Spoiler Warning: The below contains
major plot spoilers, although the first few sentences of each entry are
usually safer to read.
*Adele, maid, servant to the Josserands, and one of Hector
*Alexandre, a boy employed in the shop known as Au Bonheur de
*Amelie, wife of a journeyman carpenter who occupied a little
room at the top of Vabre's tenement house in Rue Choiseul.
*Bachelard (Pere), brother of Narcisse Bachelard and uncle of
Madame Josserand. He conducted for forty years a boarding-school known
as the Institution-Bachelard.
*Bachelard (Eleonore). See Madame Josserand.
*Bachelard (Narcisse), a commission agent, whose keen business
instincts were not blunted by his intemperate habits. He was a brother
of Madame Josserand, and had at one time promised to give a dowry to her
daughter Berthe; this promise he was unwilling to implement, and when
spoken to on the subject he usually feigned intoxication; eventually he
suggested the somewhat dishonest plan by which Berthe's intended husband
was hoodwinked into the belief that the dowry would be duly forthcoming.
His protegee, Fifi, having compromised herself with Gueulin, his nephew,
he insisted on their marriage, and presented the girl with a dowry.
*Bernheim (Les Freres), proprietors of the glass-works of
Saint-Joseph where Josserand was employed as cashier.
*Bocquet (Madame), mother of Clarisse.
*Bocquet (Clarisse), a woman on whom Duveyrier squandered large
sums of money. She ultimately gained such complete influence over him,
and made him so unhappy, that he attempted to commit suicide.
*Bonnaud, formerly head of the counting-house of a railway
*Campabdon (Achille), an architect, in whose house Octave Mouret
boarded when he first came to Paris. His views on religion were somewhat
free, but having been appointed diocesan architect he gradually became
orthodox, though this did not prevent him from carrying on an intrigue
with Gasparine, his wife's cousin, who ultimately came to live with the
*Campabdon (Madame), wife of the preceding, nee Rose Domergue.
Born at Plassans, she was an old friend of Madame Mouret, and when
Octave Mouret came to Paris he boarded with the Campardons. After the
birth of her child, Madame Campardon was an invalid, and was obliged to
spend much of her time in bed, amusing herself by reading the works of
Dickens. She tacitly accepted the liaison between her husband and
Gasparine her cousin, whom she ultimately asked to live with the family
and manage the household affairs.
*Campabdon (Angele), daughter of the preceding. She was brought
up at home by her parents, in order that she might remain ignorant of
the realities of life, but intercourse with the servants in a large
tenement house early developed her unnatural precocity.
*Chassagne (Docteur), director of the asylum at Moulineaux, where
Satumin Josserand was confined for a time.
*Chavignat, an employee at the Ministry of Public Education.
*Clemence, lady's maid to Madame Duveyrier.
*Dambreville, a Government official who married in order to
secure promotion through the influence of his wife.
*Dambreville (Madame), wife of the preceding. An elderly woman
with a passion for Leon Josserand, whose appointment as Maitre des
Requetes she procured by her influence. She promised to secure a wealthy
wife for him, but delayed to do so until he insisted on a match being
arranged between him and her niece Raymonde. Her friendly relations with
him continued to subsist even after his marriage.
*Delezue founded, along with his brother, in 1822, the drapers'
shop in Paris known as Au Bonheur des Dames. When he died, his daughter
Caroline, who was married to Hedouin, succeeded to his share in the
*Deleuze (Uncle), one of the founders of the shop known as Au
Bonheur des Dames. After the death of his elder brother he continued the
business along with his niece Madame Hedouin. He became much affected by
rheumatism, and left the management in the hands of Hedouin.
*Desmarquay, a money-changer in Rue Saint-Lazare. Trublot was
employed in his office.
*Domergue was formerly Director of Roads and Bridges at Plassans.
He was the father of Madame Campardon.
*Domergue (Madame), wife of the preceding, lived a retired life
at Plassans with her husband. She introduced Octave Mouret to her daugh-
ter, Madame Campardon, when he came to Paris.
*Duveyrier (Alphonse), a counsellor at the Court of Appeal;
married Clotilde, daughter of M. Vabre. He was a man of dissolute
habits, to whom his wife's cold nature and love of music were repugnant,
and he spent much of his time away from home. He squandered large sums
of money on a woman named Clarisse Bocquet, who afterwards left him.
Having found her again, he fell under her influence so completely as to
allow her to treat him abominably. So unhappy did he become, that he
attempted to commit suicide by shooting himself; the wound was, however,
not a serious one, and he recovered.
*Duveyrier (Madame Clotilde), wife of the preceding, was the only
daughter of M. Vabre, a notary of Versailles. She did not get on well
with her husband, who found her cold nature irksome, and, perhaps even
more so, her love of piano-playing. Her musical evenings were attended
by Octave Mouret, the Josserands, and others of the same circle.
*Duveyrier (Gustave), son of the preceding, a thin, precocious
boy of sixteen, who was being educated at the Lycee Bonaparte.
*Eugenie, cook for a short time to Madame Theophile Vabre.
*Fifi, the sobriquet of Fanny Menu.
*Francoise, housemaid to Madame Theophile Vabre.
*Gasparine, a tall, handsome girl of Plassans, with whom Achille
Campardon fell in love. She had no money, however, and he married her
cousin Rose Domergue, who had a dowry of thirty thousand francs. Tears
and recriminations followed, and Gasparine went to Paris, where for some
time she had a situation in the shop of Madame Hedouin. Madame Campardon
having fallen into ill-health, her husband returned to his first love,
and a liaison existed between him and Gasparine for a considerable time.
Ultimately she went to live with the Campardons, and managed their
*Gourd (M.), at one time valet to the Due de Vaugelade, and
afterwards doorkeeper in the tenement-house in Rue de Choiseul which
belonged to M. Vabre, and was occupied by the Campardons, the
Josserands, and others. He spent much of his time spying on the tenants,
and posed as guardian of the morals of the establishment.
*Gourd (Madame), wife of the preceding. She was the widow of a
bailiff at Mort-la-Ville, and she and her present husband owned a house
there. She was exceedingly stout, and suffered from an affection of the
legs which prevented her from walking.
*Gueulin, nephew of Narcisse Bachelard, was a clerk in an
insurance office. Directly after office hours he used to meet his uncle,
and never left him, going the round of all the cafes in his wake.
"Behind the huge, ungainly figure of the one you were sure to see the
pale, wizened features of the other." He said that he avoided all love
affairs, as they invariably led to trouble and complications, but he was
ultimately caught by his uncle in compromising circumstances with
Mademoiselle Fifi, who was a protegee of the old man. Bachelard insisted
on their marriage, and gave the girl a handsome dowry.
*Hedouin (Charles), originally a salesman in the draper's shop
known as Au Bonheur des Dames, he became a partner by marrying Caroline
Deleuze, a daughter of one of the proprietors. He fell into ill-health,
but when he died the business was left in a flourishing condition.
*Hedouin (Madame Caroline), wife of M. Hedouin, the proprietor of
a draper's shop in Paris known as "The Ladies' Paradise." She was a
handsome woman with strong commercial capabilities, and during the
frequent absences of her husband she undertook the management of the
business. When Octave Mouret came to Paris, he first got employment at
"The Ladies' Paradise," and with a view to establishing his position he
conceived the idea of becoming Madame Hedouin's lover. She discouraged
his advances, however, and he gave up his situation. M. Hedouin died
soon afterwards, and his widow, finding the responsibilities of business
too heavy, invited Octave Mouret to return; a few months afterwards they
*Hippolyte, valet to Duveyrier.
*Josserand pere, the father of Josserand, the cashier at the
Saint-Joseph glassworks. He was originally a solicitor at Clermont.
*Josserand, cashier at the St. Joseph glassworks. His salary was
not a large one, and in consequence of the determination of his wife to
keep up a greater style than they could afford, he was engaged in a
continual struggle to make ends meet; to gain a few extra francs he
frequently spent much of the night addressing circulars for a firm of
publishers. Worn out by hard work and by the continual bickerings of his
wife and daughters, he was not in a condition to stand the disgrace of
his daughter Berthe's liaison with Octave Mouret, and he was struck down
by paralysis, which soon after resulted in his death.
*Josserand (Madame Eleanore), wife of the preceding. Her two
objects in life were to appear better off than she really was, and to
secure husbands for her daughters. In the latter quest she had many
disappointments, and her temper, never good, correspondingly suffered,
her unfortunate husband bearing the brunt. A marriage having ultimately
been arranged between Berthe Josserand and Auguste Vabre, Madame
Josserand made a strong effort to induce her brother, Narcisse
Bachelard, to pay the dowry which he had long ago promised to his niece.
As he refused to do so, Madame Josserand overcame the difficulty by a
subterfuge of doubtful honesty.
*Josserand (Berthb), second daughter of M. Josserand. After
several ineffectual efforts to secure a husband she became engaged to
Auguste Vabre, the elder son of her father's landlord. Difficulties as
to a dowry followed, but these were surmounted by somewhat shady means,
and the marriage took place. Vabre's health was not good, and Berthe
soon became discontented, a state of mind largely induced by the bad
advice of her mother. About this time Octave Mouret came to be assistant
in Vabre's shop, and Berthe, carried away by his attentions, entered
upon an unfortunate liaison with him. Discovery by Vabre led to Berthe's
return to her parents' home, and it was only after a considerable time
that a reconciliation was brought about by the efforts of Abbe
*Josserand (Hortense), elder daughter of M. Josserand. Her mother
endeavoured to secure a husband for her, but she made her own choice,
selecting one Verdier, a lawyer. The marriage was put off from time to
time as Verdier had got entangled with a woman from whom he found
*Josserand (Leon), elder son of M. Josserand. He was a young man
of ambition, who hoped to rise through the influence of Madame
Dambreville, whose lover he became. Ultimately she arranged a marriage
between him and her niece Raymonde, who brought him a large dowry. Soon
afterwards by the same means he was appointed Maitre des Requetes.
*Josserand (Madame Leon), wife of the preceding. See
*Josserand (Saturnin), younger son of M. Josserand. He was a
powerful young man of twenty-five, whose mind had been seriously
affected by an attack of brain fever; though not actually insane, he was
subject to fits of blind fury whenever anybody annoyed him. When his
sister Berthe was a little girl, he nursed her through a long illness,
and since he saved her life he adored her with a deep, passionate
devotion. The preparations for her marriage to Auguste Vabre affected
him so seriously that his removal to an asylum became necessary, and he
remained there for some time. On his release he went to live with his
sister and her husband, but domestic trouble having arisen, his mind
again became so unhinged that he made an attempt on the life of his
brother-in-law and had again to be taken to an asylum.
*Juillerat (Doctor), an old physician who attended most of the
inhabitants of the Rue de Choiseul. He was a man of only average
abilities who had built up a large practice by hard work. His views were
somewhat advanced, and he had many arguments with Abbe Mauduit, with
whom he frequently came in contact at the bedsides of his patients.
*Julie, cook in the employment of the Duveyriers.
*Juzeur (Madame), a neighbour of the Josserands in the Rue de
Choiseul. Her husband had left her after ten days of married life, and
thenceforth she lived alone in quiet lodgings. Very little was known of
her circumstances or mode of life.
*Lisa, Madame Campardon's housemaid. She was active and
intelHgent, and her conduct was regarded as irreproachable. This was,
however, a somewhat too favourable estimate, and her companionship was
by no means beneficial to the Campardons' young daughter, Angele.
*Louhette, an elderly draper in Rue Neuve Saint-Angustin. He was
the father of Madame Theophile Vabre.
*Louhette (Madame), wife of the preceding, and mother of Madame
*Louhette (Valerie), see Theophile Vabre.
*Louise, a young girl who was brought up in an Orphanage. At
fifteen she went as maid-servant to Madame Jazeur, but not proving
satisfactory, was sent back to the Orphanage.
*Mardienne Freres, manufacturers of church ornaments in Rue
Saint-Sulpice. Mademoiselle Menu worked in their establishment.
*Maudit (Abbe), Vicar of Saint-Roch, Paris, he counted among his
parishioners the Josserands and the Duveyriers. Though well aware of the
immorality that went on in his parish, he recognized the impossibility
of stopping it, and did what he could to hide it under the cloak of
religion. When the scandal arose about Madame Auguste Vabre, he was
approached by her relations, and at their request acted as intermediary
between the husband and wife.
*Menu (Mademoiselle), aunt of Fanny Menu, who lived with her. She
had been an embroideress for thirty years, but her sight failed and she
was obliged to give up work. Fortunately she received a small legacy
from a relative, and on this, added to the earnings of her niece, she
was able to live.
*Menu (Fanny), a young girl who was protected by Narcisse
Bachelard. As he on one occasion found her with Gueulin, his nephew,
under compromising circumstances, he insisted on their marriage, and
gave her a handsome dowry.
*Mouret (Octave), born 1840, son of Frangois Mouret. (La
Fortune des Rougon). A young man of high spirits and somewhat idle
habits, he made little progress at college, and failed to pass the
examinations for a degree. His father was much annoyed at this, and sent
him off to Marseilles to enter a commercial business. The reports
regarding him were, however, unsatisfactory, as it appeared that he
showed no inclination to settle to hard work and was living a dissolute
life. (La Conquete de Plassans). After the death of his parents,
Serge Mouret, who was about to take Holy Orders, renounced his share of
his father's fortune in favour of his brother Octave. (La Faute de
l'Abbe Mouret). He was appointed a member of the family council
which nominally had charge of Pauline Quenu's fortune. (La Joie de
Vivre). After three years at Marseilles he came to Paris, where he
secured an appointment as assistant at "The Ladies' Paradise" through
the influence of the Campardons, who were old friends of his mother. He
formed the project of advancing his prospects by making love to Madame
Hedouin, wife of his employer, but she gave him no encouragement. He
resigned his situation, and went as salesman to Auguste Vabre, a
neighbouring silk merchant. Vabre's wife (nee Berthe Josserand) was not
on good terms with her husband, and a liaison was formed between her and
Octave Mouret, which subsisted for some time before it was discovered by
Vabre, who received information from Rachael, his maid-servant. Mouret
returned to his former employment at "The Ladies Paradise," and M.
Hedouin having died in the interval, he married the widow a few months
afterwards. He had developed keen business ability, with large ideas,
and under his management the shop became one of the most important in
the district. (Pot-Bouille). In Mouret's hands the business of
"The Ladies' Paradise" continued to grow, and repeated extensions of the
building became necessary. While one of these was in progress, Madame
Mouret, who was inspecting the work, fell into a hole, and as a result
of her injuries died three days afterwards. Mouret remained a widower,
and devoted himself to the extension of his business, though it was
believed that a liaison with Madame Desforges was not the only
entanglement of its kind. On the introduction of Madame Desforges he
came to know Baron Hartmann, director of the Credit Immobilier, who
became interested in him, and eventually found the money necessary to
carry out the vast schemes of extension which he had long had in mind.
By this time Denise Baudu had come to "The Ladies' Paradise" as a
saleswoman, and from the first Mouret had taken an interest in her. This
was probably increased by the fact that she resisted all his advances,
and refused all his offers. Ultimately he became so infatuated by her
that he asked her to marry him, which she agreed to do. By this time the
success of "The Ladies Paradise" had become triumphant, and the smaller
traders of the district were being crushed out of existence, and driven
one by one into bankruptcy. (Au Bonheur des Dames). He assisted
at the burial of his cousin, Claude Lantier the artist. By this time he
had become very rich, was decorated with the Legion of Honour, and was
desirous of giving the impression of an enlightened taste for art.
(L'OEuvre). Octave Mouret, whose immense fortune continued to
increase, had towards the end of 1872 a second child by his wife Denise
Baudu, whom he adored, though he again began to lead a somewhat
irregular life. Their little girl was puny, but the younger child, a
boy, took after his mother, and grew magnificently. (Le Docteur
*Mouret (Madame Caroline), first wife of the preceding. See
Madame Caroline Hedouin.
*Payan, a stone-cutter from the South, whose friends had views of
making him an artist. He was a lover of Clarisse Bocquet, and pilfered
from her a large quantity of furniture given her by Duveyrier.
*Perou (La Mere), an old woman employed by Gourd, the concierge,
to do cleaning work. Terrorized by his brutality she agreed to accept
*Pichon (Jules), a clerk who lived in the house in Rue de
Choiseul occupied also by Octave Mouret. His means were small, and he
was obliged to work hard, frequently till late at night, his wife being
necessarily left much alone.
*Pichon (Marie), wife of the preceding. She was a daughter of M.
and Madame Vuillaume, by whom she was strictly brought up. A dreamy
unpractical woman, she fell under the influence of Octave Mouret, her
next-door neighbour, and a liaison existed between them for a
considerable time, with results which caused much annoyance to her
*Pichon (Lilitte), infant daughter of the preceding.
*Rachael, the maid-servant in Auguste Vabre's household. As
Octave Mouret and Madame Vabre did not bribe her sufficiently, she
revealed their intrigue to Vabre. She acted as his housekeeper for some
time, but had to leave after the reconciliation between him and his
*Renaudin, a notary at Paris, who adjusted the Contract of
Marriage between Auguste Vabre and Berthe Josserand. He acted in concert
with Duveyrier in selling some heritable property to the loss of other
members of the family.
*Theodore, a Belgian who gave lessons on the piano to Clarisse
Bocquet, and afterwards became her lover.
*Trublot (Hector), a young man whom Madame Josserand hoped at one
time to secure as a husband for her daughter. He had, however, no
thoughts of marriage, and, as he was averse to any risk of
complications, his habit was to select his female friends from among the
maid-servants of his acquaintances. He was employed as correspondent in
the office of Monsieur Desmarquay, a money-changer.
*Vabre, a notary of Versailles who retired to Paris with a
fortune, part of which he invested in the house in Rue de Choiseul
occupied by the Duveyriers, the Josserands, and others. He had
unfortunately a hidden passion for gambling in stocks and shares, and
when he died it was found that his whole fortune had been dissipated,
even his house being heavily mortgaged.
*Vabre (Auguste), eldest son of M. Vabre, carried on a silk
merchant's business in part of the premises which belonged to his
father. He married Berthe Josserand, but as he suffered much from
neuralgia, and was, in addition, of a niggardly disposition, the
marriage was not a happy one. An intrigue between Madame Vabre and
Octave Mouret followed, and on its discovery she returned to her
parents. For a considerable time Vabre refused to forgive his wife, but
a reconciliation was ultimately brought about through the intervention
of Abbe Mauduit. Vabre's fortunes were adversely affected by the
extension of Madame Hedouin's business, known as "The Ladies'
*Vabre (Madame Auguste), wife of the preceding. See Berthe
*Vabre (Camille), son of Theophile Vabre and his wife Valerie
*Vabre (Clotilde), daughter of Vabre the notary, and wife of
Duveyrier. She did not get on well with her husband, whom she hated, and
her only passion was for music, which she practised to an inordinate
*Vabre (Theophile), second son of M. Vabre, "a little old man of
twenty-eight, a victim to coughs and toothache, who first tried all
sorts of trades and then married the daughter of a neighbouring
haber-dasher." His life was shadowed by suspicions of his wife, with
whom he constantly quarrelled. He was with difficulty prevented from
making a scene at the marriage of his brother Auguste to Berthe
*Vabre (Madame Valerie), wife of the preceding, nee Louhette, was
the daughter of a wealthy haberdasher. She did not get on well with her
husband, who accused her, not entirely without reason, of carrying on a
liaison with some one whose name he was unable to discover.
*Vaugelade (Duc de), at one time the master of Gourd, who was his
*Verdier, a lawyer who had been for a long time engaged to
Hortense Josserand. The marriage was put off from time to time, as he
had got entangled with a woman from whom he found separation
*Victoire, Madame Campardon's cook. She had been in the service
of her master's father when Campardon was a baby, and though now old,
and not over clean, they were unwilling to part with her.
*Vuillaume (M. and Madame), the parents of Madame Pichon, whom
they visited every Sunday afternoon. They were, later, much annoyed with
the Pichons, whose family became, they considered, too large for their