Philip St-Just Backhouse

Display Name: 
Philip St-Just Backhouse
Sort Name: 
Backhouse, Philip St-Just
AKA: 
Philip St-Just Backus
Cousin Philip
Race: 
White
Gender: 
Male
Class: 
Upper Class
Rank: 
Secondary
Vitality: 
Alive
Occupation: 
Armed Forces
Specific Job: 
Confederate Officer
Date of Birth: 
Wednesday, January 1, 1840 to Thursday, December 31, 1840
Origin: 
Tennessee
Biography: 

"Cousin Philip," as Bayard usually refers to him in the narrative, is a 22-year-old "shavetail" (Lieutenant) in General Forrest's Confederate cavalry troop (694). He is born a "Backhouse" - a familiar term for a privy or outhouse - but explains why he cannot change the name by telling Granny and Bayard that the Backhouses include men who fought in both the Revolutionary and Mexican Wars, and who ran for Governor of Tennessee. The narrative presents him as both a genuinely heroic gentleman and a caricature of the typical hero of Civil War romances by authors not named Faulkner. Philip thinks the only way to escape the curse of his name is to die nobly in battle, but Granny devises a plan that lets him do that - and marry "that beautiful girl," Melisandre (678, etc. etc.). That marriage is what makes him Bayard's "Cousin" in this story, and in the larger Yoknapatawpha canon, an ancestor in turn of the woman Gavin Stevens marries in The Mansion (1960).

Individual or Group: 
Individual
Character changes class in this text: 
13712

Character