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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 429

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Characters Discussed

Tom Burke

Tom Burke, the younger son of an Irish nobleman. He becomes a soldier of fortune after his father’s death. He has many adventures with Irish patriots, the British army, and an evil lawyer. He makes his way to France, attends the École Polytechnique, and becomes an officer under Napoleon, rising to the rank of colonel. He inherits the family estates when his older brother George dies, and he marries Marie de Meudon, a beautiful Frenchwoman and the widow of General d’Auvergne.

Darby M’Keown

Darby M’Keown, an Irish patriot known as Darby the Blast. He is Tom’s friend.

Charles de Meudon

Charles de Meudon (deh mew-DOH[N]), a young French officer aiding the Irish rebels who becomes Tom’s friend and who, just before his death, gives Tom money for passage to France and asks him to look after his sister, Marie de Meudon.

Marie de Meudon

Marie de Meudon, also known as Mlle de Rochefort and the Rose of Provence. She is Charles Meudon’s sister. She marries Tom Burke after she has become a widow and he has inherited the family estates.

Captain Bubbleton

Captain Bubbleton, a bombastic, good-hearted English officer who befriends Tom.

Anna Maria Bubbleton

Anna Maria Bubbleton, Captain Bubbleton’s good-hearted sister, who nurses Tom when he is hurt.

Captain Montague Crofts

Captain Montague Crofts, a villain who is Tom’s enemy and wants, as a distant kinsman, to obtain Tom’s estates.

General d’Auvergne

General d’Auvergne (doh-VEHR-nyeh), one of Napoleon’s officers, Tom’s friend and benefactor. He is the first husband of Marie. He had wanted to adopt Marie, but Napoleon insisted that he marry her instead. He is killed in battle at Chaumière.

The Marquis Henri de Beauvais

The Marquis Henri de Beauvais (ah[n]-REE deh boh-VAY), a royalist who plots against Napoleon. He becomes Tom’s friend and clears Tom of charges of treason against Napoleon.

The Abbé d’Ervan

The Abbé d’Ervan (ah-BAY dehr-VAH[N]), a loyalist and a friend of the marquis de Beauvais.

Anthony Basset

Anthony Basset, an unscrupulous lawyer who cheats Tom as a boy.

The chevalier Duchesne

The chevalier Duchesne (dew-SHEHZ-neh), a friend of Tom who turns against Napoleon and then tries to incriminate Tom as a traitor.

Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon Bonaparte, the French leader, under whom Tom serves against the British. Napoleon notices Tom’s excellence as a soldier and grants him preferment and decorations.

Lieutenant Tascher

Lieutenant Tascher, Madame Bonaparte’s nephew and Tom’s roommate at the École Polytechnique.




Critical Essays