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Dickens' Characters → Characters R-S

Dickens' Characters R-S


Mrs Rachael ( Bleak House ) Esther Summerson's nurse. Later marries Rev Chadband. Very good woman, but austere. (top)

Rachael ( Hard Times ) Friend of Stephen Blackpool, who loves her but cannot gain release from his drunken wife. She defends Stephen when he is accused of theft from the bank. A quiet oval face, dark and rather delicate, irradiated by a pair of very gentle eyes, and further set off by the perfect order of her shining black hair. It was not a face in its first bloom; she was a woman five and thirty years of age. (top)

Raddle, Mary Ann ( Pickwick Papers ) Bob Sawyer's landlady in Lant Street. 'A little fierce women' who berates her husband for not standing up for her. (top)

Radfoot, George ( Our Mutual Friend ) Third mate aboard the ship bringing John Harmon back to England. He and Harmon resemble each other and Harmon devises a plan to temporarily exchange clothes and identities with Radfoot so that he can secretly observe his intended bride, Bella Wilfer. Radfoot instead drugs and robs Harmon and is then murdered himself, his body taken for that of John Harmon (top)

Raymond ( Great Expectations ) Husband of Camilla and another of Miss Havisham's toady relations. (top)

Redlaw ( The Haunted Man ) PIX Professor of chemistry who is visited by a phantom on Christmas Eve and given the gift of forgetting painful memories. The gift turns out to be a curse as it is passed on to those Redlaw touches. The adverse effects of the gift are finally reversed by Milly Swidger. (top)

Riah ( Our Mutual Friend ) PIX 'An old Jewish man, in an ancient coat, long of skirt and wide of pocket' who fronts Fledgeby's money-lending business. He befriends Lizzie Hexam and Jenny Wren. (top)

Richard ( The Chimes ) Blacksmith and fiance of Meg, they are married on New Year's Day. (top)

Richard ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Waiter at the Saracen's Head. (top)

Riderhood, Pleasant ( Our Mutual Friend ) PIX Daughter of Rogue Riderhood. Pleasant is an unlicensed pawnbroker, she later overcomes her dislike of Mr Venus's occupation and agrees to marry him. (top)

Riderhood, Rogue ( Our Mutual Friend ) PIX Waterman and former partner of Gaffer Hexam who tries to pin blame on Gaffer for the Harmon murder to gain a reward. Riderhood later becomes a lock-keeper and tries to blackmail Bradley Headstone after Bradley tries to murder Eugene Wrayburn. In a quarrel both Riderhood and Headstone drown in the Thames. Rogue is also the father of Pleasant Riderhood. (top)

Rigaud/Blandois/Lagnier ( Little Dorrit ) PIX Villain of the novel. Rigaud attempts to blackmail Mrs. Clennam and has her house fall on him for his efforts. When Monsieur Rigaud laughed, a change took place in his face, that was more remarkable than prepossessing. His moustache went up under his nose, and his nose came down over his moustache, in a very sinister and cruel manner.

Geolinks: The Adelphi (top)

Rogers ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Subject of one of Mrs Nickleby attempted remembrances. A lady in our neighbourhood when we lived near Dawlish, I think her name was Rogers; indeed I am sure it was if it wasn't Murphy, which is the only doubt I have. (top)

Roker, Tom ( Pickwick Papers ) Turnkey at the Fleet Prison who introduces Pickwick to the wonderful accommodation there: 'You wouldn't think to find such a room as this in the Farringdon Hotel, would you?' (top)

Rokesmith, John ( Our Mutual Friend ) PIX Alias used by John Harmon when he is employed as secretary to the Boffins.

Geolinks: Clifford's Inn (top)

Rosa ( Bleak House ) Personal maid to Lady Dedlock after Hortense is dismissed. She marries Watt Rouncewell. A dark-eyed, dark-haired, shy, village beauty ...so fresh in her rosy and yet delicate bloom that the drops of rain which have beaten on her hair look like the dew upon a flower fresh gathered. (top)

Rouncewell, George ( Bleak House ) PIX Son of the Dedlock's housekeeper Mrs Rouncewell. George ran away to join the army and cut himself off from his mother. After leaving the army George buys a shooting gallery in London with money borrowed from Smallweed. Smallweed pressures George to give over examples of Capt Hawdon's handwriting in order to help Tulkinghorn learn Lady Dedlock's secret. George is charged with the murder of Tulkinghorn by Bucket. Later George is exonerated of the crime and is reunited with his mother. He is a swarthy brown man of fifty, well made, and good looking, with crisp dark hair, bright eyes, and a broad chest. His sinewy and powerful hands, as sunburnt as his face, have evidently been used to a pretty rough life. What is curious about him is that he sits forward on his chair as if he were, from long habit, allowing space for some dress or accoutrements that he has altogether laid aside. His step too is measured and heavy and would go well with a weighty clash and jingle of spurs. He is close-shaved now, but his mouth is set as if his upper lip had been for years familiar with a great moustache; and his manner of occasionally laying the open palm of his broad brown hand upon it is to the same effect. Altogether one might guess Mr. George to have been a trooper once upon a time.

Geolinks: Astley's, Leicester Square (top)

Rouncewell, Mr. ( Bleak House ) An iron master and son of Mrs. Rouncewell, brother of Mr George, father of Watt. He is a little over fifty perhaps, of a good figure, like his mother, and has a clear voice, a broad forehead from which his dark hair has retired, and a shrewd though open face. He is a responsible-looking gentleman dressed in black, portly enough, but strong and active. Has a perfectly natural and easy air and is not in the least embarrassed by the great presence into which he comes. (top)

Rouncewell, Mrs. ( Bleak House ) PIX Longtime housekeeper of Chesney Wold, home of Sir Leicester Dedlock. Mother of George and another son who is an important ironmaster in northern England. She is rather deaf, which nothing will induce her to believe. She is a fine old lady, handsome, stately, wonderfully neat, and has such a back and such a stomacher that if her stays should turn out when she dies to have been a broad old-fashioned family fire-grate, nobody who knows her would have cause to be surprised. (top)

Rouncewell, Watt ( Bleak House ) Grandson of Mrs. Rouncewell, son of Rouncewell the iron master, and nephew of Mr. George. He marries Rosa. You are a fine young fellow. You are like your poor uncle George. (top)

Ruddle ( Nicholas Nickleby ) One of the debtors whose mortgage belongs to Ralph Nickleby. (top)

Rudge, Barnaby ( Barnaby Rudge ) PIX Simple but good hearted boy who unwittingly gets involved in the Gordon Riots when he falls into bad company. He is later arrested and sentenced to death but gains reprieve through the help of Gabriel Varden.

Geolinks: Bloomsbury, Newgate Prison, Westminster Bridge (top)

Rudge, Barnaby Sr. ( Barnaby Rudge ) Father of Barnaby and husband of Mary. He was the Steward at the Warren and murdered his employer, Reuben Haredale. He went into hiding after the murder and resurfaces years later trying to extort money from his wife. He is finally captured by Geoffrey Haredale and executed at Newgate. (top)

Rudge, Mary ( Barnaby Rudge ) PIX Barnaby's mother, goes to great lengths to keep Barnaby away from his father who has murdered Reuben Haredale.

Geolinks: Westminster Bridge (top)

Rugg, Mr ( Little Dorrit ) Landlord of Pancks who assists in finding William Dorrit's fortune. (top)


Marquis de St Evremonde ( A Tale of Two Cities ) Uncle of Charles Darnay. He shows unconcern when his carriage runs over and kills the child of the Parisian peasant Gaspard. Gaspard follows the Marquis to his country home and kills him in his bed. He was a man of about sixty, handsomely dressed, haughty in manner, and with a face like a fine mask. A face of a transparent paleness; every feature in it clearly defined; one set expression on it. The nose, beautifully formed otherwise, was very slightly pinched at the top of each nostril. In those two compressions, or dints, the only little change that the face ever showed, resided. They persisted in changing colour sometimes, and they would be occasionally dilated and contracted by something like a faint pulsation; then, they gave a look of treachery, and cruelty, to the whole countenance. Examined with attention, its capacity of helping such a look was to be found in the line of the mouth, and the lines of the orbits of the eyes, being much too horizontal and thin; still, in the effect of the face made, it was a handsome face, and a remarkable one. (top)

Sally, Old ( Oliver Twist ) Old hag present at Oliver's birth. She steals the locket and ring from Oliver's mother as she lays dying. She pawns the locket and as she is dying gives the pawn ticket to Mrs Corney. (top)

Sally ( Great Expectations ) Wife of Compeyson. (top)

Sam ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Hostler at the Blue Dragon. (top)

Sapsea, Thomas ( The Mystery of Edwin Drood ) Pompous auctioneer turned mayor of Cloisterham. "The Purest jackass in Cloisterham." (top)

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

Geolinks: Guy's Hospital, Lant Street (top)

Scadder, Zephaniah ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Unscrupulous agent of the Eden Land Corporation in America who sells swamp land to Martin Chuzzlewit. He was a gaunt man in a huge straw hat, and a coat of green stuff. The weather being hot, he had no cravat, and wore his shirt collar wide open; so that every time he spoke something was seen to twitch and jerk up in his throat, like the little hammers in a harpsichord when the notes are struck. Perhaps it was the Truth feebly endeavouring to leap to his lips. If so, it never reached them. Two gray eyes lurked deep within this agent’s head, but one of them had no sight in it, and stood stock still. With that side of his face he seemed to listen to what the other side was doing. Thus each profile had a distinct expression; and when the moveable side was most in action, the rigid one was in its coldest state of watchfulness. It was like turning the man inside out, to pass to that view of his features in his liveliest mood, and see how calculating and intent they were. Each long black hair upon his head hung down as straight as any plummet line, but rumpled tufts were on the arches of his eyes, as if the crow whose foot was deeply printed in the corners, had pecked and torn them in a savage recognition of his kindred nature as a bird of prey. (top)

Scadgers, Lady ( Hard Times ) Mrs. Sparsit's great aunt. An immensely fat old woman, with an inordinate appetite for butcher's meat, and a mysterious leg which had now refused to get out of bed for fourteen years. (top)

Scaley, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Bailiff who, along with Tom Tix, comes to take possession of the Mantalini's business for debt. A white hat, and a red neckerchief, and a broad round face, and a large head. (top)

Scott, Tom ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) Quilp's boy, always at odds with his master, but expresses regret at Quilp's death. Tom has a penchant for standing on his head and walking on his hands. He later becomes a professional tumbler. (top)

Scrooge, Ebenezer ( A Christmas Carol ) PIX Probably Dickens' best known character, the miserly Scrooge, with his familiar cry of "Bah, Humbug!", is visited by the ghost of his former partner, Jacob Marley, who sends three more spirits in hopes of reforming Scrooge's heartless and penny-pinching ways. Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind-stone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shrivelled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue; and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dogdays; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.

Geolinks: Bedlam, The City, Royal Exchange (top)

Sharp, Mr ( David Copperfield ) First master at Salem House where David attends school. He was a limp, delicate-looking gentleman, I thought, with a good deal of nose, and a way of carrying his head on one side, as if it were a little too heavy for him. His hair was very smooth and wavy; but I was informed by the very first boy who came back that it was a wig (a second-hand one HE said), and that Mr. Sharp went out every Saturday afternoon to get it curled. (top)

Shepherd, Miss ( David Copperfield ) A passing infatuation of David Copperfield's while at Doctor Strong's school. A boarder at the Misses Nettingalls establishment. She is a little girl, in a spencer, with a round face and curly flaxen hair. (top)

Sikes, Bill ( Oliver Twist ) PIX A vicious thief working on the fringes of Fagin's band of pickpockets. He uses Oliver in an attempt to burglarize the Maylie home. When Nancy tries to help Oliver she is found out by Fagin. Fagin relates the information to Sikes who murders Nancy. While fleeing police after the murder he accidentally hangs himself. He is accompanied by Bull's-Eye, his white shaggy dog with a face scratched and torn in twenty different places. A stoutly-built fellow of about five-and-thirty, in a black velveteen coat, very soiled drab breeches, lace-up half boots, and grey cotton stockings which inclosed a bulky pair of legs, with large swelling calves;--the kind of legs, which in such costume, always look in an unfinished and incomplete state without a set of fetters to garnish them. He had a brown hat on his head, and a dirty belcher handkerchief round his neck: with the long frayed ends of which he smeared the beer from his face as he spoke. He disclosed, when he had done so, a broad heavy countenance with a beard of three days' growth, and two scowling eyes; one of which displayed various parti-coloured symptoms of having been recently damaged by a blow.

Geolinks: Jacob's Island, Smithfield (top)

Simmons, William ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Wagon driver who gives Martin Chuzzlewit a ride from Salisbury to Hounslow. A red-faced burly young fellow; smart in his way, and with a good-humoured countenance. (top)

Simmonds, Miss ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Employee of Madame Mantalini. (top)

Single Gentleman, The ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) Mysterious lodger of the Brasses who is trying to find Nell and her grandfather. He is revealed to be the brother of the grandfather and finds the pair shortly before his brother's death. In the original serialization of the novel in Master Humphrey's Clock the Single Gentleman turns out to be the original narrator of the story, Master Humphrey. (top)

Skettles, Sir Barnet ( Dombey and Son ) Father of Master Skettles and husband of Lady Skettles. Expressed his personal consequence chiefly through an antique gold snuffbox, and a ponderous silk pocket-kerchief, which he had an imposing manner of drawing out of his pocket like a banner and using with both hands at once. Sir Barnet's object in life was constantly to extend the range of his acquaintance. (top)

Skettles, Lady ( Dombey and Son ) Wife of Sir Barnet and mother of Master Skettles. She has designs on Florence for her son. (top)

Skettles, Master ( Dombey and Son ) A fellow student at Blimber's academy with Paul Dombey. (top)

Skewton, Mrs (Cleopatra) ( Dombey and Son ) PIX Mother of Edith Granger who is 70-years-old but tries to appear much younger through the use of cosmetics and various devices. Dickens describes Mrs Skewton, in being dismantled for bed by her maid, taking off of paint, clothes, wig, etc as being tumbled into ruins like a house of painted cards. Edith resents her mother who has packaged Edith to lure rich gentlemen from a child. The discrepancy between Mrs Skewton's fresh enthusiasm of words, and forlornly faded manner, was hardly less observable than that between her age, which was about seventy, and her dress, which would have been youthful for twenty-seven. Her attitude in the wheeled chair (which she never varied) was one in which she had been taken in a barouche, some fifty years before, by a then fashionable artist who had appended to his published sketch the name of Cleopatra: in consequence of a discovery made by the critics of the time, that it bore an exact resemblance to that Princess as she reclined on board her galley. Mrs Skewton was a beauty then, and bucks threw wine-glasses over their heads by dozens in her honour. The beauty and the barouche had both passed away, but she still preserved the attitude, and for this reason expressly, maintained the wheeled chair and the butting page: there being nothing whatever, except the attitude, to prevent her from walking. (top)

Skiffins, Miss ( Great Expectations ) Wemmick's particular friend. Wemmick later surprises Pip on an outing by suddenly ("here's a church, lets go in") marrying Miss Skiffins. [Miss Skiffins] was of a wooden appearance, and was, like her escort, in the post-office branch of the service. She might have been some two or three years younger than Wemmick, and I judged her to stand possessed of portable property. The cut of her dress from the waist upward, both before and behind, made her figure very like a boy's kite; and I might have pronounced her gown a little too decidedly orange, and her gloves a little too intensely green. But she seemed to be a good sort of fellow, and showed a high regard for the Aged. I was not long in discovering that she was a frequent visitor at the Castle. (top)

Skiffins ( Great Expectations ) Brother of Miss Skiffins. An agent and accountant who helps Wemmick in aiding Pip to secretly set up Herbert Pocket in the shipping business with Clarriker. (top)

Skimpole, Arethusa ( Bleak House ) Harold Skimpole's beauty daughter, married with two children. (top)

Skimpole, Harold ( Bleak House ) PIX Friend of John Jarndyce who claims he is a mere child and understands nothing of money. Through this smooth act he manages to have everyone else pay his way through life. Dickens modeled Skimpole on Leigh Hunt, causing a stir among Hunt and his friends. He is a musical man, an amateur, but might have been a professional. He is an artist too, an amateur, but might have been a professional. He is a man of attainments and of captivating manners. He has been unfortunate in his affairs, and unfortunate in his pursuits, and unfortunate in his family; but he don't care--he's a child! (top)

Skimpole, Kitty ( Bleak House ) Harold Skimpole's comedy daughter. (top)

Skimpole, Laura ( Bleak House ) Harold Skimpole's sentiment daughter. (top)

Skimpole, Mrs. ( Bleak House ) Wife of Harold Skimpole who had once been a beauty but was now a delicate high-nosed invalid suffering under a complication of disorders. (top)

Slackbridge ( Hard Times ) Trade-union agitator seeking to unionize the workers of Coketown. He was not so honest, he was not so manly, he was not so good-humoured; he substituted cunning for their simplicity, and passion for their safe solid sense. An ill-made, high-shouldered man, with lowering brows, and his features crushed into an habitually sour expression, he contrasted most unfavourably, even in his mongrel dress, with the great body of his hearers in their plain working clothes. (top)

Sladdery, Mr. ( Bleak House ) Librarian with high connexion. (top)

Slammer, Dr ( Pickwick Papers ) Surgeon of the 97th, almost duels Nathaniel Winkle whom he mistakes for Alfred Jingle. (top)

Slammons, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Name by which Mrs Nickleby mistakenly calls Smike. (top)

Sleary, Mr. ( Hard Times ) Proprietor of Sleary's Circus. Speaks with a lisp ("People mutht be amuthed"). He helps Tom Gradgrind escape abroad after the bank robbery. A stout man as already mentioned, with one fixed eye, and one loose eye, a voice (if it can be called so) like the efforts of a broken old pair of bellows, a flabby surface, and a muddled head which was never sober and never drunk...who was troubled with asthma, and whose breath came far too thick and heavy for the letter s. (top)

Sleary, Josephine ( Hard Times ) Daughter of Mr. Sleary, she marries E. W. B. Childers. A pretty fair-haired girl of eighteen, who had been tied on a horse at two years old, and had made a will at twelve, which she always carried about with her, expressive of her dying desire to be drawn to the grave by the two piebald ponies. (top)

Sliderskew, Peg ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Housekeeper of Arthur Gride. Peg is jealous when Gride plans to marry the much younger Madeline Bray. Peg steals documents relating to Madeline's inheritance which are recovered and help undo Gride. For the theft Peg is transported. A short, thin, weasen, blear-eyed old woman, palsy-stricken and hideously ugly.

Geolinks: Lambeth (top)

Sloppy ( Our Mutual Friend ) Orphan who lives with Betty Higden. Sloppy is taken in by the Boffins and helps expose the rascal Silas Wegg. He later becomes a carpenter. (top)

Slout, Mr ( Oliver Twist ) Master of the workhouse where Oliver Twist is born. When he dies Mr Bumble takes his position. (top)

Slowboy, Tilly ( Cricket on the Hearth ) Angular and clumsy nurse to the Peerybingle's infant son. (top)

Slumkey, Samuel ( Pickwick Papers ) Blue candidate in the election at Eatanswill. He defeats the Buff candidate, Horatio Fitzkin. (top)

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

Slyme, Chevy ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Nephew of old Martin Chuzzlewit who works with Montigue Tigg to try to squeeze money from the family. Later a London police officer. His sharp features being much pinched and nipped by long waiting in the cold, and his straggling red whiskers and frowzy hair being more than usually dishevelled from the same cause, he certainly looked rather unwholesome and uncomfortable than Shakspearian or Miltonic...[His] great abilities seemed one and all to point towards the sneaking quarter of the moral compass. (top)

Smallweed, Bartholomew (Bart) (Chick Weed) ( Bleak House ) Grandson of Joshua, twin brother of Judy, and friend of William Guppy. Whether Young Smallweed (metaphorically called Small and eke Chick Weed, as it were jocularly to express a fledgling) was ever a boy is much doubted in Lincoln's Inn. He is now something under fifteen and an old limb of the law. He is facetiously understood to entertain a passion for a lady at a cigar-shop in the neighbourhood of Chancery Lane and for her sake to have broken off a contract with another lady, to whom he had been engaged some years. He is a town-made article, of small stature and weazen features, but may be perceived from a considerable distance by means of his very tall hat. To become a Guppy is the object of his ambition. He dresses at that gentleman (by whom he is patronized), talks at him, walks at him, founds himself entirely on him. He is honoured with Mr. Guppy's particular confidence and occasionally advises him, from the deep wells of his experience, on difficult points in private life. (top)

Smallweed, Joshua (Grandfather) ( Bleak House ) PIX Grandfather (Joshua) Smallweed is a usurer to whom George Rouncewell owes money. Smallweed uses this leverage to obtain from George a sample of Captain Hawdon's handwriting in an attempt to help Tulkinghorn learn Lady Dedlock's secret. He is in a helpless condition as to his lower, and nearly so as to his upper, limbs, but his mind is unimpaired...The excellent old gentleman being at these times a mere clothes-bag with a black skull-cap on the top of it, does not present a very animated appearance until he has undergone the two operations at the hands of his granddaughter of being shaken up like a great bottle and poked and punched like a great bolster. (top)

Smallweed, Judith ( Bleak House ) PIX Granddaugher of Joshua and twin sister of Bart. She accompanies her grandfather wherever he goes in order to "shake him up." A lean female with a face like a pinched mask...Judy never owned a doll, never heard of Cinderella, never played at any game. She once or twice fell into children's company when she was about ten years old, but the children couldn't get on with Judy, and Judy couldn't get on with them. She seemed like an animal of another species, and there was instinctive repugnance on both sides. It is very doubtful whether Judy knows how to laugh. She has so rarely seen the thing done that the probabilities are strong the other way. Of anything like a youthful laugh, she certainly can have no conception. If she were to try one, she would find her teeth in her way, modelling that action of her face, as she has unconsciously modelled all its other expressions, on her pattern of sordid age. Such is Judy. (top)

Smallweed, Grandmother ( Bleak House ) Wife of Joshua, who throws cushions at her when she ventures to utter a sound. Weak in her intellect and...in a childish state. (top)

Smauker ( Pickwick Papers ) Footman of Angelo Cyrus Bantam who invites Sam Weller to to 'a friendly swarry, consisting of a boiled leg of mutton with the usual trimmings.' (top)

Smif, Putnam (America Junior) ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Shopkeeper Messrs Hancock & Floby, Dry Goods Store who writes to young Martin Chuzzlewit in America seeking patronage. 'I am young, and ardent. For there is a poetry in wildness, and every alligator basking in the slime is in himself an Epic, self-contained. I aspirate for fame. It is my yearning and my thirst. (top)

Smifser ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Former suitor of Mrs Nickleby. (top)

Smike ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Abandoned as a child at Dotheboys Hall in the care of the evil Squeers, Smike is mistreated for years before being rescued by Nicholas. He travels to Portsmouth with Nicholas and performs in Crummles stage troupe and is welcomed as part of the family when he and Nicholas return to London. He is briefly retaken in London by Squeers and escapes with the help of John Browdie. Smike later dies from the treatment he received as a child. After his death it is discovered that he was Ralph Nickleby's son, making him the cousin of Nicholas and Kate. A tall lean boy...although he could not have been less than eighteen or nineteen years old, and was tall for that age, he wore a skeleton suit, such as is usually put upon very little boys, and which, though most absurdly short in the arms and legs, was quite wide enough for his attenuated frame. In order that the lower part of his legs might be in perfect keeping with this singular dress, he had a very large pair of boots, originally made for tops, which might have been once worn by some stout farmer, but were now too patched and tattered for a beggar. Heaven knows how long he had been there, but he still wore the same linen which he had first taken down; for, round his neck, was a tattered child's frill, only half concealed by a coarse, man's neckerchief. He was lame... (top)

Smivey, chicken ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Name given to young Martin Chuzzlewit by Montigue Tigg to preserve his anonymity at the pawn shop. (top)

Smouch ( Pickwick Papers ) Assistant to Deputy Sheriff Namby. 'A shabby-looking man in a brown greatcoat shorn of divers buttons.' (top)

Snagsby, Mr. ( Bleak House ) Law stationer near Chancery Lane who hires Nemo (Capt Hawdon) to do some copy work. Former partner of Peffer, deceased. "Not to put too fine a point upon it," a favourite apology for plain speaking with Mr. Snagsby. Snagsby's office is in Cook's Court, Cursitor Street...He is a mild, bald, timid man with a shining head and a scrubby clump of black hair sticking out at the back. He tends to meekness and obesity.

Geolinks: Chancery Lane (top)

Snagsby, Mrs. ( Bleak House ) Mr. Snagsby's jealous and inquisitive wife. She is the neice of Snagsby's deceased partner, Peffer. She is a zealous supporter of Rev Chadband. She manages the money, reproaches the tax-gatherers, appoints the times and places of devotion on Sundays, licenses Mr. Snagsby's entertainments, and acknowledges no responsibility as to what she thinks fit to provide for dinner.

Geolinks: Chancery Lane (top)

Snawley ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Father who puts his two step-sons in Squeers' school, Dotheboys Hall. Snawley later poses as Smike's father in Ralph Nickleby's scheme to get the runaway boy back. Mrs Snawley later forces him to expose Ralph's plan. A sleek, flat-nosed man, clad in sombre garments, and long black gaiters, and bearing in his countenance an expression of much mortification and sanctity; so, his smiling without any obvious reason was the more remarkable. (top)

Snawley, Mrs ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Wife of Mr Snawley. She defies Ralph Nickleby and proves the undoing of his, and her husband's, schemes. (top)

Snevellicci, Miss ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Actress in Crummles' acting troupe. She makes a play for Nicholas Nickleby without success and was later happily married to an affluent young wax-chandler who had supplied the theatre with candles. Could do anything, from a medley dance to Lady Macbeth, and also always played some part in blue silk knee-smalls at her benefit. (top)

Snevellicci, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) An actor and Miss Snevellicci's papa. An uncommonly fine man ... with a hook nose, and a white forehead, and curly black hair, and high cheek bones, and altogether quite a handsome face, only a little pimply as though with drinking. He had a very broad chest had Miss Snevellicci's papa, and he wore a threadbare blue dress-coat buttoned with gilt buttons tight across it...[He] had been in the profession ever since he had first played the ten-year-old imps in the Christmas pantomimes; who could sing a little, dance a little, fence a little, act a little, and do everything a little, but not much; who had been sometimes in the ballet, and sometimes in the chorus, at every theatre in London; who was always selected in virtue of his figure to play the military visitors and the speechless noblemen; who always wore a smart dress, and came on arm-in-arm with a smart lady in short petticoats,--and always did it too with such an air that people in the pit had been several times known to cry out 'Bravo!' under the impression that he was somebody. (top)

Snevellicci, Mrs ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Miss Snevellicci's mama. Was still a dancer, with a neat little figure and some remains of good looks. (top)

Snewkes, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) A friend of the Kenwigs. (top)

Snitchey and Craggs ( The Battle of Life ) Country lawyers who handle the legal affairs of Dr. Jeddler and Michael Warden. (top)

Snobb, Mr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Honourable business associate of Ralph Nickleby. A gentleman with the neck of a stork and the legs of no animal in particular. (top)

Snodgrass, Augustus ( Pickwick Papers ) PIX A member of the Pickwick club and party to the adventures of Pickwick's travels. Snodgrass fancies himself a poet, but has written no poetry. He falls in love with Emily Wardle and marries her at the end of the story. (top)

Snuffim, Sir Tumley ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Julia Wititterly's doctor. (top)

Sophia ( Great Expectations ) Housemaid to the Pockets. (top)

Sophia ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Spoiled daughter of the brass and copper founder for whom Ruth Pinch works as governess. (top)

Sowerberry, Mr ( Oliver Twist ) Undertaker to whom Oliver is apprenticed. Oliver is mistreated and runs away to London. A tall, gaunt, large-jointed man, attired in a suit of threadbare black, with darned cotton stockings of the same colour, and shoes to answer (top)

Sowerberry, Mrs ( Oliver Twist ) Wife of Mr Sowerberry. A short, thin, squeezed-up woman, with a vixenish countenance (top)

Sownds, Mr ( Dombey and Son ) Beadle at the church where Mr Dombey marries Edith Granger and later where Walter Gay marries Florence Dombey. (top)

Sparkler, Edmund ( Little Dorrit ) Son of Mrs Merdle by a former marriage. A man of limited talents, he offers marriage to 'all manner of undesirable young ladies' finally marries Fanny Dorrit. Edmund and Fanny lose all in the Merdle banking scam. (top)

Sparsit, Mrs. ( Hard Times ) Housekeeper of Bounderby with aristocratic connections by way of her great aunt Lady Scadgers. She is a busybody, causing dissension between Bounderby and his wife Louisa Gradgrind. In her elderly days, with the Coriolanian style of nose and the dense black eyebrows. (top)

Spenlow, Dora ( David Copperfield ) PIX Daughter of David Copperfield's employer, Francis Spenlow. She and David are married and David tries to teach her to keep house, but she has no head for it. She becomes ill with an unspecified illness and dies young. She was more than human to me. She was a Fairy, a Sylph, I don't know what she was - anything that no one ever saw, and everything that everybody ever wanted. I was swallowed up in an abyss of love in an instant. There was no pausing on the brink; no looking down, or looking back; I was gone, headlong, before I had sense to say a word to her. Dickens based Dora on Maria Beadnell, his first love. (top)

Spenlow, Francis ( David Copperfield ) PIX Proctor at Doctor's Commons where David Copperfield is apprenticed and father of Dora. He was a little light-haired gentleman, with undeniable boots, and the stiffest of white cravats and shirt-collars. He was buttoned up, mighty trim and tight, and must have taken a great deal of pains with his whiskers, which were accurately curled. (top)

Spenlow, Misses (Clarissa and Lavinia) ( David Copperfield ) PIX Dora's spinster aunts with whom she goes to live after her father dies. They were estranged from their brother because of a slight they received at the hands of Francis Spenlow's deceased wife. Mr. Spenlow had evidently been the youngest of the family; that there was a disparity of six or eight years between the two sisters; and that the younger appeared to be the manager of the conference, inasmuch as she had my letter in her hand - so familiar as it looked to me, and yet so odd! - and was referring to it through an eye-glass. They were dressed alike, but this sister wore her dress with a more youthful air than the other; and perhaps had a trifle more frill, or tucker, or brooch, or bracelet, or some little thing of that kind, which made her look more lively. They were both upright in their carriage, formal, precise, composed, and quiet. The sister who had not my letter, had her arms crossed on her breast, and resting on each other, like an Idol. (top)

Spiker, Mr and Mrs ( David Copperfield ) Dinner guest of the Waterbrooks. A very awful lady in a black velvet dress, and a great black velvet hat, whom I remember as looking like a near relation of Hamlet's - say his aunt. Mrs. Henry Spiker was this lady's name; and her husband was there too: so cold a man, that his head, instead of being grey, seemed to be sprinkled with hoar-frost. (top)

Spiller ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Artist who painted a portrait of Seth Pecksniff. (top)

Spoker ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Artist who sculpted a bust of Seth Pecksniff and considered to be a very good likeness. (top)

Spottletoe, Mr ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Relative of old Martin Chuzzlewit by marriage, Mrs Spottletoe is old Martin's niece, with designs on inheriting his money. The Spottletoes are present at Charity Pecksniff's abortive wedding ceremony. Was so bald and had such big whiskers, that he seemed to have stopped his hair, by the sudden application of some powerful remedy, in the very act of falling off his head, and to have fastened it irrevocably on his face. (top)

Spottletoe, Mrs ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) Wife of Mr Spottletoe and niece of old Martin Chuzzlewit with designs to inherit his money. Much too slim for her years, and of a poetical constitution. (top)

Sprouter ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Student at Dotheboys Hall. (top)

Spyers, Jem ( Oliver Twist ) Police officer who arrests Conkey Chickweed in a story told by Blathers. (top)

Squeers, Fanny ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Daughter of Wackford Squeers. When Nicholas Nickleby becomes her father's assistant she falls madly in love with him, telling her friend Matilda Price that they are practically engaged. Nicholas wants nothing to do with her. Not tall like her mother, but short like her father; from the former she inherited a voice of harsh quality; from the latter a remarkable expression of the right eye, something akin to having none at all. (top)

Squeers, Wackford ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Proprietor of Dotheboys Hall, he takes in boys not wanted by their families and mistreats them. Nicholas Nickleby becomes his assistant master and sees the way he treats his charges, gives him a sound thrashing, and leaves. Squeers seeks revenge and conspires with Ralph Nickleby. He is eventually undone, imprisoned, and transported. Mr. Squeers's appearance was not prepossessing. He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favour of two. The eye he had, was unquestionably useful, but decidedly not ornamental: being of a greenish grey, and in shape resembling the fan-light of a street door. The blank side of his face was much wrinkled and puckered up, which gave him a very sinister appearance, especially when he smiled, at which times his expression bordered closely on the villainous. His hair was very flat and shiny, save at the ends, where it was brushed stiffly up from a low protruding forehead, which assorted well with his harsh voice and coarse manner. He was about two or three and fifty, and a trifle below the middle size; he wore a white neckerchief with long ends, and a suit of scholastic black; but his coat sleeves being a great deal too long, and his trousers a great deal too short, he appeared ill at ease in his clothes, and as if he were in a perpetual state of astonishment at finding himself so respectable.

Geolinks: Snow Hill (top)

Squeers, Wackford Jr ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Son of schoolmaster Wackford Squeers. Little Wackford is kept fat as an advertisement of the supposed plenty provided at the school. He is spoiled by being given any gifts intended for pupils of the school by their families. A striking likeness of his father. (top)

Squeers, Mrs ( Nicholas Nickleby ) PIX Wife of Wackford Squeers. While Mr Squeers attempts to keep his cruelty in check, in order to keep up appearances, Mrs Squeers is openly cruel. The lady, who was of a large raw-boned figure, was about half a head taller than Mr. Squeers, and was dressed in a dimity night-jacket; with her hair in papers; she had also a dirty nightcap on, relieved by a yellow cotton handkerchief which tied it under the chin. The only difference between them was, that Mrs. Squeers waged war against the enemy openly and fearlessly, and that Squeers covered his rascality, even at home, with a spice of his habitual deceit; as if he really had a notion of someday or other being able to take himself in, and persuade his own mind that he was a very good fellow. (top)

Squod, Phil ( Bleak House ) PIX George Rouncewell's ugly little assistant at the shooting gallery. Formerly a traveling tinker. Reports his age as "something with an eight in it..." And ugly enough to be made a show on! Mr George reports the Phil has never hurt anybody but himself. (top)

Stables, Bob ( Bleak House ) Poor relation of Sir Leicester Dedlock who can make warm mashes with the skill of a veterinary surgeon and is a better shot than most gamekeepers. (top)

Stagg ( Barnaby Rudge ) Blind member of the 'Prentice Knights with Simon Tappertit. He joins Barnaby Rudge Sr. in trying to extort money from Mary Rudge. Killed when he tries to run from officers arresting Hugh, Barnaby, and Rudge Sr. (top)

Startop ( Great Expectations ) Pip's fellow student at Matthew Pocket's. He helps Herbert rescue Pip from Orlick and helps Herbert row the boat during the attempt to get Magwitch out of the country. Startop had been spoilt by a weak mother and kept at home when he ought to have been at school, but he was devotedly attached to her, and admired her beyond measure. He had a woman's delicacy of feature, and was...exactly like his mother.

Geolinks: The Tower (top)

Steerforth, James ( David Copperfield ) PIX Friend of David Copperfield at the Salem House school where his engaging charm makes him everyone's favorite. David later runs into him again in London and he accompanies David on a trip to Yarmouth where he charms Emily into eloping with him. They go abroad and Steerforth soon tires of Emily and deserts her. He is later drowned in a shipwreck where Ham Peggotty, from whom Steerforth stole Emily away, dies trying to save him. This boy, who was reputed to be a great scholar, and was very good-looking, and at least half-a-dozen years my senior.

Geolinks: British Museum (top)

Steerforth, Mrs ( David Copperfield ) PIX Doting mother of James Steerforth. An elderly lady, though not very far advanced in years, with a proud carriage and a handsome face (top)

Stiggins, Reverend ( Pickwick Papers ) Hypocritical Deputy Shepherd (from the Dorking branch) of the Brick Lane Branch of the United Grand Junction Ebenezer Temperance Association. Exposed by Tony Weller whose wife Susan is one of Stiggins' flock. (top)

Strong, Annie ( David Copperfield ) PIX Pretty, young (a girl of twenty) wife of Doctor Strong. Annie is suspected of having an affair with her cousin, Jack Maldon. [Doctor Strong] had not yet been married twelve months to the beautiful young lady...whom he had married for love; for she had not a sixpence, and had a world of poor relations (so our fellows said) ready to swarm the Doctor out of house and home. (top)

Strong, Doctor ( David Copperfield ) PIX Headmaster at the school David Copperfield attends in Canterbury. He is chiefly concerned with assembling his Greek dictionary. Looked almost as rusty...as the tall iron rails and gates outside the house; and almost as stiff and heavy as the great stone urns that flanked them, and were set up, on the top of the red-brick wall, at regular distances all round the court, like sublimated skittles, for Time to play at. He was in his library (I mean Doctor Strong was), with his clothes not particularly well brushed, and his hair not particularly well combed; his knee-smalls unbraced; his long black gaiters unbuttoned; and his shoes yawning like two caverns on the hearth-rug. Turning upon me a lustreless eye, that reminded me of a long-forgotten blind old horse who once used to crop the grass, and tumble over the graves, in Blunderstone churchyard, he said he was glad to see me: and then he gave me his hand; which I didn’t know what to do with, as it did nothing for itself. (top)

Stryver ( A Tale of Two Cities ) PIX Barrister who defends Charles Darnay in his trial for treason with assistance from his friend Sydney Carton. Stryver intends to ask Lucie Manette to marry him until counseled by Jarvis Lorry. A man of little more than thirty, but looking twenty years older than he was, stout, loud, red, bluff, and free from any drawback of delicacy, had a pushing way of shouldering himself (morally and physically) into companies and conversations, that argued well for his shouldering his way up in life.

Geolinks: The Temple, Vauxhall Gardens (top)

Summerson, Esther ( Bleak House ) PIX Principal character in the story. She is brought up an orphan by her aunt, Miss Barbery. On her aunt's death she is adopted by John Jarndyce and becomes companions to his wards, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone. Later in the story it is revealed that Esther is the illegitimate daughter of Captain Hawdon and Lady Dedlock. John Jarndyce falls in love with her and asked her to marry him. She consents out of respect for Jarndyce but during the engagement she falls in love with Allan Woodcourt. When Jarndyce learns of her feelings for Allan he releases her from the engagement and she marries Woodcourt.

John Jarndyce:"You are clever enough to be the good little woman of our lives here, my dear," he returned playfully; "the little old woman of the child's (I don't mean Skimpole's) rhyme:

'Little old woman, and whither so high?'
'To sweep the cobwebs out of the sky.'

You will sweep them so neatly out of OUR sky in the course of your housekeeping, Esther, that one of these days we shall have to abandon the growlery and nail up the door."

Esther: This was the beginning of my being called Old Woman, and Little Old Woman, and Cobweb, and Mrs. Shipton, and Mother Hubbard, and Dame Durden, and so many names of that sort that my own name soon became quite lost among them.

Geolinks: Oxford Street, Soho Square (top)

Susan ( Oliver Twist ) Mrs Mann's maid at the baby farm where Oliver is raised to age 9. (top)

Swallow ( Nicholas Nickleby ) Owner of the coach that Mrs Squeers takes in pursuit of Smike. (top)

Sweedlepipe, Paul (Poll) ( Martin Chuzzlewit ) PIX Landlord of Sairey Gamp, barber, and bird-fancier. Poll was also a friend of young Bailey and grieves bitterly when it is thought that Bailey had been killed. He was a little elderly man, with a clammy cold right hand, from which even rabbits and birds could not remove the smell of shaving-soap. Poll had something of the bird in his nature; not of the hawk or eagle, but of the sparrow, that builds in chimney-stacks, and inclines to human company. He was not quarrelsome, though, like the sparrow; but peaceful, like the dove. In his walk he strutted; and, in this respect, he bore a faint resemblance to the pigeon, as well as in a certain prosiness of speech, which might, in its monotony, be likened to the cooing of that bird. He was very inquisitive; and when he stood at his shop-door in the evening-tide, watching the neighbours, with his head on one side, and his eye cocked knowingly, there was a dash of the raven in him...Poll Sweedlepipe’s house was one great bird's nest. Game-cocks resided in the kitchen; pheasants wasted the brightness of their golden plumage on the garret; bantams roosted in the cellar; owls had possession of the bed-room; and specimens of all the smaller fry of birds chirrupped and twittered in the shop. The staircase was sacred to rabbits. There, in hutches of all shapes and kinds, made from old packing-cases, boxes, drawers, and tea-chests, they increased in a prodigious degree, and contributed their share towards that complicated whiff which, quite impartially, and without distinction of persons, saluted every nose that was put into Sweedlepipe's easy shaving-shop. (top)

Swidger, Milly ( The Haunted Man ) Wife of William and the only member of the family not touched by Redlaw's gift of forgetting past sorrows. Her inherent goodness, based on remembrance of her lost child, reverses the effects of this curse in her family, the Tetterby family, and Edmund Longford. (top)

Swidger, Philip ( The Haunted Man ) Eighty-seven year-old patriarch of the Swidger family. He loses his present happiness, based on his memories, when touched by Redlaw's gift. He is restored to happiness by Milly Swidger. (top)

Swidger, William ( The Haunted Man ) Caretaker of the university where Redlaw teaches chemistry. His family is adversely effected by Redlaw's gift of forgetting past sorrows. The adverse effects of this 'gift' are finally reversed by William's wife, Milly. (top)

Swills, Mr. ( Bleak House ) Comic vocalist professionally engaged by Mr. J. G. Bogsby to perform at the Sol's Arms tavern. (top)

Swiveller, Dick ( The Old Curiosity Shop ) PIX Friend of Fred Trent, Swiveller has designs to marry Fred's sister, Nell Trent, but is encouraged to wait until Nell has inherited her grandfather's money. When Nell and her grandfather leave London Swiveller is befriended by Quilp who helps him gain employment with the Brasses. While at the Brasses he meets their little half-starved servant the Marchioness. He becomes aware of the Brasses villainy and, with the Marchioness' help, exposes a plot to frame Kit Nubbles. Swiveller later inherits money from his aunt, puts the Marchioness through school, and later marries her.

Geolinks: Drury Lane (top)

Swosser, Captain ( Bleak House ) Mrs Badger's first husband whom she married when she was "barely twenty." Of the Royal Navy...was a very distinguished officer indeed. (top)