Euphues and His England Characters

John Lyly


(Great Characters in Literature)


Euphues (YEW-fyew-eez), the hero of Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit, grown older and wiser, who travels to observe customs in England.


Philautus (fih-LOH-tuhs), his friend. He suffers torments for the love of Camilla, but he soon turns to Frances, who is readier to return his affection.


Camilla (ka-MIH-luh), a gay, modest Englishwoman. She answers Philautus’ amorous epistles with elegant, firm refusals and devotes her own energies to secret adoration of Surius.

Lady Flavia

Lady Flavia (FLAY-vee-uh), her friend, a gracious woman who uses her greater maturity to put her young guests at ease. It is at her suggestion that the witty young people debate the nature of love, in the manner of the noble ladies and gentlemen in Baldassare Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier.


Frances, her niece, Philautus’ “violet,” whose gaiety and quick wit console him for Camilla’s hard-heartedness.


Surius (SEW-ree-uhs), an exemplary young Englishman, brave, eloquent, and witty, whose gifts make him the object of Camilla’s love.


Fidus (FEE-duhs), a wise innkeeper who welcomes Euphues and Philautus in Canterbury, apologizing profusely for the poverty of his house and bristling when they presume to praise his queen. He lectures them on the nature of government, drawing examples from his bee hives, then describes his experiences as courtier to Henry VIII.