The Moonstone

The Moonstone

Rosanna Spearman Character Analysis

A maid at the Verinder estate, an ex-petty criminal who met and found work with Lady Julia after she was sent to a reformatory. Her shameful “past life,” deformed shoulder, and propensity to randomly fall ill belie her fundamental benevolence and sincerity; in fact, she believes she does not deserve the “too quiet and too good” life she gets working for the Verinders. She falls tragically in love with Franklin Blake, who essentially never notices her during his more-than-month at the Verinder estate. After she finds Franklin’s smeared nightgown on his bed, she buries it in the Shivering Sand (her favorite place) and makes him a new one as a gesture of her love; when Sergeant Cuff and Betteredge discover her unusual behavior, she becomes the theft’s prime suspect. When she learns this and finds that Franklin continues to ignore her, she writes him a long letter and commits suicide at the Shivering Sand, foregoing her plans to move to London with Limping Lucy and start a new, independent life. Like Ezra Jennings, Rosanna’s character shows the disconnect between people’s true nature and others’ perception of them; Collins’s sympathetic, multidimensional, and attentive portrait of a poor servant girl also demonstrates his sense of the arbitrariness of class hierarchy.

Rosanna Spearman Quotes in The Moonstone

The The Moonstone quotes below are all either spoken by Rosanna Spearman or refer to Rosanna Spearman. 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:
Detective Methods and Genre Standards Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Moonstone published in 1999.
The Loss of the Diamond: 4 Quotes

“Do you know what it looks like to me?” says Rosanna, catching me by the shoulder again. “It looks as if it had hundreds of suffocating people under it - all struggling to get to the surface, and all sinking lower and lower in the dreadful deeps! Throw a stone in, Mr Betteredge! Throw a stone in, and let's see the sand suck it down!”
Here was unwholesome talk! Here was an empty stomach feeding on an unquiet mind!

Related Characters: Gabriel Betteredge (speaker), Rosanna Spearman (speaker), Franklin Blake
Related Symbols: The Shivering Sand
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Loss of the Diamond: 16 Quotes

“Do you mean to tell me, in plain English,” I said, “that Miss Rachel has stolen her own Diamond?”

“Yes,” says the Sergeant; “that is what I mean to tell you, in so many words. Miss Verinder has been in secret possession of the Moonstone from first to last; and she has taken Rosanna Spearman into her confidence, because she has calculated on our suspecting Rosanna Spearman of the theft. There is the whole case in a nutshell. Collar me again, Mr. Betteredge. If it's any vent to your feelings, collar me again.”

Related Characters: Gabriel Betteredge (speaker), Sergeant Cuff (speaker), Miss Rachel Verinder, Rosanna Spearman
Related Symbols: The Moonstone
Page Number: 143
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Loss of the Diamond: 20 Quotes

People in high life have all the luxuries to themselves—among others, the luxury of indulging their feelings. People in low life have no such privilege. Necessity, which spares our betters, has no pity on as. We learn to put our feelings back into ourselves, and to jog on with our duties as patiently as may be. I don't complain of this—I only notice it.

Page Number: 167-8
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Loss of the Diamond: 23 Quotes

“Where’s this gentleman that I mustn’t speak of, except with respect? Ha, Mr. Betteredge, the day is not far off when the poor will rise against the rich. I pray Heaven they may begin with him. I pray Heaven they may begin with him.”

Page Number: 192
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Discovery of the Truth 3: 3 Quotes

“Do you feel an uncomfortable heat at the pit of your stomach, sir? And a nasty thumping at the top of your head? Ah! not yet? It will lay hold of you at Cobb's Hole, Mr. Franklin. I call it the detective-fever; and I first caught it in the company of Sergeant Cuff.”

Page Number: 308
Explanation and Analysis:
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The nightgown itself would reveal the truth; for, in all probability, the nightgown was marked with its owner's name.

I took it up from the sand, and looked for the mark.

I found the mark, and read —

MY OWN NAME.

Related Characters: Franklin Blake (speaker), Rosanna Spearman
Related Symbols: The Shivering Sand
Page Number: 314
Explanation and Analysis:
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Rosanna Spearman Character Timeline in The Moonstone

The timeline below shows where the character Rosanna Spearman appears in The Moonstone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 4
Gender and Victorian Morality Theme Icon
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...Betteredge chastises the kitchen-maid Nancy for her “sulky face.” Nancy complains about her tardy colleague Rosanna, whom Betteredge goes to retrieve. Lady Julia has employed Rosanna Spearman—who used to be a... (full context)
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When Betteredge encounters Rosanna at the Shivering Sand, she is crying about her “past life” and declines dinner. She... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 7
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...that Franklin came and left simply because of his personal quirks. Penelope then asks about Rosanna, who apparently returned to the house from the Shivering Sand in an emotional frenzy and... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 8
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On the 19th, a doctor comes to treat Rosanna, who has clearly fallen for Franklin—no matter how much Betteredge insists he is reluctant to... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 11
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...Betteredge about the other servants. Betteredge defends them all, although he has his doubts about Rosanna Spearman. On his second round of questioning, Seegrave appears to begin suspecting the increasingly distraught... (full context)
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Betteredge “charged [Rosanna] with a breach of domestic discipline,” but she explains that she had gone to the... (full context)
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...one of his inferior policemen to Frizinghall; beforehand, Franklin implores Betteredge to keep watch on Rosanna, but stops short of describing his conversation with Rachel. Rosanna soon has “what they call... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 12
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...the third day after the Diamond’s theft. First, “the baker’s man declared” that he saw Rosanna wearing a veil outside the previous day, even though Betteredge knows she was inside all... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 13
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...any is missing) and again laments that Seegrave openly advertised his suspicions to the servants. Rosanna brings the relevant records, and Cuff asks about her, since he had seen her in... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 14
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...changes the subject and takes Betteredge away to a safer location before asking him about Rosanna, whom Cuff claims to have noticed eavesdropping from the bushes just before. If Rosanna has... (full context)
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Each of the servants reacts strongly after their short interview with Cuff, except Rosanna, who stays “longer than any of them” and has “no report on coming out.” Cuff... (full context)
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...with it. Betteredge recounts the details of Cuff’s investigation and Franklin immediately grows convinced that Rosanna has stolen the Moonstone and burned her paint-smeared dress in the night. Just as Franklin... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 15
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As Betteredge and Cuff approach the Shivering Sand, Cuff explains that Betteredge need not defend Rosanna, who “is not in the slightest danger of getting into trouble” because, if involved in... (full context)
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As Cuff investigates, Betteredge remembers meeting Rosanna at the same place on the Shivering Sand a month earlier. The sun sets and... (full context)
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...a pipe. Cuff embarks on a long monologue and eventually arrives at the matter of Rosanna, whom he claims to be defending, while Betteredge watches the performance tacitly. On his way... (full context)
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Betteredge interjects to insist that Rosanna would have told him if she were planning to travel, but Mrs. Yolland insists that... (full context)
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...admits that he is “puzzled” by Mrs. Yolland. However, he finds it “clear enough” that Rosanna is hiding something in the tin case, sinking it somewhere under the water or quicksand,... (full context)
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...leave the house […] within the last hour.” When they enter, Cuff is proven right: Rosanna has just returned, and Julia has been waiting to speak with Cuff for an hour.... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 16
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...reveals the truth: Rachel still has the Moonstone and was trying to throw suspicion onto Rosanna. Cuff will lay out his case tomorrow, before Rachel leaves for Frizinghall, and he wants... (full context)
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...until the next afternoon and laments the “changed state of things in the house.” Then, Rosanna runs past Betteredge “with a miserable look of pain” and insists that he “don’t speak... (full context)
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...leading to Rachel’s room. The Sergeant awakens and explains that he is hoping to prevent Rosanna and Rachel from secretly communicating throughout the night. Betteredge yells that he wishes “the Diamond... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 17
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...any special information” they know. Betteredge realizes that Cuff knows that Franklin was speaking to Rosanna, but Franklin loudly insists that he “take[s] no interest whatever in” her, as he knows... (full context)
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Betteredge decides to fulfill Franklin’s request and talk with the dazed and solemn Rosanna, whom he tells to “cheer up” and offers “comforting words.” Her only response is to... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 18
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...continue trying, although they were not responsible for its initial disappearance. Secondly, he learned that Rosanna bought “a piece of long cloth […] to make a nightgown” to replace the plain... (full context)
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...with her in the carriage. When Joyce arrives, he admits he has lost track of Rosanna, failing the duty Cuff had assigned him, and Cuff fires him on the spot. Betteredge... (full context)
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...what Cuff is planning. Cuff explains that he wants to figure out which servant saw Rosanna last, to determine if she is at the Shivering Sand or has gone straight to... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 19
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...Duffy, a local boy who works at the Verinder family estate and has just seen Rosanna rushing in that direction. Betteredge occupies himself with some “needless” house work until Duffy returns... (full context)
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...storm brews as Betteredge arrives on the beach and encounters a horrified Cuff, who matches Rosanna’s boot to a series of marks that all point at a spit of rocks. At... (full context)
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...outdoor servants all congregate on the beach, where Cuff reveals what he has discovered about Rosanna’s fate. The fishermen explain that no boat could have picked her up, but that the... (full context)
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A servant comes to the Shivering Sand with a suicide note from Rosanna thanking Betteredge for his kindness and asking his forgiveness. Betteredge “burst[s] out crying” and blames... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 20
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When Betteredge returns to the house, the servants are panicking and Julia blames Cuff for Rosanna’s death, firing him on the spot—but he asks her to wait a half hour before... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 21
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...that he spent his whole investigation doing whatever possible not to scare or tip off Rosanna, and therefore cannot be responsible for her death. He also suggests that Rosanna’s suicide may... (full context)
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When he first saw Rosanna, Cuff explains, he immediately identified her as Rachel’s accomplice—as well as the person Rachel wanted... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 22
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...finds Cuff and reads him the letter, in which Julia claims that Rachel reacted to Rosanna’s suicide by swearing “she has never spoken a word in private to Rosanna.” Julia admits... (full context)
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...he makes three predictions before departing: the Yollands will get in touch with him when Rosanna’s letter arrives on Monday, the three Indians will reemerge wherever Rachel happens to be, and... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 23
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...Without him, Betteredge returns to Robinson Crusoe, and the other servants return to talking about Rosanna (whom they assume stole the Moonstone and committed suicide out of guilt). Penelope still believes... (full context)
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...at the house to ask about the man she called “Murderer Franklin Blake.” Lucy laments Rosanna's “miserable life” and describes her and Rosanna’s plan to move to London together and make... (full context)
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In fact, Limping Lucy reveals she has a letter for him from Rosanna. Betteredge feels his “detective-fever” returning, and he admits that Franklin Blake has left for London,... (full context)
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...will hear news of him next. Between Lucy’s visit and Franklin’s departure, Betteredge realizes that Rosanna’s death truly might have had something to do with Franklin. Nobody knows what is in... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: Third Narrative: Franklin Blake: Chapter 2
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...to hold Rachel in high esteem no matter what. His trust won, Betteredge brings up Rosanna Spearman’s letter, which remains at the Yollands’ house in Cobb’s Hole. Franklin determines to go... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: Third Narrative: Franklin Blake: Chapter 3
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...strongest emotions of abhorrence and disgust” and comments to herself that she cannot understand “what [Rosanna] saw in” him. She gives him the letter and yells, “God Almighty forbid I should... (full context)
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Rosanna’s letter implores Franklin to follow the instructions enclosed within, which direct him to go to... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: Third Narrative: Franklin Blake: Chapter 4
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...the nightgown is “a liar,” and that someone else must have used it—Franklin remembers that “Rosanna Spearman had once been a thief” and determines that she must have “smeared [his] nightgown... (full context)
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Franklin Blake looks at the letter Rosanna has left in the tin: it begins with a declaration of her love. Franklin is... (full context)
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Rosanna next writes that she plans to turn to the story of the Moonstone, but first... (full context)
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Rosanna then reaches the day of the Diamond’s theft. She tried to avoid “the foolish talk... (full context)
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Rosanna went on with her work, arranging Franklin’s room—and noticed the stain on his nightgown, which... (full context)
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...Blake again interrupts the letter and recognizes that his initial shock about and sympathy for Rosanna have now turned into bitterness. He asks Betteredge to finish reading the letter, which continues... (full context)
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Rosanna next determined to make an identical nightgown to replace Franklin’s stained one, although first she... (full context)
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To get closer to Franklin, Rosanna writes, she then approached him in the library under the pretense of his leaving a... (full context)
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Betteredge and Franklin take a break from Rosanna’s letter to talk—Franklin does not want to discuss his  reaction until the end of the... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: Third Narrative: Franklin Blake: Chapter 5
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Franklin Blake and Betteredge turn from Ezra Jennings back to the end of Rosanna’s letter, which Franklin hopes to use to generate a fruitful conversation with Mr. Bruff and... (full context)
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Rosanna’s letter continues with her attempts to hide Franklin’s nightgown just as Sergeant Cuff—whom she knew... (full context)
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Penelope eventually came to talk with Rosanna and promise her that Rachel would be leaving soon, and that Franklin Blake would follow... (full context)
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Sergeant Cuff then began questioning the servants, and insinuated strongly to Rosanna that he thought her responsible for the theft (although not its mastermind). He “was miles... (full context)
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This is how Rosanna ended up in the Yollands’ house in Cobb’s Hole, writing such a lengthy letter to... (full context)
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...Franklin not to read it yet. In retrospect, Franklin understands that Betteredge also knew about Rosanna’s two final attempts to talk with him, both of which he rejected without realizing Rosanna’s... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: Third Narrative: Franklin Blake: Chapter 6
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...Franklin goes immediately to meet Mr. Bruff at his home and presents the lawyer with Rosanna’s letter. Mr. Bruff thinks this document is also telling because it proves that Rachel, too,... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: Third Narrative: Franklin Blake: Chapter 7
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...everything he has discussed in his narrative thus far. At the end, he asks if Rosanna showed Rachel his nightgown, and she asks if he is “mad” and has only come... (full context)
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...believes he has pledged the Diamond in London and that his entire story about finding Rosanna’s letter and the nightgown is a lie. But she does not understand why he has... (full context)