by George Eliot
Fanny is Gwendolen's mom. She has been married twice – first to Gwendolen's dad, a Mr. Harleth, who died when Gwendolen was a kid, and then to a Mr. Davilow, with whom she had four other daughters. If we were going to call out Mrs. Davilow for one thing, it would probably be that she has a tendency to devote all of her love and attention to Gwendolen while ignoring her four younger daughters. We sort of feel sorry for her at times, though – she's almost never happy and she lets Gwendolen walk all over her. We also get the vibe that her past wasn't especially rosy, either; she gets really worked up whenever anyone mentions her second husband, and we learn that at one point he sold all of her nicest jewelry. She's an easy character to pity, although sometimes you want to take her by the shoulders, shake her, and tell her to stand up for herself.