Mrs. John Sartoris

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Mrs. John Sartoris
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Sartoris, Mrs. John
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Colonel John Sartoris' wife and (Old) Bayard's mother is a very elusive figure. In the Unvanquished series it emerges that her maiden name was Millard, and it can be assumed that she originally came from Memphis (where Rosa Millard and her husband lived before the Civil War). In "My Grandmother Millard" Bayard notes that Cousin Melisandre is married in the same wedding dress that both her grandmother and mother wore at their weddings, and says that "Mother wasn't much older than Cousin Melisandre even when she died" - and Melisandre is a very young woman (698-99). In The Unvanquished Bayard says that that death took place "when I was born," but in Flags in the Dust, the other novel in which Mrs. John Sartoris is mentioned, it is clear that Bayard has a younger sister. The only time Mrs. Sartoris appears in the fictions occurs very fleetingly in that novel, in Simon's account of Bayard's birth, when all the slaves from the quarters came up to the big house to wish "Mistis en de little marster well" (392).