The Canterville Ghost

by

Oscar Wilde

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Mrs. Umney is the long-time housekeeper of Canterville Chase, having served in the position for over fifty years. When Lord Canterville sells the property, he implores Mrs. Otis to retain Mrs. Umney in the position. There’s some initial concern about this after Mrs. Umney faints out of fear early on in the story, but the Otis’ eventually work out a deal with her, even giving her a raise. After these initial considerations, Mrs. Umney remains largely invisible throughout The Canterville Ghost. However, Lord Canterville invites her to the funeral held for Sir Simon, since she had endured the ghost’s antics longer than anyone.

Mrs. Umney Quotes in The Canterville Ghost

The The Canterville Ghost quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Umney or refer to Mrs. Umney. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Branden Books edition of The Canterville Ghost published in 2011.
Chapter 5 Quotes

“It is absurd asking me to behave myself,” he answered looking round in astonishment at the pretty little girl who had ventured to address him, "quite absurd. I must rattle my chains, and groan through keyholes, and walk about at night, if that is what you mean. It is my only reason for existing.”

"It is no reason at all for existing, and you know you have been very wicked. Mrs. Umney told us, the first day we arrived here, that you had killed your wife."

"Well, I quite admit it," said the Ghost, petulantly, "but it was a purely family matter, and concerned no one else."

"It is very wrong to kill any one," said Virginia, who at times had a sweet puritan gravity, caught from some old New England ancestor.

Related Characters: Sir Simon de Canterville (speaker), Virginia E. Otis (speaker), Mrs. Umney
Related Symbols: Canterville Chase
Page Number: 41-42
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Canterville Ghost LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Canterville Ghost PDF

Mrs. Umney Character Timeline in The Canterville Ghost

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Umney appears in The Canterville Ghost. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...a “lovely evening” into a gloomy storm. They’re met in the doorway by the housekeeper, Mrs. Umney , who is wearing a black dress. (full context)
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Mercy and Empathy Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...that the family notices about their new home is a bloodstain on the fireplace mantle. Mrs. Umney assures them that the stain is centuries old and a real tourist attraction to boot,... (full context)
The British Aristocracy vs. American Vulgarity Theme Icon
Commercialism and Politics Theme Icon
...show off his work to the others, a loud, ominous crash of thunder sounds, and Mrs. Umney faints. (full context)
Chapter 7
Mercy and Empathy Theme Icon
Appearance, Reality, and Sincerity Theme Icon
...arranges a grand funeral for Sir Simon, which is attended by the Otis family and Mrs. Umney , among others. After the funeral, Mr. Otis approaches Lord Canterville about the jewels Sir... (full context)