Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 534
Judith Herries, later Judith Paris, the daughter of Francis Herries and Mirabell both of whom die on the night of her birth. After a stormy girlhood in the home of her half brother, she marries for love at seventeen. Her husband is a smuggler, a gambler, and an intriguer by turns. After his violent death, Judith goes to live in the home of a nephew and his wife. Out of pity, she gives herself to a neighbor. Now nearly forty, she finds that she is pregnant, and she goes to Paris. The expected child’s father follows her, but he dies shortly after finding her. It is just after Waterloo, and a café shooting of a Prussian so unnerves Judith that she gives birth to a son at once, behind a screen. The nephew with whom she lived has committed suicide, and Judith, taking her son, goes back to live with his widow.
David Herries, who is fifty-five years older than his half sister Judith. Her girlhood is spent in his home.
William Herries, David’s son. A quarrel sets him relentlessly against his brother.
Francis Herries, William’s brother, with whom Judith lives after her widowhood. He shuts his eyes to his wife’s infidelity, but malicious interference on the part of his nephew, acting as agent of the old feud, forces the discovery upon him. When his wife’s lover escapes, Francis kills himself in futile despair.
Christabel Herries, William’s wife.
Jennifer Cards, a beautiful belle. The great Herries feud begins with a quarrel between her and Christabel at a ball given by William. When Francis marries Jennifer, he becomes involved in the quarrel. Jennifer never loves her husband, and her infidelity results in Francis’ suicide.
Fernyhirst, Jennifer’s lover.
Walter Herries, the son of William. Intent on destroying Jennifer, he succeeds in destroying Francis.
Georges Paris, Judith’s husband, with whom she leads a lonely life.
Stane, who is involved with Georges in mysterious business. After Stane causes the failure of Georges’s prospects, Georges kills him and is in turn killed by Stane’s father.
Warren Forster, a tiny, kindly man who has long admired Judith. She gives herself to him out of pity. He follows her to Paris and dies there.
Squire Gauntry, a tough and taciturn man. He finds the orphaned infant Judith unattended, the midwife being drunk, and takes her to his home until her half brother comes for her. She visits his place frequently as a child and is under no restrictions there. On one of her visits, she meets Georges.
Emma, Squire Gauntry’s mistress and Judith’s longtime friend. Judith lives with Emma, now on the stage, in Paris.
Madame Paris, the beautiful mother of Georges. Judith meets her at Squire Gauntry’s place.
Reuben Sunwood, Judith’s kinsman and friend, killed in a riot incited by Walter Herries.
Adam Paris, the illegitimate son of Judith and Warren Forster.
John Herries and
Dorothy Herries, the children of Jennifer and Francis.
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