The Turn of the Screw


Henry James

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The Turn of the Screw Characters

The Governess

The book’s protagonist and main narrator, the governess is the young woman who has been assigned to take care of the education and supervision of Miles and Flora at their uncle’s country estate, Bly. Born… read analysis of The Governess

Mrs. Grose

The governess’s key confidante throughout the story, Mrs. Grose is a longtime servant at Bly. She has known the children for much longer than the governess, and her love for the two causes her occasionally… read analysis of Mrs. Grose


The ten year-old boy for whom the governess isresponsible,Miles is a precocious and charming “young gentleman”. When the governess arrived at Bly, she received a letter saying that Miles had been expelled from his school… read analysis of Miles


The eight year-old girl for whom the governess is responsible, Flora is a beautiful and pleasant young girl. At first, the governess speaks highly of Flora’s charmingly childish grace and innocence. Eventually, though, the governess… read analysis of Flora

The uncle

The children’s uncle—the man who hired the governess—is a wealthy resident of London who became the guardian of Flora and Miles when his brother, their father, died. After facing difficulties raising the two children… read analysis of The uncle
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Peter Quint

Formerly the valet at Bly, Quint is the first ghost the governess encounters at the estate. According to Mrs. Grose, he was something of a scoundrel while alive, and apparently a bad influence on… read analysis of Peter Quint

Miss Jessel

The children’s deceased governess, Miss Jessel is the second ghost the governess encounters at Bly. Mrs. Grose says that Miss Jessel had been a lady (she had a good upbringing, and dressed well) and she… read analysis of Miss Jessel


The man who follows Griffin’s story by adding a “turn of the screw” to Griffin’s shocking story when he reads the governess’s manuscript to the partygoers, a story that involves two ghosts and two children.The… read analysis of Douglas
Minor Characters
The servant who was supposed to deliver the governess’s letter to the children’s uncle.
Unnamed Narrator
The man who, at the beginning of the book, describes the Christmas Eve storytelling party at which the governess’ account of her time at Bly eventually is told.
The storyteller at the Christmas Eve party who tells a story about a ghost’s visitation to a young boy, a ghost story that—because of the presence of a child in the narrative—appalls and shocks the partygoers.
Mrs. Griffin
The member of the storytelling party who concludes that Douglas had likely been in love withthe governess.