in Bertrams

Chapter 32 – He Tries His Hand Again


Miss Todd has left Sir Lionel after rejecting his proposal, and she feels a sense of “triumph.”  Triumph, in the Classical sense, connotes the large observances of military success in Rome.  Trollope invokes this sense of “triumph” to elevate the feeling of success that Miss Told has.  There is humor at play, as well:  the public spectacle of a Roman triumph contrasts with Miss Todd’s more private “triumph at her heart,” and her domestic victory is achieved over a Sir Lionel, himself a military man.  Despite success in his occupation, Sir Lionel is beaten by Miss Todd.  [KS & RR 2012]


Littlebath Galen

When Miss Todd visits Miss Baker and Penelope Gauntlet, she has them guess what has just happened to her.  Miss Gauntlet suggests that perhaps she has been with “the doctor.”  By “doctor” Miss Gauntlet means Dr. Snort, a celebrated Littlebath clergyman; Trollope clarifies by differentiating between the minister and “the Littlebath Galen,” i.e., a medical doctor.  Galen was a prominent physician in Rome in the 2nd c. CE, and he acted as court physician during Marcus Aurelius’ reign.  As with the reference to the Littlebath Lucretias in Chapter 29, Trollope playfully juxtaposes significant Roman figures with the inhabitants of Littlebath.  [KS & RR 2012]

Source:  OCD.