Mrs Lyons is a rich woman whose husband is always away on business. She is infertile so when she discovers that her maid, Mrs. Johnstone, is pregnant with twins. She convinces her to give one of the boys away, and then makes her swear on the bible, in order to scare Mrs. Johnstone into keeping her word, saying that twins who are separated and reunite will die. Mrs. Lyons adopts Edward as her own child, and raises him as a wealthy, upper-class boy.
(Act 1 The first introduced to Mrs Lyons, she comes off as caring and considerate): ‘Hello, Mrs Johnstone, how are you? Is the job working out all right for you?’
(Act 1 Mrs Lyons is oblivious to the situation of those in lower classes): ‘It’s a pretty house, isn’t it? It’s a pity I’m finding it rather large at the moment’
(Act 1 Mrs Lyons is manipulative and exploits Mrs Johnstone’s situation): ‘Already you’re being threatened by the welfare people. Mrs Johnstone, with two more children how can you possibly avoid some of them being put into care?’
(Act 1 Mrs Lyons is irrational and controlling): ‘I don’t want [Mrs Johnstone] to hold the baby’ or ‘If he needs picking up, I shall pick him up. All right?’
(Act 1 Here Mrs Lyons shows her true colours): ‘You see, you see why I don’t want you mixing with boys like that… you are not like them. You are my son, mine..’
(Mrs Lyons’ actions in Act 2 develop her character, said to Mrs Johnstone): ‘you have ruined me’