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Nicholas Nickleby


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Charles Dickens
   wrote   
The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Comic novel that takes aim at social injustices
Madeline Bray
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Cares for her selfish, invalid father who tries to sell her in marriage to Authur Gride, assisted by Ralph Nickleby. Her father dies and the scheme is exposed. She marries Nicholas at the end of the story.
Walter Bray
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Tyrannical father of Madeline. Heavily in debt, and living in the Rules of the King's Bench debtor's prison, he promises his daughter's hand in marriage to Arthur Gride in return for the forgiveness of his debt to Gride and Ralph Nickleby. He dies on the morning of the wedding thus saving Madeline from the unwanted marriage.
John Browdie
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Son of a small corn-factor. He gives money to Nicholas Nickleby on his escape from Dotheboys Hall. John marries Matilda Price.
Cheeryble Brothers
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Charles and Edwin (Ned). Benevolent businessmen who employ and befriend Nicholas Nickleby and his family. Frank Cheeryble, who marries Kate Nickleby, is their nephew.
Frank Cheeryble
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Nephew of the Cheeryble brothers who marries Kate Nickleby.
Vincent Crummles
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Manager of a touring stage company who employs and befriends Nicholas Nickleby and Smike. Described as having "a very full under- lip, a hoarse voice, as though he were in the habit of shouting very much, and very short black hair, shaved off nearly to the crown of his head--to admit (as he afterwards learnt) of his more easily wearing character wigs of any shape or pattern."
Mrs Crummles
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Wife of Vincent Crummles and actress in his traveling stage troupe. Described as "a stout, portly female, apparently between forty and fifty, in a tarnished silk cloak, with her bonnet dangling by the strings in her hand, and her hair (of which she had a great quantity) braided in a large festoon over each temple."
Ninetta
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Daughter of Vincent Crummles and actress in his traveling stage troupe. Billed as the Infant Phenomenon, her acting capability is greatly over-rated by her father. She is listed as 10 years old but is apparently much older: "though of short stature, had a comparatively aged countenance, and had moreover been precisely the same age -- not perhaps to the full extent of the memory of the oldest inhabitant, but certainly for five good years. But she had been kept up late every night, and put upon an unlimited allowance of gin-and-water from infancy, to prevent her growing tall, and perhaps this system of training had produced in the infant phenomenon these additional phenomena."
Augustus (Tommy) Folair
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Pantomimist in Crummles troupe, jealous of the attention paid to the 'infant phenomenon', he believes the crowds would be better entertained by his specialty: the Highland Fling.
Arthur Gride
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Old moneylender who develops a scheme, along with fellow usurer, Ralph Nickleby, to get Walter Bray consent to give his daughter, Madeline's, hand for the forgiveness of debts to Gride and Ralph. Gride's plan is undone when Bray dies on the morning of the wedding and his old housekeeper, Peg Sliderskew, jealous of the young wife, steals documents that reveal his scheme. Gride is murdered by burglars before he can be prosecuted.
Sir Mulberry Hawk
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Business associate of Ralph Nickleby. Makes advances to Kate Nickleby and is thrashed by Nicholas. When his revenge is opposed by Lord Verisopht they duel and Verisopht is killed. Hawk flees to France.
Kenwigs
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Neighbors of Newman Noggs. Nicholas tutors their three daughters. Mrs Kenwigs uncle, Mr Lillyvick, is a well-to-do collector of water rates and the family hopes to eventually profit from this relation. Their expectations are dashed when Lillyvick marries actress Henrietta Petowker and are revived when she runs away with a retired navy captain.
Miss La Creevy
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Miniature painter in the Strand. The Nickleby's lease lodging from her briefly and she becomes their faithful friend. In the end she marries the Cheeryble Brothers old clerk, Tim Linkinwater.
Thomas Lenville
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Member of Crummles traveling stage troupe: "a dark-complexioned man, inclining indeed to sallow, with long thick black hair, and very evident inclinations (although he was close shaved) of a stiff beard, and whiskers of the same deep shade. His age did not appear to exceed thirty, though many at first sight would have considered him much older, as his face was long, and very pale, from the constant application of stage paint."
Mr Lillyvick
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Collector of water rates and uncle of Mrs Kenwigs. He secretly marries Henrietta Petowker in Portsmouth, much to the dismay of the Kenwigs, who had hoped to inherit his money. The Kenwigs expectations are renewed when Henrietta runs off with a half-pay (retired) captain.
Tim Linkinwater
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Faithful clerk to the Cheeryble Brothers and friend of the Nicklebys. He marries Miss La Creevy.
Madame Mantalini
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Dressmaker in Cavandish Square who hires Kate Nickleby as a favor to her uncle Ralph, to whom she owes money. Her shiftless husband, Alfred, borrows heavily from Ralph and eventually bankrupts his wife's business.
Alfred Mantalini
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Husband of Madame Mantalini. a shiftless idler who lives by flattering his older wife until he has gone through all of her money. Ends up working for a laundress who has bailed him out of debtors' prison.
Mrs Nickleby
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Mother of Nicholas and Kate. Absent-minded and self-absorbed, she continues to "put on airs" even in the reduced situation of her family after the financial ruin and death of her husband. The character is heavily drawn from Dickens' mother.
Kate Nickleby
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Sister of Nicholas. She is placed by her uncle, Ralph Nickleby, with Madame Mantalini. She is the object of the undesirable attentions of some of the evil-minded clients of her uncle who is using her to his advantage. She is rescued by Nicholas with the help of Newman Noggs. Later she marries Frank Cheeryble.
Ralph Nickleby
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Uncle to Nicholas and Kate (and later we find, father of Smike). A rich and miserly moneylender who feigns to help his late brother's family but, in reality, tries to humiliate Nicholas and use Kate to his own advantage. His evil plans and schemes prove his ultimate undoing and he eventually hangs himself.
Newman Noggs
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Once a well-to-do gentleman but he squanders his money and is reduced to serving Ralph Nickleby as clerk. He befriends Nicholas and eventually helps him defeat the designs of Ralph.
Henrietta Petowker
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Minor actress at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and neighbor of Kenwigs and Noggs. She marries Mrs Kenwigs uncle, Mr Lillyvick, but later runs off with a half-pay (retired) captain.
Matilda Price
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
A miller's daughter, Fanny Squeers friend. She marries John Browdie.
Peg Sliderskew
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Old and hideously ugly housekeeper of Arthur Gride. Peg is jealous when Gride plans to marry the much younger Madeline Bray. Peg steals documents relating to Madeline's inheritance which are recovered and help undo Gride. For the theft Peg is transported.
Smike
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Abandoned as a child at Dotheboys Hall in the care of the evil Squeers, Smike is mistreated for years before being rescued by Nicholas. He travels to Portsmouth with Nicholas and performs in Crummles stage troupe and is welcomed as part of the family when he and Nicholas return to London. He is briefly retaken in London by Squeers and escapes with the help of John Browdie. Smike later dies from the treatment he received as a child. After his death it is discovered that he was Ralph Nickleby's son, making him the cousin of Nicholas and Kate.
Snawley
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Father who puts his two step-sons in Squeers' school, Dotheboys Hall. Snawley later poses as Smike's father in Ralph Nickleby's scheme to get the runaway boy back. Snawley's wife later forces him to expose Ralph's plan.
Fanny Squeers
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Daughter of Wackford Squeers. Described as "not tall like her mother, but short like her father; from the former she inherited a voice of harsh quality; from the latter a remarkable expression of the right eye, something akin to having none at all". When Nicholas Nickleby becomes her fathers assistant she falls madly in love with him, telling her friend Matilda Price that they are practically engaged. Nicholas wants nothing to do with her.
Wackford Squeers
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Proprietor of Dotheboys Hall, he took in boys who were not wanted by their families and mistreated them. Nicholas Nickleby becomes his assistant master but sees the way he treats his charges, gives him a sound thrashing, and leaves. Squeers seeks revenge and conspires with Ralph Nickleby. He is eventually undone, imprisoned, and transported.
Wackford Jr Squeers
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Son of schoolmaster Wackford Squeers. Little Wackford is kept fat as an advertisement of the supposed plenty provided at the school. He is spoiled by being given any gifts intended for pupils of the school by their families.
Mrs Squeers
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Wife of Wackford Squeers: "a large raw-boned figure, was about half a head taller than Mr Squeers". While Mr Squeers attempts to keep his cruelty in check, in order to keep up appearances, Mrs Squeers is openly cruel.
Lord Frederick Verisopht
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Foppish companion of Sir Mulberry Hawk who is planning to fleece him. When Verisopht tries to interfere in Hawk's plan of revenge on Nicholas Nickleby they duel, and Verisopht is killed.
Julia and Henry Wititterly
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Kate Nickleby becomes a companion to Julia after leaving Madame Mantalini's. Julia becomes jealous of Kate when Sir Mulberry Hawk begins to pay visits to their Belgravia home. Nicholas removes Kate from the home after he fights with Hawk.
Dotheboys Hall
   features in   
Nicholas Nickleby
Arthur Gride
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Old moneylender who develops a scheme, along with fellow usurer, Ralph Nickleby, to get Walter Bray consent to give his daughter, Madeline's, hand for the forgiveness of debts to Gride and Ralph. Gride's plan is undone when Bray dies on the morning of the wedding and his old housekeeper, Peg Sliderskew, jealous of the young wife, steals documents that reveal his scheme. Gride is murdered by burglars before he can be prosecuted.
Cheeryble Brothers
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Charles and Edwin (Ned). Benevolent businessmen who employ and befriend Nicholas Nickleby and his family. Frank Cheeryble, who marries Kate Nickleby, is their nephew.
Fanny Squeers
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Daughter of Wackford Squeers. Described as "not tall like her mother, but short like her father; from the former she inherited a voice of harsh quality; from the latter a remarkable expression of the right eye, something akin to having none at all". When Nicholas Nickleby becomes her fathers assistant she falls madly in love with him, telling her friend Matilda Price that they are practically engaged. Nicholas wants nothing to do with her.
Kate Nickleby
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Sister of Nicholas. She is placed by her uncle, Ralph Nickleby, with Madame Mantalini. She is the object of the undesirable attentions of some of the evil-minded clients of her uncle who is using her to his advantage. She is rescued by Nicholas with the help of Newman Noggs. Later she marries Frank Cheeryble.
Mrs Nickleby
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Mother of Nicholas and Kate. Absent-minded and self-absorbed, she continues to "put on airs" even in the reduced situation of her family after the financial ruin and death of her husband. The character is heavily drawn from Dickens' mother.
Mrs Squeers
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Wife of Wackford Squeers: "a large raw-boned figure, was about half a head taller than Mr Squeers". While Mr Squeers attempts to keep his cruelty in check, in order to keep up appearances, Mrs Squeers is openly cruel.
Ralph Nickleby
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Uncle to Nicholas and Kate (and later we find, father of Smike). A rich and miserly moneylender who feigns to help his late brother's family but, in reality, tries to humiliate Nicholas and use Kate to his own advantage. His evil plans and schemes prove his ultimate undoing and he eventually hangs himself.
Smike
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Abandoned as a child at Dotheboys Hall in the care of the evil Squeers, Smike is mistreated for years before being rescued by Nicholas. He travels to Portsmouth with Nicholas and performs in Crummles stage troupe and is welcomed as part of the family when he and Nicholas return to London. He is briefly retaken in London by Squeers and escapes with the help of John Browdie. Smike later dies from the treatment he received as a child. After his death it is discovered that he was Ralph Nickleby's son, making him the cousin of Nicholas and Kate.
Wackford Jr Squeers
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Son of schoolmaster Wackford Squeers. Little Wackford is kept fat as an advertisement of the supposed plenty provided at the school. He is spoiled by being given any gifts intended for pupils of the school by their families.
Wackford Squeers
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Nicholas Nickleby
Proprietor of Dotheboys Hall, he took in boys who were not wanted by their families and mistreated them. Nicholas Nickleby becomes his assistant master but sees the way he treats his charges, gives him a sound thrashing, and leaves. Squeers seeks revenge and conspires with Ralph Nickleby. He is eventually undone, imprisoned, and transported.






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