Jacob’s Room Characters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First published: 1922

Type of work: Novel

Type of plot: Impressionism

Time of work: The 1890’s through World War I

Locale: Primarily England

Characters DiscussedJacob Flanders

Jacob Jacob’s RoomFlanders, the main character, educated at the University of Cambridge to a position of privilege, from which he pronounces stereotypical observations on the classics, women, and the world. After he becomes a casualty of the war, his mother must sort out his belongings in his room at the end of the novel.

Captain Barfoot

Captain Barfoot, whose decorous evening calls on Mrs. Flanders over the years are marked by the local Scarborough gossips as proprietary.

Betty Flanders

Betty Flanders, Jacob’s mother, who helplessly tries to imagine and participate in the independent life of her son (mainly through letters) while remaining tied by economic necessity to Scarborough. At the end, she confronts Jacob’s room, to which he will never return.

Dick Bonamy

Dick Bonamy, Jacob’s friend, a fellow inheritor of male privilege. Bonamy attends Mrs. Flanders as she faces her deceased son’s room and his effects at the end of the novel.

Timmy Durrant

Timmy Durrant, a school friend of Jacob with whom he sails for a holiday around the Scilly Isles.

Clara Durrant

Clara Durrant, Timmy’s sister, who is in love with Jacob but must remain expectantly silent in deference to custom.

Sandra Wentworth Williams

Sandra Wentworth Williams, a beautiful married woman whom Jacob meets while touring Greece. He falls in love with her, half-encouraged by her.


Florinda, a woman with whom Jacob has his first affair, which he breaks off when he sees her in the street on someone else’s arm.

Fanny Elmer

Fanny Elmer, an artist’s model who reads Tom Jones for Jacob’s sake. Her heart is broken by Jacob’s indifference.

BibliographyFleishman, Avrom. Virginia Woolf: A Critical Reading, 1975.Guiguet, Jean. Virginia Woolf and Her Works, 1965. Translated by Jean Stewart.Marcus, Jane. Virginia Woolf: A Feminist Slant, 1983.Naremore, James. The World Without a Self: Virginia Woolf and the Novel, 1973.
Categories: Characters