Excellent Women Characters

This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Excellent Women.
This section contains 654 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Mildred Lathbury

Mildred Lathbury is an unmarried woman just over the age of 30. She is of medium height and build with mousy brown hair and an average appearance. Mildred's clothes tend to be very conservative and over-sized.

Mildred was raised in a country vicarage. Mr. Lathbury, Mildred's father, was a clergyman. Mildred is the only child. As the daughter of a pastor, Mildred was expected to serve the church and the members of the parish. Others' needs came before the Lathburys' own, a characteristic that has been ingrained in Mildred since the day she was born.

Mildred's mother died several years before, and Mr. Lathbury followed two years later. Mildred took care of her father while he was ill. After Mr. Lathbury died, Mildred decided to move to London to experience all the city has to offer. Although Mildred has moved to the city, Mildred still possesses many mannerisms and behaviors reminiscent of country life.

Mildred has little confidence and seems to place all of her worth on what she is able to provide to others. Mildred's actions, no matter how well intended, often come off as interference. As a result, Mildred is often put upon to handle situations which are out of her comfort zone. In the end, Mildred begins to carve out her own niche in the world and finally realizes that excellent women can have it all.

Helena Napier

Helena Napier is Mildred's upstairs neighbor and the wife of Rockingham Napier, a soldier stationed in Italy. Mildred's first impression of Helena Napier is of a woman who is colorful and vivacious. Mildred's first meeting with Helena is in the basement of the apartment building where they reside. Mildred is horrified at this meeting since it is not proper to meet someone for the first time while carrying a wastebasket. Helena does not seem to notice the impropriety.

Helena Napier is a strong woman, devoted to her career in anthropology. Helena is the first to admit that she has virtually no domestic skills and seems to take delight in the fact. Mildred is immediately taken aback by this confession from the stranger. In Mildred's world it is part of a woman's duty to be domesticated and to serve her husband and home. Mildred has never met anyone like Helena Napier before, and is not sure that she likes the woman very much.

Helena is much more devoted to her career than to Rocky. This becomes apparent when Helena receives a telegram saying that Rocky is coming home from Italy. Helena is not at all pleased that Rocky will be coming home soon. In fact, Helena tells Mildred that she wishes Rocky would not come home and regrets that they ever got married. This confession shows that Helena is an impetuous woman, who does not give nearly as much thought to her personal life as she does to her career.

It is obvious to everyone, even to Rocky, that Helena is in love with Everard Bone. Although Everard has no romantic interest, Helena seems completely open about a working relationship that has turned romantic. Once again, the situation is shocking to Mildred.

Winifred Malory

Winifred Mallory is older sister of Julian, pastor of St. Mary's Church in London. As both Winifred and Julian are unmarried, Winifred takes it upon herself to perform all the duties of the vicar's wife. Winifred's entire life revolves around Julian and the church.

Rockingham Napier

Helena Napier's husband and Mildred's downstairs neighbor.

Julian Malory

Pastor at St. Mary's Church

Everard Bone

Anthropologist and colleague to Helena Napier

Mr. Mallet

St. Mary's churchwarden

Miss Clovis

Member of the Learned Society

Mrs. Morris

Mildred's cleaner

Allegra Gray

Tenant of the Malorys who becomes Julian's fiancee.

Dora Caldicote

Mildred's best friend and former roommate.

Mrs. Bonner

Mildred's co-worker and fellow church-goer.

Sister Blatt

Member of Julian's congregation

Miss Stratham

Member of Julian's congregation

William Caldicote

Dora's brother and Mildred's friend.

This section contains 654 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Excellent Women from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
Follow Us on Facebook