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.
(The entire section is 534 words.)