Possession Character List

Roland Michell

He is a scholar of Victorian literature who becomes obsessed with solving the mystery of what happened between Christabel and Randolph Henry Ash.

Randolph Henry Ash

He is a famous Victorian poet, known for his complex and highly educated writings.

James Blackadder

He is a well-known British scholar and expert on Ash.


She is Roland's partner at the start of the novel; the relationship ends and Val eventually begins dating Euan MacIntyre. Val initially pursued literary research, but ends up working temp jobs to support Roland.

Ellen Ash

She is Randolph Henry Ash's wife.

Mortimer Cropper

An American scholar and expert on Ash, he is the head of a collection that features many papers and items related to Ash, and is extremely aggressive about expanding this collection.

Fergus Wolff

A British scholar whose research focuses on literary theory, he completed his dissertation along with Roland, and has been more successful at getting academic jobs.

Christabel LaMotte

A Victorian writer known for her poems and short stories, she had a modest reputation during her lifetime, but at the time of the novel, feminist scholarship has brought renewed attention to her work.


She is Blackadder's research assistant.

Beatrice Nest

A scholar whose research focuses on Ellen Ash, her lifelong project has been editing the journals of Ellen Ash.

Blanche Glover

Christabel's close friend and possibly lover, she was active as a painter, and committed suicide when she felt abandoned by Christabel.

Leonora Stern

She is an American scholar who specializes in researching Christabel LaMotte from a feminist perspective.

Hildebrand Ash

The son of the current Lord Ash, he is next in line to inherit copyrights and documents related to Randolph Henry Ash.

George and Joan Bailey

They are Maud's distant relatives who are the current owners of Seal Court.

Euan MacIntyre

He is a wealthy lawyer who becomes romantically involved with Val, and offers to provide legal assistance to Maud.

Toby Byng

He is the lawyer hired by George and Joan Bailey to handle the legal process around the newly discovered letters.