Nan Prince, a young girl who wants to become a doctor. As a child, she is mischievous but likes to care for animals. She assists the local doctor, who rears her after her mother’s and grandmother’s deaths. The girl attends medical school, despite pressure from her relatives and her suitor. Upon completing her medical education, she returns to the town to assist the doctor and eventually to take over his practice.
Adeline Thacher Prince
Adeline Thacher Prince, Nan’s mother. She returns home to Oldfields to die, bringing her infant daughter. She is a wild, rebellious woman who reputedly is addicted to drink. She resents her husband’s family because they opposed her marriage.
Mrs. Thacher, Nan’s maternal grandmother, who cares for the child until her own death.
Dr. Leslie, the doctor in Oldfields. He looks after Nan and rears her in his own home after her grandmother’s death. He encourages her study of medicine.
Miss Nancy Prince
Miss Nancy Prince, a wealthy spinster, Nan’s aunt. She is shocked at Nan’s seemingly unladylike ambition to be a doctor and tries to dissuade the girl from studying medicine. She also tries to interest Nan in a young man, George Gerry, in hopes that Nan will marry and abandon her ambition to practice medicine.
George Gerry, a young friend of Miss Nancy Prince. He and Nan fall in love, as Nan’s aunt hopes, but George cannot persuade Nan to marry him and abandon medicine.