in Last Chronicle of Barset

Chapter 75 – Madalina’s Heart is Bleeding


A Latin adjective meaning “holy” or “sacred.”  In this context, it is used as a noun denoting the personal office space of Mr. Bangles into which Madalina Demolines intrudes.  Referring to Mr. Bangles’ office as his “sanctum” and describing how Madalina “penetrates” the sanctum conveys Trollope’s point of view that Madalina is not a character of pure or good intentions.  Also, “sanctum” referring to Mr. Bangles’ office is humorous.  This is perhaps because the nature of Mr. Bangles’ business involves cheap wines; it is not a refined business, nor is he a legitimate money lender and therefore his office is humorously described as a “sanctum.”  [AM 2006]


Aeneas and quorum pars magna fui

The narrator states that Lady Madalina “told her tale somewhat after the manner of Aeneas.” This allusion to Aeneas refers to book 2 in Vergil’s Aeneid when Aeneas tells the story of his flight from Troy to Queen Dido.  In his narration, Aeneas speaks of how he played a large part in the events following the destruction of Troy.  In Aeneas’ method of storytelling, Aeneas emphasizes his own role.  Lady Madalina, telling John Eames of the events surrounding Dobbs Broughton, presents the story in a self-centered fashion in which she emphasizes how she was involved in the events of the affair.  The Latin quotation is from Vergil’s Aeneid and means, “of which I have been a large part.”  Trollope uses this Latin phrase sarcastically to convey the self-centeredness with which Lady Madalina conveys the story of Dobbs Broughton to John Eames.  The use of the Latin phrase also conveys the overly dramatic nature in which Lady Madalina recounts her role in the story.  In this way, Lady Madalina seems to cast herself into a type of epic, thus demonstrating a personality that is given to dramatics.  [AM 2006]

Sources:  Vergil, Aeneid 2.5-6.



Madalina uses this word to refer to Lily Dale, John Eames’ long-time lady-love.  She could be equating Lily Dale with the goddess Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.  It would be appropriate to associate Lily Dale with Aphrodite because Lily Dale represents love and beauty to John Eames.  Madalina could also be using this word sarcastically, knowing that it would irritate John Eames.  [AM 2006]