Emily Habersham

Character Key Number: 
Display Name: 
Emily Habersham
Sort Name: 
Habersham, Emily
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

In the Vintage International edition of The Town that we use as our source text, "Miss Emily Habersham" arranges for Bryon Snopes' children to travel "back home, to Byron Snopes or the reservation or wherever it was" (389). She may be some kind of social worker, but that is not clearly suggested. It has to be acknowledged that she probably exists as a 'character' only because in 1999 Noel Polk derived his 'Corrected Text' of The Town from the ribbon typescript in the Faulkner Foundation Collection at the University of Virginia. In the fall of 1956, when Saxe Commins, Faulkner's editor at Random House, read the page proofs of the novel (also in the UVA Library), he suspected that Miss Habersham's first name was a mistake on Faulkner's part: on the page where she appears he queried the author, "Isn't this Miss Eunice, the direct-action lady of Intruder? Also mentioned on p. 71 of Town." (Eunice's name appears on pages 74 and 124 of the Vintage text.) In response, Faulkner circled "Eunice" and wrote "Yes." Accordingly, in all the editions Random House published prior to Polk's, it is Eunice Habersham who helps get those children "back home" - and there is no character named Emily Habersham. (To complicate things still further: in our index, Eunice Habersham appears in the entry for Belle Worsham|Eunice Habersham - where we explain why we decided to treat these women as one character.)

Linked Characters