astley's, (top)


Omer, Minnie ( David Copperfield ) Daughter of Mr Omer and a seamstrss in her father's business. She later marries the shop foreman Joram. A pretty, good-natured girl. (top)

Omer, Mr ( David Copperfield ) Undertaker in Yarmouth who arranges the funeral of Clara Copperfield. a fat, short-winded, merry-looking, little old man in black, with rusty little bunches of ribbons at the knees of his breeches, black stockings, and a broad-brimmer hat His daughter Minnie marries the shop foreman, Joram, who later inherits the business. Emily and Martha Endell work for Mr. Omer. (top)

Orlick, Dolge ( Great Expectations ) PIX Joe Gargary's journeyman blacksmith, he quarrels with Mrs. Joe and later attacks her, leaving her with injuries of which she later dies. He falls in with Compeyson and tries to murder Pip. He was a broadshouldered loose-limbed swarthy fellow of great strength, never in a hurry, and always slouching. He never even seemed to come to his work on purpose, but would slouch in as if by mere accident. (top)


Palmer ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Student at Dotheboys Hall. He wished he was in Heaven...he's always a-wishing something horrid. He said once, he wished he was a donkey, because then he wouldn't have a father as didn't love him! Pretty wicious that for a child of six! (top)

Pancks ( Little Dorrit ) PIX Clerk and rent collector for Mr. Casby. He assists in finding William Dorrit's fortune. Dickens employs the metaphor of Pancks as a tugboat guiding Casby's "ship." Pancks moves tugboat style "with a puff and a snort."

Geolinks: Pentonville (top)

Pankey, Miss ( Dombey and Son ) Fellow boarder at Mrs Pipchin's with Paul and Florence Dombey. A mild little blue-eyed morsel of a child, who was shampoo'd every morning, and seemed in danger of being rubbed away, altogether. She is admonished by Mrs Pipchin that nobody who sniffed before visitors ever went to Heaven. (top)

Paragon, Mary Anne ( David Copperfield ) The first in a succession of incompetent maids hired by David and Dora Copperfield. Her nature was represented to us, when we engaged her, as being feebly expressed in her name. She had a written character, as large as a proclamation; and, according to this document, could do everything of a domestic nature that ever I heard of, and a great many things that I never did hear of. She was a woman in the prime of life; of a severe countenance; and subject (particularly in the arms) to a sort of perpetual measles or fiery rash. She had a cousin in the Life-Guards, with such long legs that he looked like the afternoon shadow of somebody else. His shell-jacket was as much too little for him as he was too big for the premises. He made the cottage smaller than it need have been, by being so very much out of proportion to it. Besides which, the walls were not thick, and, whenever he passed the evening at our house, we always knew of it by hearing one continual growl in the kitchen. (top)

Pardiggle, Mr. ( Bleak House ) Husband of Mrs Pardiggle. An obstinate-looking man with a large waistcoat and stubbly hair, who was always talking in a loud bass voice about his mite, or Mrs. Pardiggle's mite, or their five boys' mites. (top)

Pardiggle, Mrs. ( Bleak House ) Pseudo-benevolent neighbor of John Jarndyce of the type who did a little and made a great deal of noise...She was a formidable style of lady with spectacles, a prominent nose, and a loud voice, who had the effect of wanting a great deal of room. And she really did, for she knocked down little chairs with her skirts that were quite a great way off.

Mother of five children: "These, young ladies," said Mrs. Pardiggle with great volubility after the first salutations, "are my five boys. You may have seen their names in a printed subscription list (perhaps more than one) in the possession of our esteemed friend Mr. Jarndyce. Egbert, my eldest (twelve), is the boy who sent out his pocket-money, to the amount of five and threepence, to the Tockahoopo Indians. Oswald, my second (ten and a half), is the child who contributed two and nine-pence to the Great National Smithers Testimonial. Francis, my third (nine), one and sixpence halfpenny; Felix, my fourth (seven), eightpence to the Superannuated Widows; Alfred, my youngest (five), has voluntarily enrolled himself in the Infant Bonds of Joy, and is pledged never, through life, to use tobacco in any form."

Esther Summerson: We had never seen such dissatisfied children. It was not merely that they were weazened and shrivelled--though they were certainly that to--but they looked absolutely ferocious with discontent. At the mention of the Tockahoopo Indians, I could really have supposed Eghert to be one of the most baleful members of that tribe, he gave me such a savage frown. The face of each child, as the amount of his contribution was mentioned, darkened in a peculiarly vindictive manner, but his was by far the worst. I must except, however, the little recruit into the Infant Bonds of Joy, who was stolidly and evenly miserable. (top)

Parkes, Phil ( Barnaby Rudge ) Friend of John Willet at the Maypole Inn. (top)

Passnidge, Mr ( David Copperfield ) Friend of Edward Murdstone whom David Copperfield meets in Lowestoft along with Mr Quinion. At this meeting Murdstone, Passnidge, and Quinion discuss Murdstone's plan to marry Clara Copperfield and David is referred to as 'Brooks of Sheffield' to keep him in the dark. (top)

Pawkins, Major ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) The Major is typical of the scoundrels that Martin Chuzzlewit meets in America. (a gentleman of Pennsylvanian origin) was distinguished by a very large skull, and a great mass of yellow forehead; in deference to which commodities, it was currently held in bar-rooms and other such places of resort, that the major was a man of huge sagacity. He was further to be known by a heavy eye and a dull slow manner; and for being a man of that kind who – mentally speaking – requires a deal of room to turn himself in. But in trading on his stock of wisdom, he invariably proceeded on the principle of putting all the goods he had (and more) into his window; and that went a great way with his constituency of admirers. It went a great way, perhaps, with Mr Jefferson Brick, who took occasion to whisper in Martin's ear: 'One of the most remarkable men in our country, sir!' (top)

Pawkins, Mrs ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Wife of Major Pawkins and keeper of a boarding house in America where Martin Chuzzlewit and Mark Tapley stay. Very straight, bony, and silent. (top)

Pecksniff, Charity (Cherry) ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Seth Pecksniff's older daughter and sister of Mercy Pecksniff. Haughty and ill-tempered, without her younger sister's playful nature. She is infuriated when passed over for marriage by Jonas Chuzzlewith who chooses her sister. She later promises herself to Augustus Moddle, who leaves her at the alter. Charity has a disposition which was then observed to be of a sharp and acid quality, as though an extra lemon (figuratively speaking) had been squeezed into the nectar of her disposition, and had rather damaged its flavour. (top)

Pecksniff, Mercy (Merry) ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Seth Pecksniff's younger daughter, five years younger than her sister, Charity Pecksniff. Seth gives her in marriage to Jonas Chuzzlewit, who breaks her spirit, and her heart. She was all girlishness, and playfulness, and wildness, and kittenish buoyancy. She was the most arch and at the same time the most artless creature, was the youngest Miss Pecksniff, that you can possibly imagine. It was her great charm. She was too fresh and guileless, and too full of child-like vivacity. (top)

Pecksniff, Seth ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Sanctimonious surveyor and architect "who has never designed or built anything", and one of the biggest hypocrites in fiction. Father of daughters Mercy and Charity. In an effort to gain his cousin, old Martin Chuzzlewit's, money he embraces then throws out the old man's grandson, young Martin Chuzzlewit, at old Martin's wish. When long time servant Tom Pinch learns of Pecksniff's treachery he is also thrown out. Pecksniff's self-serving designs are eventually exposed by Old Martin who reconciles with his grandson, young Martin. Dickens' description of Pecksniff's hypocrisy is telling: "Some people likened him to a direction-post, which is always telling the way to a place, and never goes there." His hair, just grizzled with an iron-gray, which was all brushed off his forehead, and stood bolt upright, or slightly drooped in kindred action with his heavy eyelids. So did his person, which was sleek though free from corpulency. So did his manner, which was soft and oily. In a word, even his plain black suit, and state of widower, and dangling double eye-glass, all tended to the same purpose, and cried aloud, 'Behold the moral Pecksniff!' (top)

Peecher, Emma ( Our Mutual Friend ) Teacher of the girl's class at the school where Bradley Headstone is master. Emma is in love with Headstone but he does not return her affection. (top)

Peerybingle, John ( Cricket on the Hearth ) Carrier, deliverer of goods, who is much older than his wife, Mary. (top)

Peerybingle, Mary (Dot) ( Cricket on the Hearth ) Mary is the much younger wife of John. She is called Dot due to her small size and dumpling shape. Her parents are Old Dot and Mrs Dot, both also small. Mary works to reunite old lovers May Fielding and Edward Plummer. (top)

Peffer ( Bleak House ) Deceased partner of Snagsby and uncle to Mrs Snagsby. Peffer is never seen in Cook's Court now. He is not expected there, for he has been recumbent this quarter of a century in the churchyard of St. Andrews, Holborn, with the waggons and hackney-coaches roaring past him all the day and half the night. (top)

Pegler, Mrs. ( Hard Times ) Revealed at the end of the story to be Bounderby's loving mother, exposing his claim as "self-made man", who raised himself in the streets, to be a sham. An old woman, tall and shapely still, though withered by time...She was very cleanly and plainly dressed, had country mud upon her shoes, and was newly come from a journey. The flutter of her manner, in the unwonted noise of the streets; the spare shawl, carried unfolded on her arm; the heavy umbrella, and little basket; the loose long-fingered gloves, to which her hands were unused; all bespoke an old woman from the country, in her plain holiday clothes, come into Coketown on an expedition of rare occurrence. (top)

Peggotty, Clara ( David Copperfield ) PIX David Copperfield's devoted nurse and sister to Daniel Peggotty. After the death of David's mother she is discharged and marries Barkis. When Barkis dies she goes to live with David and Betsey Trotwood. David comically describes getting a hug from Peggotty: She laid aside her work (which was a stocking of her own), and opening her arms wide, took my curly head within them, and gave it a good squeeze. I know it was a good squeeze, because, being very plump, whenever she made any little exertion after she was dressed, some of the buttons on the back of her gown flew off. And I recollect two bursting to the opposite side of the parlour, while she was hugging me.

Geolinks: Fleet Street, St. Paul's Cathedral, The Tower, Tottenham Court Road (top)

Peggotty, Daniel ( David Copperfield ) PIX Crotchety fisherman and dealer in lobsters, crabs, and crawfish. Brother of Clara. He lives in a converted boat on the beach at Yarmouth with Emily, Ham, and Mrs. Gummidge. When Emily abandons them to elope with Steerforth, Daniel vows to find her. Steerforth later leaves Emily and she is re-united with Daniel. At the end of the novel Daniel, Emily, and Mrs Gummidge resettle in Australia. A hairy man with a very good-natured face. Quote: You'll find us rough, sir, but you'll find us ready.

Geolinks: Golden Square, Millbank, Westminster Bridge (top)

Peggotty, Ham ( David Copperfield ) PIX Fisherman and boatbuilder. Ham is the son of the drowned Joe Peggotty. He is taken in by his uncle, Daniel Peggotty. Later he is engaged to his cousin, Emily. He drowns trying to rescue Steerforth. He was a huge, strong fellow of six feet high, broad in proportion, and round-shouldered; but with a simpering boy's face and curly light hair that gave him quite a sheepish look. He was dressed in a canvas jacket, and a pair of such very stiff trousers that they would have stood quite as well alone, without any legs in them. And you couldn't so properly have said he wore a hat, as that he was covered in a-top, like an old building, with something pitchy. (top)

Peggotty, Joe ( David Copperfield ) Brother of Daniel Peggotty and father of Ham Peggotty. Joe was drowned before the story begins. (top)

Pell, Solomon ( Pickwick Papers ) Shady lawyer whom Tony Weller engages to arrange Samuel Weller's imprisonment in the Fleet in order to be with his master, Samuel Pickwick. (top)

Peltirogus ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Former neighbors of the Nicklebys in Mrs Nickleby's remembrance who threw the most extravagent parties. Mrs Nickleby remembers that the family entertained the idea of an attachment for Kate Nickleby by 4-year-old Horatio Peltirogus. (top)

Pepper - The Avenger ( Great Expectations ) A servant boy hired by Pip. I had got on so fast of late, that I had even started a boy in boots - top boots - in bondage and slavery to whom I might have been said to pass my days. For, after I had made the monster (out of the refuse of my washerwoman's family) and had clothed him with a blue coat, canary waistcoat, white cravat, creamy breeches, and the boots already mentioned, I had to find him a little to do and a great deal to eat; and with both of those horrible requirements he haunted my existence. Pip has such a hard time finding things to keep him busy that I sometimes sent him to Hyde Park Corner to see what o'clock it was. (top)

Peps, Dr Parker ( Dombey and Son ) Physician present at Paul Dombey's birth and death. One of the Court Physicians, and a man of immense reputation. (top)

Perch ( Dombey and Son ) Messenger at the firm of Dombey and Son. He and his Wife live at Ball's Pond, a suburb on the northern edge of London. (top)

Perker ( Pickwick Papers ) Solicitor of Mr. Wardle, later represents Samuel Pickwick in the Bardell vs Pickwick breach of promise suit.

Geolinks: Gray's Inn (top)

Perkins, Mrs ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Client of Sairey Gamp whom the old midwife mistakes as the reason for Seth Pecksniff summoning her on the death of Anthony Chuzzlewit. (top)

Petowker, Henrietta ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Minor actress at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and neighbor of Kenwigs and Noggs. She marries Mrs Kenwigs' uncle, Mr Lillyvick, but later runs off with a half-pay (retired) captain.

Geolinks: Drury Lane (top)

Phoebe (Phib) ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Artful handmaiden to Fanny Squeers. (top)

Pickwick, Samuel ( Pickwick Papers ) PIX Retired businessman and founder and chairman of the Pickwick Club. Pickwick, along with his friends Tupman, Snodgrass, Winkle, and his servant Sam Weller, travel around England in search of adventure. Pickwick is one Dickens most loved characters and his story propelled Dickens to literary stardom.

Geolinks: The Borough, Bull Inn, Charing Cross, Cheapside, Fleet Prison, George and Vulture, Guildhall, Leadenhall Street, Whitechapel (top)

Pidger, Mr ( David Copperfield ) Supposed wooer of Miss Lavinia Spenlow, making her an authority of affairs of the heart. Both Miss Lavinia and Miss Clarissa had a superstition, however, that he would have declared his passion, if he had not been cut short in his youth (at about sixty) by over-drinking his constitution, and over-doing an attempt to set it right again by swilling Bath water. They had a lurking suspicion even, that he died of secret love; though I must say there was a picture of him in the house with a damask nose, which concealment did not appear to have ever preyed upon. (top)

Pilkins, Mr ( Dombey and Son ) The Dombey's family medical practitioner who performs his duty in the shadow of the eminent Dr Parker Peps. (top)

Pinch, Tom ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Devoted admirer and assistant to Seth Pecksniff. A kindly, sweet-tempered fellow, completely blind to Pecksniff's hypocrisy despite a multitude of evidence to the contrary. He finally becomes aware of Pecksniff's true character and is dismissed. He goes to London to live with his sister and is employed by a mysterious gentleman which turns out to be old Martin Chuzzlewit. An ungainly, awkward-looking man, extremely short-sighted, and prematurely bald...He was far from handsome certainly; and was drest in a snuff-coloured suit, of an uncouth make at the best, which, being shrunken with long wear, was twisted and tortured into all kinds of odd shapes; but notwithstanding his attire, and his clumsy figure, which a great stoop in his shoulders, and a ludicrous habit he had of thrusting his head forward, by no means redeemed, one would not have been disposed (unless Mr Pecksniff said so) to consider him a bad fellow by any means. He was perhaps about thirty, but he might have been almost any age between sixteen and sixty: being one of those strange creatures who never decline into an ancient appearance, but look their oldest when they are very young, and get it over at once.

Geolinks: Covent Garden, Fleet Street, The Temple (top)

Pinch, Ruth ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Sister of Tom Pinch. She is governess to a wealthy brass and copper founder's family in Camberwell. When Tom goes to visit her he finds she is unhappy in her work and is accused by the family of being unable to command the respect of her employer's spoiled daughter. She leaves to live with Tom in Islington and later marries Tom's friend John Westlock. Mr Pinch’s sister was not at all ugly. On the contrary, she had a good face; a very mild and prepossessing face; and a pretty little figure – slight and short, but remarkable for its neatness. There was something of her brother, much of him indeed, in a certain gentleness of manner, and in her look of timid trustfulness.

Geolinks: Covent Garden (top)

Pip (Pirrip, Phillip) ( Great Expectations ) PIX Principal character of the book. Brought up "by hand" by his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, twenty years his senior, who mistreats him along with her husband, Joe Gargery. Pip meets Magwitch on the marshes after his escape from the prison ship and brings him food. Magwitch is recaptured and sent away to Australia where he prospers. Pip is introduced to Miss Havisham, an eccentric old woman, and her charge, Estella, who Pip falls in love with. Estella has been taught by Miss Havisham to break men's hearts as restitution for Miss Havisham's having been left at the altar years before. Pip begins to receive money through an unknown source. He becomes a gentleman, goes to London, and drifts away from early friends. Pip eventually learns that his benefactor is not Miss Havisham, as he believes, but the convict, Magwitch.

Geolinks: Barnard's Inn, Covent Garden, Newgate Prison, Smithfield, The Temple, The Tower, Westminster Abbey (top)

Pip, Mr ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Business associate of Tigg Montigue. 'Theatrical man – capital man to know – oh, capital man!’ (top)

Pipchin, Mrs ( Dombey and Son ) PIX Cantankerous operator of a boarding house in Brighton when Paul jr and Florence are sent there for Paul's health. Later becomes Mr Dombey's housekeeper. Considers herself ill-used because her husband was killed, 40 years earlier, in the Peruvian Mines. Dickens modeled Pipchin on Mrs Roylance, Dickens' landlady in London when his father was imprisoned for debt.

This celebrated Mrs Pipchin was a marvellous ill-favoured, ill-conditioned old lady, of a stooping figure, with a mottled face, like bad marble, a hook nose, and a hard grey eye, that looked as if it might have been hammered at on an anvil without sustaining any injury. Forty years at least had elapsed since the Peruvian mines had been the death of Mr Pipchin; but his relict still wore black bombazeen, of such a lustreless, deep, dead, sombre shade, that gas itself couldn't light her up after dark, and her presence was a quencher to any number of candles. She was generally spoken of as 'a great manager' of children; and the secret of her management was, to give them everything that they didn't like, and nothing that they did - which was found to sweeten their dispositions very much. She was such a bitter old lady, that one was tempted to believe there had been some mistake in the application of the Peruvian machinery, and that all her waters of gladness and milk of human kindness, had been pumped out dry, instead of the mines.

'Well, Sir,' said Mrs Pipchin to Paul, 'how do you think you shall like me?'
'I don't think I shall like you at all,' replied Paul.

Piper, Mrs. ( Bleak House ) Neighbor of Krook. (top)

Piper, Professor ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Boarder at the National Hotel in America and member of the deputation awaiting the arrival of the Honorable Elijah Pogram. (top)

Georgiana Pirrip ( Great Expectations ) Pip's mother, dead before the story begins and buried in the village churchyard. (top)

Philip Pirrip ( Great Expectations ) Pip's father, dead before the story begins and buried in the village churchyard. (top)

Alexander, Bartholomew, Abraham, Tobias, and Roger Pirrip ( Great Expectations ) Pip's brothers, dead before the story begins and buried in the village churchyard. (top)

Pluck, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Student at Dotheboys Hall. Pitcher was took with another fever,—of course he was—and being fetched by his friends, died the day after he got home,—of course he did, and out of aggravation. (top)

Plornish ( Little Dorrit ) Thomas Plornish, a plasterer previously imprisoned at the Marshalsea with the Dorrits, lives with his wife and two children at Bleeding Heart Yard.

Geolinks: Bleeding Heart Yard (top)

Pluck, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) One of Sir Mulberry Hawk's sycophants. A gentleman with a flushed face and a flash air. Messrs. Pyke and Pluck, live upon their wits (or not so much, perhaps, upon the presence of their own wits as upon the absence of wits in other people). (top)

Plummer, Bertha ( Cricket on the Hearth ) Blind daughter of poor toymaker, Caleb Plummer. To help ease Bertha's way Caleb has made her believe that the unfeeling Tackleton is their kind friend and the unknowing Bertha falls in love with him. (top)

Plummer, Caleb ( Cricket on the Hearth ) PIX Poor toymaker who works for the hard-hearted Tackleton. Acting as the eyes of his blind daughter, Bertha, he tenderly embellishes their humble home and ragged clothes and makes her believe that the unfeeling Tackleton is their friend. (top)

Plummer, Edward ( Cricket on the Hearth ) Son of Caleb and sister to Bertha. Edward was the former lover of May Fielding, went away to sea, and was supposed dead. With the help of Mary Peerybingle, he is reunited with May on the day she is supposed to marry Tackleton. (top)

Belinda Pocket ( Great Expectations ) Wife of Matthew Pocket. Mrs. Pocket was the only daughter of a certain quite accidental deceased Knight...So successful a watch and ward had been established over the young lady by this judicious parent, that she had grown up highly ornamental, but perfectly helpless and useless. (top)

Pocket Children ( Great Expectations ) Alick, Jane, Charlotte, Fanny and Joe. Neglected children of Matthew and Belinda Pocket. (top)

Pocket, Herbert ( Great Expectations ) Pip goes to London to begin his education and meets Herbert, whom he discovers is the "pale young gentleman" with whom he fought with at Miss Havisham's as a child. Pip and Herbert become best friends and share chambers at Barnard's Inn and at the Temple. Herbert helps teach Pip "city manners." Pip helps Herbert become a partner in the firm of Clarriker and Co. which enables Pocket to marry Clara Barley. A pale young gentleman with red eyelids and light hair. Although he did not look very healthy,—having pimples on his face, and a breaking out at his mouth,—these dreadful preparations quite appalled me. I judged him to be about my own age, but he was much taller, and he had a way of spinning himself about that was full of appearance. For the rest, he was a young gentleman in a gray suit (when not denuded for battle), with his elbows, knees, wrists, and heels considerably in advance of the rest of him as to development.

"What a hopeful disposition you have!" said I, gratefully admiring his cheery ways. "I ought to have," said Herbert, "for I have not much else."

Geolinks: Barnard's Inn, The Tower, Westminster Abbey (top)

Pocket, Matthew ( Great Expectations ) Father of Herbert and cousin of Miss Havisham. He is the only one of Miss Havisham's relatives who speaks honestly of her and has been banished from her presence. Matthew is Pip's tutor in London. He has no control over his large family and has a habit of pulling himself up by his hair in frustration. Pip tells Miss Havisham of Matthew's good character and she leaves him 4000 pounds in her will. Matthew's wife, Belinda, is obsessed with social position, having been the daughter of a knight, and pays no attention to housekeeping or her young children who are left to "tumble up" by themselves. Many believe Dickens modeled the Pocket household after his own large family. Mr. Pocket was a gentleman with a rather perplexed expression of face, and with his very grey hair disordered on his head, as if he didn't quite see his way to putting anything straight. (top)

Pocket, Sarah ( Great Expectations ) One of Miss Havisham's toady relations hoping to gain an inheritance. A little dry brown corrugated old woman, with a small face that might have been made of walnut shells, and a large mouth like a cat's without the whiskers. (top)

Podsnap, John ( Our Mutual Friend ) Model for "Podsnappery" or Victorian middle-class pomp and complacency, along with his wife, and daughter Georgiana. Dickens modeled John Podsnap on his friend and first biographer John Forster. (top)

Pogram, Elijah ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Member of Congress Martin Chuzzlewit meets on the steamboat when leaving Eden. Pogram has inherited the congressional talent for speechifying much, and saying little. He had straight black hair, parted up the middle of his head, and hanging down upon his coat; a little fringe of hair upon his chin; wore no neckcloth; a white hat; a suit of black, long in the sleeves, and short in the legs; soiled brown stockings, and laced shoes. His complexion, naturally muddy, was rendered muddier by too strict an economy of soap and water; and the same observation will apply to the washable part of his attire, which he might have changed with comfort to himself, and gratification to his friends. He was about five-and-thirty; was crushed and jammed up in a heap, under the shade of a large green cotton umbrella; and ruminated over his tobacco-plug like a cow. (top)

Polly ( Bleak House ) Waitress at a neighbouring dining-house, of the class known among its frequenters by the denomination slap-bang. frequented by Bart (Chick) Smallweed. A bouncing young female of forty. (top)

Potatoes, Mealy ( David Copperfield ) Co-worker of David Copperfield at Murdstone and Grimby's warehouse. This youth had not been christened by that name, but that it had been bestowed upon him in the warehouse, on account of his complexion, which was pale or mealy. Mealy's father was a waterman, who had the additional distinction of being a fireman, and was engaged as such at one of the large theatres; where some young relation of Mealy's - I think his little sister - did Imps in the Pantomimes. (top)

Pott, Mr ( Pickwick Papers ) Editor of the Eatenswill Gazette and sworn enemy of Mr Slurk, editor of the Eatenswill Independent. (top)

Potterson, Abbey ( Our Mutual Friend ) Proprietor of the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters pub in Limehouse Hole. (top)

Pouch, Joe ( Bleak House ) Deceased friend of the Bagnets. Mrs Bagnet thinks that Mr George should have married Joe Pouch's widow. (top)

Price, Matilda ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Illustration Fanny Squeers' friend. She marries John Browdie. A miller's daughter of only eighteen, who had contracted herself unto the son of a small corn-factor, resident in the nearest market town. She was pretty, and a coquette too in her small way. (top)

Prig, Betsy ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Nurse at Bartholomew's Hospital and an associate of Sairey Gamp. Betsy and Mrs Gamp have a falling out, Betsy questioning the existence of Gamp's imaginary friend Mrs Harris. Mrs Prig was of the Gamp build, but not so fat; and her voice was deeper and more like a man's. She had also a beard.

Geolinks: St Bartholomew's Hospital (top)

Priscilla ( Bleak House ) The Jellyby's maid who drinks. She's always drinking. It's a great shame and a great story of you if you say you didn't smell her today. It was as bad as a public-house, waiting at dinner; you know it was! (top)

Puffer, Princess ( The Mystery of Edwin Drood ) Proprietor of an opium den in London's East End frequented by John Jasper. She follows him to Cloisterham and spies on him there. (top)

Pugstyles, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Spokesman for the deputation requesting that Mr Gregsbury, MP resign. A plump old gentleman. (top)

Miss Pross ( A Tale of Two Cities ) PIX Lucie Manette's loyal maid. In Paris Miss Pross is surprised to find her brother, Soloman, is the spy John Barsad. In the end of the novel she struggles with Madame Defarge, who is killed in the scuffle. Mr. Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous, but he also knew her by this time to be, beneath the service of her eccentricity, one of those unselfish creatures--found only among women--who will, for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves, to youth when they have lost it, to beauty that they never had, to accomplishments that they were never fortunate enough to gain, to bright hopes that never shone upon their own sombre lives. He knew enough of the world to know that there is nothing in it better than the faithful service of the heart; so rendered and so free from any mercenary taint, he had such an exalted respect for it, that in the retributive arrangements made by his own mind--we all make such arrangements, more or less-- he stationed Miss Pross much nearer to the lower Angels than many ladies immeasurably better got up both by Nature and Art, who had balances at Tellson's. (top)

Pumblechook ( Great Expectations ) PIX Joe Gargary's uncle ("but Mrs. Joe appropriated him"), hypocritical and well-to-do corn-chandler in the nearest town, and drove his own chaise-cart. He takes Pip to meet Miss Havisham and takes credit for arranging Pips "great expectations."

A large hard-breathing middle-aged slow man, with a mouth like a fish, dull staring eyes, and sandy hair standing upright on his head, so that he looked as if he had just been all but choked. (top)

Pupker, Sir Matthew ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Chairmen of the United Metropolitan Improved Hot Muffin and Crumpet Baking and Punctual Delivery Company. Had a little round head with a flaxen wig on the top of it. (top)

Pyegrave, Charley ( David Copperfield ) Son of a duke and a customer of Miss Mowcher. 'What a man HE is! THERE'S a whisker! As to Charley's legs, if they were only a pair (which they ain't), they'd defy competition. (top)

Pyke, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) One of Sir Mulberry Hawk's sycophants. A sharp-faced gentleman. Messrs. Pyke and Pluck, live upon their wits (or not so much, perhaps, upon the presence of their own wits as upon the absence of wits in other people). (top)


Quale, Mr. ( Bleak House ) Philanthropic associate of Mrs. Jellyby. A loquacious young man...with large shining knobs for temples and his hair all brushed to the back of his head. (top)

Quilp, Daniel ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) PIX An evil dwarf who lends money to Nell's grandfather who gambles it away and flees London with Nell in an attempt to avoid Quilp. Quilp attempts to find the pair as they travel through the country. Later Quilp is pursued by the police and, lost in the fog, drowns in the Thames.

Geolinks: The Tower (top)

Quilp, Betsy ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) PIX Pretty and timid wife of Daniel Quilp whom he loves to mentally torture. When Quilp dies she inherits his money and happily remarries. Betsy's mother is Mrs Jiniwin.

Geolinks: The Tower (top)

Quinion ( David Copperfield ) Friend of Edward Murdstone who David Copperfield meets in Lowestoft, along with Mr Passnidge. Quinion is also manager of Grimby and Murdstone's wine-bottling warehouse where David is employed to wash bottles. Mr Quinion introduces David to Mr Micawber. (top)