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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 464

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Ronald Winslow is a boy of about fourteen who is a student at the Royal Naval College at Osborne. He's accused and convicted of stealing a five-shilling postal note from his friend and expelled. He returns home and maintains his innocence. He's a hard worker and known for being a serious student. He goes by Ronnie.

Violet is a servant at the Winslow home. She's been working there since she was fourteen and left the orphanage to take the job. Arthur says she performs her job with certain marked eccentricities because she never knew exactly how to be a parlourmaid. She's excited to see Ronnie when he arrives home and experiences the same ups and downs as the Winslow family during the ordeal.

Arthur Winslow is the father of the Winslow family. He's about sixty and described as having "a rather deliberately cultured patriarchal air." He loves his family and believes in his son's innocence. He is willing to use all of their resources to clear Ronnie's name for a long time. When Catherine's engagement is threatened, he decides he wants to stop the case. However, they push forward in the attempt to clear the Winslow name even though his health and the family's finances deteriorate. Arthur uses a walking stick.

Grace Winslow is Arthur's wife. She's about ten years younger than him and described as having "the faded remnants of prettiness." She's a kind and caring woman who nonetheless is frustrated with Arthur's continuing pursuit of Ronnie's case.

Catherine Winslow is the daughter of the Winslow family. She's almost thirty and said to have a masculinity that can be contrasted with Grace's femininity. She fights for women's suffrage and is very outspoken about it. At the beginning of the story, she becomes engaged to John. However, she's willing to give up that relationship when he threatens to leave her unless she ends the fight to clear Ronnie.

Dickie Winslow is the son of the Winslow family. He's cheerful and noisy. He's an undergraduate student at Oxford. He has to withdraw before finishing because the Winslow family can't afford to pursue Ronnie's case and keep him in school.

John Waterstone becomes Catherine's fiance at the beginning of the play. When his father threatens his inheritance because of his association with her and the Winslow case, he ends the engagement. By the end, he is married to a different woman.

Sir Robert Morton is a lawyer who argues cases before the court. He agrees to take the Winslow case. He's known for being a very desirable and effective lawyer; people are surprised that he's taking the Winslow case. He and Catherine are at odds because of his opinion on women's suffrage. He wins the case but has to give up a promotion to do so.


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