The Reverend Mr. Taylor
The Reverend Mr. Taylor, an Anglican rector of a rural parish. He becomes unpopular in his parish as his fortunes decline. Because of his misfortunes, he is unable to send his son to Oxford. He becomes a moody man.
Lucian Taylor, the rector’s son, a studious, reflective lad who is introverted. When he cannot go to Oxford because his father lacks the necessary money, he wanders about the countryside or studies in his father’s library the things he likes: ancient history, the medieval church, and works on magic. Because of his introversion and because he refuses to take a job, he becomes something of an outcast. When he tries to become a writer, his attempts are regarded as foolish, especially when he cannot find a publisher. He makes up an imaginary world from his study of Britain in Roman times, and there he lives. He escapes from his imaginary world when he receives a small legacy, only to become an opium addict. His addiction causes his death.
Mrs. Taylor, the rector’s wife. She dies while her son is still in his youth.
Annie Morgan, a farmer’s daughter who loves Lucian. She shows him how to escape into a world of imagination. She succeeds so well in showing him that he thinks only of himself and his dream world, even when she is about to go away.