The “cast of characters” in A Burnable Book is quite a crowd: a king, a duke, a countess, some bishops, a bunch of London and Southwark prostitutes, a mercenary and his chief lieutenant, and a host of other aristocrats and commoners. Below is a list of named characters who appear in the novel. This is the same list that appears at the front of the book, though for those who want to learn more, we’ve added links that will take you to useful sources (books, encyclopedia articles, interesting blog posts, etc.) about a number of the historical figures. Edgar/Eleanor Rykener, for example, was based on a transvestite prostitute from fourteenth-century London and Oxford; by clicking on that name you’ll be taken to his/her record of interrogation from the Guildhall.

ENGLISH ROYALS, MAGNATES, AND RELATIONS
Richard II, king, son of Prince Edward (the Black Prince)
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, brother of Prince Edward
Henry of Bolingbroke, son and heir to John of Gaunt
Joan, Countess of Kent, mother of King Richard II
Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford
• Stephen Weldon, knight of Oxford’s faction
Katherine Swynford, consort to John of Gaunt, sister-in-law of Geoffrey Chaucer
Robert Braybrooke, bishop of London
William Wykeham, bishop of Winchester
Michael de la Pole, Baron de la Pole and lord chancellor of England
• Isabel Syward, prioress of St. Leonard’s Bromley

OFFICERS OF THE CITY OF LONDON AND SERVANTS OF THE CROWN
• Thomas Pinchbeak, serjeant-at-law
Ralph Strode, common serjeant of London
• James Tewburn, his clerk
• Nicholas Symkok, clerk to the king’s coroner of London
• Richard Bickle, goldsmith of London, beadle of Cheap Ward
• Thomas Tugg, keeper of Newgate Prison
Geoffrey Chaucer, controller of the wool custom
Philippa Chaucer, his wife, sister of Katherine Swynford

COMMON WOMEN OF LONDON AND SOUTHWARK
Eleanor/Edgar Rykener, maudlyn of Gropecunt Lane, London
• Mary Potts, maudlyn of Gropecunt Lane
• Agnes Fonteyn, maudlyn of Gropecunt Lane
• Joan Rugg, their bawd
• Bess Waller, bawd of the Pricking Bishop; mother of Agnes Fonteyn
• St. Cath, maudlyn of the Pricking Bishop

TRADESMEN, FREEMEN OF LONDON AND SOUTHWARK, AND COMMONERS
John Gower of Southwark, esquire and poet
• Will Cooper, his servant
• Simon Gower, his son, clerk to Sir John Hawkwood
• Mark Blythe, mason of Southwark
• George Lawler, spicerer of Cornhull
• Jane Lawler, his wife
• Denise Haveryng, widow of Cornhull
• Nathan Grimes, master butcher of Cutter Lane, Southwark
• Tom Nayler, his first apprentice
• Gerald Rykener, his second apprentice and ward; brother of Eleanor/Edgar
• Millicent Fonteyn, singlewoman of Cornhull; sister of Agnes Fonteyn
• Sam Varney, gravedigger

IN OXFORD
• Peter de Quincey, keeper of the books of Durham
John Clanvowe, knight of the King’s Chamber
John Purvey, curate of Lutterworth, disciple of John Wycliffe

IN FLORENCE
John Hawkwood, mercenary knight, chief of the White Company
• Adam Scarlett, his chief lieutenant
• Jacopo da Pietrasanta, his chancellor
• Giovanni Desilio, doctor of the Studium Generale, Siena