Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Paul Pennyfeather

Paul Pennyfeather, an inoffensive divinity student at Oxford University who is wrongly dismissed for indecent exposure after he is made the victim of a prank. He teaches at a school in Wales and is hired as vacation tutor for one of his pupils. He becomes engaged to the boy’s mother, Margot Beste-Chetwynde; just before the wedding, however, he is arrested and later is convicted of operating the international white-slave trade she runs. After she has arranged for his successful escape from prison, Paul is officially declared dead. Disguised by a heavy mustache, he returns to his college at Oxford to continue his interrupted study for the Church.

Sir Alastair Digby-Vaine-Trumpington

Sir Alastair Digby-Vaine-Trumpington, whose prank results in Paul’s dismissal from Oxford. Later, as Paul’s former fiancée’s boyfriend, he assists in Paul’s escape from prison.

Dr. Augustus Fagan

Dr. Augustus Fagan, the head of the inadequate Llanabba Castle school where Paul teaches. Fagan forsakes education for medicine and becomes the owner of the nursing home where Paul’s death certificate is signed by a drunken doctor.

Peter Beste-Chetwynde

Peter Beste-Chetwynde, one of Paul’s pupils.

Margot Beste-Chetwynde

Margot Beste-Chetwynde, his mother and Paul’s fiancée. Paul is convicted of her crimes. He spends the...

(The entire section is 593 words.)


(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Paul Pennyfeather is the only fully developed character in Decline and Fall, which is otherwise populated by a large cast of...

(The entire section is 251 words.)