Michaelis is a member of Verloc’s revolutionary circle. He is referred to as a “ticket-of-leave apostle,” referring to the fact that he served a prison term and is now on probation. He was arrested as a young locksmith for a minor role in an anarchist plot, during which a policeman was killed. He is rotund and pale with a gentle, trustful personality and humanitarian sympathies. Michaelis is mostly interested in the role of economic conditions within history, believing that the system of private ownership is beginning to self-destruct—theories he has honed during his years behind bars. Michaelis is supported by a wealthy patroness. At the time of the Greenwich bombing, Michaelis is staying in a country cottage, writing an obscure and disjointed autobiography. Stevie, to whom Michaelis has always been kind, is staying in the cottage at the time, but Michaelis remains oblivious to the bomb plot.
Michaelis Character Timeline in The Secret Agent
The timeline below shows where the character Michaelis appears in The Secret Agent. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...of the fire. He has curly yellow hair and high cheekbones and smokes a cigarette. Michaelis, used to talking to himself without any feedback or response in prison, keeps monologuing about... (full context)
...the underground; they hailed from an unlikely country station. But Inspector Heat points out that Michaelis stays in a cottage in that rural neighborhood. At the mention of Michaelis, the Assistant... (full context)
...the Assistant Commissioner tells Heat that it will be important to gather sufficient evidence against Michaelis. Heat is confident that he can get enough to satisfy the public and send Michaelis... (full context)
...absence, she cleaned the house, managed the shop, and saw some of Verloc’s friends—like Mr. Michaelis, who is on his way to the country, and Comrade Ossipon, who made Winnie blush... (full context)
...Stevie’s coat. She explains that Heat can’t question Stevie because he’s in the country with Michaelis. Heat’s eyes brighten knowingly, and he questions Winnie further about Stevie. The young man who’d... (full context)
...to make a full confession. Heat reflects on what this will mean: the exoneration of Michaelis and the exposure of The Professor’s bomb-making work, not to mention a departmental shake-up. Heat... (full context)
...Verloc was eager to confess. Verloc quickly told him of Vladimir’s instigation and Stevie’s involvement. Michaelis wasn’t involved and probably still doesn’t know about it, though Stevie had been staying with... (full context)
...feels a “crusading” impulse. After going home to change, he goes to the home of Michaelis’s patroness, where his wife currently is. He greets the elderly patroness and assures her that... (full context)
...London that The Professor has rented. The Professor tells Ossipon about his recent visit to Michaelis. Michaelis hadn’t heard anything about Verloc’s death. He only focuses on his autobiography, which lacks... (full context)