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Arts & Entertainment Literature Characters Chaucer's Pilgrims Other

Characters

This page is mainly about questions of the form "In which book (or play) did ... (first) appear?"

See also Character Details – for questions (generally) where the answer is the name of a character.

Chaucer's Pilgrims

Modern editions of The Canterbury Tales invariably include 24 tales.  There are 30 pilgrims altogether (give or take ... ) and Chaucer is believed to have originally intended that each pilgrim would tell four tales – giving a total of 120 (ten dozen – a nice round number).  It is not known how many he actually got round to writing – but only these 24 have survived in any meaningful form.

The 24 tales are preceded by the General Prologue.

The table below lists the 24 tellers of the surviving tales, in the order in which they appear.  (Again, the exact order that Chaucer intended is not definitely known, but this is the order accepted by common consent.)  It's not unknown for question setters to give a selection of these and ask what connects them (answer: they all appear in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales).

A reeve was an estate manager; a summoner was a sort of usher in an ecclesiastical court; a franklin was a freeman as opposed to a serf; a pardoner was a member of the clergy who sold pardons and indulgences; a shipman was a sailor; Sir Thopas and Melibee are the names of characters; a manciple was the person in charge of catering, specifically the purchase of the food, at an institution such as a monastery or a law court.

KnightMiller ReeveCook Man of LawWife of Bath
FriarSummoner ClerkMerchant SquireFranklin
PhysicianPardoner ShipmanPrioress Sir ThopasMelibee
MonkNun's Priest Second NunCanon's Yeoman MancipleParson

Other

It's not normally necessary to include the name of the author in the question; but it may be useful as an extra clue, and it's included here for that reason.

If setting questions, you can obviously include as few or as many of the listed characters as you want.

Q: In which book (or play) did ... (first) appear? Author A:
Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, Slartibartfast, Zaphod Beeblebrox Douglas Adams Click to show or hide the answer
Bright Eyes, General Woundwort, Fiver, Hazel, Bigwig Richard Adams Click to show or hide the answer
James Dixon, a lecturer in mediaeval history at an unnamed red brick university in the English Midlands, is the title character in Kingsley Amis Click to show or hide the answer
Harriet Smith is the unsophisticated 17–year–old girl whose romantic life is (largely unsuccsessfully) manipulated by the title character, in Jane Austen Click to show or hide the answer
Fanny Price is the heroine of; Sir Thomas Bertram, his wife Lady Bertram (Fanny's aunt Maria), and their children Tom, Edmund (beloved of Fanny), Maria and Julia; Mrs. Norris (Fanny's other aunt); Henry Crawford and his sister Mary Click to show or hide the answer
Catherine Morland (central character), and her brother James; Henry Tilney Click to show or hide the answer
Anne Elliot, one of the cash–strapped Elliot family of Kellynch Hall, is the central character of Click to show or hide the answer
The Elliots, the Musgroves and the Wentworths are the three principal families in
Elizabeth Bennet (and her family, including her four sisters) is/are the central characters in Click to show or hide the answer
Sisters Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, respectively, personify the two qualities mentioned in the title of Click to show or hide the answer
Ralph, Peterkin and JackR. M. Ballantyne Click to show or hide the answer
Peter Pan first appeared in (1902 adult novel); the play Peter Pan first appeared 1904, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (children's novel) 1906, Peter and Wendy (novel based on the play) 1911 J. M. Barrie Click to show or hide the answer
Tramps – Vladimir and Estragon (play) Samuel Beckett Click to show or hide the answer
Joe Lampton John Braine Click to show or hide the answer
Nellie Dean, Mr. Lockwood (narrators); Edgar Linton and his sister Isabella Emily Bronte Click to show or hide the answer
A mysterious young widow, calling herself Helen Graham, is the title character of Anne Bronte Click to show or hide the answer
Robert Langdon, Sophie Neveu (Langdon first appeared in Angels and Demons) Dan Brown Click to show or hide the answer
Mr. Worldly Wiseman, Hopeful, Giant Despair John Bunyan Click to show or hide the answer
Holly Golightly is the central character in (novella) Truman Capote Click to show or hide the answer
Lady Dulcinea de TobosoMiguel de Cervantes Click to show or hide the answer
Philip MarloweRaymond Chandler Click to show or hide the answer
Father Brown G. K. Chesterton Click to show or hide the answer
Miss MarpleAgatha Christie Click to show or hide the answer
John Blackthorne, an English pilot serving on the Dutch warship Erasmus, is the central character in (1975 bestseller) James Clavell Click to show or hide the answer
Anne Catherick (the title character); Count Fosco (an eccentric, grossly obese Italian, with a mysterious past); Marian Halcombe (described by one critic as "[one] of the finest creations in all Victorian fiction") Wilkie Collins Click to show or hide the answer
Sergeant Cuff – sometimes, but controversially to say the least, described as the first detective in English fiction Click to show or hide the answer
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Click to show or hide the answer
Chingachgook and his son Uncas can both be described as the title character, since Chingachgook outlives Uncas; Nathaniel 'Natty' Bumppo is the protagonistJames Fenimore Cooper Click to show or hide the answer
Violet Beauregarde, Augustus Gloop Roald Dahl Click to show or hide the answer
Sebastian Dangerfield (central character) J. P. Donleavy Click to show or hide the answer
Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikoff, an impoverished student, is the central character of; detective Porphyrius Petrovich Fyodr Dostoevsky Click to show or hide the answer
Dmitri, Alyosha and Ivan are the title characters of Click to show or hide the answer
Athos, Porthos and Aramis are the title characters; d'Artagnan, the protagonist, is their friend and associate Alexandre Dumas Click to show or hide the answer
Edmond Dantès is the protagonist and title character of Click to show or hide the answer
Mrs. Danvers (sinister housekeeper) Daphne du Maurier Click to show or hide the answer
Dorothea Brooke (heroine of); Tertius Lydgate (idealistic young doctor); Edward Casaubon (middle–aged clergyman who marries Dorothea) George Eliot Click to show or hide the answer
Brother and sister, Tom and Maggie Tulliver (central characters) Click to show or hide the answer
The wealthy, irreproachable and good–natured Squire Allworthy, and his daughter Bridget; the wealthy, rough–and–ready simpleton Squire Western, and his daughter Sophia; Captain Blifil, and his brother Dr. Blifil – both of whom meet unexpected deaths Henry Fielding Click to show or hide the answer
Nick Carraway (the narrator), Jordan Baker (Nick's girlfriend), Daisy Buchanan (Nick's cousin, once romantically involved with the title character), Tom Buchanan (Daisy's husband), George Wilson (a garage owner), Myrtle Wilson (George's wife, and Tom's mistress) F. Scott Fitzgerald Click to show or hide the answer
Mrs. Sigourney Howard – the inspiration for part of actress Sigourney Weaver's stage name – is a very minor character (mentioned only) in Click for more information
Lucy Honeychurch is the heroine ofE. M. Forster Click to show or hide the answer
Frederick Clegg, a lonely young office clerk who is obsessed with art student Miranda Grey, is the central character of John Fowles Click to show or hide the answer
Sara Woodruff is the eponymous central character of Click to show or hide the answer
Captain Macheath, Polly Peachum John Gay Click to show or hide the answer
Aunt Ada Doom; Flora Poste is the narrator of Stella Gibbons Click to show or hide the answer
Ralph, Piggy and Jack Merridew are the central characters; Simon, Roger; twins Sam and Eric (Samneric) William Golding Click to show or hide the answer
Vacuum cleaner salesman Jim Wormold is the title character ofGraham Greene Click to show or hide the answer
CIA agent Alden Pyle is the title character of Click to show or hide the answer
Sam Spade (private investigator) Dashiell Hammett Click to show or hide the answer
Bathsheba Everdene, Gabriel Oak, Sergeant Troy, Farmer Bolding, Fanny Robin Thomas Hardy Click to show or hide the answer
Sue Bridehead Click to show or hide the answer
Michael Henchard is the eponymous character, who sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas after arguing with his wife when drunk Click to show or hide the answer
Angel Clare Click to show or hide the answer
Hannibal Lecter Thomas Harris Click to show or hide the answer
Yossarian (central character); Milo Minderbinder; Major Major Major Major; Nately and his Whore Joseph Heller Click to show or hide the answer
Story of a love affair between US Lieutenant Frederic Henry (the narrator) and English nurse Catherine Barkley Ernest Hemingway Click to show or hide the answer
Ludi Magister Joseph Knecht Hermann Hesse Click to show or hide the answer
Harry Halleris the central character of Click to show or hide the answer
Jean Valjean is the long–suffering central character of Victor Hugo Click to show or hide the answer
Quasimodo Click to show or hide the answer
Nora Helmer is the heroine of (play) Henrik Ibsen Click to show or hide the answer
Anastasia Steel is the central (female) character of E. L. James Click to show or hide the answer
Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker is the central character of James Joyce Click to show or hide the answer
Leopold Bloom is the central character of Click to show or hide the answer
Gregor Samsa is the central character of Franz Kafka Click to show or hide the answer
Joseph K is the central character of Click to show or hide the answer
Dean Moriarty is the central character of Jack Kerouac Click to show or hide the answer
Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid Charles Kingsley Click to show or hide the answer
Amyas Leigh (an unruly child who follows Sir Francis Drake to sea): central character of Click to show or hide the answer
M'Turk and Beetle (they are the 'Co.' of the title) Rudyard Kipling Click to show or hide the answer
Ursula Brangwen (before Women in Love) D. H. Lawrence Click to show or hide the answer
Alec Leamas is the central character of John le Carré Click to show or hide the answer
George Smiley first appeared in (the author's first novel) Click to show or hide the answer
Atticus Finch, his daughter Scout (the narrator), Tom Robinson, Boo Radley Harper Lee Click to show or hide the answer
Gustav Aschenbach (a distinguished composer) is the central character of Thomas Mann Click to show or hide the answer
Precious Ramotswe Alexander McCall Smith Click to show or hide the answer
Bella Swan is the central character in (series) Stephenie Meyer Click to show or hide the answer
Scarlett O'Hara, Rhett Butler, Charles Hamilton, Frank Kennedy Margaret Mitchell Click to show or hide the answer
12–year–old Dolores Haze is the title character; Humbert Humbert (played in the 1962 film by James Mason) is the central male character (classic 20th century novel) Vladimir Nabokov Click to show or hide the answer
Clare Quilty is a doppelgänger to the narrator, by whom he is eventually shot dead
Count Ladislaus de Almásy – based on the real–life explorer László Almásy – is the title character of Michael Ondaatje Click to show or hide the answer
Boxer (shire horse), Napoleon, Snowball (pigs) George Orwell Click to show or hide the answer
Winston Smith is the central character of Click to show or hide the answer
Jimmy Porter John Osborne Click to show or hide the answer
Lara Antipova Boris Pasternak Click to show or hide the answer
Paul Baumer is the central character of Erich Maria Remarque Click to show or hide the answer
Holden Caulfield is the central character of J. D. Salinger Click to show or hide the answer
Dandy Dinmont Sir Walter Scott Click to show or hide the answer
Lady Sneerwell, Sir Peter Teazle Richard B. Sheridan Click to show or hide the answer
Mrs. Malaprop, Sir Anthony Absolute and his son Jack, Lydia Languish (play) Click to show or hide the answer
17–year–old Cassandra Mortmain is the narrator and protagonist of Dodie Smith Click to show or hide the answer
Oleg Filimonovich Kostoglotov is the central character of Alexander Solzhenitsyn Click to show or hide the answer
Migrant workers George Milton and Lenny Small are the central characters in John Steinbeck Click to show or hide the answer
Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, Captain Smollett Robert Louis Stevenson Click to show or hide the answer
17–year–old David Balfour is the central character and narrator of Click to show or hide the answer
Jonathan Harker, a newly qualified English solicitor, is the central character inBram Stoker Click to show or hide the answer
Becky Sharp is the central character of W. M. Thackeray Click to show or hide the answer
Charley Wykeham, Jack Chesney, Amy Spettigue, Kitty Verdun, Donna Lucia d'Alvadorez (the title character), Lord Fancourt Babberley (play) Brandon Thomas Click to show or hide the answer
Willy Nilly, Polly Garter, Captain Cat, Organ Morgan, Bessie Bighead (play) Dylan Thomas Click to show or hide the answer
Count Kyrill (Peter) Bezukhov, Prince Andrey Bolkonsky and his sister Princess Maria, and the Rostov family (Count Ilya, Countess Natalya, and their children Vera, Nikolai, Petya and Natasha) Leo Tolstoy Click to show or hide the answer
Harry Angstrom (the title includes his nickname) is the title character of John Updike Click to show or hide the answer
Phineas Fogg, Passepartout, Mr. Fix, Aouda Jules Verne Click to show or hide the answer
Cunégonde is the aristocratic cousin and 'love interest' of the title character, in Voltaire Click to show or hide the answer
Charles Ryder (narrator), Sebastian Flyte Evelyn Waugh Click to show or hide the answer
Guy Crouchback is the central character in (trilogy, published 1952–61) Click to show or hide the answer
Homer Simpson Nathaniel West Click to show or hide the answer
Lady Bracknell, Miss Prism Oscar Wilde Click to show or hide the answer
Basil Hallward is a portrait painter (eventually stabbed to death by his eponymous subject), in Click to show or hide the answer
The Pollitt family: Brick and Maggie, Big Daddy, Big Mama, Mae and Gooper (play) Tennessee Williams Click to show or hide the answer
Blanche Dubois (play) Click to show or hide the answer

© Haydn Thompson 2017–21