Roman Fever


Edith Wharton

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Alida Slade

A confident and charming middle-aged socialite. While visiting Rome in the company of her daughter, Jenny, she encounters her old friend, Grace Ansley, who is traveling with her daughter, Barbara. Mrs. Slade’s… read analysis of Alida Slade

Grace Ansley

A middle-aged socialite, Mrs. Ansley is the widow of Horace Ansley and lifelong friend of Alida Slade. Mrs. Ansley appears at first to be Mrs. Slade’s opposite: reserved and self-effacing where Mrs. Slade is… read analysis of Grace Ansley

Delphin Slade

Mrs. Slade's late husband and Jenny Slade's father, who during his life was a corporation lawyer and, according to Mrs. Slade, a celebrity in New York society. During their marriage, Mrs. Slade acted… read analysis of Delphin Slade

Barbara Ansley

The daughter of Mrs. Ansley, also called “Babs.” Her effervescent personality and slightly irreverent behavior inspire envy in Mrs. Slade, who sees herself as being similarly socially gifted and wishes that her own… read analysis of Barbara Ansley

Jenny Slade

Mrs. Slade's daughter and only surviving child. She is prudent, respectful of her mother, and beautiful. However, she lacks the “brilliant” qualities—the sparkling personality—that Mrs. Slade had hoped for in a daughter. Mrs. Slade… read analysis of Jenny Slade
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Horace Ansley

Mrs. Ansley’s late husband, whom she married just two months after her encounter with Delphin Slade at the Colosseum. After Mrs. Ansley reveals that Delphin is the true father of Barbara, her daughter, it becomes… read analysis of Horace Ansley

Great-Aunt Harriet

The “wicked” great-aunt of Mrs. Ansley who, according to family lore, sent her sister out on a nighttime errand during an outbreak of Roman Fever. Harriet had hoped her sister would sicken and die… read analysis of Great-Aunt Harriet