Author: John Cowper Powys
First published: 1929
Locale: Devon, England
Plot: Psychological realism
Time: Twentieth century
Wolf Solent, a history master hired by Squire Urquhart. Wolf returns to Ramsgard and meets Gerda Torp. Yielding to his animal nature, he seduces her, but he later makes her his wife. Forced by financial necessity to assist the squire on a pornographic project, Wolf is then forced by Gerda to cash a check for his degrading work with the squire. The existence of his spiritual love for Christie Malakite confuses his life, but this love refuses to become physical, and he remains with his wife.
Gerda Torp, Wolf's beautiful wife, still attractive to men. Gerda loses her loyalty to Wolf and has an affair with Bob Weevil when Wolf refuses to cash the check.
Christie Malakite, Wolf's spiritual mate. Unable to arouse physical love in Wolf, she moves away with Olwen after her father dies.
Squire Urquhart, the Ramsgard squire engaged in writing a history of all the salacious stories of Dorset.
Ann Solent, Wolf's mother.
Selena Gault, Wolf's father's former mistress.
Albert Smith, a hatter.
Mattie Smith, Wolf's illegitimate half sister, later Darnley's wife.
Olwen, the product of an incestuous relationship between Mr. Malakite and his oldest daughter.
Bob Weevil, Gerda's flashy young lover.
Mr. Torp, Gerda's father, a stonecutter.
Lob Torp, his son.
Darnley Otter, Wolf's friend and Mattie's husband.
Jason Otter, Darnley's brother, a poet.
Mr. Malakite, a bookseller, Christie's father.