in Claverings

Chapter 44 – Showing What Happened off Heligoland

to admit that her Apollo had been altogether godlike

Florence compares Harry Clavering, who has just become heir to Clavering Park, to the Greek sun god Apollo.  She has forgiven and completely forgotten all Harry’s sins concerning herself and Lady Ongar.  Her brother Theodore can forgive but not forget Harry’s conduct, which was duplicitous and certainly did not fit his definition of “godlike.”  Florence, like the other women in Harry’s life, idealizes him and places him on a pedestal as one would a god.  She can see no wrong in him or his behavior at all until she has no choice but to acknowledge it, and even after she does so, she accepts Harry back with open arms as soon as he apologizes to her.  Trollope, Theodore Burton, and the reader, however, can see the error of Harry’s past ways, and do not hold him as quite so high above everyone else as the women do.  [SH 2012]


better part of me

Harry refers to Florence as the “better part” of himself.  At the end of his Metamorphoses Ovid refers to his soul as the “better part of myself,” and in the preface to book 1 of  his Natural Questions Seneca calls the soul or mind “the better part of us.”  Harry’s formulation identifies his future wife as the more prudent, thoughtful part of himself.  [RR 2013]

Source:  Ovid, Metamorphoses 15.875.
Seneca, Natural Questions preface to book 1 section 14.