Last Seen Wearing: Music, Art and Literary References.


Hello everyone and welcome to the fifth in the series of the music, art and literary references in the original Morse series.

Once I have finished with each series I will post a downloadable excel sheet for each category; music, art and literary references. This would allow everyone who downloads said excel sheets to print them off for personal use. Hopefully, having these print outs next to you while you watch the episode will be of help in identifying your favourite pieces of music from all three series. In the same vein the downloadable excel sheets will I hope help in your enjoyment and appreciation of the art and literary references used in all three series.

Of course I am not infallible (I know I was shocked to realise that trait in myselfūüėČ ) so if you should spot an error or omission then please let me know and I will update my post with the new information.

The time of the pieces of music et cetera are based on the British DVD versions of the shows. However, the times shown should not be to dissimilar from other countries versions or should be easy to pinpoint what I am referring  to and when.

Last Seen Wearing. (Series 2, Episode 2)

(Chronologically this is episode 5)

(The times are set as hh/mm/ss, i.e. hours, minutes and seconds).


Only three pieces of music in this episode and one of those is a Jazz piece. The first piece of music is at the beginning of the episode.


The opening music is by Wolfgang Amadeus¬†Mozart (1756-1791) and the composition is the ¬†Violin Concerto No. 1 in B flat, K. 207. (K√∂chel catalogue. … The K√∂chel-Verzeichnis or K√∂chelverzeichnis is an inclusive, chronological catalogue of compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, which was originally created by Ludwig von K√∂chel. It is abbreviated K. or KV.)

The above video contains the complete piece. The section of music used in the episode starts at 8 minutes and 47 seconds in the above video. However, the whole concerto is lovely.


The second piece of music in the episode is after the scene in the pub with Morse and Max discussing the case. Max tries to get Morse to empathise with the missing girl’s parents;

Max – Just because the girl is from a well-off family doesn’t make the pain any less for the parents.

Morse – But if her dad wasn’t on the police committee we wouldn’t know anything about it?

Max – Only a man without children could talk the way you do. Look, imagine you’ve lost your only recording of the Ring Cycle and try and think some things might hurt even worse.

Morse – Yes but I’ve got it on cassette as well.

After this scene we cut to Morse driving to the Craven house with the music of Richard Wagner (1813-1883) playing loudly. The piece is the rousing Die Walkure (Second opera in Der Ring des Nibelungen) better known as Ride of the Valkyries.

That piece of music always gets my blood pumping. Exhilarating!


The next piece of music is in Ms Baines house whn Morse comes calling to ask her about the head of the girl’s school. It is a Jazz piece but I have no idea what it is and I can’t even hazard a guess at who the composer or the artist or the group is. Sorry.

If you enjoy all the music from the Morse series I have collected all the pieces I have identified thus far and have created playlists on YouTube. On how to access these playlists please read the relevant post by clicking here.



On the classroom wall of Ms Baines in Homewood School for Girls to the left of a very young Liz Hurley.


The poster is a representation of¬†George Frederic Watts (1817-1904) painting ‘Ellen Terry (‘Choosing’).


Ellen Terry was an English stage actress who became the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain. At 16 she married the 46-year-old artist George Frederic Watts.


This scene is set in the Craven’s house, specifically their swimming pool.


The mural on the back wall is a pastiche of the wonderful swimming pool paintings of David Hockney (1937 Р     ).


Pool with Two Figures 1972


Peter Getting out of Nicks Pool, 1967

Thank you to Sarah who pointed me towards the identification of the painting below which is in the headmaster’s office.

Painting of Amelia Bacon by William Orpen (1925).

Literary References.


We find Morse relaxing at home reading a novel. That novel is Thomas Hardy’s ‘Jude the Obscure’.


Thomas Hardy’s novel does have some connections to the episode, some more tenuous than others. The city that the main character Jude Fawley works and lives in is called Christminister which is based on Oxford. Jude’s former schoolmaster is called Phillotson. The headmaster in this episode is called Donald Phillipson, (as I wrote above, tenuous). The main themes of the novel are¬†marriage, the Church and education. This triumvirate of themes can be found in this episode.


At Ms Baines house Morse is holding a book from Ms Baines library.


The book is ‘Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories‘ by C. S. Lewis (Clive Staples Lewis 1898-1963) a 1966 anthology of literary criticism by C. S. Lewis and published posthumously by the executors of his estate.


At the deputy head of the girl’s school, Ms Baines’s house she relates a story about the headmaster and his running spikes. Morse cryptically replies, “Men and their shoes“. I wonder if Morse is making reference to that quaint old saying¬†that you could “tell a man by his shoes”. Not really a literary reference but…


In this scene Ms Baines is sitting writing at her desk. On the shelf of the desk is a postcard;


I think it is a portrait of the writer Radclyffe Hall. Radclyffe Hall is best known for the novel The Well of Loneliness. The novel has become a groundbreaking work in lesbian literature. It would tie in with Ms Baines being a lesbian.


At the Craven house Morse is talking to Mrs Craven and mentions that she has changed her hair colour from blonde to brunette. Mrs Craven quotes W.B. Yeats (1865 ‚Äď 1939) the Irish poet saying, “I will have to see if I can be loved for myself and not for my yellow hair”.

The full poem is as follows;

For Anne Gregory

‘NEVER shall a young man,
Thrown into despair
By those great honey-coloured
Ramparts at your ear,
Love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.’
‘But I can get a hair-dye
And set such colour there,
Brown, or black, or carrot,
That young men in despair
May love me for myself alone
And not my yellow hair.’
‘I heard an old religious man
But yesternight declare
That he had found a text to prove
That only God, my dear,
Could love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.’

And so we come to end of another post. My next post will be tomorrow and hopefully next week I will post the next in the series of posts on the music, art and literary references in the Morse episodes: ‘The Settling of the Sun’.


Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. UPDATE: My mum died from Covid-19 on the 6th May 2020. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. I am now in second year having passed all the requirements in first year.

3 thoughts

  1. Hello Chris,

    Not sure if this ‘art’ reference is worth mentioning here: a poster of the 1986 French film _Betty Blue_ appears at 30:05 when Morse visits Valerie (Mrs Acum wearing a beauty mask).


  2. Just a thought on the reference to “men and their shoes” in Last Seen Wearing”: as well as possibly the old saying you mention, I wonder if Morse was remembering that George Craven had told him: “I never buy good shoes because I spend my life wading through muck …”

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