The marquise de St. Maur
The marquise de St. Maur (sahn mohr), an Englishwoman married to a French nobleman. She is a proud person, conscious of rank and family. Only her son’s return from supposed death enables her to accept her lower-class daughter-in-law without reservation.
Captain George D’Alroy
Captain George D’Alroy, the son of the marquise de St. Maur, who falls in love with a beautiful dancer from the lower classes and marries her despite her origins. He insists that he would rather die or lose his commission than lose her love. His faith in his wife is rewarded, for when he returns from India after having been presumed dead, he finds that she has proved sincere and capable.
Captain Hawtree, D’Alroy’s friend, who tries realistically to point out the social chasm between the dancer and his friend, as well as the difficulties that a successful marriage between them must overcome.
Esther Eccles (EHK-ehlz), the pretty young dancer who marries D’Alroy. When her husband is thought to be dead in India, she successfully cares for herself and her child, refusing to be patronized by her proud mother-in-law.
Polly Eccles, Esther’s sister, who is satisfied to marry a tradesman. Even when her sister is accepted in aristocratic circles, Polly believes that she is happier than Esther.
Mr. Eccles, the father of Esther and Polly, a ne’er-do-well drunkard. He even squanders money left by D’Alroy to take care of Esther.
Sam Gerridge, Polly’s fiancé. He is a good man who contributes to Esther’s support when she needs help.