She, also known as She-who-must-be-obeyed and as Ayesha. She is a white queen who has lived for two thousand years in the hidden city of Kor, deep in the African interior, awaiting the reincarnation of the man she loved but murdered. Trying to prove to Leo Vincey that she can make him her immortal lover, she walks into a pillar of flame and is consumed by it, though previously it had given her protection from all the ravages of age.
Leo Vincey, a young Englishman, a descendant of Kallikrates, the man She loved and killed. Following instructions in documents left by his father, Leo travels to Africa to find the Pillar of Life. He meets She, who loves him, and he falls in love with her. After her death in the pillar of flame, he returns, gray-haired from shock, to England.
Mr. Vincey, Leo’s father. When he dies, he places his five-year-old son in the hands of Ludwig Holly, a fellow student at Cambridge, to be reared. He also leaves an iron chest that is not to be opened until the boy’s twenty-fifth birthday.
Ludwig Horace Holly
Ludwig Horace Holly, Leo’s guardian. After his ward is grown, Holly accompanies him to Africa on his incredible adventure.
Job, Holly’s servant. He dies of shock when he sees She die in the pillar of flame.
Ustane, a woman of the savage Amahagger tribe who falls in love with Leo and marries him according to tribal rite. She is killed by a look from the jealous She.
Billali, an Amahagger chief who befriends the white men and helps them escape to the African coast after their adventures with She.
Mahomed, an Arab who accompanies Leo and Holly into Africa. He is shot accidentally when his companions try to rescue him from cannibals.