Jerry Waldegrave was Owen Quine’s editor at Roper Chard publishing. He is described as having a “round, doughy face” which is “partly concealed by large horn-rimmed glasses and a tangle of brown hair.” An Oxford University graduate, Waldegrave tends to be a bit awkward physically and is also deaf in one ear.
In Quine’s unpublished novel, Bombyx Mori, Waldegrave is portrayed as a character called the Cutter, who carries over his shoulder a wriggling, bloodstained sack containing a dwarfish female creature, which the Cutter later drowns. Many of the people Strike meets during the course of his investigation mention how universally well-liked Waldegrave is, with Nina Lascelles describing him as “a blessed saint and the nicest man in publishing.” Everyone seems to be confused by Quine’s portrayal of him in the book, especially since Waldegrave had always supported him.
Along with the trouble caused by Bombyx Mori, Waldegrave has split up with his wife, Fenella, with whom he has an adult daughter, Joanna. Waldegrave also has a drinking problem. When Strike meets him for the first time at the Roper Chard party in chapter 13, Waldegrave appears to be drunk, as well as later in the novel, when Strike meets him for a lunch interview at Simpson’s-in-the-Strand.
Strike investigates Waldegrave’s home on Hazlitt Road in Kensington, where he has a bit of a run-in with Fenella.