From another Father Brown story (The Actor and the Alibi):
The group also contained Ralph Randall, who generally acted elderly character parts, and had a humorous hatchet face, blue with shaving, and discoloured with grease paint. It contained Mandeville's second walking gentleman, carrying on the not yet wholly vanished tradition of Charles's Friend, a dark, curly-haired youth of somewhat Semitic profile bearing the name of Aubrey Vernon.
It is to be feared that the tradition of Charles's Friend has now wholly vanished, so much so that I have no idea what this tradition might be.
I have seen it as a NY Times crossword definition, and only end up getting it right by getting in most of the cross-words. Hence I don't really know what it means, either.
I found this site while surfing the web to look for the meaning of Charles's Friend.
The article about Charles's Friend was good and the site is really
Doedn't zackticle splain "Charles's Friend" per se. Jus oney uses it as a zample of parper possessivization.
Aye, I know she doesn't explain it, but the site was really interesting, so I thought I'd post it anyway.
"Charles's Friend" (or the "second boy") referred to a character depicted as the best friend of the hero of a romantic comedy or melodrama. Generally more worldly and cynical than the idealistic hero, he generally represented the comical or common-sense viewpoint of the hero's high-flown sentiments. Often he would attempt to dissuade the hero from his romance, though he would generally end by supporting him. Occasionally though not always, he formed a second romantic couple with the "second girl" or the "soubrette," generally a friend of the heroine. A typical example is Captain Hawtree from Thomas Robertson's "Caste" (1867).
That's a fascinating piece of theatre history, Tannhaeuser, and many thanks for it. I was aware of the device but had never heard that name.
(How truly is it said that a thousand post in AWAD's sight is but a moment past.
What is twelve years in the global scheme!)
Is there any tie-in with the play, "Charlie's Aunt?" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charley%27s_Aunt
A great comic play, indeed, HalAl. But I guess that it doesn't refer to "Cahrles' Friend", as the Charley in the comedy is a principle character, nit "Charles' Best Friend."