George Eliot

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Dorothea Brooke

Although in some ways Middlemarch does not center around a single character, Dorothea is the closest the novel gets to a protagonist. Uniquely strong-willed, passionate, and rebellious, Dorothea is a deeply religious woman “enamored of… read analysis of Dorothea Brooke

Celia Brooke

Celia Brooke is Mr. Brooke’s niece and Dorothea’s sister. She is kind and cheerful, though less intelligent than her sister, whom she struggles to understand. Celia finds it easy to conform to the ideal of… read analysis of Celia Brooke

Mr. Arthur Brooke

Mr. Brooke is Celia and Dorothea’s uncle, who is charged with their education and care after their parents die young. He is a lifelong bachelor who travelled a lot in his youth. He is generally… read analysis of Mr. Arthur Brooke

Sir James Chettam

Sir James Chettam is a wealthy and charming young man whose land borders Mr. Brooke’s. He initially pursues Dorothea and seems to be deeply in love with her; however, after she rejects him he… read analysis of Sir James Chettam

Rev. Edward Casaubon

When we are first introduced to him, Rev. Edward Casaubon is a 45-year-old bachelor. He is wealthy and high-ranking, but socially awkward and dull. He is also described as ugly and “dry;” when Sir Jamesread analysis of Rev. Edward Casaubon
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Mrs. Elinor Cadwallader

Mrs. Cadwallader is a friend of the Brooke family. She is born into a noble family but “married down;” her husband, Mr. Cadwallader, is neither high-ranking nor wealthy. She is a nosy, gossip-prone woman… read analysis of Mrs. Elinor Cadwallader

Will Ladislaw

Will Ladislaw is Casaubon’s young cousin. A romantic and earnest idealist, he is descended from two generations of rebellious women: his paternal grandmother Julia married a poor Polish musician, causing her wealthy family to abandon… read analysis of Will Ladislaw

Mr. Nicholas Bulstrode

Mr. Bulstrode is a wealthy banker who was not born in Middlemarch, but rather moved there as an adult. Little is known about his family background, which makes him an object of suspicion. This suspicion… read analysis of Mr. Nicholas Bulstrode

Tertius Lydgate

Tertius Lydgate is an idealistic, ambitious young doctor who arrives in Middlemarch hoping to positively reform the state of medicine in the area. Trained in London, Edinburgh, and Paris, he is passionate about the latest… read analysis of Tertius Lydgate

Mrs. Lucy Vincy

Mrs. Vincy is a wealthy, somewhat obnoxious Middlemarch woman who spoils her children, claiming that her eldest two children Fred and Rosamond are the best young man and woman in Middlemarch. Her sister was married… read analysis of Mrs. Lucy Vincy

Rosamond Vincy

Rosamond is the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Vincy. She is renowned for her extraordinary beauty and practically every man in Middlemarch is in love with her. She is also a talented musician. Rosamond… read analysis of Rosamond Vincy

Fred Vincy

Fred is the eldest son of the Vincy family. When the novel begins he is lazy, irresponsible, and obnoxious. He has failed his university exam and has thus returned home. He expects to inherit land… read analysis of Fred Vincy

Mary Garth

Mary Garth is the eldest daughter of Caleb and Mrs. Garth. She is plain-looking but intelligent, pragmatic, honest, and honorable. She cares for Featherstone while he is dying. Although she is continually frustrated by… read analysis of Mary Garth

Mr. Peter Featherstone

Mr. Featherstone is a very rich and widely disliked man in Middlemarch. As he dies, his family members clamor around him not because they love him but because they hope to inherit some of his… read analysis of Mr. Peter Featherstone

Mr. Caleb Garth

Caleb Garth is a kind, honest, hardworking, and generous man. He is passionate about “business,” the word he uses to describe working in construction and the development of land. However, he has a problem with… read analysis of Mr. Caleb Garth

Mr. Camden Farebrother

Mr. Farebrother is a local vicar and bachelor. He is kind, always trying to help those around him. He is not a very strict or “spiritual” clergyman, but nonetheless embodies Christian values of love, generosity… read analysis of Mr. Camden Farebrother


Laure is an actress Lydgate fell in love with while he lived in Paris. During a theatre performance she stabbed her husband (a fellow actor) to death onstage; there is confusion over whether it was… read analysis of Laure

Joshua Rigg

Joshua Rigg (who later becomes Joshua Rigg-Featherstone after inheriting his father’s land) is the illegitimate son of Mr. Featherstone. His inheritance of Featherstone’s entire fortune shocks everyone in Middlemarch except Rigg himself. He sells… read analysis of Joshua Rigg

John Raffles

John Raffles is Joshua Rigg’s stepfather. He is an alcoholic who would beat Joshua. Raffles also worked for Bulstrode in the past; Busltrode hired him to find Mrs. Dunkirk’s daughter, Sarah, and then bribed… read analysis of John Raffles

Mrs. Dunkirk

Mrs. Dunkirk was the wife of Mr. Dunkirk; following her husband’s death she married Bulstrode. Before her own death Mrs. Dunkirk attempted to find her estranged daughter, Sarah, so that Sarah could… read analysis of Mrs. Dunkirk
Minor Characters
Mr. Humphrey Cadwallader
Mr. Cadwallader is the rector at Tipton Grange and a friend of the Brooke family. He is unusually kind and non-judgmental; his highly judgmental wife Mrs. Cadwallader says that this is because all he cares about is fishing.
Mr. Tucker
Mr. Tucker is the curate at Casaubon’s estate, Lowick Manor.
(Dowager) Lady Chettam
Lady Chettam, who becomes the Dowager Lady Chettam after Sir James marries Celia, is Sir James’s mother.
Mr. Walter Vincy
Mr. Vincy is a wealthy manufacturer. He and his wife Mrs. Vincy spoil their children, which he comes to regret when his eldest son Fred fails to enter the church after taking a theology degree.
Mrs. Waule
Mrs. Waule is one of Featherstone’s relatives.
Mr. Tyke
Mr. Tyke is an evangelical clergyman whom Bulstrode favors to be appointed chaplain at the New Hospital. He beats Farebrother to the position after pressure from Bulstrode makes Lydgate reluctantly vote for Tyke.
Mrs. Harriet Bulstrode
Mrs. Bulstrode is Bulstrode’s wife and Mr. Vincy’s sister. She is kind and deeply loyal to her husband, even after the scandal breaks out.
John Waule
John Waule is a relative of Mr. Featherstone.
Dr. Sprague
Dr. Sprague is one of the old, high-ranking doctors in Middlemarch whose medical skill is decidedly lacking.
Mrs. Plymdale
Mrs. Plymdale is a high-ranking woman and the mother of Ned.
Mrs. Farebrother
Mrs. Farebrother is Mr. Farebrother’s mother. She is a friendly but socially conservative woman.
Miss Henrietta Noble
Henrietta Noble is Mrs. Farebrother’s unmarried sister.
Miss Winifred Farebrother
Winifred is Mr. Farebrother’s sister.
Mr. Trawley
Mr. Trawley was Lydgate’s roommate during the period he was living in Paris.
Dr. Minchin
Dr. Minchin is a local Middlemarch doctor.
Mr. Toller
Mr. Toller is a medical practitioner in Middlemarch.
Mr. Hawley (Sr.)
Mr. Hawley is a lawyer in Middlemarch.
Rev. Edward Thesiger
Rev. Edward Thesiger is Bulstrode’s pastor.
Tantripp is a servant employed at Lowick Manor. She accompanies Dorothea and Casaubon on their honeymoon.
Mr. Bambridge
Mr. Bambridge is the local-horse dealer, who has a habit of lending money to young, hedonistic men (including Fred).
Mr. Horrock
Mr. Horrock is the veterinarian in Middlemarch.
Letty Garth
Letty Garth is one of Caleb and Mrs. Garth’s daughters.
Ben Garth
Ben Garth is one of Caleb and Mrs. Garth’s sons.
Alfred Garth
Alfred Garth is one of Caleb and Mrs. Garth’s sons. They are forced to give away the money they were saving for Alfred’s apprenticeship when Fred cannot pay his debt.
Ned Plymdale
Ned Plymdale is a young, wealthy, and high-ranking bachelor in Middlemarch. He initially courts Rosamond and later marries Sophy Toller.
Jonah Featherstone
Jonah is one of Mr. Featherstone’s relatives.
Mr. Trumbull
Mr. Trumbull is the Middlemarch auctioneer.
Mr. Standish
Mr. Standish is Mr. Featherstone’s lawyer.
Mr. Hackbutt
Mr. Hackbutt is a local man in Middlemarch.
Mr. Hawley (Jr.)
“Young” Hawley is the son of Mr. Hawley, Sr. He is training to be a lawyer like his father.
Julia Ladislaw
Julia was Will Ladislaw’s grandmother and Casaubon’s great-aunt. Born into a high-ranking and prosperous family, she married a poor Polish musician whom she loved and was subsequently abandoned by her relatives.
Mr. Dagley
Mr. Dagley is one of Mr. Brooke’s tenants.
Mr. Mawmsey
Mr. Mawmsey is the Middlemarch grocer.
Sarah Ladislaw (née Dunkirk)
Sarah is Will’s mother. She was born into the Dunkirk family, who made their money through pawning stolen goods. When Sarah learns this she runs away from home and becomes an actress.
Hiram is a wagon-driver in Middlemarch.
Solomon Featherstone
Solomon is a landowner opposed to the railway, and one of Mr. Featherstone’s relatives.
Tom is Caleb’s assistant. He is attacked by local farmworkers opposed to the railway.
Christy Garth
Christy is one of the Garths’ children. He is studying and is very passionate about education.
Captain Lydgate
Captain Lydgate is one of Tertius Lydgate’s high-ranking relatives. Rosamond adores him but Tertius despises him.
Sir Godwin
Sir Godwin is Tertius’s rich, high-ranking uncle. He refuses to lend Tertius and Rosamond money after Rosamond writes to him to ask.
Mr. Dover
Mr. Dover is the local silversmith.
Mr. Dunkirk
Mr. Dunkirk was a man who befriended the young Bulstrode and made Bulstrode the accountant of his pawnbroking business. The business pawned stolen goods.
Sophy Toller
Sophy Toller is a high-ranking young woman who marries Ned Plymdale.
Mrs. Toller
Mrs. Toller is Sophy’s mother.
Mrs. Hackbutt
Mrs. Hackbutt is Mr. Hackbutt’s wife.
Mrs. Garth
The wife of Caleb Garth. She is generally kind and tolerant (perhaps too much so), though she recognizes that her husband is too generous.
Adolf Naumann
A German painter, who is friends with Will and also tutors him in art and painting. Naumann is much taken with Dorothea, and regularly mocks Casaubon.
Mr. Wrench
The Vincy family's doctor.