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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 297

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Characters Discussed

Tom Wilcher

Tom Wilcher, the dying owner of Tolbrook Manor, the last representative of the old West County liberal and religious tradition. He is concerned about the future of his family, his property, and his convictions. Tom had sacrificed a religious career to handle the family affairs and, although a liberal, he has grown to revere the political and religious values of the past. As he views the unhappy lives of his family, he determines to marry Sara Monday, his ideal of the old, humane, settled life. She also fails him, however, and he returns home and dies.

Ann Wilcher

Ann Wilcher, Tom’s niece, a modern, emancipated young doctor. She treats Tom in his last illness.

Robert Brown

Robert Brown, Tom’s nephew and Ann’s husband. A scientific farmer, he represents a return to the soil. He rejects Ann for Molly, but the three are reunited in one household.

Sara Monday

Sara Monday, Tom’s old housekeeper, jailed by Tom’s family for stealing unused articles. She rejects the ideals for which Tom cherishes her.

Edward Wilcher

Edward Wilcher, Tom’s brother and Ann’s father, a politician.

Lucy Wilcher

Lucy Wilcher, Tom’s wild sister and Robert’s mother.

Puggy Brown

Puggy Brown, Lucy’s adulterous husband, a hypocritical Benjamite preacher.

Julie Eeles

Julie Eeles, an actress, Edward’s mistress and later Tom’s mistress.

Bill Wilcher

Bill Wilcher, Tom’s settled brother, a military man.

Amy Sprott

Amy Sprott, Bill’s devoted wife.

Loftus Wilcher

Loftus Wilcher, their son.

John Wilcher

John Wilcher, another son. Disillusioned by World War I, he has lost his concern for religious and family life, and he lives indifferently until killed by an automobile.


Fred, Sara’s latest man.


Molly, a young farm girl.