Second Best Characters

Second Best Character List


Frances is a girl of twenty-three, ‘the beauty and the clever child of the family’. After a long time she comes back home from Liverpool, and spends some time with her sister Anna. She tells Anna, that the boy, Jimmy Barras, she liked back at Liverpool, is already engaged to a different girl. As they walk together, Frances notices how indifferent she has suddenly become to the rest of the world, including her younger sister. Eventually, she decides to settle for Tom Smedley, the second best.


Anna is the younger of the two sisters. She is a girl of fourteen, ‘buxom and brimming with common sense’, who thinks of men as of ‘big dogs’. Anne adores her sister Frances.

Jimmy Barras

Jimmy Barras is a character that is only mentioned by the two girls. He is a snobby Doctor of Chemistry, and the man Frances is in love with. However, he engages to a different girl.

Tom Smedley

Tom is a young man, ‘of good humour and easiness’. He ‘is ready o lover Frances, as soon as she would show him’. Ultimately, Frances settles for him, as he is the second best.

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