Esther Ansell, a poor Jewish girl adopted and educated by a rich woman. Esther, sensitive and very intelligent, graduates from London University. She writes a novel of Jewish life entitled Mordecai Josephs. A shy girl, she hides behind the pen name “Edward Armitage.” Despite her success, Esther returns to the ghetto. Later she migrates to New York, drawn by her love for her family, who are already in the United States.
Mrs. Henry Goldsmith
Mrs. Henry Goldsmith, a wealthy Jewess who adopts Esther Ansell and educates her, even sending Esther’s family to America to free the girl from ghetto life. Mrs. Goldsmith is a woman who likes intellectuals and is generous to them.
Moses Ansell, a pious, orthodox, unworldly Jew. He is Esther’s father. He spends too much time praying and too little time earning a living.
Benjamin Ansell, Esther’s young brother, who is placed in an orphanage at his mother’s death
Becky Belcovitch, a kindly neighbor of the Ansells in the ghetto.
Malka Birnbaum, cousin of Moses Ansell’s dead wife. She tries to help her cousin’s family.
Sam Levine, a commercial traveler who through ignorance of the ancient Jewish traditions marries the wrong girl.
(The entire section is 453 words.)