Andrew Vanstone, a Victorian gentleman who lives a quiet life. When he is killed unexpectedly, it turns out that Mrs. Vanstone is his second wife of but a short time and that their two daughters are illegitimate. Because of legal technicalities, his fortune passes to a selfish, bad-tempered brother of Mr. Vanstone who refuses to share the inheritance with the Vanstone daughters.
Mrs. Vanstone, Andrew’s second wife, the mother of Norah and Magdalen. She dies of grief shortly after her husband is killed in a railway accident. They had been unable to marry until late in life because Andrew’s disreputable first wife was still alive.
Norah Vanstone, a quiet girl. Left poor at her father’s death, she supports herself as a governess. A sensitive girl, she has her feelings hurt by her fiancé’s inquiries about her. She is persistent and finally accomplishes quietly what her sister cannot accomplish by plotting and flamboyant means: She restores the family fortune.
Magdalen Vanstone, a headstrong, capable girl. Left penniless at her father’s death, she carves for herself a stage career. She marries her cousin Noel to regain the fortune lost by her illegitimacy, but her plots fail and she is still seemingly without the fortune. Eventually, her sister finds the documents that restore the...
(The entire section is 417 words.)