Kenneth Widmerpool was a schoolmate of Nick Jenkins and appears in all twelve volumes of A Dance to the Music of Time. A year or two older than Nick, Widmerpool was the object of some derision at school for his eccentric ways and an unusual overcoat he would always wear (described in the first volume, A Question of Upbringing, as "the wrong kind of overcoat"). He is strait-laced, very fond of their schoolmaster Le Bas, and very focused on professional success and decorum.

In the third volume, The Acceptance World, he is a successful broker at Donners-Brebner but is considering a move into the "Acceptance World," referring to the creditors who finance large business initiatives, using the merchandise in question as collateral.

In the fourth volume, At Lady Molly's, he becomes engaged to Mildred Blaides (also known as Mildred Haycock), a strong-willed woman about fifteen years his senior and a widowed mother of two ill-behaved teenage boys. The stuffy Widmerpool frets to Nick over a planned pre-marital weekend visiting the Sleafords at Dogdene, ends up with jaundice, and tells Nick at the novel's end that he broke off the engagement in a huff on the last morning at Dogdene (although it seems more likely that Mildred did the breaking-off).

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