Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

The Marquis of Monmouth

The Marquis of Monmouth, a British nobleman opposed to reform, especially the Reform Bill of 1832.

Harry Coningsby

Harry Coningsby, a liberal-minded young English nobleman, grandson of the Marquis of Monmouth. Disinherited for defying his grandfather on political grounds, he is eventually elected to Parliament. He marries Edith Millbank, and after the death of his grandfather, he inherits the marquis’ fortune indirectly.

Edith Millbank

Edith Millbank, the beautiful but shy daughter of a wealthy industrialist. Harry Coningsby falls in love with her, but her father refuses at first to permit the marriage. Later he relents, and she is married to Coningsby.

Oswald Millbank

Oswald Millbank, Edith’s father. A wealthy manufacturer, he thinks England should be governed by an aristocracy of talent rather than by a hereditary aristocracy. He was at one time the fiancé of Coningsby’s mother.

Oswald Millbank

Oswald Millbank, the son of the industrialist of the same name. He is one of Coningsby’s close friends and Edith’s brother.


Lucretia, a young Italian noblewoman. She tries to attract Coningsby and his friend Sidonia. Failing in these attempts, she settles for marriage with the Marquis of Monmouth for his wealth. Her husband sends her away when she proves to be unfaithful.

Princess Colonna

Princess Colonna, Lucretia’s stepmother. She is a strong supporter of young Coningsby in his early relations with his grandfather.


Sidonia, a wealthy young Jew, a friend of Coningsby. He is also a friend of the Millbank family. He is suspected, wrongly, by Coningsby of being a rival for Edith’s hand in marriage.


Flora, a young actress befriended by Coningsby. She turns out to be the natural daughter of the Marquis of Monmouth. The marquis leaves her his fortune, but she in turn wills it to Coningsby when she dies.

Mr. Rigby

Mr. Rigby, a member of Parliament who is supported by the Marquis of Monmouth. He is young Coningsby’s caretaker.

Lord Wallinger

Lord Wallinger and

Lady Wallinger

Lady Wallinger, relatives of Edith who take her to Paris, where Coningsby renews his acquaintance with Edith and falls in love with her.