Squeers is the proprietor of Dotheboys Hall and Nicholas works as his assistant until he sees the way Squeers abuses the boys in his charge. “He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two..."
Joseph Clayton Clark,"Kyd." The Characters of Charles Dickens. London: Raphael Tuck, 1890.
"Pale and haggard faces, lank and bony figures, children with the countenances of old men, deformities with irons upon their limbs, boys of stunted growth, and others whose long meagre legs would hardly bear their stooping bodies, all crowded on the view together..."
Illustration for the Household Edition of The Works of Charles Dickens, Chapman and Hall, 1873.
The Kenwigs family are neighbors of Ralph Nickeleby's clerk, Newman Noggs. The little girls “had flaxen hair, tied with blue ribands, hanging in luxuriant pigtails down their back; and wore little white trousers with frills about the ankles…”
Jessie Wilcox Smith. The Children of Dickens by Samuel McChord Crothers. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925.
Arthur Gride is a scheming old moneylender who plots to marry Nicholas's love interest, Madeline Bray, by forgiving the debts of her father in exchange for her hand in marriage. His housekeeper, Mrs. Sliderskew, makes off with the documents with which he controls many people.
Thirty-two Illustrations to Nicholas Nickleby by Onwhyn and other eminent Artists. London: J. Newman & Co., n.d.
After fleeing Dotheboy's Hall Nicholas joins a provincial acting troupe, performing in productions alongside of the "infant phenomenon." "The infant phenomenon, though of short stature, had a comparatively aged countenance, and had moreover been precisely the same age…for five good years."
F. O. C. Darley, n.d.
Madame Mantalini is a dressmaker in Cavendish Square who hires Kate Nickleby. Her husband, Alfred, is a shiftless idler who goes though all of her money. Madame is, “a buxom person, handsomely dressed and rather good-looking, but much older than the gentleman in the Turkish trousers.”
Charles Dickens. The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Illustrated in Colour by C. E. Brock. London: Harrap, 1931.
The Cheerybles are twin brothers and benevolent businessmen who employ Nicholas and become good friends with the Nicklebys. Their characters are based on William and Daniel Grant, Manchester calico merchants whom Dickens met in 1838.
Thomas Fogarty. People from Dickens. New York: Scribner, 1935.