The Hound of the Baskervilles

by

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

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Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore Character Analysis

The Barrymores act essentially as one unit, never appearing separately for any length of time. Both of their families have served the Baskerville estate for centuries, and they take great pride in this fact. Nevertheless, they worry that the new, young master of Baskerville Hall, Sir Henry Baskerville, will expect a level of service and grandeur that they will be unable to provide. Both Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore take their duty to Sir Henry quite seriously, but they are loyal to one another before all else. When Sir Henry and Dr. Watson catch Mr. Barrymore using a lantern to send signals to the escaped convict Selden, Mr. Barrymore refuses to explain himself, because it would incriminate his wife. This would have costed Mr. Barrymore his lifelong career, had Mrs. Barrymore not revealed the secret to Sir Henry in order to save her husband (even at the expense of her brother’s life). Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore’s primary function in The Hound of the Baskervilles is to provide information about Baskerville Hall’s past and the stories of its past inhabitants (through, for instance, the family portraits), since Sir Henry Baskerville—the only living Baskerville, so far as anyone knows—has not been there since he was a small child and knows little about his family’s history. They have a secondary function, however, as red herrings, because of the strange behavior they exhibit while covering up the location of Selden.

Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore Quotes in The Hound of the Baskervilles

The The Hound of the Baskervilles quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore or refer to Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Borzoi edition of The Hound of the Baskervilles published in 2014.
Chapter 7 Quotes

Already round this pale-faced, handsome, black-bearded man there was gathering an atmosphere of mystery and of gloom.

Related Characters: Dr. John Watson (speaker), Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore
Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8  Quotes

Some deep sorrow gnaws ever at her heart. Sometimes I wonder if she has a guilty memory which haunts her, and sometimes I suspect Barrymore of being a domestic tyrant. I have always felt there was something singular and questionable in this man's character […].

Related Characters: Dr. John Watson (speaker), Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore, Selden
Page Number: 323
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9  Quotes

Oh, John, John, have I brought you to this? It is my doing, Sir Henry—all mine. He has done nothing except for my sake, and because I asked him.

Related Characters: Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore (speaker), Sir Henry Baskerville, Selden
Page Number: 334
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13  Quotes

That’s lucky for him—in fact, it’s lucky for all of you, since you are all on the wrong side of the law in this matter. I am not sure that as a conscientious detective my first duty is not to arrest the whole household.

Related Characters: Sherlock Holmes (speaker), Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore, Selden
Page Number: 377
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore Character Timeline in The Hound of the Baskervilles

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore appears in The Hound of the Baskervilles. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...walk with a cigar. When he failed to return from this walk one evening, Mr. Barrymore went out to search for him. Barrymore found Sir Charles’ body near the moor gate. (full context)
Chapter 4 
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...find the newspaper used to create the letter. He also sends a telegram to Mr. Barrymore—to be delivered directly into his hands only with a confirmation of delivery. Holmes wants to... (full context)
Chapter 5
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
...will, where it’s discovered that Dr. Mortimer received 1,000 pounds from his friend and the Barrymores received 500 pounds each. The whole estate, Mortimer tells Sir Henry, is worth close to... (full context)
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...unable to find the newspaper used in writing the letter, and the telegram to Mr. Barrymore was delivered as requested, meaning that Barrymore was at Baskerville Hall. (full context)
Chapter 6
Strong Women Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
At Baskerville Hall, the party is greeted by Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore, and Dr. Mortimer departs for home. The Barrymores are happy to meet Sir Henry but... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Strong Women Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The next day, Sir Henry and Watson ask Mr. Barrymore about the crying. Barrymore claims that it was not his wife, but when Watson sees... (full context)
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
Barrymore has already been eliminated as a suspect, however, since Holmes determined through his telegram that... (full context)
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
Sure enough, at the post office Watson discovers that the telegram was delivered to Mrs. Barrymore, who claimed that her husband was upstairs at the time. Thus, Watson realizes, there is... (full context)
Chapter 8 
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
Watson also notes that he has observed Mr. Barrymore using a candle to signal out into the moor late one night. With Sir Henry,... (full context)
Chapter 9 
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
With regard to the strange signaling of Mr. Barrymore, it takes few nights for Watson and Sir Henry to stay awake long enough to... (full context)
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Strong Women Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
When confronted, Mr. Barrymore refuses to provide any explanation for his behavior, saying it was a personal matter. It’s... (full context)
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Strong Women Theme Icon
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...surprised by this sudden revelation but understanding of the impossible situation that Mr. and Mrs. Barrymore have found themselves in. Still, they feel it necessary to try to capture the escaped... (full context)
Chapter 10
Strong Women Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
...diary to reconstruct the events of the case. He begins the following day. Though Mr. Barrymore is grateful that Sir Henry wants to continue to employ him, he’s also upset that... (full context)
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Strong Women Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
Barrymore adds that the convict has plans to escape the country for South America. Once out... (full context)
Strong Women Theme Icon
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
In return for this promise, Mr. Barrymore gives up a piece of information he’s previously withheld. He knows that Sir Charles was... (full context)
Chapter 12
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Natural vs. Supernatural Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
...the body of Sir Henry they’re looking at, but rather Selden’s. Watson realizes that Mr. Barrymore must have given Selden the wardrobe that Sir Henry donated to him in order to... (full context)
Chapter 13 
The Power of Reason Theme Icon
Criminal Nature vs. Criminal Nurture Theme Icon
The Superiority of Urban Life Theme Icon
After breaking the news of Selden’s death to the Barrymores, Holmes turns to the family portraits lining Baskerville Hall. Watson remarks that the picture of... (full context)