(Great Characters in Literature)

Characters Discussed

Colonel Rudolph Musgrave

Colonel Rudolph Musgrave, the head of the Musgrave family. A thorough Southern gentleman, he is aristocratic and scholarly, a lover of many women, and a less than successful businessman. Having loved and lost Anne Charteris in the past, he falls in love with and marries his cousin, Patricia Stapylton. After a deterioration in their relationship, Patricia dies of a heart attack, but he feels too deep a loyalty to her to marry the now free Anne Charteris.

Patricia Stapylton

Patricia Stapylton, Colonel Rudolph Musgrave’s young cousin, later his wife. Happy at first in their marriage, she gives her husband a son at the risk of her life and with permanent damage to her health. As tensions develop between husband and wife, she becomes enamored of John Charteris. After he is killed, she dies of a heart attack.

John Charteris

John Charteris, a novelist. Having been involved in many affairs, he is easily persuaded by Patricia Stapylton to run off with her. The runaways are stopped by Colonel Musgrave, and a few days later Charteris is killed by a jealous husband.

Anne Charteris

Anne Charteris, John Charteris’ adoring wife. She refuses to recognize that her husband is a scoundrel until the knowledge is forced on her after his death. Even then, however, her loyalty prevents her marriage to Colonel Rudolph Musgrave.

Agatha Musgrave

Agatha Musgrave, Colonel Rudolph Musgrave’s sister, whose resentment of her brother’s wife, Patricia Stapylton, is part of the cause of their growing marital tensions.

Roger Stapylton

Roger Stapylton, Patricia Stapylton’s father, formerly an overseer, now a wealthy businessman.

Joe Parkinson

Joe Parkinson, Patricia Stapylton’s rejected suitor.


Virginia, a servant in the Musgrave household.

Lord Pevensey

Lord Pevensey, Patricia Stapylton’s rejected fiancé.

Mrs. Clarice Pendomer

Mrs. Clarice Pendomer, a former mistress of John Charteris.