The Unfortunate Traveller Characters

Thomas Nashe

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Jack Wilton

Jack Wilton, a page to Henry VIII of England. Bored with his life, he leaves King Henry’s service to become a soldier of fortune. Because he is a bright and merry lad, he has all sorts of adventures and scrapes. He travels with the earl of Surrey as a companion throughout Europe. Finally, he returns to England and the service of Henry VIII.

The earl of Surrey

The earl of Surrey, Jack’s friend, benefactor, and traveling companion. He is a gallant courtier.


Tabitha, a Venetian prostitute who meets Jack and the earl of Surrey. She and her pander try to kill the earl but are caught and executed.


Geraldine, a beautiful woman of Florence loved by the earl of Surrey. The earl fights all comers in a tourney to prove his love for her.


Diamante, a goldsmith’s wife suspected of infidelity by her husband. She takes Jack as a lover to punish her husband for his suspicions. After the goldsmith’s death, Diamante travels with Jack, and the two share many adventures, including being bondservants in the household of one of the pope’s mistresses.

Johannes de Imola

Johannes de Imola, a citizen of Rome with whom Jack and Diamante live for a time. He is unfortunate enough to die of the plague during an epidemic.

Heraclide de Imola

Heraclide de Imola, Johannes’ wife. She commits suicide after being raped by a band of cutthroats, and her death is blamed on Jack, putting him for a time in danger of hanging.


Cutwolfe, a famous brigand whose execution Jack witnesses. Cutwolfe confesses to murdering the bandit who led the assault on Heraclide and Diamante.