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Nancy Rufford - Also known as "the Girl," Nancy Rufford becomes the ward of Leonora and Edward after her mother abandons her and her father leaves for India.Having been educated in a convent school with nuns, Nancy remains very naive and unworldly.Jimmy - A cabin boy who travels with the Hurlbirdson their trip around the world, Jimmy becomes Florence's first lover.Jimmy is of a much lower class than either the Hurlbirds or the Dowellsand he continues his affair with Florence by lying to Dowell about Florence's heart condition.

Leonora Powys Ashburnham - Described as a "sheer individualist," Leonora cares deeply that her affairs are in order and that the Ashburnham family maintains every ounce of propriety.

She is economical, practical, and efficient with matters of money.

Though she has the capacity to be deeply in love with her husband, Edward, she is also easily hurt by him.

John Dowell - The novel's narrator, John Dowell is the reader's only guide through the twisted story of the thirteen years the couple spent in France.

He is a naïve man, quickly taken in by appearances, and easily cuckolded by his wife* He tells the disjointed story of his own gradual understanding of what has occurred.

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