Precious Bane Characters

  • Last updated on December 10, 2021

Author: Mary Webb

First published: 1924

Genre: Novel

Locale: England

Plot: Regional

Time: Mid-nineteenth century

Prudence (Prue) Sarn, the narrator of the story. Having been cursed from birth by a harelip that mars her appearance, Prue is exceptionally sensitive to the feelings of others. She agrees to work like an animal for her brother because he promises to give her the money to have her lip cured. When all his plans fail, she leaves the farm and is subsequently accused of being a witch by the village people. She is saved from their wrath by the local weaver, whom she has loved secretly for several years.

Gideon Sarn, Prue's brother. Driven by a desire to get rich, he works everyone on the farm, including himself, like an animal. Although genuinely in love with Jancis Beguildy, he will not marry her until he has made his fortune. After her father ruins his harvest, he turns her away and degenerates to the point of murdering his own mother and finally committing suicide.

Jancis Beguildy, a childhood friend of Prue and Gideon. She wants to marry Gideon and does bear him a son. When he will have nothing more to do with her, she drowns herself and the baby.

Wizard Beguildy, Jancis'father, supposed to be able to work spells and charms. He vows that his daughter can never marry Gideon and then sets fire to Gideon's harvest to keep them apart.

Mrs. Beguildy, Jancis' mother. She approves of the planned marriage between her daughter and Gideon and tries to trick her husband into leaving home so that the wedding can take place.

Mrs. Sarn, the mother of Gideon and Prue. She is physically very weak and deathly afraid of her son, who poisons her when she can no longer work.

Kester Woodseaves, a weaver. He marries Prue after rescuing her from water torture inflicted by the villagers, who consider her a witch.

Mr. and Mrs. Grimble, Jancis' employers.

Categories: Characters