Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Sybil Gerard

Sybil Gerard, who was brought up at Mowbray Convent. She has been imbued with a deep sense of the deprivations of the Catholic church and of the people by the English aristocracy. She wishes to become a nun and is already engaged in charitable works among the needy inhabitants of Mowbray. She is very close to her father, accompanying him to London for the presentation of the Charter and ministering to him daily during his imprisonment. She has accepted his political idealism, but in her conversations with Egremont and in the failure of Chartism, she comes to realize that some of his beliefs are not based on any real experience. After refusing both Egremont and Morley, she finally accepts the active life and marries Egremont. Benjamin Disraeli portrays her as innately aristocratic, striking, and with a beautiful singing voice and an ability to articulate her ideas forcefully. She delivers several significant speeches. She is capable of considerable physical bravery. She proves herself worthy of reclaiming her rightful title.


Egremont (eh-greh-moh[n]), a younger son. As such, he will not inherit the family estate and needs to find a suitable profession. It is almost by default and certainly by family influence that he becomes a member of Parliament. From his first meeting with the Gerards, a process of political education begins, partly inspired by his growing love for Sybil. Socially, the match...

(The entire section is 551 words.)