Arthur Gride is a repulsive old miser whom the beautiful young Madeline Bray is almost forced by her father and Ralph Nickleby to marry.
Sir Mulberry Hawk
Sir Mulberry Hawk is a villain: a lecherous, greedy money-lender who forces himself on Nicholas’s sister, Kate. Nicholas beats him, and Hawk vows revenge.
The Kenwigs family lives in the same lodging house as Newman Noggs, where Nicholas and Smike come to stay upon their escape from Dotheboys Hall. The Kenwigses mainly provide comic diversion, but their obsession with inheriting money from their one wealthy relative so that their many daughters can catch wealthy husbands illustrates one of the novel’s central themes of the family being primarily a financial unit.
Tim Linkinwater has been the employee of the Brothers Cheeryble for over forty years. The kindly brothers fuss over him and praise him, demonstrating in the process how thoroughly they can take others into their happy family circle, as they soon do with Nicholas and his relatives.
Mr. Mantalini is the unemployed husband of Kate’s employer at the millinery shop. He makes lewd advances toward her.
Madame Mantalini owns the millinery shop where Ralph first secures employment for Kate. Although not as dangerous as Dotheboys Hall, the factory is a grim place for Kate to work, demanding twelve-hour days and subjecting her to the envy of the other women who work there.
Kate Nickleby, the sister of Nicholas, is the second hero of the novel. She is in every way a female version of her brother—noble and selfsacrificing, a second moral compass for the reader in the unstable world of the novel. She is hard-working and always proper to the point of refusing to marry the man she loves because his family has more money than hers.