Mr Jerome in The Woman in Black

  • guarded
  • haunted
  • fearful
Mr Jerome

Mr Jerome is Alice Drablow's agent in Crythin Gifford, meaning that he looked after the property and land business that she conducted before she died. He is the only attendee, apart from Arthur Kipps, at Mrs Drablow's funeral.

Physically he is described as 'particularly small' and he has a strange domed head. When Arthur starts talking about the Woman in Black at the graveyard, Mr Jerome reacts dramatically, clutching at Arthur's wrist and seeming ready to collapse.

Later he refuses to help Arthur in his mission to organise Mrs Drablow's paperwork from Eel Marsh House and becomes agitated by talk of the place. We learn towards the end of the story that his child died after a sighting of the Woman in Black.

How is Mr Jerome like this?EvidenceAnalysis
GuardedHe appears guarded and closed-up when Arthur first meets him.a somewhat shuttered expression that revealed nothing whatsoever of his own personality, his mood or his thoughts.Mr Jerome gives very little away. He often responds with silence and when he speaks he tends to be vague and obscure.
HauntedMr Jerome, like many of the characters in this novella is haunted by his past.Mr Jerome looked frozen, pale, his throat moving as if he were unable to utter.Although we only learn later in the story that Mr Jerome's child died, his reaction to Arthur's talk of the Woman in Black at the funeral shows that he is deeply affected by his past.
FearfulWhen Arthur approaches him for help at Eel Marsh House, Mr Jerome refuses.There was a sickly greyish pallor over his skin now.Mr Jerome's fear manifests physically. He sweats and faints and is clearly upset by any talk of the Woman in Black. The chapter is titled 'Mr Jerome is Afraid', further underlining his reaction.
VagueMr Jerome never openly speaks to Arthur about his own experiences.'There are stories," he said, "tales. There's all that nonsense."His vague references to stories and tales are in some ways more frightening as we are left to imagine what the truth might be.