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Characters / Hetty Feather

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The Main Cast (In order of appearance)


Hetty Feather

Debut: Hetty Feather

—"I knew I couldn't avoid his affections much longer. I had no idea how to tell him."

Hetty Feather/Sapphire Battersea/Emerald Star (b.1876) is the protagonist of the Hetty Feather series and the narrator. The series begins when Hetty is a child, and ends when she is in her late teens.

Hetty is fiery and has an extremely short fuse, struggling with discipline and authority. She cares deeply for those she loves and tries her best to be kind, but is often narcissistic and self-centered. She unintentionally hurts those around her, particularly her foster brother Jem as we see later on in the series. Although the love is mostly unrequited, there is some evidence to show that Hetty may have returned his feelings, particularly her strong reaction to Jem's marriage and discomfort at seeing Jem and Janet's life together in a vision.

  • Career Versus Man: The main dilemma Hetty faces throughout the books. She leaves Jem for the circus and can't reconcile her feelings for either him or Bertie.
  • Commitment Issues: Can't settle down at all, avoids Jem's marriage proposal in running away to the circus.
  • Fiery Redhead
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany:
    • Sort-of with Jem, when she realises he's engaged.
    • With Bertie, when she sees him laughing with Ivy backstage in Little Stars.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Hetty has worked a HUGE variety of jobs:
    • Scullery Maid
    • Showgirl
    • Farmer's market saleswoman
    • Circus Ringmaster
    • Music Hall artiste
    • Seamstress
    • Actress
  • Redhead in Green: Hetty makes her first dress out of green velvet, which can be seen on the cover of Sapphire Battersea.
  • Small Town Boredom: What Hetty loathes about returning to her childhood home; there's nothing to do.



Jem Cotton

Debut: Hetty Feather

—"But I don't want to marry Janet, Hetty. God help me, I want you. And you want me too, otherwise you wouldn't have come all this way, I can see it in your eyes."

Jem Cotton (b.1872) is Hetty's older foster brother, introduced in the title book. Sweet and caring, he is endlessly patient to those he loves, particularly Hetty, making sure to write to her consistently when she is in service and in the Hospital. Son of Peg and John Cotton, his profession is farming, taking over his duties on the village farm when his father died in Emerald Star.

As Hetty says, Jem is similar to a 'Shire horse', in the sense that he is gentle and reliable, and rather oppositional to Hetty, who's spontaneity confuses and discomforts him. Jem is deeply in love with his foster sister Hetty, so much so he'd do anything for her. Jem desperately wants to marry Hetty and live with her as his wife and mother of his children, but Hetty doesn't't feel the same way, resulting in a painful love triangle between Jem, Hetty and Janet, a local village girl who is madly in love with Jem.


Ida Battersea/Evie Edenshaw

Debut: Hetty Feather

—'Don't be so ungrateful!'

Ida Battersea/Evie Edenshaw (b.1850s-1880) is the mother of the protagonist Hetty Feather. Ida conceived Hetty with a sailor, and was on he own, with no choice but to give up Hetty into the Foundling Hospital. Ida watched Hetty grow up from afar, posing as a cook in the Hospital to help raise her daughter without her knowledge.

Ida eventually dies in 'Emerald Star' of Tuberculosis and Pneumonia, and it is revealed in 'Emerald Star' that her real name is Evie Edenshaw.

Ida is very loving and caring to her daughter, and only wants the best for her wellbeing.

    Madame Adeline 

Madame Adeline

Debut: Hetty Feather
Hetty's mentor and Parental Substitute for a long time in the latter books. An ex-circus star, hardened by injury and age, Madame Adeline probably made the largest impact on Hetty's life and was the catalyst for her thirst for fame and glory.
  • Ascended Extra: Became far more important to the story in the latter half of Emerald Star, and was elevated to a main character in Diamond and Little Stars.
  • Cool Old Lady: Still performing well into her age, and past her 'prime' as well. She's eventually replaced by a younger horse act the end of Diamond however, which prompts Hetty and Diamond to run away.
  • Older Than They Look: When Madame Adeline takes off her red wig and makeup she looks far older.
  • Parental Substitute: To both Hetty and Diamond.


Albert Briggs

Debut: Sapphire Battersea

A former Butcher's boy turned Music Hall artiste, Hetty and Bertie first met in Sapphire Battersea whilst Hetty worked as a scullery maid. They become romantically involved after reuniting in Little Stars.


Diamond/Ellen-Jane Potts

Debut: Emerald Star

A performer sold to the circus by her own father. Small and sweet, Diamond has a timid and loving nature and befriends Hetty at the end of Emerald Star.


Supporting Cast:

Hetty Feather

    Nurse Winnie 

    Mrs Smith 


Sapphire Battersea

    Mrs Briskett/Sarah 

    Mr Buchanan 

Emerald Star


    Bobbie Waters 

Bobbie Waters

Debut:Emerald Star.
Hetty's biological father and implied previous philanderer. Is quick to take in Hetty to his home (arguably out of guilt for abandoning her mother) to the dismay of his wife and children, though tries his best to squash the feud between Hetty and his wife Katherine. A charming yet humble man, he works as a sailor in the North-East.
  • Beauty = Goodness: Handsome and nice.
  • Disappeared Dad: For at least 15 years, though justified as he has no idea he had a child.
  • Happily Married: To Katherine.
  • Lady Killer In Love: Devilishly handsome and got around a lot once, but was in-love with Hetty's mum (or so he says) and his now-wife Katherine.
  • What Could Have Been: Apparently daydreams of his life with Hetty's mother instead, as his current wife angrily tells Hetty.



Janet Maple

Debut:Emerald Star
Jem's childhood friend and Hetty's good friend and brief romantic rival. Sweet and good-natured, Janet is nice to everyone from the goodness of her own heart. She is even willing to sacrifice losing Jem to Hetty, as long as he's happy.


    Diamond's Father 

  • Never My Fault: He blames his daughter for his wife's death, even though he forced his daughter to perform for a crowd instead of going straight home with the medicine.


     Marvo, Julip and Tag 

Little Stars

    Mrs Gibson 

    Mrs Ruby 


    Marina Royal 

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