Mrs. Rouncewell

Character Key Number: 
Display Name: 
Mrs. Rouncewell
Sort Name: 
Rouncewell, Mrs.
Ever Present in Yoknapatawpha?: 

In The Town, as the florist in Jefferson, "Mrs Rouncewell" gives her name to a memorable event in Jefferson history, the "Mrs Rouncewell panic" (81). This ensues when her shop runs out of flowers before a major dance. "She ran the flower shop; not . . . because she loved flowers nor even because she loved money but because she loved funerals; she had buried two husbands herself and took the second one's insurance and opened the flower shop and furnished the flowers for every funeral in Jefferson since" (73). In the next novel in the Snopes trilogy, The Mansion, Mrs. Rouncewell runs the boarding house where Flem Snopes lives for a while. She calls it "the Commercial Hotel" (143). In that novel she may also be the mother of the Rouncewell boy who discovers the robbers in Willy Christian's drug store, but that is not made clear. "Rouncewell" is also the name of another boarding house, in "Tomorrow," and a Jefferson store, in "Go Down, Moses" and again in Go Down, Moses. It seems likely that this character, or at least others in her immediate family, are connected to these locations.