Study Guide

Mr. Kingcroft in Where Angels Fear to Tread

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Mr. Kingcroft

Mr. Kingcroft is a clergyman and only appears in person at the beginning of the novel to accompany Mrs. Theobold to the train station. He is the reason that the Herritons are sending Lilia off to Italy in the first place. Lilia had been flirting with Mr. Kingcroft, who the Herritons think would be an unsuitable match for their daughter-in-law. At the train station, Mr. Kingcroft seems to be somewhat upset by Lilia's departure, but he can't really say anything and we're never given access to his personal thoughts.

When Lilia realizes that her marriage to Gino is a failure, she attempts to write to Mr. Kingcroft about her unhappiness. We don't know what she says in her letter, but it doesn't lead to anything since Gino makes sure that the letter isn't delivered. For the most part, Mr. Kingcroft's role in the novel is to represent how controlling Mrs. Herriton is—she is willing to disregard Lilia's happiness just to save the family's reputation. Maybe if Lilia had just been able to get with Mr. Kingcroft, none of this madness would have happened.

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