Vladimir Kyrilytch Ratcliffe I

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Vladimir Kyrilytch Ratcliffe I
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Ratcliffe, Vladimir Kyrilytch I
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In The Town, this is the first member of the Ratcliffe|Ratliff family in the U.S. Eula Snopes calls him V.K. Ratliff's "six or eight or ten times grandfather"(338) - but that's exaggerated. Originally from Russia, he arrives in the new world during the Revolution as an ensign in the British army. After being captured, he escapes and is rescued by "a woman of course, a girl, that hid him and fed him" (338). He marries and takes the last name of the woman who saved him: Nelly Ratcliffe. After the Revolution he becomes "a Virginia farmer" (338). His name and patronymic - "Vladimir Kyrilytch" - become traditional for successive generations of males in the family, though over time his last name morphs int o "Ratliff." The V.K. Ratliff, who appears in 10 fictions as one of Faulkner's favorite characters (in the first two as V.K. Suratt) hides the family's foreign origins by using only those two initials - but his name, as he admitted to Eula, is Vladimir Kyrilytch too. His story is retold in The Mansion.