The Hours | Study Guide

Michael Cunningham

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The Hours | Characters

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Character Description
Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf is a brilliant British novelist who is troubled by headaches and voices in her head. Her family worries about her mental health. Read More
Clarissa Vaughn Clarissa Vaughn, a lesbian who lives with her partner, is a successful editor in New York City in the late 1980s or early 1990s. Read More
Laura Brown Laura Brown is a married housewife and mother in Los Angeles in 1949. Read More
Richard Brown Richard Brown, called Richie in the novel's "Mrs. Brown" chapters, is a bisexual man and a poetic genius who is dying of AIDS in his New York apartment. His mother, Laura Brown, abandoned him when he was a child. Read More
Angelica Angelica is Vanessa Bell's youngest child. She is a nervous five-year-old who enacts the ritual burial of the dead thrush.
Barbara Barbara is the proprietor of the shop where Clarissa Vaughn stops to buy flowers.
Vanessa Bell Vanessa Bell, a healthy and cheerful painter, is the sister of Virginia Woolf.
Dan Brown Dan Brown is Laura's husband. Laura married him because he is a war hero. He is kind but boring, and Laura is often scathingly critical of him, though she tries hard to be his perfect wife.
Evan Evan is Walter Hardy's lover. Evan has AIDS, but it is kept in check with modern drugs.
Walter Hardy Walter is a gay writer of hack romance novels. He's friendly with Clarissa Vaughn and Richard Brown.
Julia Julia is Clarissa Vaughn's 19-year-old daughter. She's capable but willful. Julia is straight but has adapted a boyish look under the influence of her best friend, Mary Krull, a lesbian.
Julian Julian is Vanessa Bell's oldest child and Vanessa's favorite. He's 15 years old and very handsome.
Kitty Kitty is Laura's neighbor. She appears to be confident and strong, but she becomes vulnerable when she faces medical issues.
Lottie Lottie is the Woolfs' housekeeper in Richmond.
Marjorie Marjorie is one of Leonard Woolf's editorial assistants; she works with him in the house in Richmond.
Mary Krull Mary Krull is Julia's lesbian friend. She is aggressively judgmental and quick to criticize those she doesn't agree with or who don't meet her standards.
Mrs. Latch Mrs. Latch is Laura Brown's neighbor; she babysits Richie while Laura is away at the hotel.
Nelly Nelly is the cook in the Woolf household in Richmond. Her strong will often cows Virginia.
Quentin Quentin is Vanessa Bell's middle child. He is a kind and intelligent 13-year-old.
Ralph Ralph is one of Leonard Woolf's assistants in Richmond.
Ray Ray is Kitty's husband and is extremely average.
Sally Sally is Clarissa Vaughn's longtime lover. The two have lived together for many years. Sally works as a television producer.
Oliver St. Ives Oliver St. Ives is a gay movie star who lost some popularity when he came out of the closet. He's friends with Sally, and he's trying to produce a gay thriller.
Louis Waters Louis Waters is a longtime friend of Clarissa Vaughn and Richard Brown, and he is also Richard's ex-lover. Louis is sentimental about the past and still feels jealous of Clarissa and Richard's close relationship. He has a cynical attitude toward love.
Leonard Woolf Leonard Woolf is Virginia's husband and the publisher of Hogarth Press. Leonard is protective of Virginia because of her mental condition, sometimes watching out for her more than she does for herself.
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