The Moonstone

The Moonstone

Miss Drusilla Clack Character Analysis

Rachel and John Verinder’s estranged, talkative, fanatically religious niece who imposes herself on the family’s affairs in London and contributes the novel’s second narrative. Her version of events is full of digressions and exaggerated religious appeals, which adds a comic dimension to the novel and allows Collins to ridicule the hypocritical evangelism of his time. Although she claims to have no impure desires, her obvious financial motives for sending in her narrative and sexual attraction to Godfrey Ablewhite betray her hypocrisy. Ironically, she detests the novel’s protagonists—Gabriel and Penelope Betteredge, Franklin Blake, Mr. Bruff, and most of all Rachel Verinder—for what she considers immoral and immodest behavior, while lauding its villain, Godfrey Ablewhite, for his apparent moral purity and contributions to the women’s charities Clack helps run. Her religiosity also gets her in trouble, including with the dying Julia Verinder (whose soul Miss Clack tries to save by hiding religious pamphlets around her house) and with Mr. Ablewhite, whom she infuriates when she interrupts an argument about Rachel and Godfrey’s engagement with a reading from “the blessed, blessed, blessed words of [fictional Christian writer] Miss Jane Ann Stamper.” In fact, Clack’s attempt to include these pamphlets in the text of her narrative annoys Franklin Blake, whose frustrated responses she includes instead. After the novel’s events, penniless and ostracized by her family, she moves to Brittany because she cannot afford to continue living in London.

Miss Drusilla Clack Quotes in The Moonstone

The The Moonstone quotes below are all either spoken by Miss Drusilla Clack or refer to Miss Drusilla Clack. 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:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of The Moonstone published in 1999.
The Discovery of the Truth 1: 1 Quotes

Pecuniary remuneration is offered to me—with the want of feeling peculiar to the rich. I am to re-open wounds that Time has barely closed; I am to recall the most intensely painful remembrances—and this done, I am to feel myself compensated by a new laceration, in the shape of Blake's cheque. My nature is weak. It cost me a hard struggle, before Christian humility conquered sinful pride, and self-denial accepted the cheque.

Related Characters: Miss Drusilla Clack (speaker), Franklin Blake
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
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*NOTE. Added by Franklin Blake — Miss Clack may make her mind quite easy on this point. Nothing will be added, altered, or removed, in her manuscript, or in any of the other manuscripts which pass through my hands. Whatever opinions any of the writers may express, whatever peculiarities of treatment may mark, and perhaps in a literary sense, disfigure, the narratives which I am now collecting, not a line will be tampered with anywhere, from first to last. As genuine documents they are sent to me—and as genuine documents I shall preserve them; endorsed by the attestations of witnesses who can speak to the facts. It only remains to be added, that “the person chiefly concerned' in Miss Clack's narrative, is happy enough at the present moment, not only to brave the smartest exercise of Miss Clack's pen, but even to recognize its unquestionable value as an instrument for the exhibition of Miss Clack’s character.

Related Characters: Franklin Blake (speaker), Miss Drusilla Clack
Page Number: 202
Explanation and Analysis:
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“Is it written by a man or a woman, Miss? If it's written by a woman, I had rather not read it on that account. If it’s written by a man, I beg to inform him that he knows nothing about it.”

Related Characters: Penelope Betteredge (speaker), Miss Drusilla Clack
Page Number: 203
Explanation and Analysis:
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When the Christian hero of a hundred charitable victories plunges into a pitfall that has been dug for him by mistake, oh, what a warning it is to the rest of us to be unceasingly on our guard! How soon may our own evil passions prove to be Oriental noblemen who pounce on us unawares!

Related Symbols: The Moonstone
Page Number: 207
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Discovery of the Truth 1: 4 Quotes

“I'm afraid, Drusilla,” she said, “I must wait till I am a little better, before I can read that. The doctor—”
The moment she mentioned the doctor's name, I knew what was coming. Over and over again in my past experience among my perishing fellow-creatures, the members of the notoriously infidel profession of Medicine had stepped between me and my mission of mercy—on the miserable pretence that the patient wanted quiet, and that the disturbing influence of all others which they most dreaded, was the influence of Miss Clack and her Books. Precisely the same blinded materialism (working treacherously behind my back) now sought to rob me of the only right of property that my poverty could claim—my right of spiritual property in my perishing aunt.

Related Characters: Lady Julia Verinder (speaker), Miss Drusilla Clack (speaker)
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Discovery of the Truth 1: 8 Quotes

“Oh, Rachel! Rachel!” I burst out. “Haven't you seen yet, that my heart yearns to make a Christian of you? Has no inner voice told you that I am trying to do for you, what I was trying to do for your dear mother when death snatched her out of my hands?”

Related Characters: Miss Drusilla Clack (speaker), Miss Rachel Verinder
Page Number: 269
Explanation and Analysis:
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Miss Drusilla Clack Character Timeline in The Moonstone

The timeline below shows where the character Miss Drusilla Clack appears in The Moonstone. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 10
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...that the man himself was deceased. Godfrey only speaks to the woman beside him, Miss Clack, who worked with one of his charity groups, and Mr. Franklin—due, Betteredge promises, to his... (full context)
The Loss of the Diamond: Gabriel Betteredge: Chapter 23
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...“flower-shows,” to lift her spirits. She is also hanging out with Godfrey. And surprisingly, Miss Clack has not yet shown up on Julia’s doorstep—which is important only because Betteredge has learned... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: First Narrative: Miss Clack: Chapter 1
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Miss Clack, John Verinder’s loquacious and outwardly deferential niece, thanks her late parents for teaching her “habits... (full context)
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Miss Clack has grown poor and distant from Julia’s side of the family. Living retired in Brittany,... (full context)
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Clack’s involvement with the Moonstone mystery begins on July 3rd, 1848, when she passes Julia Verinder’s... (full context)
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The same evening, Miss Clack meets with her charity committee, which is in the business of buying “unredeemed fathers’ trousers... (full context)
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...ran into a stranger at a bank. While this may seem minor and unrelated, Miss Clack warns the reader against “presuming to exercise your poor carnal reason” (and then apologizes for... (full context)
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Clack considers the next events “hardly within the proper limits of female discussion,” but continues by... (full context)
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...they saw the two men meet there). Accordingly, Godfrey’s reason for being away from Miss Clack’s charity meeting was an appointment with the police. (full context)
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...lunch with Julia and Rachel Verinder the day after her visit to their house, Miss Clack is astonished by Julia’s concern for Rachel and Rachel’s “absence of all ladylike restraint.” Rachel... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: First Narrative: Miss Clack: Chapter 2
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Miss Clack declares that Godfrey entered “exactly at the right time,” the correct distance behind his servant.... (full context)
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...newspapers, and after Rachel asks why he does not want to talk about it, Miss Clack interjects to remind her that “true greatness and true courage are ever modest.” Rachel insists... (full context)
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Clack grows more and more offended as Rachel talks down to Godfrey and orders even her... (full context)
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...try and “repair the wrong I have done you” as much as she is able. Clack is disgusted that Godfrey fails to kiss Rachel on the hand and then responds to... (full context)
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...mom—tastelessly enough—if she has been “distressed,” and Julia kindly insists that she has not. Miss Clack attempts to confront the tearful Rachel on her way out, but Rachel recoils, offended and... (full context)
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...destroys the declaration of innocence she has written, for the sake of Rachel’s own reputation. Clack is charmed by “his noble conduct” and feels a “pure, unearthly ecstasy” when she kisses... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: First Narrative: Miss Clack: Chapter 3
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Julia reveals to Clack that, for a long while, she has been “seriously ill […] without knowing it myself.”... (full context)
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Clack is thrilled: Julia’s news offers her a “career of usefulness,” namely the opportunity to save... (full context)
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When she returns to the Verinder residence, Clack finds Julia is busy with the doctor, and is asked to wait with Mr. Bruff,... (full context)
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Bruff then brings up the scandalous news of Godfrey, and Clack reprimands him for repeating the rumor that Godfrey is connected to the Diamond’s disappearance—but Bruff... (full context)
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Although she regrets it while writing her narrative, Clack admits that she butted into Mr. Bruff’s monologue to insist that perhaps Mr. Franklin Blake... (full context)
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Before Clack can again chastise and contradict Bruff, the servant announces that Julia is ready for them.... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: First Narrative: Miss Clack: Chapter 4
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Julia quickly signs the will and Clack scares Bruff out of the room with her bag of religious tracts. As Julia proclaims... (full context)
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Having deposited all her books, Clack feels an “exquisite sense of duty done” and is ecstatic through the next morning. At... (full context)
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Miss Clack opens the parcel Samuel has brought and finds her “twelve precious publications […] all returned... (full context)
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The next day, Clack returns to the Verinders’ London house and learns that Julia, in her illness, is at... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: First Narrative: Miss Clack: Chapter 5
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Still behind the drawing-room’s curtains, Clack contemplates Godfrey’s words and wonders what unholy thing he is planning to “do to-day.” She... (full context)
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Then, to Miss Clack’s surprise, Godfrey declares his “hopeless love” for Rachel, who protests that they “agreed […] to... (full context)
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...She cries as Godfrey gets on his knees, holds her, and utters two words Miss Clack finds astonishing: “Noble creature!” He praises Rachel’s honesty and asks her to marry him. She... (full context)
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...she does not grow to love him. Rachel warns Godfrey not to “tempt” her and Clack laments Rachel’s moral weakness. Godfrey insists that marriage is women’s “Refuge,” and that “respect and... (full context)
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...to the steps and calls for Rachel, reporting that Julia fainted and will not recover. Clack escapes downstairs and Godfrey tells her to go help Julia while he finds the doctor.... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: First Narrative: Miss Clack: Chapter 6
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This chapter of Miss Clack’s narrative summarizes a series of letters between herself and Franklin Blake. After Clack attempts to... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: First Narrative: Miss Clack: Chapter 7
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Clack explains that “the foregoing correspondence” forces her to simply move on with her story rather... (full context)
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Clack decides not to attend Julia’s funeral, both because she is too distraught and because she... (full context)
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Mrs. Ablewhite, Miss Clack’s aunt, “has never been known to do anything for herself.” She also mirrors the opinions... (full context)
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Rachel, who “looked pitiably small and thin in her deep mourning,” apologizes to Miss Clack for her tone in the past and declares that she hopes they can become friends.... (full context)
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Miss Clack turns to the list of servants. She has Rachel write a letter for Mrs. Ablewhite... (full context)
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...Rachel for a walk, which they agree is the best cure for her headache (although Clack is disappointed that this walk makes Rachel miss the afternoon services at church). After their... (full context)
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The next day, Miss Clack visits Rachel first thing in the morning and asks why she has piled the religious... (full context)
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While Clack’s intended path to Rachel’s soul—her engagement and marriage—now appears closed, Clack is delighted to think... (full context)
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Rachel refuses breakfast and plays “scandalously profane” piano music, which Miss Clack avoids by leaving the house. When she returns, she is surprised to see Godfrey there... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: First Narrative: Miss Clack: Chapter 8
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...has stopped attending charity meetings; he feels like a child unable to explain its faults. Clack sees this as evidence of a “mental problem” and Godfrey asks for insight. He explains... (full context)
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“As a spiritual physician,” Clack declares Godfrey’s tryst with Rachel a test from God, who has forced him to momentarily... (full context)
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...after breaking the engagement—likely because she is thinking about “that other man whom she loved.” Clack promises to get the truth out of her after “convert[ing] her”—but, alas, that evening, Rachel... (full context)
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Miss Clack predicts that the senior Mr. Ablewhite will visit the next day (to create the storm... (full context)
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...Godfrey—Mr. Bruff tells Rachel she need not answer, and Ablewhite starts yelling at him instead. Clack is disgusted at Rachel’s composure in the face of Ablewhite’s anger. She declines to explain... (full context)
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Miss Clack decides to intervene—one of her books has a useful passage pertaining to this situation. She... (full context)
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After Mr. Ablewhite leaves, Mrs. Ablewhite insults Miss Clack and apologizes to Rachel, who breaks into tears. Mr. Bruff says that he and Rachel... (full context)
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Miss Clack rises in an attempt to stop this dreadful behavior and protect Rachel, her “lost sheep”—but... (full context)
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Rachel calls Penelope to pack her things and leaves at once. Mr. Bruff tells Miss Clack it was a mistake to explain her motives, and even Penelope—whom Clack refuses to call... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: Second Narrative: Mathew Bruff: Chapter 1
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...minor changes, so she asked Bruff to prepare a second will—the one for which Miss Clack served as a witness. The only difference involving Rachel was the process for determining a... (full context)
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...Mr. Ablewhite’s behavior showed Bruff that he would be “merciless” when confronting Rachel, and Miss Clack’s narrative shows how Bruff decided to cope with this danger. He ends his first chapter... (full context)
The Discovery of the Truth: Third Narrative: Franklin Blake: Chapter 8
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...the guests he can remember who live in London: Mr. Murthwaite, Godfrey Ablewhite, and Miss Clack. He goes to get their addresses from Mr. Bruff, who denounces him as “fanciful.” Bruff... (full context)