Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 277
Georgie Cottar, the character to whom the book’s title refers. The Brushwood Boy is a highly imaginative young man of the upper middle class who, alone among his nurse, his father and mother, and a houseful of domestics, dreams dreams. His dreams always begin the same way. There is a pile of brushwood on a beach; there are people, sometimes a policeman; and there is always an adventure, usually a pleasant one. The story takes Georgie from his third year, through public school, to Sandhurst, to the Indian service as an officer in charge of many soldiers, and back to England as a young adult. Each stage of his life is productive of the dream that begins at the brushwood pile. A girl moves in and out of the dreams, but as he gets older, Georgie notices that the girl becomes more consistently the same person. She finally materializes as the girl Georgie hopes to marry and live with in real life.
Miriam Lacy, the young girl Georgie meets when he returns to England on a year’s furlough from his regiment. Like the girl in his dreams, she has black hair fixed in a widow’s peak, and she speaks with a slight lisp. Strangely, she seems to know all about Georgie’s dream, because she sings songs that are summaries of the stories he has dreamed.
Annieanlouise, the name formed by running together Georgie’s two favorite female names, Anna and Louise. In the dreams of his childhood, Georgie called the girl he dreamed about by this name. Annieanlouise becomes, of course, the Miriam of Georgie’s real world.