The narrator and protagonist of the novel, Edgar Huntly is a young and rather sentimental young man. He lives with his uncle and sisters, and is engaged to Mary Waldegrave, sister of his friend who recently died. He is thrust into perilous and confusing situations as he investigates his friend's death, and must confront truths about himself while dealing with a variety of external enemies. He is certainly intelligent, but is regularly overwhelmed by the events he writes about, and struggles with contradictory impulses.
Clithero Edny is an Irish immigrant who works as servant to Inglefield. Edgar's concern for Clithero drives much of the plot, especially in the novel's first half. Clithero's torturous past, in which he killed Arthur Wiatte and nearly killed Mrs. Lorimer and Clarice, has traumatized him into somnambulism, depression, and mania. Throughout the novel, he is something of a loose cannon, as driven by his fears and depression as by his rational decisions.
Sarsefield is Edgar's former tutor and mentor, and Mrs. Lorimer's life-long love. He and Mrs. Lorimer had intended to marry until Arthur Wiatte and Mrs. Lorimer's family forced her to marry a cruel but rich man instead. He then traveled to America, where he developed a close relationship with Edgar. An intelligent and courageous man, his re-entry into the novel in the second half helps push the plot to its close.
Clithero's benevolent, sympathetic, and virtuous patron, Mrs. Lorimer is also Sarsefield's lover (later his wife) and aunt to Clarice, with whom Clithero falls in love. She is the twin of Arthur Wiatte, and considers their fates intertwined; it is difficult for her to comprehend his wickedness.
Arthur Wiatte's illegitimate daughter, Clarice is raised by her aunt, Mrs. Lorimer, and falls in love with Clithero. She is sweet and charitable, and mostly works as a plot device to motivate Clithero.
Arthur Wiatte is Mrs. Lorimer's evil, greedy, cruel, and manipulative twin brother, and Clarice's father. Though most everyone can discern how cruel he is, Mrs. Lorimer refuses to believe the extent of his maliciousness.
Though Mary never actually appears in the story, she is an important presence since Edgar's letters, which form the narrative, are addressed to her. She is Waldegrave's sister and Edgar's fiancee. Little is known about her, except that she spent much of her life poor and was happy when she thought her brother left her eight thousand dollars.
Also known as Queen Mab, Old Deb is an elderly Indian woman who remains in her hut on white lands after the rest of her tribe moves away. She is strange and talkative, and relies upon her white neighbors for subsistence. She has a few loyal and fearsome dogs that live with her. At the end of the novel, it is revealed that Old Deb has been encouraging her Delaware Indian brethren to attack the frontier.
Weymouth is an old friend of Waldegrave, to whom Weymouth entrusted his fortune when he left on a journey. At one point, he visits Edgar with this news, which if true would mean that Edgar and Mary would lose the money they rely on to facilitate their marriage, since Waldegrave had left that money to Mary as inheritance.
Edgar's uncle and caretaker, Mr. Huntly fought in the French and Indian War for the British and sustained an injury there. He is killed by an Indian during the hunt for Edgar in the wilderness.
Mary's brother and Edgar's close friend, Waldegrave is killed by an Indian before the events of the narrative take place. The mystery of his death provides the catalyst for Edgar's early actions. Edgar explains that his friend was once a deist and a religious doubter, but later renounced those ideas.
There are multiple Delaware Indians in the text, and they are not given individual characteristics. They are depicted as savage, bloodthirsty, keen of sight and sound, and motivated by a desire for revenge against whites encroaching on their territory.
This young girl is taken as hostage by the Delaware Indians whom Edgar finds in the cave after waking up from sleepwalking. He rescues her and acts as her protector for a while. She is too shell-shocked from her trauma to talk to him.
Inglefield is a neighbor of Mr. Huntly, and Clithero's employer.
Ambrose is one of Inglefield's servants, and Clithero's roommate there. He tells Edgar about how the immigrant talked in his sleep.
This woman feeds and gives news to Edgar when he is trying to return home through the wilderness.
the Selby family
The Selby family lives on the frontier; Edgar comes across their home on his way back to his uncle's after the sleepwalking incident. Mr. Selby is an angry drunk who abuses his wife and child.
On his way home after the sleepwalking incident, Edgar encounters Bisset's servant, who insinuates that the Huntly family has indeed been slaughtered by the Delawares.
Also known as Old Deb, Queen Mab is an elderly Indian woman who remains in her hut on white lands after the rest of her tribe moves away. She is strange and talkative, and relies upon her white neighbors for subsistence. She has a few loyal and fearsome dogs that live with her. At the end of the novel, it is revealed that Old Deb has been encouraging her Delaware Indian brethren to attack the frontier.
Edgar Huntly: Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Edgar Huntly: Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker is a great
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Edgar Huntly: or, Memoirs of a Sleepwalker, published in 1799 by Charles Brockden Brown, is one of the earliest work of American fiction, and the first to depict the tense relationship between Americans and Indians on the frontier. Adopting but...
Essays for Edgar Huntly: Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker
Edgar Huntly: Memoirs of a Sleep-Walker essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Edgar Huntly by Charles Brockden Brown.