The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by

Ann Shaffer

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Sidney Stark Character Analysis

Sidney is Juliet's editor at the Stephens & Stark publishing house and her longtime personal friend. He's witty, self-important, and often does his best to behave like an obnoxious older brother. This is because Sidney has known Juliet for about 20 years, as Juliet's best friend from school is Sidney's sister, Sophie. Sidney is also gay, though many people who don't know this believe that Sidney and Juliet are in love with each other. Despite Sidney's self-importance, he cares deeply for his friends and loved ones. He flies to Australia when a friend and possible lover, Piers, shows up there after they all thought he'd died in the war. Sidney often acts as a mentor for Juliet; he gives her permission to abandon her project that would've been written under her pseudonym, Izzy Bickerstaff, and later, he gives her direction on her book about the German occupation of Guernsey. He also provides romantic and personal advice and takes great offense to Juliet's romance with Mark Reynolds. Sidney believes that if Juliet married Mark, she'd never write another book and her independence would disappear. He believes this would be a tragedy and does everything in his power to annoy Juliet about Mark, mostly by including photos of Mark dancing with other women when he sends Juliet letters. Juliet begins sharing her letters from Guernsey with Sidney while he's in Australia, and she continues to do so when Sidney returns to London. This leads Sidney to come to love and care for the islanders as much as she does; he actively mourns when he gets news of Elizabeth's death. Though he only visits the island twice, he and Isola become close friends. He gives her eccentric gifts, like a cuckoo clock and a book on phrenology, which she adores. He also sends lavish gifts for Kit and for his nephew, Dominic, who are around the same age. When Juliet and Dawsey get engaged, Juliet asks Sidney to return to Guernsey to give her away at her wedding.

Sidney Stark Quotes in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society quotes below are all either spoken by Sidney Stark or refer to Sidney Stark. 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:
Literature and Connection Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dial edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society published in 2008.
Part 1: 8 Jan, 1946 Quotes

I don't want to be considered a light-hearted journalist anymore. I do acknowledge that making readers laugh—or at least chuckle—during the war was no mean feat, but I don't want to do it anymore. I can't seem to dredge up any sense of proportion or balance these days, and God knows one can't write humor without them.

Related Characters: Juliet Ashton (speaker), Sidney Stark
Related Symbols: Izzy Bickerstaff
Page Number: 3-4
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 1: 21 Jan, 1946 Quotes

All the windows we passed were lighted, and I could snoop once more. I missed it so terribly during the war. I felt as if we had all turned into moles scuttling along in our separate tunnels.

Related Characters: Juliet Ashton (speaker), Sidney Stark, Susan Scott
Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: 6 Jun, 1946 Quotes

I knew that all children were gruesome, but I don't know whether I'm supposed to encourage them in it. I'm afraid to ask Sophie if Dead Bride is too morbid a game for a four-year-old. If she says yes, we'll have to stop playing, and I don't want to stop. I love Dead Bride.

Related Characters: Juliet Ashton (speaker), Sidney Stark, Kit McKenna, Sophie Strachan
Page Number: 175
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: 16 Jun, 1946 Quotes

It's odd, I suppose, to mourn so for someone you've never met. But I do.

Related Characters: Juliet Ashton (speaker), Elizabeth McKenna, Sidney Stark
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: 6 Jul, 1946 Quotes

If she marries him, she'll spend the rest of her life being shown to people at theaters and clubs and weekends and she'll never write another book. As her editor, I'm dismayed by the prospect, but as her friend, I'm horrified. It will be the end of our Juliet.

Page Number: 194-95
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: 17 Jul, 1946 Quotes

Maybe every mother looks at her baby that way—with that intense focus—but Elizabeth put it on paper. There was one shaky drawing of a wizened little Kit, made the day after she was born, according to Amelia.

Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: 19 Jul, 1946 Quotes

Why, there'd be soldiers riding guard in the back of potato lorries going to the army's mess hall—children would follow them, hoping potatoes would fall off into the street. Soldiers would look straight ahead, grim-like, and then flick potatoes off the pile—on purpose.

Page Number: 208
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2: 2 Sep, 1946 Quotes

She told me once that those guards used big dogs. Riled them up and loosed them deliberately on the lines of women standing for roll call—just to watch the fun. Christ! I've been ignorant, Juliet. I thought being here with us could help her forget.

Related Characters: Dawsey Adams (speaker), Juliet Ashton, Sidney Stark, Remy Giraud
Page Number: 255
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society PDF

Sidney Stark Character Timeline in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The timeline below shows where the character Sidney Stark appears in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part One, 8th January, 1946
Literature and Connection Theme Icon
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
Juliet writes to Sidney that Susan Scott is amazing: in addition to selling 40 copies of Juliet's new book,... (full context)
Part One, 10th January, 1946
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Sidney returns Juliet's letter and assures her that given what Susan said about the success of... (full context)
Part One, 12th January, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sophie, lamenting that Sidney is currently refusing to extend the book tour to Scotland. She says she'd love to... (full context)
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...if the two of them never spoke to each other. Juliet remembers the year that Sidney took it upon himself to introduce her to poets, and then asks again if she's... (full context)
Part One, 18th January, 1946
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Juliet apologizes to Sidney for complaining about having to travel to promote her book: the teas and luncheons she's... (full context)
Part One, 21st January, 1946
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In a letter to Sidney, Juliet says she's thrilled to be able to travel by train at night again. Unlike... (full context)
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Juliet asks if Sidney knows a Markham V. Reynolds, as this man is leaving her flowers at every stop... (full context)
Part One, 23rd January, 1946
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Family, Parenting, and Legitimacy Theme Icon
Writing to Sidney, Juliet expresses disbelief at the sales figures for Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War. She says... (full context)
Part One, 25th January, 1946
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
Susan writes to Sidney and assures him that no matter what the papers say, Juliet was not arrested. Juliet... (full context)
Part One, 26th January, 1946
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Juliet sends a telegram to Sidney, apologizing for embarrassing Stephens & Stark. Sidney replies with a letter, assuring Juliet that she... (full context)
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Sidney continues that the Times doesn't want the article until late in the spring, so they'll... (full context)
Part One, 28th January, 1946
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Writing to Sidney, Juliet is relieved she didn't embarrass Stephens & Stark by throwing the teapot. She says... (full context)
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Juliet thanks Sidney for tracking down Markham V. Reynolds and says that she plans to remain true to... (full context)
Part One, 31st January, 1946
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...Leeds. She explains that what the London Hue and Cry wrote about her was exaggerated. Sidney has given a press conference to defend Juliet and the sanctity of journalism in which... (full context)
Part One, 13th February, 1946
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...Simpless suggested a boarding school and there, Juliet thrived. She became friends with Sophie and Sidney and that helped immensely. Reverend Simpless closes by saying that Juliet is extremely trustworthy. (full context)
Part One, 21st-26th February, 1946
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Juliet sends several short letters to Sidney, jokingly asking if he's not responding to her letters because of Mark Reynolds. Finally, Juliet... (full context)
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Juliet says she liked Sidney's old secretary better than Miss Tilley, and explains that she met Mark Reynolds. She says... (full context)
Part One, 28th February, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sophie and says that she's surprised that Sidney went to Australia, but she's happy he's there to take care of Piers. She's also... (full context)
Part One, 20th-23rd March, 1946
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Sidney sends Juliet a telegram explaining that he'll be delayed; he fell off a horse and... (full context)
Part One, 31st March, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney and Piers and includes copies of all the letters she's received from Guernsey. She says... (full context)
Part One, 11th April, 1946
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Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
Susan writes to Sidney and begs him to come home: Charlie Stephens has started coming into the office, but... (full context)
Part One, 12th April, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney and Piers and tells them that she's been spending all her time researching Guernsey. She... (full context)
Part One, 20th April, 1946
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...river. Her old flat was bombed about a year ago but fortunately, Juliet wasn't home. Sidney took Juliet to see the rubble and Juliet could see her destroyed books. Sidney was... (full context)
Part One, 1st May, 1946
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
...refuse, she just wanted time to think—but says that Mark was too busy ranting about Sidney and Guernsey to notice. She points out that they've only known each other for two... (full context)
Women, Marriage, and Work Theme Icon
...didn't say yes straight away. He became convinced that Juliet was actually in love with Sidney. Juliet says they were at his flat by then, and Mark started yelling about Sidney,... (full context)
Part One, 3rd May, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney, begging him to send her to Guernsey. She says she's read as much as she... (full context)
Part One, 10th and 11th May, 1946
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Sidney sends a cable giving Juliet his blessing to go to Guernsey, but asks if Mark... (full context)
Part Two, 22nd May, 1946
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Juliet writes to tell Sidney about her first day in Guernsey. The trip on the mail boat was horrendous until... (full context)
Part Two, 27th May, 1946
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Juliet tells Sidney about Elizabeth's cottage. It's large with lots of windows, which means that Juliet is often... (full context)
Part Two, 30th May, 1946
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Juliet tells Sidney that last night, she attended her first Literary Society meeting. The speaker was Jonas Skeeter.... (full context)
Part Two, 31st May, 1946
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Juliet sends a note to Sidney with a letter she found slipped under her door. It's from Henry Toussant. He says... (full context)
Part Two, 6th June, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney. She's thrilled to hear he's back in London and invites him to visit. Juliet mentions... (full context)
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...returned Ian's money and Ian gave up on his plan to run away. Juliet asks Sidney to send her a book of paper dolls for Kit. (full context)
Part Two, 10th June, 1946
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Juliet thanks Sidney: his new secretary, Billee Bee Jones, sent two books of paper dolls for Kit, as... (full context)
Part Two, 16th June, 1946
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War, Hunger, and Humanity Theme Icon
...Elizabeth. She asks if she and Dawsey might come to visit. Juliet also writes to Sidney and calls Elizabeth's death an abomination. She wonders if it's odd to mourn for Elizabeth... (full context)
Part Two, 28th June, 1946
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Juliet thanks Sidney for the red satin tap shoes he sent for Kit. She explains that Kit will... (full context)
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...him her pages so he can look at them. Juliet also includes a postscript, thanking Sidney for the clipping of Mark dancing with another woman. She says he failed to send... (full context)
Part Two, 1st July, 1946; Wednesday; Friday
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Sidney asks Juliet if he can visit over the coming weekend. He says he'll take her... (full context)
Part Two, 6th July, 1946
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Sidney writes Sophie from Guernsey with information about Juliet, Kit, and Dawsey. Kit appears to love... (full context)
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Then, Sidney tells Sophie about Dawsey. He's quiet and has a calming presence. Juliet seems nervous around... (full context)
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Sidney turns to the occupation and Juliet's book. Sidney has been learning about the day the... (full context)
Part Two, 7th July, 1946
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Juliet assures Sophie that Sidney is in fine health. She hosted a supper party for him last night and cooked... (full context)
Part Two, 8th July, 1946
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Isola writes Sidney and thanks him for visiting and talking with her. She invites him back whenever he'd... (full context)
Part Two, 9th July, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney and thanks him for his visit. She says that Kit loves him mostly because of... (full context)
Part Two, 12th July, 1946
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Sidney writes Juliet that her few chapters won't do; her book needs a single voice to... (full context)
Part Two, 15th July, 1946
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Juliet replies to Sidney and says that he's absolutely right; Elizabeth's voice is perfect. She shares that Remy will... (full context)
Part Two, 17th July, 1946
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Juliet tells Sidney that she hasn't found a diary, but Elizabeth did draw until she ran out of... (full context)
Part Two, 19th July, 1946
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Juliet tells Sidney that now that she's looking for them, she's finding stories of Elizabeth everywhere. Earlier, she... (full context)
Part Two, 27th July, 1946
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Juliet tells Sidney about her discovery that Elizabeth had an accomplice in sheltering a Todt worker. The man's... (full context)
Part Two, 1st August, 1946
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Juliet shares with Sidney that Remy is in Guernsey. Remy is still very frail, intense, and reserved—unless she's with... (full context)
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Isola writes to Sidney. She's now the Secretary of the Society and wanted to share her minutes from the... (full context)
Part Two, 3rd August, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney. She's distraught because he recently sent Isola a book on phrenology, which Isola is taking... (full context)
Part Two, 5th August, 1946
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Susan writes to Juliet and admits that because Sidney leaves her letters on his desk, she reads them. She wants to assure Juliet that... (full context)
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Isola writes Sidney to thank him for the book on phrenology. She says she's been studying hard and... (full context)
Part Two, 6th and 7th August, 1946
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Sidney sends a telegram to Juliet, asking if Kit would like a bagpipe. Juliet writes back... (full context)
Part Two, 11th August, 1946
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Juliet tells Sidney that Stephens & Stark will very soon be the most famous publisher in the West.... (full context)
Part Two, 13th and 14th August, 1946
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Sidney writes Juliet and says that according to Billee Bee's research, Oscar Wilde did visit Jersey... (full context)
Part Two, 18th August, 1946
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Juliet recounts for Sidney the experience of having the handwriting expert come visit Isola. With much pomp and circumstance,... (full context)
Part Two, 20th August, 1946
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Billee Bee sends Juliet a telegram explaining that Sidney has been called to Rome and asked her to visit Guernsey in his stead to... (full context)
Part Two, 22nd August, 1946
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Juliet writes Sophie that Sidney is getting too important, given that he's sent Billee Bee to collect the letters. Billee... (full context)
Part Two, 23rd August, 1946
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Juliet sends Sidney a scathing letter, berating him for sending Billee Bee to collect the letters. Billee Bee... (full context)
Part Two, 26th August, 1946
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...and says that Gilly and Billee Bee wanted the letters to exact revenge for when Sidney humiliated Gilly following the teapot incident. Rumors have been circulating that Juliet discovered the Oscar... (full context)
Part Two, 29th August, 1946
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Juliet tells Sophie that Sidney's sub-editor has visited to copy the letters and they're now safe in Isola's biscuit tin.... (full context)
Part Two, 2nd September, 1946
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Juliet tells Sidney of a disturbing event that took place in the afternoon. She was walking along the... (full context)
Part Two, 4th and 5th September, 1946
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Sidney writes Juliet and says that she's clearly in love with Dawsey. He asks if he... (full context)
Part Two, 6th September, 1946
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Isola writes to Sidney. She's very happy that he's coming to look at Granny Pheen's letters; she thought the... (full context)
Part Two, 8th September, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney and says that earlier, she and Kit took a picnic to spy on Dawsey while... (full context)
Part Two, 11th September, 1946
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Juliet sends a distraught telegram to Sidney. She saw Dawsey and Remy in St. Peter Port, buying a suitcase. They were smiling... (full context)
Part Two, Detection Notes of Miss Isola Pribby
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Isola writes that this notebook is from Sidney. She's going to write only facts in it as she observes the people around her.... (full context)
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...her idea to look at things sideways. She accompanied Dawsey, Juliet, and Remy to fetch Sidney from the airfield. She observed that Dawsey shook Sidney's hand but refused to stay for... (full context)
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Sidney then poked Juliet with his toe, asked if she felt better, and she said yes.... (full context)
Part Two, 17th September, 1946
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Juliet writes to Sidney and asks him to come back to Guernsey to give her away at her wedding... (full context)