The Spoils of Poynton Characters

Henry James

Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Mrs. Gereth

Mrs. Gereth, the mistress of Poynton. During her husband’s lifetime, she and Mr. Gereth had filled Poynton with carefully chosen, exquisite furnishings that had made her beloved house a place of beauty and charm. Apprehensive over the fate of her cherished objects in the hands of Poynton’s heir, her insensitive son Owen, she attempts to manipulate his relationships to guarantee the preservation of the estate and its contents as they are, only to see the house and furnishings finally consumed by fire.

Owen Gereth

Owen Gereth, Mrs. Gereth’s son and the heir to Poynton. Insensitive to the real beauty of Poynton but loving it as his home, he is torn, abetted by his mother’s manipulations, between Mona Brigstock, who desires the house for the value of its contents, and Fleda Vetch, who loves it for its beauty. He marries Mona and loses Poynton in a fire.

Mona Brigstock

Mona Brigstock, Owen Gereth’s fiancée and later his wife. Although she fails to appreciate Poynton’s beauty, she is fully aware of the value of its contents. Finally, triumphant over the manipulations of Mrs. Gereth, she marries Owen shortly before Poynton and its contents are lost in a fire.

Fleda Vetch

Fleda Vetch, Mrs. Gereth’s companion. Loving Poynton for the beauty of the place, she is chosen by Mrs. Gereth as a suitable wife for her son Owen, the heir to Poynton. Fleda falls in love with Owen but loses him to Mona Brigstock.