(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed


Hugo, a young man without a heart and the identical twin of Frederic. Not realizing that he, himself, is in love with Diana Messerschmann, he plots to end Frederic’s infatuation for her by hiring Isabelle to masquerade as an invited guest to the ball where she is to draw Frederic from Diana to herself. As his scheme goes awry, Hugo realizes that he and Diana are made for each other and that he has wanted her all along.


Frederic, a young man with a heart and the identical twin of Hugo. Engaged to Diana Messerschmann, he blindly follows where love leads until Hugo plots to end his infatuation by hiring Isabelle to lure him away from Diana. Finally, he sees Diana for what she is and finds in Isabelle a tender heart to match his own.

Diana Messerschmann

Diana Messerschmann, a young lady without a heart. Engaged to Frederic, whom love has blinded to her true nature, she finally is led to see that she and the heartless Hugo are meant for each other.


Isabelle, a ballet dancer hired by Hugo to masquerade as an invited guest at the ball and to win Frederic away from Diana. She succeeds by revealing to Frederic a heart as innocent and gentle as his own.

Madame Desmermortes

Madame Desmermortes, the aunt of Hugo and Frederic and the hostess at the ball. Shrewd and worldly-wise, she sets to right the confusion brought about by Hugo’s hiring of Isabelle to masquerade as an invited guest.


Messerschmann, Diana Messerschmann’s millionaire father, in love with Lady Dorothy India.

Lady Dorothy India

Lady Dorothy India, Madame Desmermortes’ niece and Messerschmann’s mistress.


Romainville, a guest gently blackmailed by Hugo to pass off Isabelle as his niece and, hence, an invited guest at the ball.

Patrice Bombelles

Patrice Bombelles, Messerschmann’s secretary, engaged in a secret love affair with Lady Dorothy India.


Capulat, Madame Desmermortes’ companion.