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The Red and the Black | Characters

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Character Description
Julien Sorel Julien Sorel is the novel's ambitious, sensitive, handsome, and intelligent protagonist. Proud to a fault, he is determined to make his way in the world and will not hesitate to employ hypocrisy to get ahead. Read More
Madame de Rênal Madame Louise de Rênal, the wife of Mayor M. de Rênal, falls deeply in love with Julien, her children's tutor. Read More
Mathilde de la Mole Mlle. Mathilde de la Mole is the haughty, intelligent, and perverse daughter of the Marquis de la Mole who has a love affair with Julien. Read More
Marquis de la Mole The Marquis de la Mole is Mathilde's father and the benefactor of Julien Sorel, who becomes his personal secretary. Read More
Academician The academician is one of the Marquis de la Mole's intellectual friends, and he is often found at the family's dinner table.
Bishop Agde Bishop Agde is the young nephew of Marquis de la Mole; he was made a bishop through his uncle's intervention.
Comte Altamira Comte Altamira is an exile and liberal who attends the Marquis de la Mole's salon; he has a price on his head in his own country for challenging the political order. Julien becomes friends with him, and Mathilde admires him.
M. Appert Monsieur (M.) Benjamin Appert is a philanthropist and reformer who comes to inspect the prison and poorhouse in Verrières.
M. de Beauvoisis Monsieur (M.) Charles de Beauvoisis—also called the Chevalier de Beauvoisis—is the diplomat who fights Julien in a duel; he is also the cousin of Madame de Rênal.
Amanda Binet Amanda Binet is the serving woman at the tavern where Julien stops. He flirts with her before he enters the seminary.
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte was the French conqueror and emperor who ruled France from 1799 to 1815; he is Julien's hero.
Abbé Castanède Abbé Castanède is second in command at the seminary at Besançon, where Julien studies. He is Abbé Pirard's enemy and a member of the Jesuit cabal.
Comte de Caylus Comte de Caylus is one of Mathilde's friends and a possible suitor.
Comte Chalvet Comte Chalvet is a statesman who comes to the la Mole salon and mentioned in Napoleon's memoir.
Abbé Chas-Bernard Abbé Chas-Bernard is the Director of Ceremonies at the cathedral; he takes Julien under his wing.
Duc de Chaulnes Duc de Chaulnes is the Marquise de la Mole's father.
Chazel Chazel is one of the few distinguished students at the seminary, along with Julien.
Abbé Chélan Abbé Chélan—also called M. Chélan or M. Abbé Chélan—is the old parish priest and Julien's first priestly benefactor. He teaches Julien Latin and attempts to guide his life.
M. de Cholin Monsieur (M.) de Cholin is a frivolous person who gets the lottery concession in Verrières through Julien's malicious intervention.
Marquis de Croisenois The Marquis de Croisenois is Mathilde's suitor and the man her father wishes her to marry.
Georges Danton Georges Danton was a leader in the French Revolution; Julien greatly admires him.
Madame Derville Madame Derville is Madame de Rênal's friend and cousin.
Ducros Ducros was one of M. de Rênal's childhood friends. M. de Rênal abandoned Ducros because he was not an aristocrat.
Élisa Élisa is Madame de Rênal's maid; she is the first woman to fall in love with Julien.
Falcoz Falcoz was one of M. de Rênal's childhood friends. M. de Rênal abandoned Falcoz because he was not an aristocrat; later in life he betrays Falcoz for political reasons.
Madame de Fervaques Madame de Fervaques is a rich aristocratic widow and pious Catholic; Julien courts her to make Mathilde jealous.
Fouqué Fouqué is a wood merchant and Julien's best friend.
Abbé de Frilair M. Abbé de Frilair is the Vicar-general—bishop's representative—in Verrières.
Signor Géronimo Signor Géronimo is a well-known Neapolitan singer and friend of the diplomat M. de Beauvoisis who pays a social call to the Rênals on behalf of Madame's cousin when he passes through their town.
M. Gros Monsieur (M.) Gros is a celebrated mathematician who should have received the lottery concession in Verrières, but Julien inadvertently intervened before that could happen.
Prince Korasoff Prince Korasoff is Julian's friend; he comes from Russia, but Julien originally met him in London. The two meet again in Strasbourg, and Prince Korasoff tells Julien how to win back Mathilde.
Viscomte de Luz Viscomte de Luz is one of Mathilde's friends and a possible suitor.
Queen Marguerite Queen Marguerite of Navarre was the mistress of Boniface de la Mole in 1574; she buried his head after he was executed for treason. Mathilde sees herself as a modern-day Marguerite.
Abbé Maslon Abbé Maslon is the priest who takes over Abbé Chélan's parish after Chélan is fired. He is in league with the Jesuit faction.
M. de Maugiron Monsieur (M.) Charcot de Maugiron is a sub-prefect—an administrative official—of the town of Bray.
M. de Moirod Monsieur (M.) de Moirod is a pious man in M. de Rênal's camp; they want him to be first deputy so he will become mayor if M. de Rênal is elected to Parliament.
Boniface de la Mole Boniface de la Mole, one of Mathilde de la Mole's ancestor's, was Queen Marguerite's lover; he was beheaded for treason in 1574. Mathilde sees Julien as a modern-day Boniface de la Mole.
Marquise de la Mole Madame la Marquise de la Mole is the wife of the Marquise de la Mole and mother of Mathilde.
Comte Norbert de la Mole Comte Norbert de la Mole is the Marquis and Marquise de la Moles' son.
M. de Nerval Monsieur (M.) de Nerval is minister of foreign affairs and attends the la Mole salon.
Noiroud Noiroud is the gaoler, or jailer, at the jail in Verrières.
Abbé Pirard Abbé Pirard is director of the seminary in Besançon where Julien studies.
Adolphe de Rênal Adolphe de Rênal is the oldest child of the Rênals.
M. de Rênal Monsieur (M.) de Rênal is the mayor of Verrières and Madame de Rênal's husband. He is wealthy and materialistic and pays little attention to his wife.
Stanislas-Xavier de Rênal Stanislas-Xavier de Rênal is the youngest child of the Rênals.
Marquise de Rubempré The Marquise de Rubempré is a rich benefactress of the cathedral.
M. de Saint-Giraud Monsieur (M.) de Saint-Giraud, secretary to the prefecture, or local office of the bishop, leases a house at below market price in Verrières through Valenod's machinations.
M. de Saint-Giraud of Montfleury Monsieur (M.) de Saint-Giraud of Montfleury is the brother of the secretary to the prefecture.
Saint-Jean Saint-Jean is M. de Rênal's valet, or personal servant.
Old Sorel Old Sorel is Julien Sorel's abusive father.
M. Tanbeau Monsieur (M.) Tanbeau is the nephew of the Academician, an intellectual friend often at the Marquis de la Mole's table.
Comte de Thaler Comte de Thaler is the very rich son of a Jew; Mathilde de la Mole and her friends look down on and make fun of him for this reason.
Baron de Tolly Baron de Tolly is an Ultra politician who makes an appearance at the Marquis de la Mole's salons.
M. de Valenod Monsieur (M.) de Valenod—later Baron de Valenod—is director of the poorhouse and a rising member of the bourgeoisie; he is also M. de Rênal's rival.
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