Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

The Red Rover

The Red Rover, a pirate who is really a good man in many ways. He saves the lives of Harry Wilder, Dick Fid, and Scipio Africa when his crew demands their deaths. Later, he fights for the colonists’ cause in the American Revolution against the British. Just before his death, it is revealed that he is a patriot and the long-lost uncle of Harry Wilder. His pirate ship is the Dolphin.

Harry Wilder

Harry Wilder, a young British naval officer who is sent on a secret mission to capture the Red Rover. He is a brave young man who makes his way into the pirates’ confidence, but he is unsuccessful in capturing the men. While a prisoner of the Red Rover, after a sea battle, Harry Wilder’s identity as Henry Ark, a naval officer, is revealed. Then, unexpectedly, he is discovered to be Henry de Lacy, the long-lost son of Paul de Lacy and Mrs. Wyllys.

Gertrude Grayson

Gertrude Grayson, the daughter of a British general. She is befriended by Harry, who tries to warn her against traveling aboard the Royal Caroline, for he knows that the ship is slated to be a victim of the Red Rover.

Mrs. Wyllys

Mrs. Wyllys, the governess and companion to Gertrude Grayson. Mrs. Wyllys is finally revealed to be the mother of Harry Wilder. She has thought her child, born of a secret marriage to Paul de Lacy, dead for many years. She pleads for her newly found son’s life before the Red Rover when the young man is revealed as a spy against the pirates. She succeeds in her pleas, and it is later learned that the Red Rover is really Mrs. Wyllys’ long-lost brother.

Dick Fid

Dick Fid, a sailor and faithful friend of Harry Wilder. He found Wilder as a baby aboard an abandoned ship at sea.

Scipio Africa

Scipio Africa, a black sailor. He is Dick Fid’s companion and helped rear Harry after the latter was found as a baby at sea.

Captain Bignall

Captain Bignall, the commanding officer of the Dart, a British warship sent after the Red Rover. He is Harry’s superior officer. The captain is killed and his ship captured in a battle with the Dolphin, the Red Rover’s vessel.


Roderick, a cabin boy to the Red Rover who actually is a woman.

The Red Rover Bibliography

(Great Characters in Literature)

Barker, Martin, and Roger Sabin. The Lasting of the Mohicans: History of an American Myth. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1995.

Clark, Robert, ed. James Fenimore Cooper: New Critical Essays. Totowa, N.J.: Barnes & Noble Books, 1985.

Darnell, Donald. James Fenimore Cooper: Novelist of Manners. Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1993.

Dyer, Alan Frank, comp. James Fenimore Cooper: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism. New York: Greenwood Press, 1991.

Fields, W., ed. James Fenimore Cooper: A Collection of Critical Essays. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1979.

Frye, Steven. Historiography and Narrative Design in the American Romance: A Study of Four Authors. Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2001.

Long, Robert Emmett. James Fenimore Cooper. New York: Continuum, 1990.

McWilliams, John. The Last of the Mohicans: Civil Savagery and Savage Civility. New York: Twayne, 1995.

Newman, Russell T. The Gentleman in the Garden: The Influential Landscape in the Works of James Fenimore Cooper. Lanham, Md.: Lexington Books, 2003.

Peck, H. Daniel, ed. New Essays on “The Last of the Mohicans.” New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Ringe, Donald A. James Fenimore Cooper. Updated ed. New York: Twayne, 1988.

Verhoeven, W. M., ed. James Fenimore Cooper: New Historical and Literary Contexts. Atlanta: Rodopi, 1993.