Trial by Jury

Go Set a Watchman

Harper Lee’s novel, Go Set a Watchman, includes references to four Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, including Trial by Jury, Iolanthe, The Mikado and Ruddigore.

The Trial by Jury reference occurs in Chapter 3.  Jean Louise Finch’s Aunt Alexandra is attempting to discourage her from considering marrying Atticus’ young law partner, Henry Clinton, reminding her that his parents were both drunkards.  In response, Jean Louise quotes, Trial by Jury:  “The question, gentlemen, is one of liquor.  You ask for guidance, this is my reply:  He says, when tipsy, he would thrash and kick her.  Let’s make him tipsy, gentlemen, and try!”  Aunt Alexandra was “not amused, she was extremely annoyed” by Jean Louise flippant attitude and for quoting “those people” at her.