Rouncewell's Boarding House|Commercial Hotel (Location Key)


This is one of several boarding houses in Jefferson that appear in different texts. In Faulkner's last book, The Reivers, he calls it the Commercial Hotel, locates it "across town from the Holston House" - a higher class establishment (25), and provides it with a very colorful history. In 1905, when the main events of the novel take place, it's where Boon Hogganbeck lives along with jurors in town for trials and "horse- and mule-traders" (25). In subsequent eras it becomes "the Snopes Hotel," then, for a brief but presumably flamboyant time, it's known to "the police as Little Chicago," and still later to the town as "Mrs. Rouncewell's boarding house," which is apparently what it is still called at the time the story is being told, around 1961 (25-6). In his previous novel, The Mansion, Faulkner describes it as an "unpainted two-storey building on a back street" (35) that Mrs. Rouncewell herself "calls the Commercial Hotel" while "all the rest of Yoknapatawpha County" calls it "the Rouncewell boarding house" (143). In this text Flem Snopes owns it after her. In "Tomorrow," the short story that is the first text to mention it, its is simply Mrs. Rouncewell's boarding house, though being used in the narrative as a place for the jury in the Bookwright trial to deliberate, since it's where they are staying. (See also the entry for Snopes Hotel|Jefferson Hotel, which Faulkner may or, more probably, more not have imagined as the same establishment.)

Display Name: 
Rouncewell's Boarding House|Commercial Hotel
Sort Name: 
Rouncewell's Boarding House|Commercial Hotel