Frederick (Rickie) Elliot
Frederick (Rickie) Elliot, a sensitive young man. After a childhood made lonely and unhappy by his lameness and the loveless relationship between his father and mother, he finds a certain contentment as a student at Cambridge. During his engagement to Agnes Pembroke, he learns that Stephen Wonham is his half brother. When Rickie’s marriage turns out to be an empty gesture, his flight with Stephen marks the beginning of his soul’s regeneration, until he is killed in an effort to save Stephen’s life.
Agnes Pembroke, Rickie Elliot’s old friend, who marries him after the death of her fiancé, Gerald Dawes. She forces him into a dull and conventional life. Finally, in her effort to alienate him from his half brother, Stephen Wonham, she loses him when he and Stephen go away together.
Herbert Pembroke, Agnes Pembroke’s brother, with whom she and Rickie Elliot live after their marriage.
Stephen Wonham, Rickie Elliot’s half brother. When he learns of his relationship to Rickie, he goes to him and Agnes hoping for love and a home, but he is refused both. Later, he persuades Rickie to turn his back on Agnes’ domination and go away with him.
Stewart Ansell, Rickie Elliot’s Cambridge friend, who opposes his marriage to Agnes Pembroke and later persuades him to accept Stephen Wonham.
Mrs. Emily Failing
Mrs. Emily Failing, Rickie Elliot’s domineering aunt.
Gerald Dawes, Agnes Pembroke’s fiancé, who is killed before their marriage.