Lieutenant James Graham serves in Colonel Watson's battalion in the British Army's 5th Regiment of Foot. His close friends include Lord Sutton. He is also connected with the Earlwoods as Mrs Earlwood was close with the Grahams in her youth and remains a good friend of his aunt.
Mr Graham grew up in modest but happy circumstances with his family in Cambridgeshire. Amongst his close companions were his elder brother Francis and Lord Sutton, a dear friend whom he continues to hold in high esteem. Mr Graham describes himself as a mischievous child, and recalls being disciplined after spending an afternoon by the pond and returning with muddy clothes.
At a young age, Mr Graham was betrothed to his neighbour's daughter, Miss Amelia Thorpe. After the Thorpes came into money, however, both of their families grew fixated on accumulating wealth. Mr Graham refused to marry Miss Thorpe when he realised that she had become selfish and discontent, despite still having feelings for her. Consequently, Mr Graham was disowned by his family, and was taken in by Lord Sutton. Miss Thorpe married Francis, who took ownership of the estate when his parents passed away a year later. After this, Mr Graham left for the military.
In the Militia
Mr Graham found a new family amongst the soldiers in the British Army, and he considers his home wherever they are. However, he still remains uncomfortable with his roots.
Fighting the War against Napoleon in France exposed Mr Graham to ideas about change, class and equality. In his time in Darlington he can be seen reading and grappling with ideas found in political tracts, such as Edmund Burke's Reflections on the Revolution in France and Thomas Daine's Rights of Man. His initiation into the Regiment also exposed him to less savoury works like John Cleland's Fanny Hill.
Relationship with the protagonist
Main article: Mr Graham's path
Mr Graham is friendly and enthusiastic, expressing his affection towards the protagonist through gentle and sweet gestures. Having witnessed his familial relationships broken down by the pursuit of wealth, Mr Graham takes great joy in simple things.
- Mr Graham physically resembles Mr Wickham in the 2005 movie adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. Both are men of the militia who seem to have a reputation for being wild and irresponsible, but the two characters end up behaving in very different fashions.