in Last Chronicle of Barset

Chapter 04 – The Clergyman’s House at Hogglestock


In Latin this word refers to the male head of a household, and it was borrowed into English with the same meaning in 1475.  [EB 2006]

Trollope describes how Crawley does not use his desk as it was intended–that is, as a private and secure repository for a head of household.  Instead, Crawley’s desk is left open and covered with texts.  Crawley’s use of the desk perhaps illustrates his general difference from expected norms.  Though he is very much respected in his house, he is not a traditional paterfamilias.  [RR 2011]

Sources:  OED.


Two odd volumes of Euripides…and there were Caesar’s “Commentaries”

This lengthy list of Classical literature describes the well-used books that cover Mr. Crawley’s desk.  Crawley’s love of Classical literature and language is a significant part of his character and is mentioned throughout the novel.  The fact that Crawley and his daughters are well-versed in Classics is constantly portrayed by Trollope as a credit to their characters.  Their education also establishes them as a family of gentle birth, despite their poverty.  The descriptions of Mr. Crawley’s extensive knowledge continue as Trollope notes that his copies of Classical literature appeared to have been given the “most frequent use.”  Crawley is also described as having translated English poetry into Greek.  [EB 2006]