Jess Oakroyd, a Yorshireman. A stolid, seemingly dull man, he proves that he is no fool. He sets off, tired of home, to see England. Meeting Elizabeth Trant, he befriends her and joins her, becoming the handyman of The Good Companions. He keeps the group united when they are dispirited. His adventures with the traveling company convince him he wants to go on traveling.
Elizabeth Trant, an “old maid” at thirty-five. She inherits a little money and sets out to see England. She falls in with a traveling vaudeville company, takes them over, and enjoys life for the first time. She meets a doctor who had been her suitor years before and marries.
Inigo Jollifant, a teacher who leaves his job because he is unhappy. He begins to travel; meeting The Good Companions, he joins them as their songwriter. He falls in love with Susie Dean, the comedian.
Morton Mitcham, a banjo-playing professional who becomes one of The Good Companions.
Susie Dean, a pretty young comedian who wants to become a star on the London stage. She cannot understand why Inigo Jollifant prefers writing for the literary journals to his success as a writer of popular tunes.
Jerry Jerningham, a male dancer with The Good Companions. He marries a wealthy woman and uses his influence to get Susie a chance to play in London. He gets places, too, for the other members of the troupe.
Jimmy Nunn and
Elsie Longstaff, members of The Good Companions.
Dr. Hugh McFarlane
Dr. Hugh McFarlane, Elizabeth’s former suitor, whom she meets again and marries.
Mrs. Oakroyd, whose nagging causes Jess to leave home. When she becomes seriously ill, he returns to her; when she dies, he again takes to the open road.