Who’s Who in Dickens
Orange’s in Miss Nettie Ashford’s ‘romance’.
Allen, Arabella (PP) Benjamin Allen’s sister, whom he hoped to marry to his friend, Bob Sawyer. At the wedding of Mr Trundle and Isabella Wardle at Dingley Dell, she was the ‘young lady with black eyes, an arch smile, and a pair of remarkably nice boots with fur round the tops’, who captivates Mr Winkle. They eventually marry in secret. When old Mr Winkle, who disapproved of the match, meets her, he is immediately won over: ‘You are a very charming little daughter-in-law, after all!’ (28, 30, 38, 39, 47, 53, 54, 56, 57)
Allen, Benjamin (PP) A medical student and close friend of Bob Sawyer, to whom he plans to marry Arabella, his sister. He was ‘a coarse, stout, thick-set young man, with black hair cut rather short, and a white face cut rather long. He was embellished with spectacles, and wore a white neckerchief. . . . He presented, altogether, rather a mildewy appearance, and emitted a fragrant odour of fullflavoured Cubas.’ He and Bob Sawyer later take over a medical practice in Bath, but with no success (‘Sawyer, late Nockemorf’). Mr Pickwick manages to reconcile him to Mr Winkle’s marriage to Arabella. He and Bob Sawyer eventually gain medical appointments in India. (30, 32, 38, 48, 50-2, 54, 57)
Alphonse (NN) Mrs Wititterley’s page. He was ‘so little . . . that his body would not hold, in ordinary array, the number of small buttons which are indispensable to a page’s costume, and they were consequently obliged to be stuck on four abreast’. As for his French name (which suits the pretensions of Mr and Mrs Wititterley), ‘if ever an Alphonse carried plain Bill in his face and figure, that page was the boy’. (21, 28, 33)
Amelia (GE) The wife of Bill, whom Mr
Jaggers is defending. He peremptorily tells her that as long as she has paid Wemmick, his clerk, she has nothing else to do. (20)
Amelia (SB) One of a stout lady’s four daughters playing a game of chance in the library at Ramsgate. Her mother commends her ‘nice figure’ to a thin youth. (‘Tales: The Tuggses at Ramsgate’)
Analytical Chemist, the (OMF) The Veneerings’ ‘melancholy retainer’, who attends the dinner guests ‘like a gloomy Analytical Chemist’. His silent presence is like that of a ‘malignant star’. When Veneering wonders how people can live beyond their means, ‘the Analytical Chemist going round with champagne, looks very much as if he could give them a pretty good idea how people did that, if he had a mind.’ Dickens had created a similar ominous servant in Mr Merdle’s butler in Little Dorrit: ‘Mr Merdle didn’t want him, and was put out of countenance when the great creature looked at him.’ See also the Avenger, Pip’s manservant. All three employers – Veneering, Merdle, and Pip – are doomed to fail, in various degrees. (I: 2, 10, 17; II: 3, 16; III: 17)
Anderson, Mr and Mrs John (UT) A tramp and his wife, ‘whose only improvidence appears to have been, that they spent the last of their little All on soap. They are a man and woman spotless to behold‘. (‘Tramps’)
Angelica (UT) A sweetheart of the youthful Uncommercial Traveller, who remembers going with her to a City church ‘on account of a shower’. (‘City of London Churches’)
Anne (DS) One of Mr Dombey’s housemaids, who marries Towlinson, the butler. (31, 35, 39)
Anny (OT) An old crone, who was an inmate of the workhouse where Oliver Twist was born. She and Martha, another crone, looking and listening through chinks in the door, had witnessed Mrs Corney taking the pawnbroker’s receipt from Sally, as she lay on her deathbed. (24, 51)
Antonio (UT) A swarthy young Spanish sailor, who plays the guitar. (‘Poor Mercantile Jack’)
Artful Dodger, the (OT) See Dawkins, Jack.