Characters in Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son Characters

Last Updated on May 28, 2020

This list of Dombey and Son characters is presented in alphabetical order.

Note: Includes spoilers!

Mrs. Blockitt is a nurse to took care of Mrs. Dombey after she gave birth to Paul.

Harriet Carker is the sister of James and John Carker.

James Carker works for Mr. Dombey as a manager. 

Later in the novel, Mr. Dombey uses James as an intermediary between himself and his second wife, Edith.   That doesn’t end well as Edith and James run away together to Dijon.  

John Carker is the brother of James Carker.  John works as a junior clerk for Dombey.

Louisa Chick – The sister of Mr. Paul Dombey.

“It’s nothing,” returned Mrs Chick. “It’s merely change of weather. We must expect change.”

Captain Edward (Ned) Cuttle  – No list of Dombey and Son characters would be complete without Ned Cuttle! He is a retired sea captain and a friend of Solomon Gills.

Captain Cuttle, illustration by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke)

Captain Cuttle, illustration by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke)

“It’s an old habit of mine, Wal’r,” said the Captain, “any time these fifty year. When you see Ned Cuttle bite his nails, Wal’r, then you may know that Ned Cuttle’s aground.”

Edith Dombey – see Edith Granger 

Fanny Dombey was the mother of Florence and Young Paul.

Florence Dombey  – She is the daughter of Paul Dombey.  She yearns for the love of her father.  Eventually, she marries Walter Gay and reconciles with her father.

Captain Cuttle and Florence Dombey, illustration by Charles Green

Captain Cuttle and Florence Dombey, illustration by Charles Green

But what was a girl to Dombey and Son! In the capital of the House’s name and dignity, such a child was merely a piece of base coin that couldn’t be invested–a bad Boy–nothing more.

Paul Dombey  – He is the owner of Dombey and Son.  He longs for a son and is very disappointed that his first child is a girl.

The Dombey Family

The Dombey Family, illustration by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz)

Dombey sat in the corner of the darkened room in the great arm-chair by the bedside, and Son lay tucked up warm in a little basket bedstead, carefully disposed on a low settee immediately in front of the fire and close to it, as if his constitution were analogous to that of a muffin, and it was essential to toast him brown while he was very new.

Paul Jr. Dombey – The son of Paul Dombey.  Young Paul is a sickly child who doesn’t live to adulthood.

Dombey and Son

Young Paul Dombey and his father

Walter Gay – He is the nephew of Solomon Gills.  He works for Mr. Dombey. 

Dombey notices that Walter is a friend to Florence and sends Walter away.  The ship Walter was on is lost however, in the end, Walter returns and marries Florence.

Solomon Gills – He is also known as Uncle Sol. He is the owner of a shop named The Wooden Midshipman.  He is the uncle of Walter Gay.

“As I said just now, the world has gone past me. I don’t blame it; but I no longer understand it. Tradesmen are not the same as they used to be, apprentices are not the same, business is not the same, business commodities are not the same. Seven-eighths of my stock is old-fashioned. I am an old-fashioned man in an old-fashioned shop, in a street that is not the same as I remember it. I have fallen behind the time, and am too old to catch it again.” – Uncle Sol

Edith Granger – She becomes the second Mrs. Dombey.

“There is no wealth,” she went on, turning paler as she watched him, while her eyes grew yet more lustrous in their earnestness, “that could buy these words of me, and the meaning that belongs to them. Once cast away as idle breath, no wealth or power can bring them back. I mean them; I have weighed them; and I will be true to what I undertake.” – Mrs. Dombey (Edith Granger)

Miss Susan Nipper  – Florence’s nurse

“My comfort is,” said Susan, looking back at Mr. Dombey, “that I have told a piece of truth this day which ought to have been told long before and can’t be told too often or too plain.”

Mrs. Pipchin runs a boarding house for children in Brighton.  Paul and Florence are sent there to live.

Later, after his marriage to Edith, Mr. Dombey hires Mrs. Pipchin as a housekeeper.

Paul and Mrs. Pipchin

Paul and Mrs. Pipchin, illustration by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz)

Mrs. Skewton is the mother of Edith Granger.  She likes to be called Cleopatra.

Mrs. Skewton

Mrs. Skewton, illustration by Hablot Knight Browne (Phiz)

Uncle Sol – see Soloman Gills

Miss Lucretia Tox is an admirer of Mr. Dombey and was a friend of Mrs. Chick . . . until their falling out. 

The lady thus specially presented, was a long lean figure, wearing such a faded air that she seemed not to have been made in what linen-drapers call ‘fast colours’ originally, and to have, by little and little, washed out.

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Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son

If Dombey and Son, Dickens's seventh novel, were written today people would say that it deals with the topic of feminism. Why? The focus of the novel is on what happens when Dombey has a daughter instead of the desired son.