Benbow House (Location Key)


In Flags in the Dust the ancestral home where Horace and Narcissa live is one of the oldest houses in one of the town's oldest and most aristocratic neighborhoods. It was built in the 1840s by an English architect in what the narrator calls "the funereal light tudor which the young Victoria had sanctioned" (163). It is set well back from the street, with extensive, well-landscaped front grounds. To Horace Benbow, seeing it for the first time after experiencing the Great War in France, the house expresses "the meaning of peace" (163). After Horace and Narcissa move out, the grounds begin to be overgrown, but in Sanctuary Horace still defends the place as a kind of refuge, trying unsuccessfully to make sure Clarence Snopes (an embodiment of the newer venal South) doesn't get inside. Interestingly, even in Flags the quasi-obscene letters that another Snopes, Bryon, writes Narcissa do get into the house - as Bryon himself does, illegally, one night.