Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Cyril Poges

Cyril Poges and

Basil Stoke

Basil Stoke, two English gentlemen in love with the past. With a firm conviction that life’s real glories all exist in times gone by, and filled with a longing for the joys of country living, they arrive in Ireland with their mistresses, Souhaun and Avril, to take up residence in a decaying old house in the process of being renovated. Their romantic dreams of escape into the pastoral life of bygone days is interrupted constantly by a series of prosaic household crises, unromantic arguments with servants and workmen, misadventures with farm animals and machinery, and the seduction of their mistresses by O’Killigain and one of his fellow workers. Finally, as the river rises during a storm, the two gentlemen, cold, wet, and defeated, take to the roof, longing for good old England.


Souhaun and


Avril, mistresses of Cyril and Basil. Accompanying the two gentlemen to Ireland to live the country life in a decayed ruin, the ladies are soon disgusted with the discomforts of pastoral living. Beguiled by the poetic Irish charms of O’Killigain and one of his workmen, they run away with the pair.


O’Killigain, the handsome foreman of the workmen engaged in renovating the ancient ruin occupied by Cyril Poges and Basil Stoke. He is a great believer in the glories of the present. He and one of his workmen exert their Irish charms on Souhaun and Avril and run away with them.


Barney and


Cloyne, the butler and the maid to Cyril Poges and Basil Stoke.