Good Reference

A new edition of the Chambers Dictionary of Literary Characters is now available, Mark Sanderson reports. It contains information on more than 6,500 characters, but, inevitably, there are omissions.

The criterion for inclusion seems to be based on modishness rather than memorability. Consequently, young Christopher Boone from Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, is in but Bernard Cornwell’s long-lived Richard Sharpe is out. Detectives – Dalgliesh, Morse, Rebus and Ramotswe – are thick on the ground; homosexuals conspicuous by their absence (the novels of Alan Hollinghurst, Colm Toibin and Edmund White all totally ignored).