Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 455
Felix Kennaston, a successful, highly romantic author. He is writing a novel about Ettarre, an ageless woman, and his plot centers around a broken round medallion with mysterious symbols, which he calls the sigil of Scoteia. In his dreams, he talks with Ettarre and accompanies her to historical places and times; when he tries to touch her, however, the dream invariably ends. One day in his garden he finds a shiny broken disc which, giving full play to his romantic imagination, he chooses to believe is the real sigil of Scoteia. He finds the other half of the disc in his wife’s bathroom and wonders about her relation to Ettarre. After his wife dies, he shows his two magic pieces to his neighbor Harrowby, who readily identifies them as the broken top of a cosmetic jar. Disillusioned at last, Felix prepares to face the realities of middle age.
Kathleen Kennaston, his wife (née Eppes). She is thin and capable, and she treats her husband with polite boredom. Though she is a good wife, Kennaston finds her unexciting and a dull conversationalist. She dies in her sleep.
Richard Harrowby, Felix’s neighbor, who admits he cares little for Kennaston, whose story he tells. Harrowby manufactures toilet preparations and, for a hobby, studies the occult. He is both entertained and sometimes annoyed by Kennaston’s romanticism.
Ettarre (eht-TAHR), a woman in Kennaston’s novel and in his dreams. His ideal (and the ideal of all men), she is similar to, and the younger sister of, Dorothy la Désirée in Cabell’s Jurgen. Ettarre accompanies Kennaston in his nightly dreams, in which the two are present on important dates in many widely separated ages. When he is about to touch her, however, his dream always ends.
Horvendile (ohr-vehn-DEEL), a clerk, a character in Kennaston’s novel with whom the author identifies himself. The names Horvendile and Kennaston are often used interchangeably to suggest that they are two sides of one personality.
Muriel Allardyce (al-lahr-DEES), one of Kennaston’s former loves.
Count Emmerick, a character in Kennaston’s novel, the brother of Ettarre.
Dame Melicent (meh-lee-SAHN), a character in Kennaston’s novel, Count Emmerick’s elder sister.
Comte Perion de la Forêt
Comte Perion de la Forêt (peh-RYOHN deh lah foh-RAY), Count Emmerick’s a character in Kennaston’s novel, Melicent’s husband.
Maugis d’Aigremont (moh-GEE da-greh-MOHN), a character in Kennaston’s novel, a master villain, a brigand slain by Horvendile in Ettarre’s bedroom.
Sir Guiron des Rocques
Sir Guiron des Rocques (gee-ROHN day rohk), a character in Kennaston’s novel, Ettarre’s betrothed.