Mrs. Dane, a charming woman whose reputation is clouded. She finally is proved to be Felicia Hindemarsh, a notorious woman who had an affair with her employer while working as a governess, bearing him a child. As a result of the affair, the man became demented and his wife committed suicide. When faced with these facts, Mrs. Dane, who truly loves Lionel Carteret, is persuaded by his uncle to disappear from the young man’s life, lest she ruin it.
Lionel Carteret, a young man madly in love with Mrs. Dane. He is the adopted son of Sir Daniel Carteret. He loves Mrs. Dane so much that he is willing to marry her even after he finds out about her past. When she disappears, he believes he will never know love or happiness again.
Sir Daniel Carteret
Sir Daniel Carteret, Lionel’s foster father and a jurist. He has known love himself, having been in love at one time with Lionel’s mother, then already married. Wishing to help his adopted son avoid tragedy, he investigates the rumors about Mrs. Dane and finds them true. He suppresses the facts, believing that the woman has suffered enough, but he persuades her to disappear from his adopted son’s life.
Mrs. Bulsom-Porter, who hates Mrs. Dane because the latter is charming and physically attractive. She spreads gossip about Mrs. Dane and even hires a detective to try to find out about the woman’s past. Although her rumors are correct, no one will admit it; consequently, Mrs. Bulsom-Porter is forced to make a public apology.
James Risby, Mrs. Bulsom-Porter’s nephew, who first tells his aunt that Mrs. Dane seems to be the notorious Felicia Hindemarsh. Later, he retracts his statements, believing that the woman—though definitely guilty—has suffered enough for her acts.
Lady Eastney, a friend of Mrs. Dane. She is attracted to Sir Daniel as a kind and just man. She accepts his proposal of marriage.
Janet Colquhoun, an attractive young woman with whom Lionel previously had been infatuated. She still loves him and promises him a bright future.