Estimated read time: 7 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Marco da ColaScholar
Dr. John WallisPhysician
Sarah BlundyAccused Murderer
Anthony WoodHistorian
Jack PrestcottScribe

Role Identification

In the historical mystery novel "An Instance of the Fingerpost" by Iain Pears, several characters play crucial roles in unraveling the complex web of deceit and uncovering the truth behind a murder. These characters include Marco da Cola, a scholar with a mysterious past; Dr. John Wallis, a respected physician; Sarah Blundy, the accused murderer; Anthony Wood, a historian; and Jack Prestcott, a scribe.

Character Descriptions

Marco da Cola

Marco da Cola is a complex and enigmatic character in "An Instance of the Fingerpost." As a scholar, he possesses an impressive intellect and a deep knowledge of ancient texts. With his tall stature and dark features, Marco cuts a striking figure. His piercing eyes seem to hold secrets, and his reserved nature often leaves others questioning his motives.

Dr. John Wallis

Dr. John Wallis is a respected physician known for his medical expertise. He is portrayed as a diligent and meticulous individual who values reason and logic. With his thin frame, spectacles, and graying hair, Dr. Wallis exudes an air of authority and wisdom. His dedication to uncovering the truth becomes a driving force throughout the novel.

Sarah Blundy

Sarah Blundy is a young woman accused of a brutal murder. She is described as having fiery red hair and a defiant spirit. Sarah possesses a sharp intellect and a passion for medicine, which sets her apart from the societal expectations of women in the seventeenth century. Her involvement in the murder case raises questions about her innocence and the motives behind the crime.

Anthony Wood

Anthony Wood is a historian who plays a significant role in uncovering the truth behind the murder. As a meticulous researcher, he is known for his attention to detail and dedication to accuracy. With his disheveled appearance and eccentric behavior, Wood becomes an intriguing character who is driven by his pursuit of historical truth.

Jack Prestcott

Jack Prestcott is a scribe who becomes entangled in the murder investigation. He is portrayed as a loyal and trustworthy friend, always willing to assist others. Jack's unassuming nature and unremarkable appearance make him blend into the background, allowing him to observe and gather information unnoticed.

Character Traits

Marco da Cola

  • Enigmatic
  • Intelligent
  • Reserved
  • Mysterious

Dr. John Wallis

  • Diligent
  • Logical
  • Wise
  • Detail-oriented

Sarah Blundy

  • Defiant
  • Intelligent
  • Passionate
  • Independent

Anthony Wood

  • Meticulous
  • Eccentric
  • Dedicated
  • Curious

Jack Prestcott

  • Loyal
  • Observant
  • Trustworthy
  • Unassuming

Character Background

Marco da Cola

Marco da Cola's background is shrouded in mystery. Little is known about his past, and his true motivations remain unclear throughout the novel. His extensive knowledge of ancient texts and his ability to decode complex puzzles suggest a background in academia or secret societies.

Dr. John Wallis

Dr. John Wallis has a respected background as a physician. He is well-known for his contributions to the medical field and his dedication to scientific inquiry. His reputation as a logical thinker and his commitment to uncovering the truth make him a valuable asset in the murder investigation.

Sarah Blundy

Sarah Blundy's background is marked by tragedy and hardship. As a woman with a passion for medicine, she faces societal barriers and prejudices. Her struggle for acceptance and her determination to pursue her interests form the backdrop of her character arc.

Anthony Wood

Anthony Wood's background as a historian shapes his perspective and fuels his dedication to uncovering the truth. His meticulous research and extensive knowledge of historical events make him a valuable resource in deciphering the murder mystery.

Jack Prestcott

Jack Prestcott's background as a scribe provides him with a keen eye for detail and a talent for gathering and documenting information. His unassuming nature and willingness to assist others make him an integral part of the investigation.

Character Arcs

Marco da Cola

Marco da Cola's character arc revolves around the revelation of his true motives and past. Over the course of the novel, his enigmatic facade begins to crumble, and his true nature is gradually unveiled, leading to surprising twists and turns in the plot.

Dr. John Wallis

Dr. John Wallis experiences a transformation in his character arc as he becomes more involved in the murder investigation. His initial reliance on reason and logic gives way to a deeper understanding of human motivations and the complexities of truth.

Sarah Blundy

Sarah Blundy's character arc is one of resilience and self-discovery. As she fights against societal constraints and faces the accusations of murder, she learns to trust her own instincts and find strength within herself.

Anthony Wood

Anthony Wood's character arc centers around his relentless pursuit of historical truth. As he unravels the intricacies of the murder case, he confronts his own biases and learns to question the reliability of historical accounts.

Jack Prestcott

Jack Prestcott's character arc revolves around his growth from a passive observer to an active participant in the investigation. His loyalty and dedication to uncovering the truth drive his actions and lead him to unexpected alliances.

Relationships

The relationships between the characters in "An Instance of the Fingerpost" play a crucial role in the development of the plot and the exploration of themes such as trust, betrayal, and manipulation.

Marco da Cola's relationship with other characters is characterized by ambiguity and suspicion. His interactions with Dr. John Wallis, Sarah Blundy, Anthony Wood, and Jack Prestcott are fraught with tension as they navigate their own motivations and question Marco's true intentions.

Dr. John Wallis forms a close bond with Sarah Blundy as he becomes her advocate and works to prove her innocence. His relationship with Marco da Cola is marked by a complex dynamic of mutual respect and suspicion.

Sarah Blundy's relationships are primarily shaped by the accusations against her. Her connection with Dr. John Wallis becomes a lifeline as he supports her and fights for her freedom.

Anthony Wood's relationships revolve around his interactions with other scholars and historians. His collaboration with Dr. John Wallis and Marco da Cola adds layers of intrigue and betrayal to the story.

Jack Prestcott's relationships with the other characters reflect his loyalty and trustworthiness. His friendship with Marco da Cola and his alliance with Dr. John Wallis and Sarah Blundy highlight his role as a reliable confidant.

Overall, the intricate relationships between the characters in "An Instance of the Fingerpost" contribute to the complex and engaging narrative, as they navigate a world of deception, secrets, and conflicting motivations.