Tom Stoppard

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Septimus Hodge

22 years old at the play’s beginning, tutor of Thomasina Coverly. Septimus has a clever, wry sense of humor only really matched by Thomasina, though she is actually smarter than he is. He studied… read analysis of Septimus Hodge

Thomasina Coverly

Thirteen years old at the play’s beginning, and 16 at the end. Daughter of Lady Croom and student of Septimus. She’s a lively, witty girl with a precocious and creative skill for mathematics. During… read analysis of Thomasina Coverly

Mr. Ezra Chater

A bad poet and amateur botanist, and a long-term guest at Sidley Park. Chater is a blundering, foolish figure, but he has a warm heart. He’s blinded by his desire to believe the best of… read analysis of Mr. Ezra Chater

Lord Byron

Byron was a real person, one of the most important Romantic poets. In the play, he never appears onstage, but he is mentioned so often that he is a character in his own right. Septimusread analysis of Lord Byron

Hannah Jarvis

A modern-day feminist scholar, Hannah earned renown with a bestselling book rehabilitating the reputation of Caroline Lamb, a historical figure who was Byron’s lover. Hannah is hardworking, skeptical, and passionate about the value of… read analysis of Hannah Jarvis
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Though Bernard, like Hannah, is a scholar interested in the Romantic era, he is her opposite. Where she is cautious and focused on figures neglected by history, Bernard is swaggering, overconfident, and obsessed with… read analysis of Bernard


A modern-day Coverly sibling, along with Chloe and Gus. Valentine studies mathematics at Oxford and spends the play trying to find an algorithm that describes patterns in the Sidley Park grouse population. He is… read analysis of Valentine

The Sidley Park hermit

The hermit is actually Septimus, but his identity remains a mystery for most of the play. The hermit is the focus of Hannah’s research at Sidley Park, as she sees him as a… read analysis of The Sidley Park hermit
Minor Characters
Lady Croom
Thomasina’s mother and wife of the owner of Sidley Park. Like Thomasina and Septimus, she’s very smart, with a cutting sense of humor and a capability to see through the silliness of the Sidley Park social scene.
Mrs. Chater
Chater’s wife. She sleeps around, with Septimus, Byron and Brice. She, Brice, and Mr. Chater head to Martinique together after leaving Sidley Park. Like Byron, Mrs. Chater never actually appears in the play.
The butler, whose main purpose in the play is to deliver letters.
Mr. Noakes
The landscape gardener, depicted as something of a slave to the latest Romantic fashions in gardening.
Captain Edward Brice, R. N.
Lady Croom’s brother, and lover of Mrs. Chater.
The brother of Thomasina. In the play, the same actor depicts him and the silent modern-day Gus Coverly.
Sister to Gus and Valentine. Chloe theorizes that sex is the reason why the world doesn’t go the way of Newtonian determinism. She has an affair with Bernard.
A modern-day Coverly sibling. He is very socially awkward and perhaps incapable of speech. However, he’s very observant, giving Hannah her most important clue. He also seems to have a closer link to the past of Sidley Park than any other character.