Emma Woodhouse—Protagonist of the novel; youngest daughter of Mr. Woodhouse and his deceased wife; sister of Isabella (Woodhouse) Knightley; mistress of Hartfield estate.
Mr. Woodhouse—Emma’s father; elderly, sedentary master of Hartfield.
Mrs. Weston (Miss Taylor)—Emma’s former governess, now friend; wife of Mr. Weston; mistress of Randalls country house.
Mr. Weston—(Captain Weston)—Retired militia; husband of Mrs. Weston; biological father of Frank Churchill; master of Randalls.
Mr. Knightley (George)—Gentleman farmer and magistrate; master of Donwell Abbey; neighbor and friend of Emma and Mr. Woodhouse.
Mr. Elton—Vicar of Highbury; young bachelor.
Harriet Smith—Illegitimate daughter of unknown persons; placed in Mrs. Goddard’s Boarding School in Highbury; befriended by Emma.
Mrs. and Miss Bates—Widow of former Vicar of Highbury and her spinster daughter; social friends of the Woodhouses; aunt and cousin of Jane Fairfax.
Jane Fairfax—Orphaned niece of Mrs. Bates; taken in by Colonel and Mrs. Campbell who undertook her education; secret fiancée of Frank Churchill.
Mr. and Mrs. Churchill—Aunt and uncle of Frank Weston Churchill whom they adopt; brother and sister-in-law to Miss Churchill, deceased first wife of Mr. Weston.
Frank (Weston) Churchill—Son of Mr. Weston and the deceased Miss Churchill; adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Churchill; brought up in fashionable London society; secret fiancé of Jane Fairfax.
Augusta (Hawkins) Elton—Social climbing wife of Mr. Elton; daughter of tradesman, eager to break into society at Highbury.
John and Isabella (Woodhouse) Knightley—Lawyer brother-in-law and sister of Emma Woodhouse; residing in Brunswick Square in London.
Robert Martin—Tenant of Abbey Mill farm, rented from Mr. (George) Knightley; fond of Harriet Smith.
Elizabeth Martin—Sister of Robert; resident of Abbey Mill; schoolfriend of Harriet.
Mr. and Mrs. Coles—Tradespeople of the village of Highbury, rising in fortune and rank to the upper middle class.
Mrs. Goddard—Mistress of a boarding school.
Mr. and Mrs. Cox—Lawyer family.