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Richard ("Dick") Devine knew the protagonist, Elwin Ransom, at school, where they did not get on. Ransom meets him again years later, in Out of the Silent Planet. At this time Devine is the business partner of Professor Weston, a physicist, who has invented a spacecraft and is engaged in voyages to Mars. Devine is mainly interested in the gold found there.
They kidnap Ransom with a view to giving him to a Martian ruler who they believe (wrongly) to be asking for a human sacrifice. They travel to Mars but Ransom escapes.
Devine is described by the ruler of Mars as being dead as a person, whereas his companion Weston is only "bent". Devine only cares for wealth. On the return trip, Devine earns some grudging respect from Ransom by his courage in steering the ship through a crisis. It is implied that Weston and Devine part ways upon their return to Earth.
In the third book of the trilogy, That Hideous Strength, Devine has gone up in the world. He has been given a peerage, with the title Lord Feverstone. He has an influence in government, and is on the verge of being admitted to the Cabinet.
As (engineered) disturbances break out at Edgestow, Feverstone is made Emergency Commissioner, since he represents simultaneously the nation (as a Cabinet Minister), the University, and the N.I.C.E. Feverstone's appointment is part of the N.I.C.E.'s plan, but he keeps his options open in case the N.I.C.E. scheme to take over Britain misfires. He survives the destruction of the N.I.C.E. headquarters but is then caught in the destruction of Edgestow.
Feverstone's character is one that would now probably be described as that of a sociopath or psychopath, with great charm, complete self-centredness, and a lack of guilt. Feverstone notes that he never cheats unless he needs money, which (to him) shows that he has a clear conscience. Feverstone is fond of muffins, which he can devour in one bite, although there is some controversy among Lewis scholars[who?] about whether these are traditional English muffins or, less likely, American muffins.
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