A Faulkner Glossary
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post trader at the Chickasaw Agency in 1833, at which time they decided on
the name Jefferson. The name later
became Ratliff, as depicted in Requiem
for a Nun.
The great (or great great) grandmother of V. K. Ratliff,
referred to in The Mansion.
Ratliff, Vladimir Kyrlytch
(V. K.): A traveling salesman, based in Jefferson,
who sold mainly sewing machines, but also on occasion parlor organs, radios,
and televisions. He grew up on a farm his father rented from Anse
Holland, and was a neighbor of the Snopes
family. He had a partnership with a cousin (variously named Aaron
Rideout in The Hamlet and Grover
Cleveland Winbush in The Town) in a
sidestreet cafe in Jefferson, which he lost to Flem
Snopes. He lived with his sister and her family in Jefferson.
He was descended from a Russian mercenary in the British Army during the
American Revolution, who was sent to Virginia when Burgoyne surrendered at
Saratoga, escaped and was kept hidden by a girl named Nelly
Ratcliffe, on whom he fathered a child. No one knew his last name, but
his first and second were Vladimir Kyrilytch, and a son in each generation
bore those two names. The child was the Ratcliffe
who went to Mississippi at the time Samuel
Habersham, Louis Grenier, and
Alexander Holston did, and
was the ancestor of the sewing machine salesman, V. K. Ratliff. Ratliff
appears in "A Bear Hunt," The
Hamlet, The Town, and The
Mansion under that name. In Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust, As I Lay Dying, and
the stories "Lizards in Jamshyd’s
Courtyard" and "Centaur in
Brass," both later rewritten, he is called V. K. Suratt.
Faulkner changed the name to Ratliff because there was an actual person
Redmond, Benjamin J.:
Renfro: A town not
far from Jefferson from which Uncle
Willy Christian planned to make his getaway to California in "Uncle
Rider (Spoot): A
black, powerful, twenty-four-year-old head of a timber gang at a sawmill
near the McCaslin plantation in Go
Down, Moses. He was a tenant of Roth
Edmonds. He married Mannie and as
neighbor Lucas Beauchamp had
done forty-five years earlier he lit a fire on the hearth, but after only
six months, his wife died. Consumed with grief, he buried his wife himself,
then later went to work for a short while. He got drunk on moonshine liquor
and joined a dice game at the sawmill. When Birdsong,
the white night watchman, was caught cheating, Birdsong tried to draw his
pistol, but Rider slashed his throat with a razor. Rider's body was found
the next day hanging from the bell-rope in a black children's schoolhouse,
where he had been lynched by some of Birdsong's relatives.
of Aaron in The Hamlet.
Rideout, Aaron: A
cousin of V. K. Ratliff, described in The
Hamlet as his equal partner in the ownership of a restaurant in Jefferson.
[Rider's aunt]: Wife
of Uncle Alec and aunt to Rider,
whom she called "Spoot." She baked Rider a peach pie after his wife
died, and later, she tried to console him in his grief by telling him to
pray for guidance.
Ringo (Marengo): (September
1849- ) Son of Simon, grandson
of Joby, and roughly the same age as Bayard
Sartoris in The Unvanquished. He was
born a slave on John Sartoris'
plantation, but owing to his similar age to young Bayard (they nursed from
the same slave's breast), he and Bayard became constant companions. An
intelligent boy, he occupied a special position in the Sartoris household,
even being allowed to call Bayard's grandmother, Rosa
Millard, "Granny" like Bayard. As children, he and Bayard
played war games, and once nearly brought destruction upon themselves when
they shot a Union Army horse. In "Raid,"
he eagerly accompanied Rosa and Bayard to Hawkhurst,
a plantation in northwestern Alabama where Rosa's sister
lived, as an opportunity to see a railroad; he is disappointed when they
arrived and found the railroad had been destroyed by Union soldiers. During
the Civil War, he assisted Rosa a great deal in managing the war-ravaged
plantation, including the forgery of Union Army papers to steal livestock.
Later, he joined Bayard in seeking revenge on Grumby
for killing Rosa. When John Sartoris was killed by Redmond,
his business partner, he offered to help Bayard revenge his father's death
and was at first upset that Bayard let Redmond go unharmed. He appears also
in "My Grandmother Millard."
Charlotte (Mrs. Wilbourne)
Rivers, Lee: An
unpopular young man who had spent a year at Princeton acquiring culture and
sophistication in Soldiers' Pay. At Mrs.
Worthington's dance, he was persistent in his attempts to get Cecily
Saunders to dance with him.
Rivers, Miss Reba: The
owner of a brothel in Memphis in Sanctuary
and Requiem for a Nun, and perhaps
synonymous with the "Miss Reba" of The
Reivers. She appears also in The Town
and The Mansion.
Rob Roy: Thomas
Sutpen's black stallion in Absalom, Absalom!
and "Wash," which Sutpen rode north
in 1861 to fight in the Civil War. He mated with Penelope
(in Absalom, Absalom!) and/or Griselda
(in "Wash") to produce a colt born on
the morning Milly Jones gave birth
to Sutpen's daughter — the same day on which Sutpen, Milly, and the
newborn girl were killed by Milly's grandfather, Wash
Rogers, Deacon: A
cafe owner in Jefferson in Sartoris/Flags
in the Dust and The Sound and the Fury.
In the latter work, his cafe is where Earl
Roskus: See Gibson,
Roskus; McCaslin, Roskus.
Rowan Oak: The
antebellum home Faulkner bought and began to restore in 1930. Originally
built around 1844 by Colonel Robert Sheegog and later known as the "Old
Bailey Place," the house was dilapidated and badly in need of repairs
when Faulkner purchased it and four acres of land for $6,000. Over the
years, Faulkner added to his acreage to total 32 acres of pasture and forest
(known still today as "Bailey's Woods") and made numerous
improvements to the house and grounds. Faulkner named it "Rowan
Oak" after the legend of the Rowan tree mentioned in Sir James Frazer's
The Golden Bough, which is said to bestow good luck to its owner.
Today it is maintained as a museum open to visitors and operated by the
Department of English at the University of Mississippi. For more
information, visit the Rowan Oak page in this
Russell, Ab: A
farmer living near Jefferson, near
whose farm Miss Quentin
Compson and the carnival
worker hid from Jason Compson
in The Sound and the Fury. While Jason was
looking for her, they let the air out of his tires.