Clym (Clement) Yeobright A young man of about thirty who gives up a business career in Paris to return to his native Egdon Heath to become a "schoolmaster to the poor and ignorant."
Eustacia Vye A young woman of nineteen who is frustrated by life on the heath, longs to escape it in order to lead the more adventure-filled life of the world.
Mrs. Yeobright Clym's mother, a widow of inflexible standards.
Thomasin (Tamsin) Yeobright Clym's cousin and Mrs. Yeobright's niece, a young girl of gentle ways and conventional expectations.
Damon Wildeve An ex-engineer who is keeper of the Quiet Woman Inn, a man with an appetite for women.
Diggory Venn A resourceful man of twenty-four and a reddleman (a traveling seller of reddle, red chalk used for marking sheep).
Captain Vye Eustacia's grandfather and a former sailor.
Timothy Fairway A pompous, sententious man of middle age who is greatly respected by the other heath folk.
Grandfer Cantle A somewhat senile and always lively ex-soldier of about sixty-nine.
Christian Cantle Grandfer Cantle's fearful and timid thirty-one-year-old son.
Humphrey A furze cutter (furze is a low, prickly shrub).
Sam A turf cutter.
Susan Nunsuch A woman who suspects that Eustacia is a witch who has cast evil spells on her son.
Johnny Nunsuch Susan's son, a young boy.
Olly Dowden A besom (heath broom) maker.
Charley A sixteen-year-old boy who works for Captain Vye and who admires Eustacia, largely from afar.