(Great Characters in Literature)

Nevil Beauchamp

Nevil Beauchamp (neh-VIHL boh-SHAWM), a young man who is eager to reform the world. He starts out as a naval officer but later decides to run for Parliament as a Liberal candidate. He falls in love with the sister of a French officer whose life he has saved, but she marries a man her father has chosen for her. Nevil loses the election, but the daughter of a Tory friend falls in love with him. When he proposes and she refuses him because of her father’s demands, he falls ill. He marries Jenny Denham, who has nursed him during his illness. His death by drowning while trying to rescue a child ends his reformer’s career.

Renée Rouaillout

Renée Rouaillout (ruh-NAY rew-ay-YEW), née Renée de Croisnel (kwah-NEHL), a rather fickle young Frenchwoman with whom Beauchamp falls in love. She refuses to marry him because she has promised her father that she will marry Rouaillout. After her marriage, she sends for Nevil because she has wagered with a friend that he will come if she sends for him. Renée leaves her husband and goes to Nevil, but he is no longer in love with her, and he effects a reconciliation between her and her husband.

Colonel Halkett

Colonel Halkett, a friend of Beauchamp who is also a Tory and deplores Beauchamp’s political...

(The entire section is 437 words.)