Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Vincentio di Vivaldi

Vincentio di Vivaldi (veen-chehn-TEE-oh dee vee-VAHL-dee), a young nobleman of Naples. Impressed by the grace and voice of the veiled Ellena di Rosalba, he is warned by a ghostly stranger not to seek her identity. Disregarding the warning, he succeeds in learning the young woman’s name, falls in love with her, and determines to marry her in spite of his parents’ strenuous objections because of her apparent lowly station. His mother’s plottings to prevent the alliance set up a train of sinister events through which the young man passes before he is finally united with his beloved.

Ellena di Rosalba

Ellena di Rosalba (roh-SAHL-bah), a young woman of supposed humble origin who is loved by Vincentio di Vivaldi. Before her wedding, she is abducted and carried off to a strange religious establishment, the first of a series of violent and sinister adventures that end in the revelation of her identity as the daughter of Sister Olivia and the dead Count di Bruno, and at last in her marriage to Vincentio.

The marchesa di Vivaldi

The marchesa di Vivaldi, the haughty and vindictive mother of Vincentio di Vivaldi. She plots, with the monk Schedoni, to do away with Ellena di Rosalba in order to prevent her marriage to her son.

The marchese di Vivaldi

The marchese di Vivaldi, Vincentio di Vivaldi’s father.


Schedoni (shay-DOH-nee), the marchesa di Vivaldi’s confessor and her chief ally in the plot to murder Ellena di Rosalba. He is finally revealed as the second count di Bruno, murderer of the first count, his brother, and as a fugitive in the disguise of a monk.

Sister Olivia

Sister Olivia, a nun who befriends Ellena di Rosalba and is finally revealed as the former countess di Bruno, Ellena’s mother.

Signora Bianchi

Signora Bianchi (bee-AHN-kee), Ellena di Rosalba’s aunt and guardian, later revealed as the sister of Sister Olivia.

Paulo Mendrico

Paulo Mendrico (pah-EW-loh mehn-DREE-koh), Vincentio di Vivaldi’s faithful servant.


Bonorma, Vincentio di Vivaldi’s friend.


Beatrice, the servant of Signora Bianchi and Ellena di Rosalba.

Ansaldo di Rovalli

Ansaldo di Rovalli, the grand penitentiary.

Brother Jeronimo

Brother Jeronimo, a monk.


Spalatro (spah-LAH-troh), an assassin in the pay of Schedoni.

Father Nicola

Father Nicola (nee-KOH-lah), a monk who turns against the sinister Schedoni and gathers evidence against him for the Inquisition.