in Last Chronicle of Barset

Chapter 51 – Mrs. Dobbs Broughton Piles her Faggots

Not an elysium

Mrs. Broughton is described as being aware that her marriage and material comfort have not created an “elysium” for her.  Elysium, in Classical mythology, is the beautiful realm of the Underworld in which the fortunate were able to spend a happy afterlife.  [EB 2006]


Something of an elysium might yet be created

The allusion to elysium continues as Mrs. Broughton is said to have once thought that her flirtation with Conway Dalrymple might have added something to her life that might make it an “elysium.”  [EB 2006]


Did very little towards providing the necessary elysium

Trollope continues the previous references, describing how Mrs. Broughton feels that her husband’s unromantic nature has contributed to her sense that her “elysium” is lacking.  [EB 2006]


The lists of Cupid

Conway is described as viewing the staged romance that Mrs. Broughton seeks as a “mock tournament.”  The reference to Cupid that is part of this description is fitting, since Cupid’s arrows caused love rather than physical wounds, just as this “tournament” employs “blunted swords and half-severed lances.”  [EB 2006]


Had not some god saved him

Conway Dalrymple is “saved” by Clara Van Siever’s interruption of his conversation with Mrs. Broughton; it is as if some god had sent Clara to them none too soon.  This is reminiscent of the situation in Horace’s Satires 1.9, in which the speaker is similarly saved from an irritating conversation by Apollo, who sends someone to interrupt.  [EB & RR 2006]

Sources:  Horace, Satire 1.9.74-78.