Juanito Santa Cruz
Juanito Santa Cruz (hwah-NEE-toh SAHN-tah crewz), the protagonist in a realistic four-volume novel of bourgeois life in Madrid in the 1870’s. He is without morals or scruples.
Bárbara Santa Cruz
Bárbara Santa Cruz (BAHR-bah-rah), Juanito’s mother and the proprietor of a dry-goods store established by the family in the previous century. She spoils her son.
Plácido Estupiña (PLAH-see-doh ehs-tew-peen-YAH), a part-time smuggler and her adviser.
Fortunata (fohr-tew-NAH-tah), a lively, attractive lower-class woman who becomes Juanito’s mistress. Later she marries Maximiliano. She dies of exposure while seeking revenge for Jacinta and herself.
Petusin (peh-tew-SEEN), the illegitimate son of Juanito and Fortunata.
Jacinta (hah-SEEN-tah), Juanito’s placid, beautiful cousin, chosen by his mother to be his wife. She cannot have children.
Maximiliano Rubín (mahks-ee-mee-lee-AH-noh rrew-BEEN), the ugly, schizophrenic orphan son of a goldsmith. He marries Fortunata.
Lupe (LEW-peh), Maximiliano’s aunt, who warns Fortunata against the marriage.
Juan Pablo Rubín
Juan Pablo Rubín (hwahn PAHB-loh), one of Maximiliano’s brothers, a loafer.
Colonel Evaristo Feijóo
Colonel Evaristo Feijóo (eh-vahr-EES-toh feh-ee-HOH-oh), an elderly protector of Fortunata.
Guillermina Pancheco (gee-yehr-MEE-nah pahn-CHAY-koh), at whose house Jacinta learns of her husband’s infidelity.
The Widow Samaniego
The Widow Samaniego (sah-mahn-ee-EH-goh), the owner of a drugstore, who employs Maximiliano.
Aurora (ow-ROH-rah), her flashy daughter, who attracts Juanito. They become lovers.
Moreno Isla (mohr-EH-noh EES-lah), whose proposition is refused by the faithful Jacinta.