Last Updated on May 8, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 404
Evan Harrington, the son of a tailor, who proves his character in upper-class society. He is a young man who accepts the responsibility of doing good for those he loves, though the gesture on occasion works against his own interest. Apprenticed to Mr. Goren, a tailor, Evan Harrington eventually marries a woman of the upper class and manages to provide abundantly for her.
Rose Jocelyn, the heiress who finally becomes Harrington’s wife. She is genuinely kind and fair, but she is set against Harrington on one occasion when he lies to her for her own good. When Harrington can tell her the truth, all things between them are put right again.
Ferdinand Laxley, a young man of the upper class who dislikes Harrington for two reasons: He is the son of a common tradesman, and he loves Rose, the girl Laxley is trying to win. Laxley is pugnacious, and he challenges Harrington to a duel. In the end he is, ironically, disgraced for revealing a secret of which he has no knowledge.
Louisa, the countess de Saldar, Harrington’s sister, who has married a titled man. She works energetically to find a good marriage for her brother. It is she who brings about Laxley’s downfall by writing an anonymous letter she knows will be attributed to Laxley.
Juliana Bonner, Rose’s plain, crippled cousin, who loves and defends Harrington until her death. She leaves him Beckley Court, the Jocelyn estate; but he refuses the bequest and returns Beckley Court to Lady Jocelyn, Rose’s mother.
Harriet Cogglesby, Harrington’s sister, who is married to Andrew Cogglesby, a brewer whose fortunes are up and down.
Caroline Strike, another of Harrington’s sisters; she is married to Major Strike. Harriet and Caroline play less important roles in the novel than does Louisa, the third sister.
Jack Raikes, Harrington’s old school friend.
Tom Cogglesby, Andrew’s brother.
Harry Jocelyn, Rose’s brother.
George Uploft, a man who allegedly ran away some time before with Louisa. Harrington’s father, Old Mel, supposedly caught the pair and stopped the elopement.
Mrs. Melchisedek Harrington
Mrs. Melchisedek Harrington, the mother of Evan, Caroline, Louisa, and Harriet. She ends her days as Tom Cogglesby’s housekeeper.
Mr. Goren, a London tailor to whom Harrington is apprenticed.
Unlock This Study Guide Now
- 30,000+ book summaries
- 20% study tools discount
- Ad-free content
- PDF downloads
- 300,000+ answers
- 5-star customer support