Three Guineas Characters

Three Guineas Character List

The Letter Writer

The essay is presented in the form of a response to a young man who had written a letter which had remained unanswered for several years. The letter writer wrote the missive for the purpose of asking Woolf for advice on one subject: how can war be prevented?

The Honorary Treasurer

In the reply to the letter writer, Woolf refers to another letter she deems necessary to an understanding of her consideration of the issue of preventing war. This letter was written by the honorary treasurer of a society that helps finds jobs for women asking for contributions of anything that could be sold in a bazaar.

Stanley Baldwin

Baldwin was a three-time Prime Minister of England. The conservative Baldwin was directly to blame for the ability of women to make advancements in society due to his support of policies which promoted the idea that “it is to the public interest to keep them to the lower grades where, if they are paid less, they have less chance of impeding the transaction of public business.”

Joseph Whitaker

Whitaker is the author a British reference book titled Whitaker’s Almanack. The pertinent entry at work here is the section “Government and Public Offices” which is an alphabetically arranged listing of professional services employed by the government and the salary each position demands. Whitaker is the object of an ironically framed scorn by Woolf on the basis that while his almanac estimates the effective yearly worth of an archbishop, sea captain, post and sergeant of dragoons, it does not even have a listing for wife, mother or daughter, much less how much salary such jobs would demand.

Mary Kingsley

Kingsley was an ethnographer, travel writer and feminist whose legacy can now be said to have definitively outstripped that of her brother, Charles. Mary is an important character in the essay because Woolf uses her story of being denied opportunities for education in favor of her brother as an example of the patriarchal obstruction of feminine advancement.

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