The Lonely Londoners


Sam Selvon

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The Lonely Londoners Characters


The protagonist, a Trinidadian man living in London. At the outset of The Lonely Londoners, Moses has been in England for roughly ten years, making him somewhat of a mentor and role model to… read analysis of Moses

Galahad (Henry Oliver)

A high-spirited Trinidadian man who comes to London seeking economic opportunity. Having heard about the financial prosperity England can offer, Galahad is eager to start his new life when he hops off the train at… read analysis of Galahad (Henry Oliver)

Cap (Captain)

A Nigerian man living in London. The son of a wealthy family, Cap originally came to the city for law school, but he soon dropped out and spent the majority of his father’s money on… read analysis of Cap (Captain)


One of Moses’s friends. Originally from Jamaica, Tolroy first appears in the opening scene of The Lonely Londoners, when Moses is waiting to meet Galahad at Waterloo Station. Tolroy impresses Moses by explaining… read analysis of Tolroy

Tanty Bessy

Tolroy’s elderly aunt, who surprises him by unexpectedly accompanying his mother to London. A woman who has spent her life in Jamaica, she is unaccustomed to life in the big city. As such, she… read analysis of Tanty Bessy
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One of Tolroy’s Jamaican relatives, and Agnes’s husband. Like Tanty, Lewis arrives in London unannounced, having accompanied Tolroy’s mother. One time during a nightshift, he asks Moses if it’s true that women… read analysis of Lewis

Bart (Bartholomew)

One of Moses’s Trinidadian friends. After meeting for the first time in a hostel, Moses quickly learns that Bart is a peculiar man when it comes to money, often pretending to be poor so… read analysis of Bart (Bartholomew)


One of Moses’s friends. Daniel takes great delight in dating white women and paying for them to do extravagant things like go to ballets or fancy destinations throughout London. The narrator notes that “it… read analysis of Daniel

Big City

One of Moses’s friends in London. Big City grew up in an orphanage in Trinidad before joining the army, where he earned the name “Big City” because of how much he talked about wanting… read analysis of Big City

Five Past Twelve

One of Moses’s friends. Five is a Barbadian immigrant who is so dark-skinned that he earned the nickname “Five Past Midnight” because when a person looks at him, he or she says, “Boy, you… read analysis of Five Past Twelve


One of Moses’s friends. A black immigrant like Moses, Harris likes to try to present himself as an Englishman, dressing in the style of a distinguished white gentleman and throwing “fetes” for high-society white… read analysis of Harris


Lewis’s wife, whom he beats because he believes she’s cheating on him while he works the nightshift with Moses. After putting up with Lewis’s abuse, Agnes finally leaves him, running away without telling… read analysis of Agnes


A white woman who dates Bart. When Beatrice takes Bart home to introduce him to her family, her father chases him out of the house because he’s black. In the aftermath of this tumultuous… read analysis of Beatrice

Ma (Tolroy’s Mother)

Tolroy’s mother, who comes to London from Jamaica. When she arrives, she surprises Tolroy because she has brought Tanty, Lewis, Agnes, and two children with her even though the arrangement she… read analysis of Ma (Tolroy’s Mother)

The Reporter

A newspaper reporter Moses talks to at Waterloo Station who asks why so many Jamaicans are coming to London. Later, when Tanty Bessy arrives, he asks her the same question, eventually taking her photograph and… read analysis of The Reporter