Henry Wimbush, the owner of Crome, a country house in England. He is the host for the house party that brings together the unusual group of people who are characters in the novel. Wimbush is so interested in Crome that he has been writing its history for thirty years. He frequently calls his guests together to read to them choice portions of his account.
Denis Stone, a young poet, almost a symbol in the novel for artistic ineffectuality, who loves Anne Wimbush, old Henry’s niece. Stone is disturbed by the other guests at the party, particularly by Scogan, a very rational man. Stone’s suit is never realized, though Anne has decided she will accept him if he proposes. The indecisive Stone makes one decision in the novel: He arranges to have sent a fake telegram recalling him to London. Ironically, his one decisive action separates him from Anne.
Anne Wimbush, a young woman, four years Stone’s senior, who looks on his suit for her affection first with scorn, finally with sympathy. She, unlike Stone, thinks life should be accepted as it unfolds; Stone attempts to carry personally all the troubles of the world on his shoulders.
Mr. Scogan, Stone’s opposite. Scogan is rational to the degree that Stone is sentimental. Scogan’s cold-blooded intelligence annoys Stone.
Mrs. Priscilla Wimbush...
(The entire section is 435 words.)