The Governess Narrator of the story, who is appointed as governess of Miles and Flora with the instructions that she never bother her employer, the children's uncle.
Flora and Miles The two children who, as orphans, are placed in the governess' charge by their uncle.
Mrs. Grose The housekeeper and confidante to the governess.
Peter Quint Former personal servant to the employer of the governess and familiar companion to Miles. He has been dead a year.
Miss Jessel The children's former governess, who died the year before.