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Mrs. Dalloway

Virginia Woolf

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Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe explains the main characters in Virginia Woolf's novel Mrs. Dalloway.

Mrs. Dalloway | Characters

Character Description
Clarissa Dalloway Clarissa Dalloway is the title character and the novel's protagonist. She is a wealthy Englishwoman in her early fifties and frequent party host. Read More
Septimus Warren Smith Septimus is a World War I veteran in his thirties. He now lives in London and is married to Lucrezia. Read More
Peter Walsh Peter Walsh is an English bureaucrat who spent many years in India. Read More
Richard Dalloway Richard is Clarissa's well-to-do politician husband. He works for the Conservative party. Read More
Elizabeth Dalloway Elizabeth is Clarissa and Richard's 17-year-old daughter. She studies history with a private tutor. Read More
Rezia Warren Smith Rezia's full name is Lucrezia Warren Smith. She is Septimus's Italian wife, whom he married in Milan after his military service. Read More
Sally Seton Sally is a charismatic, adventurous friend of Clarissa's. After she marries, she is sometimes referred to as Lady Rosseter. Read More
Mr. Bentley A Greenwich man who sees the airplane while gardening, Mr. Bentley believes the plane is a symbol of man's soul.
Lady Bexborough "Slow and stately," with leathery skin, Lady Bexborough is a shop and bazaar owner in London, whom Clarissa admires for her composure and maturity.
Sarah Bletchley Mrs. Sarah Bletchley is a mother who observes the airplane and the letters it is forming.
Mr. Bowley Mr. Bowley, living in London, notices the motorcar and feels a surge of British patriotism as he watches the unity of the crowd.
Lady Bradshaw Once independent, Lady Bradshaw now follows the will of her husband, having lost her personality in marriage through "conversion."
Sir William Bradshaw Septimus's rich and famous psychiatrist, Sir William Bradshaw believes in "proportion" in treating patients and shows a "natural respect for breeding and clothing"; he dislikes intellectuals and is irked by the shabbily dressed and pompous Septimus.
Joseph Breitkopf Joseph Breitkopf is a fellow guest at Bourton during Clarissa and Peter's youthful summer there.
Mr. Brewer Mr. Brewer is an auctioneer and was Septimus's employer before the war.
Sir John Brockhurst Sir John Brockhurst is a London judge waiting to cross the street, along with Clarissa, when the motorcar interrupts traffic.
Milly Brush Milly Brush is Lady Bruton's secretary.
Lady Bruton Smart, well-respected, and politically involved, Lady Bruton—also referred to by her first name, Millicent—is a friend of the Dalloways, who works with citizens who want to emigrate to Canada; she believes England should do more for veterans.
Emily Coates A mother standing outside Buckingham Palace when the airplane arrives, Mrs. Emily Coates is the first to notice the letters in smoke.
Miss Cummings Miss Cummings is a summer guest at Bourton with Clarissa, Peter, and Sally.
Fraulein Daniels Fraulein Daniels was Clarissa's old tutor, whom Clarissa thinks failed to prepare her well for life.
Mrs. Dempster Mrs. Dempster is a disillusioned, elderly woman in London.
Evans A strong and devoted soldier who recognized Septimus's abilities, Evans was Septimus's commanding officer, who died in Italy during World War I; he frequently appears in Septimus's postwar flashbacks and nightmares.
Mrs. Filmer The Warren Smiths' neighbor and a client in Rezia's hat-making business, Mrs. Filmer is Rezia's only friend in London.
Mr. Fletcher Mr. Fletcher is a fellow churchgoer at Miss Kilman's church.
Mrs. Gorham Mrs. Gorham is a fellow churchgoer at Miss Kilman's church.
Sir Harry Sir Harry is a guest at Clarissa's party.
Ellie Henderson Poor, timid Ellie Henderson is Clarissa's 50-something cousin, who is nervous around her wealthy relatives.
Mrs. Hilberry Mrs. Hilberry is a guest at Clarissa's party.
Dr. Holmes Although energetic and skillful, Septimus's general physician, Dr. Holmes, lacks compassion and believes patients should work to heal themselves. Because of his condescending manner and dismissal of their symptoms, his patients—including Septimus—dislike him. Dr. Holmes's insistence on entering the Warren Smith home and institutionalizing Septimus lead to Septimus's suicide.
Maisie Johnson Maisie Johnson is a working-class girl in London.
Miss Kilman Elizabeth Dalloway's embittered history tutor, Miss Doris Kilman feels denied of life's pleasures, the only ones she allows herself being food and Elizabeth's company. Miss Kilman is a religious, self-righteous Christian, who gives to charitable causes in other countries and lives an austere life herself. Ethnically she is part German, and her loyalty to the Germans causes tension in England after World War I. Self-consciously poor, she resents Clarissa Dalloway's luxurious life. She wears an unflattering green mackintosh coat over her short, stocky body all year long.
Lucy Lucy is the Dalloways' maid who admires Clarissa, takes pride in her work, and appreciates beauty and order.
Elise Mitchell Elise Mitchell is the young girl who runs into Rezia's legs in Regent's Park.
Mr. Morris Mr. Morris is a guest at Peter's hotel.
Old woman singing In London Peter encounters the unnamed old woman who he believes is singing to her dead lover. The song reminds Peter of the eternal nature of love, which will outlast all the generations of people in London.
Aunt Helena Parry A former botanist with a glass eye, Helena Parry is Clarissa's elderly aunt who lived in Burma; she represents an older, more regimented English society and was appalled by Sally's radical behavior at Bourton.
Mrs. Peters Mrs. Peters is Mrs. Filmer's married daughter, whom Rezia dislikes but puts up with because of her mother's kindness.
Isabel Pole A lecturer on Shakespeare, Isabel Pole is a literary expert who noticed Septimus's talent and served as a muse for Septimus before the war and his mentor when he comes to London.
Moll Pratt Moll Pratt is an Irish flower seller who sees the motorcar drive by and considers throwing roses into the street.
Prime minister A figurehead in the English government, the prime minister attends Clarissa's party.
Scrope Purvis Scrope Purvis is the Dalloways' neighbor.
Miss Pym Practical, kind, knowledgeable about flower arranging, and undisturbed by the backfiring motorcar, Miss Pym assists Clarissa at Mulberry's, the flower shop where Clarissa buys flowers. Clarissa has known Miss Pym for years and notices her advancing age.
Daisy Simmons Dark, charming Daisy Simmons is an English expatriate in India who is married, has two children, and is in love with Peter Walsh.
Sylvia Sylvia is Clarissa's sister who died in an accident when she was young.
Edgar J. Watkiss Edgar J. Watkiss is a London resident who points out the motorcar as "the Prime Minister's" car; Septimus overhears him.
Evelyn Whitbread Evelyn Whitbread suffers from ailments that keep her housebound; her devoted husband, Hugh, buys her expensive presents.
Hugh Whitbread A governmental functionary and an old friend of Clarissa's, Hugh dresses well and respects those with high political status, although several characters, such as Sally and Peter, find him vain and pretentious.
Rev. Edward Whittaker The Rev. Edward Whittaker is the clergyman at Miss Kilman's church.
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