Dorcas Lane is th postmistress in Candleford. She inherited the business from her father, and most people think that it is unnatural to have a woman running the post office. She is Emma Timmons's cousin, and she offers Laura a job at the post office at the beginning of the show. Dorcas is a bit of a busybody; she knows many peoples' secrets and occasionally offering advice to them about their personal affairs. She had a relationship with James Dowland during the second season. He asks her to marry him, however, Dorcas has found out about an affair James had had with a woman who he had claimed was only a business partner. Before this, she had thought that she had missed her opportunity for marriage. Dorcas has very high opinions and shows that she is a bit of a suffragette when she runs for the Parish Council though many people think a woman should not be in that position. She is very neighborly to everyone and is friends with many in the town. Emma and Laura are proud that Dorcas has made a life for herself despite the predjudice against women at the time.