Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Joseph Balsamo

Joseph Balsamo (zhoh-SEHF bahl-sah-MOH), the Count de Fenix (deh fay-NEEKS), a revolutionary and practitioner of magic. Involved in machinations at the court of Louis XV, he is able, through sorcery, to gather information to further the plots in which he becomes engaged.

Lorenza Feliciani

Lorenza Feliciani (loh-REHN-zah feh-lee-SYAH-nee), Joseph Balsamo’s wife and the unwilling medium for his sorcery until her death at the hands of Althotas.

Madame Jeanne du Barry

Madame Jeanne du Barry (zhahn dew bah-REE), the favorite of Louis XV and the ally of the duc de Richelieu and Joseph Balsamo in an attempt to unseat M. de Choiseul as the king’s minister.


Armand (ahr-MAH[N]), duc de Richelieu (dewk deh reesh-LYEW), a political opportunist who, with the aid of Madame du Barry and compromising information gotten through the sorceries of Joseph Balsamo, forces Louis XV to dismiss his minister, M. de Choiseul.

M. de Choiseul

M. de Choiseul (deh shwah-ZEWL), Louis XV’s minister, who is dismissed on the strength of information gathered through the necromancy of Joseph Balsamo.


Althotas (ahl-toh-TAS), Joseph Balsamo’s instructor in magic. He kills Lorenza Feliciani by drawing from her the blood needed for an elixir of youth. When the vial containing the liquid is broken, he sets fire to his manuscripts and perishes with them in the flames.


Andrée (ahn-DRAY), a young girl saved from the violence of the mob and, later, hypnotized by Joseph Balsamo and forced to give information useful to his sinister purposes. She finally retires to a convent.

Baron de Taverney

Baron de Taverney (deh tah-vehr-NAY), Andrée’s impoverished father.


Philippe (fee-LEEP), Andrée’s brother.


Gilbert (zheel-BEHR), a young proletarian in love with Andrée, whom he has rescued from mob violence.

Louis XV

Louis XV (lwee), king of France.

Jean Jacques Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau (zhahn zhahk rew-SOH), the philosopher.

M. de Sartines

M. de Sartines (deh sahr-TEEN), the lieutenant of police.

The Duchess of Grammont

The Duchess of Grammont (grah-MOH[N]), M. de Choiseul’s sister.


Nicole (nee-KOHL), Andrée’s maid.


Marat (mah-RAH), a surgeon.