Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Phineas Finn

Phineas Finn (FIHN-ee-uhs), a young man retired from politics. After the death of his wife, he is invited back to resume his political career. Threatened by false charges of adultery and murder, he is cleared of the charges through the efforts of his loyal friends, is overwhelmingly elected, and becomes the hero of the hour. Deeply in love with Madame Marie Goesler, he marries her and, with her fortune, is able to act independently of his party when the occasion demands.

Madame Marie Max Goesler

Madame Marie Max Goesler, a wealthy young widow long in love with Phineas Finn. Through her efforts, he is cleared of the charge of murder, and later he marries her.

Lady Laura Kennedy

Lady Laura Kennedy, Mr. Kennedy’s estranged wife, long in love with Phineas Finn.

Mr. Kennedy

Mr. Kennedy, Lady Laura Kennedy’s deranged husband, who falsely accuses Phineas Finn of adultery with her.

Lord Chiltern

Lord Chiltern and

Violet Chiltern

Violet Chiltern,

Adelaid Palliser

Adelaid Palliser (AD-ehl-ayd), the niece of the duke of Omnium, and

Mr. Maule

Mr. Maule, lovers whose lack of fortune prevents their union. The marriage is finally made possible by Madame Goesler’s gift of the fortune left her by the duke of Omnium.

The Duke of Omnium

The Duke of Omnium, a friend of Madame Goesler, to whom he leaves a handsome fortune.

Lady Glencora

Lady Glencora, later The Duchess of Omnium, the duke of Omnium’s niece and a loyal friend of Phineas Finn.

Quintus Slide

Quintus Slide, a scandal-mongering journalist who makes public the false accusation of adultery against Phineas Finn.

Mr. Bonteen

Mr. Bonteen, a conniving politician of whose murder Phineas Finn is falsely accused.


Spooner, an uncouth fox hunter and a rejected suitor of Adelaid Palliser.


Mealyus (Emilius), the real murderer of Mr. Bonteen.