Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Eleanor Bold

Eleanor Bold, younger daughter of the Reverend Septimus Harding, the “Warden,” and wealthy widow of John Bold. She lives with her baby son and her sister-in-law, Mary Bold. Much of the novel revolves around Eleanor’s choice of one of her three suitors: Mr. Slope, Bertie Stanhope, and Mr. Arabin. Throughout a large portion of the novel, most of her ecclesiastical friends and relatives assume that she will choose Mr. Slope.

Dr. Proudie

Dr. Proudie, the clergyman who becomes Bishop of Barchester after the death of Archdeacon Grantly’s father. Dr. Proudie is a vain but weak man, dominated by his wife and by Mr. Slope. Although all Barchester expects him to offer the wardenship of Hiram’s Hospital to Mr. Harding, Dr. Proudie allows Mr. Slope’s chicanery to gain the appointment for Mr. Quiverful.

Mrs. Proudie

Mrs. Proudie, the aggressive and domineering wife of the Bishop of Barchester. She attempts to control Barchester by championing evangelical and Low Church causes, awarding church patronage, and manipulating people through the offices of Mr. Slope. She antagonizes the established ecclesiastical society in Barchester.

The Reverend Obadiah Slope

The Reverend Obadiah Slope, the Bishop’s chaplain. An evangelical clergyman, Mr. Slope antagonizes most of the chapter with his initial fiery sermon at Barchester Cathedral. He first acts as Mrs. Proudie’s agent, but, after he supports the claims of Mr. Harding in an attempt to gain favor with Eleanor Bold, Mrs. Proudie scorns him. Unable to win Eleanor or the post of Dean of Barchester, he returns to London.

The Reverend Theophilus Grantly

The Reverend Theophilus Grantly, the Archdeacon of Barchester and rector of Plumstead Episcopi. He strongly supports the claims of Harding, his father-in-law, to be reinstated as warden of Hiram’s Hospital. When the nearby living of St. Ewold’s becomes vacant, he goes to Oxford to obtain the post for the Reverend Francis Arabin. He also fears that his sister-in-law, Eleanor, will marry Slope.

Susan Grantly

Susan Grantly, wife of Archdeacon Grantly and the elder...

(The entire section is 915 words.)