Franklin underfoot—the category of his commonplaces was wonderful

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chong lee

Senior Member
türkçe
Hi,
The quote is from The Return of the Native, by Thomas Hardy.

Franklin is an English navigator.

What is "Franklin underfoot" exactly?

Thanks

Here in front of him was a wild mallard—just arrived from the home of the north wind. The creature brought within him an amplitude of Northern knowledge. Glacial catastrophes, snowstorm episodes, glittering auroral effects, Polaris in the zenith, Franklin underfoot—the category of his commonplaces was wonderful.
 
  • Glasguensis

    Signal Modulation
    English - Scotland
    "underfoot" is describing the position of Franklin relative to the duck. It is an unusual description, but understandable.
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    "underfoot" is describing the position of Franklin relative to the duck. It is an unusual description, but understandable.
    There are no charcters in the book called Franklin. The person who sees the duck is Venn, the reddleman. I think the reference is to the (what was known as) the District of Franklin, in Canada's north-west. Presumably the duck had been (i.e. set foot) there.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    Sir John Franklin's expedition was lost and his body was never found. Writing some thirty-odd years later, Hardy must be thinking of Franklin's body buried under the pack ice, so "underfoot" for the mallard.
     
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