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|Also known as||
Mr. Purcell (by Nathaniel)
One of Nathaniel's tutors
|Behind the scenes|
Mr. Walter Purcell is one of Nathaniel's tutors. Knowing no magic, he primarily taught Nathaniel mathematics, modern languages, geography and history, as well as politics. He appears in the first book, where he stated with regret that he was not a magician, having not been chosen by the Employment Ministry. When Nathaniel asked if he was a commoner after the revelation, he attempted to change the subject and assert his authority, avoiding the question, which clearly aggravated him.
The idea of being below magicians irritates him, with many things making him nervous - talking to Arthur Underwood triggered twitching. He took his frustration out on Nathaniel, but was "too honest a man to be really brutal", instead just snapping tetchily at mistakes.
He is described as "a young man with thinning blond hair, which he frequently smoothed down in a vain effort to hide his scalp. He wore a gray suit that was slightly too big for him and an alternating sequence of horrible ties".