Monday, May 4, 2009

Tai-Pan: Main Characters

Tai-Pan opens on 26 January, 1841, as the British are formally taking possession of the island of Hong Kong. The book spans roughly the next six months.

There are a LOT of characters to remember. This is an initial list. I'll be adding more as I continue reading further.

Dirk Struan: Owner/CEO of Noble House, a trading firm. Originally from Scotland
Robb Struan: Dirk's half brother, and business manager/CFO for Noble House
Tyler Brock: Owner/CEO of Brock and Sons Trading. Dirk's sworn enemy. Originally from Liverpool
Jefferson Cooper: American, partner in Cooper-Tillman trading company. Originally from Boston
Wilf Tillman: American, partner in Cooper-Tillman trading company. Originally from Alabama
Viceroy Ling: the Chinese emperor's general in the Canton. Now defeated and disgraced.
Morgan Brock: Tyler Brock's son in London. A banker.
Chen-tse Jin Arn: aka Jin Qua - Richest of the Chinese merchants
Honorable William Longstaff: Queen Victoria's Captain Superintendant of Trade in China - for all intents and purposes, the governor
Captain George Glessing: Captain in the royal navy, a strong opponent of opium smuggling
Morley Skinner: Editor/Proprietor of the Oriental Times, the local English newspaper
Aristotle Quance: a painter with a Mark Twain-ish personality, of Irish/English descent
Horatio Sinclair: Longstaff's secretary and interpretor, son of a missionary, reared in China
Reverant Wolfgang Mauss: Austrian evangalist/missionary, acting as an interpretor for Struan
Gorden Chen: Struan's illegitimate son by a previous mistress
Mary Sinclair: Horatio's sister
Chen Sheng: Compradore (Chinese trading agent) for Noble House. Jin Qua's nephew
Ti-sen: Chinese mandarin
Sarah Struan: Robb's wife
Ronalda Struan: Dirk's wife (in Glasgow) and mother of their four children:
Culum Struan
Ian Struan
Lechie Struan
Winifred Struan
Bosun McKay: "Go to" sailor on Struan's ships
Sailor Ramsey: Pressed sailor in the Royal Navy, related to Bosun McKay
T'chung Jen May-may: Dirk Struan's current mistress. Mother of two of Dirk's illegitimate children
Wang Chu: Chief Mandarin in Macao
Sze-tsin: Brock's compradore
Ming-soo: Robb's former mistress
Shevaun Tillman: Wilf Tillman's niece
Sailor Bert Norden: common sailor infected with the "pox"
Gorth Brock: Tyler Brock's oldest son
Nagrek Thumb: Captain of one of Brock's ships
Eliza Brock: Tyler Brock's wife, and mother of his children, including
Elizabeth Brock (6 years old)
Tess Brock (16 years old)
Isaac Perry: Captain of one of Struan's ships

... To be continued


Stephen said...

Does anyone have more characters to add to this list? I'm about 50 pages in and getting lost already.

Mom said...

I'm listening to the audiobook and I'm lost too, thanks for posting this.

jatutt said...

He does use a lot of characters in his books. At first I was like you that I got lost but He does a good job of helping you keep up with who is who. The greatest thing is you really never know who the main characters are. He spends time with everyone and then when someone dies or stops being part of the story it catches you off guard. He is the best!