Anna Tellwright, a young woman who is deprived of love and money in her childhood. She inherits fifty thousand pounds from her mother’s estate upon reaching twenty-one. The money makes little difference in her life, for she turns it over to her father and, later, her fiancé to manage for her. She discovers that she really loves Willie Price, but she is already engaged to Henry Mynors, and she refuses to break her betrothal.
Henry Mynors, Anna’s fiancé. A sound businessman, he knows the value of money. He teaches in the Sunday school, thus acquiring the approval of Anna’s father. He dominates Anna as her father does.
Ephraim Tellwright, Anna’s father, a wealthy, miserly ex-preacher. A stern Wesleyan, he rears his daughters most frugally. He gives his children little love.
Beatrice Sutton, Anna’s friend. She brings Anna into society and shows her that a little money well spent can make life far pleasanter. When Beatrice is seriously ill, Anna nurses her competently and lovingly.
Willie Price, a young man in love with Anna. After his father’s business failure, he decides to start afresh in Australia. When he discovers the extent of his love for Anna (and its hopelessness) and also learns that his father was a thief, he commits suicide by throwing himself into the shaft of an abandoned mine.
Agnes Tellwright, Anna’s half sister. She is the daughter of Ephraim and his second wife, also dead.
Titus Price, Willie’s father and a one-time tenant of Anna. His business fails, and he is proved to be a thief. He hangs himself.
Mrs. Sutton, Beatrice’s mother, a social leader.