The novel’s prologue and epilogue, which bookend the main story, are set in the 1950s when Leo is “sixty-odd” years of age. The majority of the novel takes place in the summer of 1900, however… read analysis of Leo Colston
The beautiful daughter of the Maudsleys, Marian is a charming, funny, and impatient young woman. She initially treats Leo affectionately, taking him to Norwich to buy him some more suitable clothes for the summer. She… read analysis of Marian Maudsley
Ted is a working-class tenant farmer on the Brandham estate. He is physically imposing and has a reputation through the Hall and village as a ladies’ man. He also displays a tender side, taking care… read analysis of Ted Burgess
Lord Trimingham the Ninth Viscount / Hugh
Trimingham is the ninth Viscount and landlord of the Brandham Hall estate. He has just returned from service for the British Empire in the Boer War, in which he sustained an unsightly facial injury. Trimingham… read analysis of Lord Trimingham the Ninth Viscount / Hugh
Mrs. Maudsley is the hawkeyed matriarch of Brandham Hall. Most days, she dictates proceedings and is much more dominating than her husband, Mr. Maudsley. She prefers things to be ordered and structured, and is… read analysis of Mrs. Maudsley
Husband to Mrs. Maudsley and father to Marcus, Denys, and Marian, Mr. Maudsley is a quiet man and plays only a small role in the novel. He exemplifies the quintessentially English attribute… read analysis of Mr. Maudsley
Edward / Lord Trimingham the Eleventh Viscount
At the end of the novel, Leo encounters the grandson of Marian. His resemblance to Ted confirms that Marian’s child—that is, Edward’s parent—was not Hugh Trimingham, but rather Ted. This post-war Trimingham has… read analysis of Edward / Lord Trimingham the Eleventh Viscount
A single mother raising Leo in the wake of her husband’s death. Leo’s mother is protective of her son but allows him to wants to return home, she encourages her son to be patient, as… read analysis of Leo’s Mother
Denys is Marcus’ older brother. Though very class conscious and obedient to his mother, Mrs. Maudsley, he is an otherwise unremarkable young man who is swiftly put in his place whenever he tries to suggest anything of which his mother disapproves.
Marcus and Marian’s grandmother. The reader never meets her, but Marian uses Nannie Robson’s alleged forgetfulness as a cover for her secret meetings with Ted.