David Copperfield

David Copperfield

Mrs. Markleham Character Analysis

Mrs. Markleham is Annie Strong's mother. She lives with her daughter and son-in-law, and becomes known as the "Old Soldier" amongst Doctor Strong's students because she is constantly strategizing about how to manipulate the Doctor into advancing her family's standing. In doing this, she has no qualms about using her daughter. For instance, she encourages Doctor Strong to send Annie out to concerts and parties simply so that she can go along as well. Annie is ashamed of her mother's behavior but is powerless to stop it (at least before Mr. Dick brings the issue out into the open).
Get the entire David Copperfield LitChart as a printable PDF.
David copperfield.pdf.medium

Mrs. Markleham Character Timeline in David Copperfield

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Markleham appears in David Copperfield. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 16: I Am a New Boy in More Senses Than One
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
David also comes to know Annie's mother, Mrs. Markleham , who is known as the "Old Soldier" because of the way she "marshals great... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...Doctor Strong, who doesn't seem to notice Annie and Maldon's moodiness, or the inappropriateness of Mrs. Markleham 's stories. Finally, the Doctor makes a formal toast to Maldon, wishing him a successful... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
...affection for her "old playfellow." As Doctor Strong leads her away to sit down, however, Mrs. Markleham notices that Annie has lost one of the red ribbons decorating the bodice of her... (full context)
Chapter 19: I Look About Me, and Make a Discovery
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
...Annie. This reminds Mr. Wickfield of Jack Maldon, who has recently written to the Strongs. Mrs. Markleham laments that Maldon is too frail to endure the Indian climate. Annie refuses to corroborate... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Mrs. Markleham thanks Doctor Strong profusely and urges Annie—unsuccessfully—to do the same. She then reads aloud from... (full context)
Chapter 36: Enthusiasm
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
...David. He then reports that Jack Maldon is well too, and home from India, because Mrs. Markleham was anxious about his health. (full context)
Chapter 42: Mischief
Home and Family Theme Icon
...What's more, the Doctor increasingly encourages his wife to go on outings with her mother, Mrs. Markleham , which Annie does not seem to enjoy. (full context)
Chapter 45: Mr. Dick Fulfills My Aunt's Prediction
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...works for Doctor Strong, he now lives in the same neighborhood and sees him often. Mrs. Markleham still lives with the Doctor, and uses his insistence that Annie enjoy herself as an... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Doctor Strong sorrowfully agrees with all Mrs. Markleham says, and the end result is that Annie is often forced out over her own... (full context)
Home and Family Theme Icon
...Betsey finds the state of Doctor and Mrs. Strong's marriage troubling and confusing. She suspects Mrs. Markleham is making the situation worse, but Miss Betsey doesn't know how to fix it. She... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
Mrs. Markleham soon enters the drawing room where David and Miss Betsey are seated, and scolds Annie... (full context)
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...staying where she is and implores her "husband and father" to "break this long silence." Mrs. Markleham scolds Annie for disgracing herself, but Annie says she is only concerned with her husband... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Memory and Nostalgia Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...all her thoughts and feelings over the course of her marriage. Both Doctor Strong and Mrs. Markleham insist that this is unnecessary, but Annie persists. She begins by explaining how some of... (full context)
Ambition, Social Mobility, and Morality Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...her that anyone else would suspect her of marrying him for his money, and when Mrs. Markleham first alerted her to the possibility, she was distressed. She further explains that her mother's... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
The topic of Mrs. Markleham 's family brings Annie to Jack Maldon, whom she admits she was once infatuated with.... (full context)
Coming of Age and Personal Development Theme Icon
Womanhood and Gender Roles Theme Icon
Home and Family Theme Icon
...man." Miss Betsey, Mr. Dick, and David then leave, with Miss Betsey remarking happily that Mrs. Markleham has been put in her place. Mr. Dick says that he feels a bit sorry... (full context)
Chapter 64: A Last Retrospect
Home and Family Theme Icon
...his dictionary. He and Annie Strong now have a happy life together, in part because Mrs. Markleham no longer has the influence she once had. (full context)