Helen is Michael’s mother and the central protagonist. She gives birth to her illegitimate son, Michael, in secret and raises him as her “nephew” to conform with the standards of propriety in British Edwardian… read analysis of Helen Turrell
Michael is Helen Turrell’s son, whom she raises as her “nephew” to hide his illegitimacy and sidestep the scandal it would certainly cause. From a young age, Michael is anxious about the fact that… read analysis of Michael Turrell
Mrs. Scarsworth is a woman who Helen meets on the train to Hagenzeele when she is on her way to visit Michael’s grave. Mrs. Scarsworth tells Helen that she is traveling to the cemetery… read analysis of Mrs. Scarsworth
George Turrell is Helen’s brother, who at the outset of the story, has recently died in India of a fall from a horse. Helen concocts the story of Michael’s illegitimate birth around George… read analysis of George Turrell
Emma is Helen’s maid who dies before the end of the story and before Michael is killed in World War I. The story implies that Emma sometimes puts ideas in Michael’s head about his real parentage, about which Emma is fully informed.