- “That woman kept insisting I mind my own business, which I thought was a great affront–everything that happens in Darlington affects me directly, if I may say so myself!”
- ― Mrs Norris in Town
Mrs Norris resides in Darlington, and is a well-known town gossip. She is a widow to the late Mr Norris and also mentions having a niece. Mr Hudson, former owner of Lampton Hall, is her cousin. She also appears to be friendly with Mr Digby, and frequently esteems him as an respectable suitor.
Mrs Norris has lived in Darlington for at least twenty years, likely more. She is a constant fixture in the protagonist's memory of the town, and is old enough to remember the births of both Miss Earlwood and the protagonist.
She resided with her husband Mr Norris and a horse named Sam. The couple appeared to be well matched, as she describes him as a gentle soul who "knew very well the virtue of silence". She also mentions having a niece, though none of her family have ever made an appearance.
Mrs Norris often appears particularly talkative and overbearing. She appears to know all the affairs of the town, and her opinions are generally reactionary and freely expressed. Mrs Norris finds something about every suitor and situation that bears disapproval, except for the advances of Mr Digby.
- Mrs Norris shares her name with a character in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park who is also a particularly officious widow.