A Dangerous Fortune
Goodreads ratings
4.07 / 5

"A Dangerous Fortune" Characters Analysis

By Ken Follett

historical fiction | 596 pages | Published in NaN

In 1866, tragedy strikes at the exclusive Windfield School. A young student drowns in a mysterious accident involving a small circle of boys. The drowning and its aftermath initiates a spiraling circle of treachery that will span three decades and entwine many loves... From the exclusive men's club and brothels that cater to every dark desire of London's upper classes to the dazzling ballrooms and mahogany-paneled suites of the manipulators of the world's wealth, Ken Follett conjures up a stunning array of contrasts. This breathtaking novel portrays a family splintered by lust, bound by a shared legacy... men and women swept toward a perilous climax where greed, fed by the shocking truth of a boy's death, must be stopped, or not just one man's dreams, but those of a nation, will die...


Estimated read time: 5 min read

Table of Contents

  1. List of Characters

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Hugh PilasterProtagonist
Maisie RobinsonAntagonist
Micky MirandaSecondary Character
Augusta PilasterSupporting Character
Joseph PilasterSupporting Character
Silas PilasterSupporting Character
Edward PilasterSupporting Character
Tonio SilvaSupporting Character
Nora PilasterSupporting Character

Role Identification

In the historical novel "A Dangerous Fortune" written by Ken Follett, various characters play significant roles that drive the narrative forward. The story revolves around the Pilaster family and their interactions with other individuals amidst a backdrop of political and financial turmoil in 19th-century London. The primary characters include Hugh Pilaster, Maisie Robinson, and Micky Miranda, while other members of the Pilaster family, such as Augusta, Joseph, Silas, Edward, and Nora, also play crucial supporting roles.

Character Descriptions

  1. Hugh Pilaster: As the novel's protagonist, Hugh is a young, intelligent, and ambitious character. He is described as having a strong sense of justice and an unwavering desire to succeed in the banking world. Hugh possesses a tall and lean physique, with dark hair and piercing blue eyes. He is often seen dressed impeccably, reflecting his refined taste and attention to detail.
  2. Maisie Robinson: The novel's antagonist, Maisie, is a beautiful and manipulative woman. She is portrayed as cunning and ambitious, using her charm and seduction skills to get what she wants. Maisie has a slender figure, fair skin, and striking green eyes that captivate those around her. She is known for her impeccable fashion sense and elegant style.
  3. Micky Miranda: Micky is a secondary character who plays a significant role in the story. He is a charismatic and charming individual, with a mischievous glint in his eyes. Micky has a lean and athletic build, with dark curly hair that adds to his allure. He is often seen wearing flamboyant clothing that reflects his vibrant personality.

Character Traits

  1. Hugh Pilaster: Determined, intelligent, just, ambitious, principled.
  2. Maisie Robinson: Manipulative, seductive, ambitious, cunning, beautiful.
  3. Micky Miranda: Charismatic, charming, mischievous, vibrant, adventurous.

Character Background

  1. Hugh Pilaster: Born into a wealthy banking family, Hugh has always been expected to follow in his family's footsteps. He receives an excellent education, which shapes his knowledge and understanding of finance. Hugh's background allows him access to influential circles, but he faces challenges due to his strong moral compass conflicting with the corrupt nature of the financial world.
  2. Maisie Robinson: Maisie comes from a modest background and is driven by her desire for power and wealth. She is willing to manipulate and deceive others to achieve her goals. Maisie's background has taught her the art of survival, and she uses her beauty and charm to climb the social ladder.
  3. Micky Miranda: Micky comes from a humble background and lives a nomadic lifestyle as a performer. He possesses an adventurous spirit and is always seeking new experiences. Micky's background instills in him a sense of freedom and a different perspective on life compared to the more rigidly structured world of banking.

Character Arcs

  1. Hugh Pilaster: Throughout the novel, Hugh's character arc revolves around his journey to find his true identity and purpose. Initially driven by ambition and the desire to prove himself, Hugh becomes entangled in a web of deception and betrayal. However, as the story progresses, he learns the importance of integrity and the consequences of his actions, ultimately finding redemption.
  2. Maisie Robinson: Maisie's character arc focuses on her relentless pursuit of power and wealth. She manipulates those around her, using her seductive charm to climb the social ladder. However, as her actions catch up with her, Maisie's arc takes a darker turn, leading to her downfall and ultimate realization of the emptiness of her pursuits.
  3. Micky Miranda: Micky's character arc revolves around his transformation from a carefree performer to a more responsible and mature individual. As he becomes involved with the Pilaster family, Micky learns the value of loyalty and love. His arc also explores his struggle to reconcile his independent spirit with the constraints of societal expectations.


  1. Hugh Pilaster and Maisie Robinson: Hugh and Maisie's relationship is complex and filled with tension. Initially drawn to Maisie's beauty and allure, Hugh becomes entangled in a passionate affair with her. Their relationship becomes a catalyst for various conflicts and power struggles throughout the novel.
  2. Hugh Pilaster and Micky Miranda: Hugh and Micky develop a close friendship throughout the story. Micky's carefree and adventurous nature provide a contrast to Hugh's more serious disposition. Their bond strengthens as they navigate the treacherous world of finance and face numerous challenges together.
  3. Augusta Pilaster and Joseph Pilaster: Augusta and Joseph are siblings and key members of the Pilaster family. Their relationship is marked by an intense rivalry and power struggle within the family business. Their clashes and manipulations shape the dynamics of the Pilaster family and have far-reaching consequences.

In conclusion, "A Dangerous Fortune" by Ken Follett features a diverse cast of characters whose actions and relationships drive the plot forward. Through their distinct traits, backgrounds, and character arcs, the novel explores themes of ambition, power, and the consequences of choices made in pursuit of one's desires.