The Lieutenant

by

Kate Grenville

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Dr. Vickery Character Analysis

Dr. Vickery is the Astronomer Royale, or the official astronomer for the British government. When Rooke visits him as a young teenager, Dr. Vickery introduces him to the possibility that Rooke isn't necessarily an extremely abnormal individual. Like Rooke, Dr. Vickery is awkward and avoids eye contact, and cares more for the stars than he does for people or for anything that happens during the daytime. While with Dr. Vickery, Rooke first reads about New South Wales. Dr. Vickery convinces Major Wyatt that Rooke should be the official astronomer of the First Fleet, and asks that Rooke record a comet in the southern hemisphere.
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Dr. Vickery Character Timeline in The Lieutenant

The timeline below shows where the character Dr. Vickery appears in The Lieutenant. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1, Chapter 2
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
When Rooke is 13, Dr. Adair takes him to meet Dr. Vickery , the Astronomer Royal, in Greenwich. When Dr. Vickery struggles to meet Rooke's eyes, Rooke... (full context)
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
Two years later, when Rooke finishes school, he writes to Dr. Vickery and asks if there are any positions available where he might be able to watch... (full context)
Part 1, Chapter 4
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
...of England decides that the British territory New South Wales should become a penal colony. Dr. Vickery writes to Rooke and suggests that the expedition—bringing British prisoners to New South Wales—might need... (full context)
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
...Wales as a fresh start, and thinks he might be the only astronomer to record Dr. Vickery's comet. Rooke knows that ten years ago he would've considered an opportunity like this as... (full context)
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
Rooke receives a letter from Silk at the same time he receives Dr. Vickery's letter. Silk encourages Rooke to volunteer for the First Fleet and says that he's already... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 3
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
Storytelling and Truth Theme Icon
...forbids him from doing so. Rooke is taken aback and argues, saying that the comet Dr. Vickery predicted is extremely important. Gilbert insists that Rooke can build his observatory closer to the... (full context)
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...part of a dedicated scientist in the meantime, so he digs out the meteorological instruments Dr. Vickery provided and sets them up. Rooke sets up his ledgers to record his readings at... (full context)
Part 2, Chapter 8
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
October arrives, which is the earliest possible month that Rooke might see Dr. Vickery's comet. He spends every night peering through his telescope and carefully scanning the sky. He... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
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...compelling narrative. Instead, Rook asks Gardiner for help. Gardiner and Rooke recalculate the track that Dr. Vickery predicted for the comet. Theirs differs slightly from the original, but the comet still doesn't... (full context)
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
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...his telescope for too long. Gardiner catches a fish and suggests that Rooke write to Dr. Vickery about the comet. When Rooke returns to his observatory later, he cooks his fish and... (full context)
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
Individuality vs. Communality Theme Icon
...but he works diligently anyway. He finds it eerie to look at a sky that Dr. Vickery has never seen, and wonders if something unseen truly exists. Rooke wonders in the back... (full context)
Part 4, Chapter 3
Violence and Rationality Theme Icon
...anyone are minimal, but continues to try to calculate the odds nonetheless. He remembers how Dr. Vickery used to joke about waiting for night and feels as though this will all be... (full context)
Part 5, Chapter 1
Language, Communication, and Friendship Theme Icon
Imperialism, Racism, and Morality Theme Icon
...his point. The natives called the point Tarra. Rooke had tried to name it after Dr. Vickery , but the other settlers insisted on naming it after Rooke. (full context)