Diana of the Crossways

by George Meredith
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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 472

Diana Merion Warwick

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Diana Merion Warwick, a witty, charming, and beautiful woman. She is a person who makes mistakes because she does not believe that the conventional thing is always the right thing. She learns from her experiences, however, and becomes a wiser woman. She marries Augustus Warwick primarily as a matter of convenience. When she becomes friendly with the elderly Lord Dannisburgh, her husband accuses her of infidelity. She is found not guilty of this charge by a court, but she refuses to return to her husband. She becomes a novelist, but her initial success does not last, and she finds herself reduced to poverty. In these circumstances, she sells some information told to her by Sir Percy Dacier, who is in love with her, thus betraying his confidence. She finally consents to become the wife of a man who has loved her for many years. Diana makes many enemies, but she is also the sort of woman who is loved and admired by many men.

Augustus Warwick

Augustus Warwick, the politician whom Diana marries when she is a young woman. He is calculating and ambitious and is completely incapable of understanding his wife’s innocence of the demands of conventionality. He tries to force Diana to return to him, but she will not. He is finally struck down and killed by a cab in the street.

Sir Percy Dacier

Sir Percy Dacier, a young politician who falls in love with Diana after she has refused to return to her husband. He spends a great deal of time following her about and, in a moment of indiscretion, tells her a very important political secret. Diana sends him away. Needing money desperately, she sells his information to a newspaper. Feeling betrayed, he turns from her and marries an heiress.

Thomas Redworth

Thomas Redworth, a brilliant member of Parliament who falls in love with Diana. He announces his love too late, after she is engaged to Warwick. He is steadfast, however, and, when Diana is forced to sell her family home and all of her belongings, he buys them, expecting that some day she will consent to become his wife. His loyalty is rewarded when Diana marries him.

Lady Emma Dunstane

Lady Emma Dunstane, a friend of Diana who introduces her to Redworth. She remains faithful to Diana through all of her troubles and unpopularity.

Lord Dannisburgh

Lord Dannisburgh, the older man with whom Diana is friendly and with whom she appears, rather indiscreetly, while her husband is away on a government mission. He is Sir Percy Dacier’s uncle. When he dies, he leaves Diana a sum of money in his will.

Sullivan Smith

Sullivan Smith, a hot-tempered Irishman who challenges Redworth to a duel because he objects to Redworth’s attentions to Diana. He proposes to Diana, but she refuses him.

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