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The Good Soldier | Study Guide

Ford Madox Ford

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The Good Soldier | Characters

Character Description
John Dowell John Dowell is an American expat living in Paris with his wife, Florence Dowell. He cares for Florence, whom he believes is a heart patient, until her death. Read More
Edward Ashburnham Edward Ashburnham is a former British soldier. While by all accounts a "good soldier," Edward's weakness for women and gambling is his downfall. Read More
Leonora Ashburnham Leonora Ashburnham is a devout Catholic and society lady who practices restraint in all things. She micromanages her husband Edward Ashburnham's money and affairs. Read More
Florence Dowell Florence Dowell is an American socialite living in Europe. She is shallow, garrulous, and tricks John Dowell into a sham marriage. Read More
Colonel Ashburnham Colonel Ashburnham is Edward Ashburnham's father. He and Colonel Powys arrange Edward's marriage to Leonora.
Bagshawe Bagshawe is an acquaintance of Jimmy. He sees Florence Dowell leaving Jimmy's room in 1900 and tells John Dowell about it in 1913.
Major Basil Major Basil blackmails Edward Ashburnham when he finds out about his affair with Mrs. Basil. John Dowell describes him as being a "slack, loose, shiftless sort of fellow."
Mrs. Basil Mrs. Basil is a woman Edward Ashburnham has an affair with while stationed in Burma. She is a "nice" woman.
Rodney Bayham Rodney Bayham is the Ashburnhams' neighbor. Leonora Ashburnham tries unsuccessfully to have an affair with him and marries him after Edward Ashburnham's death.
Mr. Brand Mr. Brand is the Ashburnhams' neighbor. He is part of a divorce scandal that Nancy Rufford reads about in the newspaper.
Mrs. Brand Mrs. Brand is the Ashburnhams' neighbor. She is part of a divorce scandal that Nancy Rufford reads about in the newspaper.
La Dolciquita La Dolciquita is a call girl and Edward Ashburnham's first actual case of infidelity. Thanks to his affair with her, he owes so much money that Leonora Ashburnham takes over their money management.
Emily Hurlbird Emily Hurlbird is Florence Dowell's aunt. She does not approve of Florence's marrying anyone.
Florence Hurlbird Florence Hurlbird is Florence Dowell's aunt. She does not approve of Florence's marrying anyone.
John Hurlbird John Hurlbird is Florence Dowell's uncle. He claims to have a heart condition and takes his niece on a trip around the world.
Jimmy Jimmy is Florence's first lover, whom she had an affair with prior to her marriage to John Dowell. John describes him as "dreary" and "morose," with "no talent as a painter."
Julius Julius is John Dowell's servant before he marries Florence. John beats him when he loses Florence's medicine.
Miss Lupton Miss Lupton is part of a divorce scandal that Nancy Rufford reads about in the newspaper.
Charlie Maidan Charlie Maidan is Maisie Maidan's husband. He conspires with Leonora Ashburnham to bring Maisie Maidan to Nauheim.
Maisie Maidan Maisie Maidan is a heart patient whom Edward Ashburnham falls in love with. Leonora Ashburnham pays her way to Nauheim, where she dies of overexerting her heart.
Nursemaid on train This unnamed girl is the first of Edward Ashburnham's affections towards women other than his wife, Leonora. She accused him of harassing her, which brought him public shame.
Colonel Powys Colonel Powys is Leonora's father. He and Colonel Ashburnham arrange the marriage between Leonora and Edward.
Major Rufford Major Rufford is Nancy Rufford's father. He is described as brutish, and Nancy is afraid of him.
Mrs. Rufford Mrs. Rufford is Leonora Ashburnham's closest friend. She entrusts Leonora with the care of Nancy.
Nancy Rufford Nancy Rufford is a Catholic convent girl who comes to live with the Ashburnhams as their ward. She is innocent and ignorant.
Mr. White Mr. White is Mrs. Rufford's lover in Glasgow. He agrees to chaperone Nancy Rufford in Italy on her way to India.
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