Inspector Morse

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Inspector Morse is a fictional character in the eponymous series of detective novels by British author Colin Dexter, as well as the 33-episode 1987–2000 television adaptation of the same name, in which the character was portrayed by John Thaw. Morse is a senior CID (Criminal Investigation Department) officer with the Thames Valley Police in Oxford, UK. With a Jaguar car (originally a Lancia), a thirst for British real ale and a penchant for music (especially opera and Wagner), poetry, art, classics, classic cars, and cryptic crossword puzzles, Morse presents a likeable persona, despite his sullen temperament.


Name and family

Morse's first name, "Endeavour", was kept a secret until the end of Death is Now My Neighbour (traditionally Morse claimed that he should be called "Morse" or joked that his first name was "Inspector"). In the series it is noted that his reticence about his "Christian" name led to a public school (Stamford School, where Colin Dexter and his brother were both pupils) nickname of "Pagan". The origin of his name is the vessel HM Bark Endeavour, as Morse's mother was a Quaker (Quakers have a tradition of "virtue names") and his father was a fan of Captain James Cook. The author of the Morse novels, Colin Dexter, is a fan of cryptic crosswords, and Morse is named after champion solver Jeremy Morse, one of Dexter's arch-rivals as a clue-writer in the crossword world.[1]

During the episode "Cherubim and Seraphim", it is learned that Morse's parents divorced when he was 12. He remained with his mother until her death three years later, when he had to return to his father. He had a dreadful relationship with his stepmother, Gwen,[2] and claimed he only read poetry to annoy her and that her petty bullying almost drove him to suicide. He has a half-sister, Joyce, with whom he is on better terms, and was devastated when Joyce's daughter, Marilyn, took her own life.

Habits and personality

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