Where Angels Fear to Tread Characters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

First published: 1905

Type of work: Novel

Type of plot: Social realism

Time of work: Early twentieth century

Locale: England and Italy

Characters DiscussedLilia Herriton

Lilia Where Angels Fear to TreadHerriton, a young English widow. Unhappy in her life with her late husband’s family, she goes to Italy with Caroline Abbott. There she marries Gino Carella, but her life is unhappy. She dies giving birth to a son.

Philip Herriton

Philip Herriton, Lilia’s brother-in-law. As the family messenger, Philip is sent to Italy to bring Lilia home, but he arrives too late to prevent her marriage to Signor Carella. He returns to Italy after her death to retrieve the child, only to fall in love with Miss Abbott and to become friendly with Carella. Although he thinks he understands the world, Philip discovers he knows nothing when the baby is killed and Miss Abbott falls in love with Carella.

Gino Carella

Gino Carella, an Italian. Although poor and somewhat vulgar, Signor Carella is a man of splendid physique. Completely devoted to his son, he is nearly crushed by the child’s accidental death.

Harriet Herriton

Harriet Herriton, Lilia’s sister-in-law, whose scheme to kidnap the baby from Carella results in the child’s death when a carriage overturns.

Mrs. Herriton

Mrs. Herriton, the matriarch of the Herriton family in Sawston, England.

Irma Herriton

Irma Herriton, Lilia’s daughter. Left in England to be supervised by Mrs. Herriton, Irma announces to all of Sawston the news of her dead mother’s Italian son.

Caroline Abbott

Caroline Abbott, a friend who is responsible for Lilia’s marriage. She goes to Italy again to retrieve the child, only to fall in love with Signor Carella.

BibliographyFurbank, P. N. E. M. Forster: A Life. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1978. An exhaustive biography of Forster that also serves as a source of cultural information concerning Forster’s settings in England, Italy, and India.McConkey, James. The Novels of E. M. Forster. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1957. McConkey attempts to judge Forster’s fiction in relation to the critical principles outlined in Aspects of the Novel (1927), Forster’s book-length study of the genre.Trilling, Lionel. E. M. Forster. 2d ed. New York: New Directions, 1964. Appreciative readings of Forster’s works that are intended to elevate the novelist to the artistic status he deserves. Forster is seen as a practitioner of what Trilling termed the “liberal imagination.”Wilde, Alan. Art and Order: A Study of E. M. Forster. New York: New York University Press, 1964. Focuses on Forster’s practice of and contribution to the aesthetic view of life. The value of beauty in human existence, and art’s role in defining beauty, are the motivating issues in Wilde’s first chapter, which begins with a discussion of Where Angels Fear to Tread.
Categories: Characters