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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 434

Characters Discussed

Stephen Bloundel

Stephen Bloundel, a London grocer whose beautiful daughter Amabel is sought by apprentice and nobleman alike. He does all he can to protect his family during the plague of 1665, but Amabel refuses to remain in the boarded-up house. She eventually dies of the plague.


Amabel, his beautiful daughter. She is in love with Wyvil, the earl of Rochester, who entices her to the vaults of St. Paul’s, almost marries her, later kidnaps her, and at last marries her shortly before she dies of the plague.

Leonard Holt

Leonard Holt, Bloundel’s apprentice. In love with Amabel, he prevents her first attempt to marry Wyvil. Plague-stricken, he is nursed by Nizza, whom he later rescues after her abduction by Sir Paul. Shocked by Amabel’s death, he is nursed to health by Bloundel, whose partner he becomes. During the great London fire, he suggests to King Charles the plan of blowing up houses to halt the spread of fire. He saves Charles’s life during the fire; for his heroism, he is dubbed Baron Argentine. He marries Nizza (Lady Isabella Argentine).

Maurice Wyvil

Maurice Wyvil, the earl of Rochester, a philanderer who plots to dishonor Amabel through amorous pretense of wooing and falsely wedding her. He is tricked into actually marrying her. After her death, he marries Mistress Mallet.

Sir Paul Parravicin

Sir Paul Parravicin (Lord Argentine), a bully, a companion of Wyvil and Lydyard. He is unaware that he is Nizza’s brother.

Nizza Macascree

Nizza Macascree (Lady Isabella Argentine), the beautiful foster daughter of Mike Macascree and sister of Sir Paul. She nurses Leonard during the plague, rejects an offer to become King Charles’s mistress, and afterward marries Leonard.

Judith Malmayns

Judith Malmayns, a wicked nurse who murders Amabel by infecting her with the plague.


Lydyard (Sir George Etherege), a philandering companion of Wyvil.

Major Pillichody

Major Pillichody, a low friend of Wyvil and Lydyard.


Chowles, a coffin maker.

Matthew Malmayns

Matthew Malmayns, the husband of Judith and sexton in St. Faith Cathedral.

Dr. Hodges

Dr. Hodges, a physician. While attending young Stephen Bloundel, he reveals Wyvil’s identity and his double pursuit of Amabel and Mistress Mallet.

Mistress Mallet

Mistress Mallet, an heiress wooed and finally wed by Wyvil.

Mike Macascree

Mike Macascree, the blind foster father of Nizza.

Charles II

Charles II, the king of England.


Thirlby, Judith’s foster brother, the murderer of Isabella’s husband. He is the father of Nizza and Sir Paul.

Isabella Morley Thirlby

Isabella Morley Thirlby, the mother of Nizza (little Isabella) and Sir Paul.

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