in Last Chronicle of Barset

Chapter 01 – How Did He Get It?

Festering wounds

The “festering wounds” of Mr. Crawley are caused by the letters he received from Bishop Proudie urging him to pay his debts to the butcher.  “Festering wounds” may recall the festering and incurable wound which the character Philoctetes in Sophocles’ Philoctetes has received and which has caused him to be deserted by his comrades on a deserted island.  Like Philoctetes, Mr. Crawley is socially isolated from his peers and suffers greatly from this isolation.  Perhaps there is a link between Philoctetes and Mr. Crawley because both characters believe that their suffering is unjust.  [AM 2006]


Jane…passed her life between her mother’s work table and her father’s Greek…for Mr. Crawley in his early days had been a ripe scholar

Mr. Crawley teaches his youngest daughter Jane to translate Greek and scan Greek iambic poetry.  The narrator remarks that Mr. Crawley is quite a scholar because he has the aptitude not only to read Greek literature and poetry himself but also to teach Greek to others.  In learning Greek Jane is more educated than most of the women of her time.  [AM 2006]