An enigmatic acquaintance of Coverdale’s in Boston, Moodie is Zenobia and Priscilla’s father. He is a peculiar old man who has a habit of never looking at anyone head on. He stays in the shadows as much as possible and nobody is quite sure what his personal history is. This is particularly odd because Moodie’s job as a peddler forces him to be out and about in the public eye. After Coverdale discovers that Moodie is somehow connected to both Priscilla and Zenobia, he gets Moodie drunk and Moodie tells a story about a man named Fauntleroy, which is presumably Moodie’s real name. In the story, Fauntleroy was a conceited and materialistic man who was married with a daughter (implied to be Zenobia). However, after losing everything to debtors, Fauntleroy’s wife died of shame and he fled his former life, leaving Zenobia with his brother. After this, Fauntleroy changed his ways. He married again and had another daughter, Priscilla, who—unlike Zenobia—grew up with her father, but with none of his wealth. Moodie (presumed to be the identity Fauntleroy assumed after fleeing his old life) seems stalked by shame—so much so that he becomes a person who literally lives in the shadows, not wanting anyone to know about his past failings. Hawthorne ultimately reveals that Moodie sent Priscilla to Blithedale so she could bond with Zenobia, as Moodie wanted the sisters (who had never met) to have a relationship. Moodie seems to see in Zenobia an echo of his old self; she is flamboyant, wealthy, and confident, just as he once was.
Mr. Moodie / Fauntleroy Character Timeline in The Blithedale Romance
The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Moodie / Fauntleroy appears in The Blithedale Romance. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1: Old Moodie
Chapter 10: A Visitor from Town
...anything about his history, although it must be interesting. When he gets closer, Hollingsworth greets Moodie and offers him some bread and cheese. Moodie seats himself so he’s mostly obscured by... (full context)
...saying that surely Coverdale has already figured out that Priscilla makes the purses. Hollingsworth tells Moodie it’s good that he’s come to visit Priscilla—she’s grown lively and beautiful since coming to... (full context)
Chapter 18: The Boarding-house
...city streets). When Zenobia reappears, Westervelt is behind her. It seems to Coverdale that only Moodie and Hollingsworth are missing to complete the set of people that have fascinated Coverdale for... (full context)
Chapter 21: An Old Acquaintance
...spend time with, since they don’t want him around. Instead, Coverdale decides to seek out Moodie and get more information about Priscilla from him. Coverdale goes to Moodie’s usual bar to... (full context)
Chapter 22: Fauntleroy
Chapter 28: Blithedale-pasture
...they bury her on the hillside where they planned to build their cottage. Priscilla and Moodie go to the ceremony together, as do Hollingsworth and Coverdale. Together, they watch while Zenobia’s... (full context)