George Wickham is the Godson of Fitzwilliam Darcy's father, as well as the son of his steward. He's an officer at a militia stationed near Meryton. He was most likely named after his Godfather, as many boys of that era were in fact, and Georgiana Darcy's name also indicates this. He lost both his parents at a young age, and was raised by his Godfather, growing up alongside Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Wickham is a handsome man with "a fine countenance, a good figure, and very pleasing address."
Rebecca Dickson (author of "Jane Austen: An Illustrated Treasury") describes Wickham as "Peter Pan with a gambling problem". Wickham is a very charming man, an excellent conversationalist and possesses a gift for making friends. Unfortunately, he is also an immoral, extravagant liar who has no problem with using (or ruining) other people in order accomplish his own ends. He tends to live in the moment without giving much thought to the future and has by so doing thrown away many of the advantages that he was given due to old Mr. Darcy's patronage. Until his marriage to Lydia, his overall plan in life was to marry an heiress.
Role in Pride and PrejudiceEdit
(Warning: plot spoilers)
Almost immediately after arriving in Meryton, Wickham forms ties with many women in the area, including Elizabeth Bennet (to the point where many consider him as a match for the latter). While he and Darcy were inseparable as children, Wickham drifted away from the friendship, spreading lies about Darcy's "wrongdoings" towards him, attempting to cheat him of money, and even attempting to seduce Darcy's younger sister. Eventually, while stationed in Brighton, Wickham elopes with, and eventually marries Elizabeth's sixteen year-old sister, Lydia Bennet (but only after being paid off by Darcy).