Study Guide

Father Ambrose Bayley in The Wanting Seed

By Anthony Burgess

Father Ambrose Bayley

When Tristram first meets Father Ambrose (if that is his real name), he's sitting in a pub getting drunk. "A saturnine man with eyes in charcoal caves" with a "reddish beak" and a "sulky Stuart mouth" (1.10.10), Ambrose is an unfrocked priest, who seems to have been excommunicated from the Catholic church for inappropriate sexual activity of some kind (1.10.16). When Tristram meets him again, it's in prison, where Father Ambrose has been thrown for delivering Mass in public.