JOHN DASHWOOD - A serious and somewhat conceited man in his early 30s, he likes to think well of himself, and is devoted to his wife, Fanny. Son to Mr Dashwood; half-brother to Elinor and Marianne.
MR. DASHWOOD - A loving and careful man, now ‘old’ and frail in his 50s. Husband to Mrs Dashwood; father to John Dashwood by his first marriage, and to Elinor and Marianne by his second.
ELINOR DASHWOOD - Sensible, loving, and conscientious, at 21, Elinor is steadfast in her affections, and commited to doing her duty. Daughter of Mr and Mrs Dashwood, sister to Marianne, and half-sister to John.
MARIANNE DASHWOOD - Headstrong, affectionate, and impetuous, at 17, Marianne is convinced she knows everything about love, nature, and beauty. Daughter of Mr and Mrs Dashwood, sister to Elinor, and half-sister to John.
MRS. DASHWOOD - A warm-hearted and optimistic woman. At 40, she can still be as romantic and impetuous as Marianne. Mother to Elinor and Marianne; stepmother to John.
FANNY DASHWOOD - A narrow and determined woman in her late 20s, cool and elegant in her manner, passionate in her love of her family, and unyielding in her ambition for them.
EDWARD FERRARS - A diffident, sensitive man in his mid-20s, he is shy in company, but can be warm, affectionate, and even witty, on closer aquaintance.
SIR JOHN MIDDLETON - A friendly, hospitable man in his late 30s, he is gregarious and generous; he has few interests beyond gathering around him as many lively young people as possible. Mrs Jennings’ son-in-law (his wife is pregnant, and we do not see her).
MRS. JENNINGS - A warm-hearted, tactless woman in her late 40s, she is widely described as vulgar, but is not ashamed of her humble social background, and is pleased to be rich because it enables her to share her fortune with others. Mother-in-law to Sir John.
COLONEL BRANDON - A gentleman, aged 35. In Elinor’s words, he is ‘a sensible man, well-bred, well-informed, of gentle address, and possessing an amiable heart’.
JOHN WILLOUGHBY - A gentleman in his early 20s. Passionate, charming, wilful, affectionate, and selfish.
LUCY STEELE - In her early 20s, Lucy is, in Mrs Jennings’ words, ‘monstrous pretty’, and she uses this to her advantage. She is conniving and manipulative; she is also impoverished, with only her charms to rely on, and determined to marry well, at any cost.