The War of the Worlds


H. G. Wells

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Mrs. Elphinstone Character Analysis

A woman the narrator’s brother meets while fleeing London. When the narrator’s brother first encounters her, Mrs. Elphinstone and her sister-in-law, Miss Elphinstone, are being attacked and robbed by three men. The narrator’s brother helps fend off these criminals before joining the two women. They explain to him that Mrs. Elphinstone’s husband awoke them in the middle of the night and told them to flee the area, saying he’d catch up with them later. For this reason, Mrs. Elphinstone can hardly take her mind off finding her husband, thus making it difficult for the narrator’s brother to convince her to travel onward and to eventually escape the country altogether. Nonetheless, she consents to his plan and agrees to pool her money with his to buy tickets on a boat to take them away from England.

Mrs. Elphinstone Quotes in The War of the Worlds

The The War of the Worlds quotes below are all either spoken by Mrs. Elphinstone or refer to Mrs. Elphinstone. 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:
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The War of the Worlds published in 2005.
Book 1, Chapter 17 Quotes

At the sight of the sea, Mrs Elphinstone, in spite of the assurances of her sister-in-law, gave way to panic. She had never been out of England before, she would rather die than trust herself friendless in a foreign country, and so forth. She seemed, poor woman, to imagine that the French and the Martians might prove very similar. She had been growing increasingly hysterical, fearful, and depressed during the two days’ journeyings. Her great idea was to return to Stanmore. Things had been always well and safe at Stanmore. They would find [her husband] at Stanmore.

Page Number: 107
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mrs. Elphinstone Character Timeline in The War of the Worlds

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Elphinstone appears in The War of the Worlds. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 16: The Exodus from London
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
...him a revolver, and he joins them in their carriage, learning that they are sisters-in-law: Mrs. Elphinstone and Miss Elphinstone.  (full context)
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Mrs. Elphinstone and Miss Elphinstone tell the narrator’s brother their story. Returning late from an urgent medical... (full context)
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
Evolution and Survival Theme Icon
The narrator’s brother, along with Mrs. Elphinstone and Miss Elphinstone, encounter a mass of people traveling in the opposite direction. The town... (full context)
Book 1, Chapter 17: The “Thunder Child”
Order, Subordination, and Hierarchy Theme Icon
...occupied London, and cylinders continue to fall. In their travels, the brother, Miss Elphinstone, and Mrs. Elphinstone enter Chelmsford, where a band of people calling themselves the Committee of Public Supply confiscate... (full context)
The Other and The Unknown Theme Icon in the distance, an entire fleet of fighting ships is at the ready. Unfortunately, Mrs. Elphinstone starts to panic upon seeing the ocean, suggesting that they turn around and go back... (full context)