Love Among The Ruins (1948)

Picture of the dust cover of "Love Among The Ruins"

References for the novel Love Among The Ruins, by Angela Thirkell.

‘Relusions’ by Penny Aldred, Melanie Fenwick & Hilary Temple.

Love Among The Ruins is the title of a painting by the author’s grandfather Edward Burne-Jones (c. 1873, ie 18 years after the poem by Robert Browning). It is also the subtitle of an earlier novel by Denis Mackail, Angela’s brother.

Chapter 1

1 when the blight of peace descended – There are plenty of references at the time to Britain’s having won the war but lost the peace.

6 near-Lawrence – Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1769-1830, 4th president of the Royal Academy, portrait painter.

The Club Boodle’s – is a gentlemen’s club in St James’s Street named after its head waiter Edward Boodle. Only White’s is older; Athenaeum, Pall Mall, rather for intellectuals.

Lady of Shalott in medieval punt – probably the painting by John Atkinson Grimshaw (1893).

Blue Eye Beauty picture – also [as Blue Eye, Beauty] in short story “The Private View” (Christmas at High Rising) – but what is the reference?

7 whirligig of time Shakespeare – Twelfth Night V, i, Feste’s “And thus the whirligig of time brings in his revenges”ie Malvolio is reaping what he sowed. + The Old Bank House 123 7.

fortunes of war and the misfortunes of peace – the common expression “fortunes of war” (Cicero used this in Pro Milone) means unpredictable outcomes rather than anything fortunate, as Angela Thirkell well knew..

three cardinals eating lobsters – Is this a reference to a specific painting? Raphael did one of a pope and two cardinals! Lobsters were a very popular subject, being naturally picturesque, especially with Netherlands painters.

8 Wars to End War – H. G. Wells 1914 “The war that will end war”, then Lloyd George 1918.

9 Rome wasn’t built in a day – Translation of 12th century French proverb, meaning an important task takes time.

11 Baseless fabric of a vision – Shakespeare, The Tempest Act 4 scene 1: “like the baseless fabric of this vision”. Goes on “we are such stuff as dreams are made on”. Also page 78 and Miss Bunting page 233.

12 Ishmael and Isaac – Ishmael was the son of Abraham by his maidservant Hagar because of his wife Sarah’s age, then Sarah gave birth to Isaac at age 90. God says Ishmael’s descendants will be a great nation but Isaac is the one he has a covenant with. (Bible, Genesis chapter 16 verse 21)

12 sheep of this horrible new world going astray compared with the one who stays quietly at home and does its job. – Bible: St Matthew (chapter 18 verse 12) and St Luke (chapter 15 verse 4) contain this parable of the lost sheep which Angela Thirkell reverses. Also page 99.

14 Octavia admitted the soft impeachment – R. B. Sheridan’s play The Rivals, Act 5 scene 3: Mrs Malaprop, famous for her misuse of words, has to admit that she has been writing to Sir Lucius O’Trigger as “Delia”: “Ungrateful as you are, I own the soft impeachment; pardon my camelion blushes, I am Delia.”

Like it says in the Bible about cleaving – Genesis chapter 2 verse 24: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife.” Continues on page 15. Also The Old Bank House page 202, County Chronicle page 16, page 87, Enter Sir Robert page 54.

15 honouring your father – Exodus 20, 1 [the Ten Commandments] “Honour thy father and thy mother”.

16 Flying in the face of Providence I call it – Sounds Biblical but is just a traditional saying to mean throwing away a good opportunity.

17 more sinned against than sinning – in Shakespeare, King Lear Act 3 scene 2, the Storm Scene, Lear says “I am a man more sinned against than sinning.”

Universal Providers – “a supplier of all or many things; especially a general store or department store” [Oxford dictionaries]. The firm of William Whiteley was often referred to as this. Also Jutland Cottage page 37.

18 opprobrious epithet – William Cobbett, Political Register “He made use, he says, of no opprobrious epithet.” But a common expression.

Gothic as opposed to Roman type admissible – At one point in World War Two, Hitler encouraged use of gothic type as being more nationalistic, then realised that if he were to conquer Europe no other country would be able to read it.

20 sham organisations only known by their initials – PEUGI. Angela Thirkell might have been thinking of PNEU (Parent’s National Education Union) or on a wider scale UNESCO.

and smiling put the question – by Tennyson poem ‘The Daydream’ whose theme is Sleeping Beauty.

22 mothlike desire to be a film star – P.B. Shelley poem ‘ To —‘ (1822). “The desire of the moth for the star”, a good joke by AT. She uses the opening lines of this poem several times: “One word is too often profaned/For me to profane it”. See Private Enterprise page 318 [the attraction of the moth to the star], The Brandons **.

Sherwood Forest attitude – Possibly an allusion to the methods the outlaw Robin Hood used to recruit?

23 Hash Gobbett in Stiff Upper Lip – Probably no exact parallel but both actor and film sound all too likely.

24 made good his footing – in a letter by Robert Southey to a friend (1798) about his brother boarding a French ship L‘Hercule and being attacked just as he had made good his footing, so that he fell between this and the British ship Mars.

1947 – a notoriously bad winter in the UK.

26 thus apostrophised – having an apostrophe (ie an exclamation) addressed to one.

Simon Dansk has come home again – ?* Must be a relusion but what?

27 Snorri Society. – Snorri Thorbrandsson is a character in the 10th century.

Icelandic ‘Eyrbyggja’ saga – Snorri Sturluson was a member of the Icelandic parliament, poet and historian who died in 1241. Which of these does Mrs Thirkell mean? Probably the former, given the context. Or perhaps she just liked the name.

Cry Skal! – Old Norse (and now Norwegian) for Cheers! as a toast in drinking. More correctly skol, pronounced ‘Scaul’.

29 throw out dirt like a cuttlefish. – An allusion to the brown ink, which is used to make sepia colour? Although cuttlefish are actually very useful for cleaning granite.

30 prodigal son with nothing to eat but husks – Bible, St Luke chapter 15 verse 16: “He would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat.”

Chapter 2

38 Long and hideous winter of everyone’s discontent. – Shakespeare, Richard III, Act 1 scene 1 “Now is the winter of our discontent/Made glorious summer by this son of York”. Also Cheerfulness Breaks In page 282.

Piping times of war. – Shakespeare, Richard III, Act 1 scene 1 “Why I, in this weak piping time of peace/Have no delight to pass away the time.”

39 Never glad confident morning again. – Robert Browning poem ‘The Lost Leader’ . Also The Old Bank House page 214, Never Too Late page 278, A Double Affair page 49 [courage], page 263, Love At All Ages page 82.

39 Calais on Queen Mary’s heart – in Holinshed, Chronicles vol 4. Mary I is reported as saying “When I am dead and opened, you shall find ‘Calais’ lying in my heart” on learning that the French had retaken this last territory of the English.

40 Gavelkind or Borough English or something – Gavelkind was the practice of dividing an estate equally among the deceased owner’s sons. Borough English was a system whereby the youngest son inherited all the property. Also Love At All Ages page 55, page 64 [which adds Tare and Tret],

Young Woodley – A play by John Van Druten (1925), later filmed more than once, in which a schoolboy at a top public school falls in love with his headmaster’s wife and is expelled. It was banned for a while in Britain but achieved major success in the US, to which Van Druten moved. Also Summe Half page 19, Close Quarters page 71.

44 Baby called Poyntz – (Durbervillish outbreak of an old name) turns out to be “points” as in ration book . In Thomas Hardy’s novel Tess of the d’Urbervilles Tess’s surname has been mutated to Durbeyfield.

Brave New World. – Originally from Shakespeare, The Tempest Act 5 scene 1 “Oh brave new world, /That has such people in it.” Capitalised because of Aldous Huxley’s dystopic novel (1932) of the same title. A;so page 47, page 195. Also Marling Hall page 37, Private Enterprise page 190, The Old Bank House page120, page 182, Happy Returns page 68, Enter Sir Robert page 40, Love At All Ages page 15 page 54. [And Three Score and Ten page 137]

46 Younger than you are happy fathers made. – Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Act 1 scene 2, where Paris says rather creepily of Juliet “Younger than she are happy mothers made”. Also The Headmistress page 176, The Old Bank House page 11, Happy Returns page 212, Love At All Ages page 26.

47 house of dignity – Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, the Prologue:“Two households, both alike in dignity…”

48 Slough of Despond – John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress part 1 “The name of the slough was Despond.” Also Before Lunch page 240, Love At All Ages page 93.

they had immortal longings in them – Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra Act 5 scene 2: “Give me my robe, put on my crown; I have immortal longings in me.”

Impenetrable darkness of future – Not necessarily a literary allusion, although in Heart of Darkness (chapter 3) Joseph Conrad describes Kurtz as “His was an impenetrable darkness.”

Quangle Wangle Edward Lear – ‘The Quangle Wangle’s right foot was so knocked about that he had to sit with his head in his slipper for a fortnight’: in Nonsense Songs, Stories, Botany and Alphabets (1871). Also Miss Bunting page 58, Private Enterprise page 119, The Duke’s Daughter page 315, Happy Returns page 185, Never Too Late page 20.

51 those who walked in the old ways – Bible, Jeremiah chapter 6 verse16: “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”

52 Lady Graham is woolgathering – Robin Dale lost a foot at Anzio, but Martin Leslie had a damaged not an amputated leg.

56 Old heads do sometimes grow on young shoulders – Alexander Hertzen (1812- 1870) “I have a sincere sympathy for any nation where old heads grow on young shoulders: youth is a matter, not only of years, but of temperament.”

Dainty rogue in porcelain – George Meredith, The Egoist. Also Happy Returns page 144, Enter Sir Robert page 10.;93;97 crossed with a sweet girl graduate in her golden hair Tennyson, The Princess: “With prudes for proctors, dowagers for deans,/ And sweet girl-graduates in their golden hair.”

and be a learned pig. – In London in the 1780s there was a pig that had been taught commands and answered questions by selecting cards, about which Samuel Johnson and others commented.

61 Petrea who put the clothes peg on her nose. – Best known from Louisa Alcott’s Little Women (Amy’s nose “was not big, nor red, like poor ‘Petrea’s’; it was only rather flat”). From the novel (1839) by the popular feminist Swedish writer Fredrika Bremer on whom AT wrote a magazine article in 1929. Also Happy Returns page 201.

63 Propylaeum Cinema – Marigold should have put the accent on the third syllable! A propylaeum was the portico of an important building, for instance the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. Compare Odeon, a small theatre for singing and poetry and also adopted by a cinema chain.

Chapter 3

67 Mother Carey – A supernatural figure that represents the cruelty of the sea in 18th and 19th century sailor lore. Also Enter Sir Robert page 75.

72 Archdeacon Grantly – Anthony Trollope’s Barchester novels. Also Private Enterprise page 222, The Old Bank House page 81, page 86, page 159, Happy Returns page 43, page 44.

73 oil poured into my wounds – The Good Samaritan did this in the Bible: Luke chapter 10 verse 34.

Aubrey Beardsley – Susan is being unintentionally rude about her mother: he died in 1898!

74 demon lover – from Coleridge’s poem ‘Kubla Khan’: “A savage place! as holy and enchanted/As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted/By woman wailing for her demon-lover!”

76 Bear your body more seeming – Shakespeare, As You Like It Act 5 scene 4. The clown Touchstone is speaking to the peasant Audrey. Also The Brandons page 307, Love At All Ages page 71.

77 Wittles is up – From Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, chaper 9. At Todgers’s boarding-house the servant Bailey announced dinner in these terms: “The wittles is up!”

Little Liar – Hilaire Belloc’s poem ‘Matilda’ in A Bad Child’s Book of Beasts. Also The Old Bank House page 131, Jutland Cottage page 269, page 276, Never Too Late page 75.

82 ENSA shows – The Entertainments National Service Association was set up to keep up troops’ morale in World War Two.

84 What is this story of a cock and a bull? – Laurence Sterne’s novel Tristram Shandy: “–d’, said my mother, ‘what is all this story about?’ ‘A Cock and a Bull,’ said Yorick.” (But see also Terewth below, page 255)

92 Brightness had fallen from the air – Thomas Nashe poem ‘Summer’s Last Will and Testament’. Also County Chronicle page 93, A Double Affair page 227.

95 Found his dream again in a dream – Sounds like a quotation, but perhaps just a poetic fancy of AT.

98 To be in the Red Cross was no inheritance, – also page 278 [service]. Perhaps Bible, Galatians book 3 chapter 18. Or George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum; or, Outlandish proverbs, sentences, etc’ (1640) , a 50-page set of one-liners. AT uses it of a range of subjects: in Summer Half page 48 [reading law], Marling Hall page 13 [teaching], Private Enterprise page 378 [poor relations], Happy Returns page 190 [a fellowship], also page 196 [teaching], Never Too Late page 286 [service]

Chapter 4

103 Lucy Snowe and Dr Bretton – in Charlotte Bronte’s novel Villette.

106 Sir John Soane’s Museum or the apothecary’s in Romeo and Juliet. – Both are jampacked with objects, the former being Soane’s home in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, with his architectural drawings and models as well as his collection of pictures and antiques; the latter with a tatty collection of stuffed animals, pots, empty boxes and seeds.

107 Lily Dale – Anthony Trollope The Last Chronicle of Barset. Also the [Dales of Allington page 200, The Old Bank House page146.

108 not feared the furious winter’s rages – Shakespeare, Cymbeline Act 4 scene 2: ‘Fear no more the heat o’the sun,/ Nor the furious winter’s rages’. +**

110 Fraulein Hagenstolz – ‘proud Hagen’ in German legend, brother of Gunther (Gunnar in Old Norse, so there is a cross-reference to the Tebbens’ cat here!)

111 When we lived at Hendon Barnes’s goose was stolen by tinkers. – This is Mr F’s Aunt speaking, in Dickens’s Little Dorrit. Also Close Quarters page 166 [gander] + **

The Flowers of the Forest – Jane Elliot’s is the best known version of the lament for the battle of Flodden, ‘The flowers of the forest are a’ wede away.’ (1769). Or possibly from Alison Cockburn’s ‘The Flowers of the Forest’ “For the flowers of the forest are a’ wade away.” (1765). Also County Chronicle page 332, The Duke’s Daughter page130.

111 Beauty vanishes, beauty passes – Walter de la Mare poem ‘Epitaph’ “But beauty vanishes, beauty passes;/However rare – rare it be”. Also County Chronicle page 331.

112 Emmy who had the root of the matter in her – Bible, Book of Job chapter 19 verse 28: “Ye should say, Why persecute we him, seeing the root of the matter is found in me?” Also on page 135 [Fowler going to the root of the matter], page 221 [in him]. Also Before Lunch page 72, Private Enterprise page 182, page 221, page 338, The Old Bank House page 14, page 135, page 302, Jutland Cottage page 241, Love At All Ages page 132.

115 the goddess Lucina’s views – Goddess of childbirth.

dating from the year of the Great Exhibition – 1851.

116 threat of infantile paralysis – Polio was rife in the 1950s and a vaccine was introduced in the UK in the mid-50s.

118 Frog PrinceGrimm’s Fairytales. Also page 280 below, “King’s daughter, fairest”. Also The Duke’s Daughter page 301.

Loaves and fishes – Bible, St John’s Gospel chapter 6 verse 9: “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” Christ performed the miracle of multiplying them to feed a crowd.

120 Vim – a brand of household scouring powder.

American food parcels – references to these are autobiographical from Angela Thirkell.

123 A star danced when he was born – Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing Act 2 scene 1: Beatrice says that at her birth “my mother cried; but then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.”

123 the Original Gypsy Lee – a famous fortune-teller in the early 20th century.

The fine song for singing – R. L. Stevenson’s poem ‘Romance’ “And this shall be for music, when no one else is near,/The fine song for singing, the rare song to hear.”

124 K.C.B. Sir Robert’s knighthood is Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

125 Mess of pottage – Either Matthew’s translation of the Bible 1535 Proverbs chapter 15 verse 17: “Better is a mess of pottage with love, than a fat ox with evil will.” Or more likely Genesis, heading to chapter 25 “Esau selleth his birthright for a mess of pottage” [Geneva version 1560]. Mrs Thirkell is making a joke as the original meaning is a meal but Lady Emily’s concoction is a disgusting mess.

127 God forgive us were ashes, cinders, dust – John Keats, ‘Lamia’, part II “Love in a hut, with water and a crust,/Is – Love forgive us! – cinders, ashes, dust;/Love in a palace is perhaps at last/More grievous torment than a hermit’s fast.”

131 Aslauga’s knight – Translation of Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s play (one of many of his works based around medieval chivalry) by Thomas Carlyle. Also referred to by Louisa M. Alcott in Jo’s Boys.

Chapter 5

133 Sisyphus ball – from the myth in which Sisyphus had to roll a huge rock up a slope only to have it roll back again. Also Jutland Cottage page 239.

134 Mansion House Fund – The Mansion House is the Lord Mayor of London’s official residence and in the 19th century generated a number of charitable projects

136 Jills-in-office – for Jacks-in-office, meaning self-important minor official.

139 suckle fools and chronicle small beer – Shakespeare, Othello Act 2 scene 1. Also High Rising page 148.

141 Piljian’s Projess of a mortal wale – Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit, said by Mrs Gamp, a drink-sodden nurse. Also A Double Affair page 101 [Progiss], Love At All Ages page 227. Many other Mrs Gamp Relusions throughout the novels.

Ponies pulling grass cutters – Also Never Too Late page 252, page 254.

142 land of lost content – A. E, Housman poem, ‘A Shropshire Lad’ “That is the land of lost content,/ I see it shining plain”. Also Close Quarters page 70.

148 cold comfort – 14th century poem: ‘Lorde, colde watz his comfort, & his care huge.” Shakespeare, King John Act 5 scene 7: Burning with the poison he has been administered, the King says “I do not ask you much;/ I beg cold comfort” which shows he has a sense of humour under trying conditions!

understanded of the people – Book of Common Prayer, the 39 Articles: ‘It is a thing plainly repugnant to the Word of God …to minister the Sacraments in a tongue not understanded of the people.’ [no. 24]

148 the kind of terms we give Mrs Morland – Mr Johns is not, of course, Mrs Morland’s publisher, as is explained on p.150. Did the manuscript omit the word “would”?

151 because of pride going before a fall – Bible, Proverbs chapter 16 verse 18: “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

152 Quotations from real letters to Angela Thirkell – used for Mrs Morland. Continued on page 153.

R.S.P.C.A. – Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

P.D.S.A. People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, a veterinary charity.

154 Which is of course impossible – Stock phrase for philosophical (or here Euclidean) proofs. Also page 240 ‘which is absurd’, ditto.

155 Latin grammar rhymes – were used extensively by my parents’ generation in the 1920s

156 Godley’s Motor bus poem – A. D. Godley (Public Orator at the University of Oxford) uses correct declension of the nouns motor and bus as if they were Latin. It particularly appealed to schoolchildren for its first four lines: “What is this that roareth thus? /Can it be a Motor Bus?/Yes, the smell and hideous hum/Indicat Motorem Bum!”

157 Once you have got over the mortification it is a very pleasant life – Also Before Lunch page 16. Source?

159 a remarkably fine woman with no biggodd nonsense about her – Dickens, Little Dorrit (Edmund Sparkler speaking). Also Miss Bunting page 196, Jutland Cottage page 47, A Double Affair page 98, page 218, Close Quarters page 89, page 179.

Chapter 6

165 the Gatherum Castle – As Tony Morland would know, the Castle Class of steam engines were 4-6-0s running on the Great Western Railway.

a Newgate frill – A beard running round under the chin like a hangman’s noose.

old Nandy – Character in Dickens’s Little Dorrit.

173 V.A.D. – Voluntary Aid Detachment, a voluntary (ie not military-controlled) unit of civilians providing nursing care in WWI and WWII.

Sir Omicron Pie – Anthony Trollope’s famous London physician who appears in nearly all his Barchester novels. Also Close Quarters page 65: Margot Phelps rejects the idea of calling him in.

178 Landscape painter – Tennyson poem ‘The Lord of Burleigh’, whose bride is oppressed to find that she has married not a painter but the eponymous Lord. Also Love at All Ages page 44.

179 Commination Service – In the Church of England this threatens divine judgments against sinners and is used primarily on the first day of Lent.

180 since the Heptarchy, whatever that was – The original seven kingdoms of England in Anglo-Saxon times.

182 with the face of one who follows – the gleam Tennyson poem ‘Merlin and the Gleam’

183 would go melancholy mad – In ‘Paradise Lost’ Milton lists the forms of madness as “Demoniac frenzy, moping melancholy/And moon-struck madness”, ie a depressive rather than raving form. Dr Johnson’s Dictionary describes it as “A kind of madness, in which the mind is always fixed on one object.”

186 exactly like the Dormouse at the Mad Tea Party – he is found asleep in the teapot in Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland.

188 Murdstone’s Wild West Shooting Gallery – Good to have David Copperfield’s persecutor reduced to a funfair attraction.

188 Eugene Aram Thomas Hood poem ‘The dream of Eugene Aram’ – a murderer who remained unconvicted for many years: “Two stern-faced men set out from Lynn/Through the cold and heavy mist/And Eugene Aram walked between/With gyves upon his wrists”]. Also Northbridge Rectory page 19.

190 one of the lesser breeds – Kipling’s poem ‘Recessional’: ‘Or lesser breeds without [outside] the Law.’

195 Brave New… here, – Custom [of not saying thank you to betters] but usually Brave New World, as page 45 above etc.

195 Gypsy’s stew that Toad had – Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows chapter 7. Also Growing Up page 97.

196 Turk – the Kipling family owned a dog of this name.

Chapter 7

198 Formerly lively neighbours – the Gauls. Also The Old Bank House page 77, A Double Affair page 31, Never Too Late page 84, Love at All Ages page 85, Three Score and Ten page 26.

201 Gradka’s English has got a lot worse since her days with Miss Bunting!

202 pantaloons – Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 2 scene 7, Jacques’s Seven Ages of Man speech: “the sixth age shifts/ Into the lean and slippered pantaloon”.

205 These were not times for marrying or giving in marriage – Bible, St Matthew’s Gospel chapter 22 verse 30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage”.

206 Now folds the lily all her sweetness up – Tennyson, ‘The Princess’ (song beginning Now sleeps the crimson petal, now the white)…”and slips into the bosom of the lake”.

210 defying any persons who revised or deposited any part of the Church of England service. – An attempt at revision was frustrated in 1928 when the Deposited Prayer Book was rejected by Parliament. Also The Old Bank House page 48.

211 came out of God’s blessing into the warm sun – Proverbial, collected by John Harington in his Epigrams to mean leaving God and going to an apparently more comfortable setting which is not spiritually beneficial; and used by Cervantes specifically as equivalent to “Out of the frying-pan into the fire.” For the author I suspect it meant going from a cold cathedral or church into the welcoming sun!

217 As Earl Percy felt when he saw the Douglas fall – (at the Battle of Otterburn, 1388) ‘Ballad of Chevy Chase’: “my life is at an end,/ Lord Percy sees my fall.” Whereupon Lord Percy says “Earl Douglas! For thy life/ Would I had lost my land”. Also Marling Hall page 143, Happy Returns page 211.

220 Splinter of ice – Hans Andersen fairytale ‘The Snow Queen’ in which a splinter of ice enters Kay’s heart. Also August Folly page 162.

220 nothing left remarkable beneath the visiting moon – Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra, Act 4 scene 13.

221 Garibaldi biscuits – thin biscuits containing raisins and thus known usually as squashed fly biscuits.

221 Be careful of the talent entrusted to him – Bible, St Matthew’s Gospel chapter 25, verses 14-30, the parable of the talents.

222 Every step on redhot ploughshares. – Refers to trial by ordeal in medieval English law.

227 And I think oft if spirits can steal from the regions of air… – Thomas Moore poem ‘At the mid hour of night’. Also Happy Returns page 240.

Chapter 8

228 fiends angelical – Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet Act 3 scene 2: “Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical”. Also Marling Hall page 208.

229 grouse in the gun room – Oliver Goldsmith’s play She Stoops to Conquer . In Act 2 Hardcastle briefs his servants, one of whom ripostes “Then ecod your worship must not tell the story of Ould Grouse in the gun room: I can’t help laughing at that.”

five bob is five shillings – Twenty-five pence in today’s currency. Half a crown is two shillings and sixpence, or twelve and a half pence today.

peace, that separator of companions and terminator of delights – The original, in A Thousand and One Nights, is in reverse order and refers to Death. (Georgiana Burne-Jones used the expression about her baby son Philip!) Angela Thirkell also uses it of Christmas and cites the origin in Northbridge Rectory on page 234.

distance lends enchantment to the view – Thomas Campbell poem, ‘Pleasures of Hope’: “’Tis distance lends enchantment to the view,/ And robes the mountain in its azure hue”.

230 drank the milk of Paradise – Coleridge poem ‘Kubla Khan’ “For he on honeydew hath fed,/ And drunk the milk of Paradise.” + TH 202 [wove a circle round him thrice] + MB 33 + NR 234.

230 all his soul’s adoration – ‘The Lark in the Clear Air’ Irish traditional tune, lyrics by Samuel Ferguson c. 1850. Also p. 300.

232 Sir Robert’s grey hairs brought in sorrow to the grave – Bible, Genesis chapter 42 verse 38: “ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave”. Also August Folly page 61.

233 He was sure there was a piece of poetry about pretending to love one person when you love another. – Matthew Prior, ‘An Ode’. The source comes on the following page, 234: “Euphelia serves to grace my measure but Chloe is my real flame.” Also Never Too Late page 176.

237 As one might say Dr Livingstone I presume. – The (well-rehearsed, apparently) greeting of journalist Henry Stanley when he discovered David Livingstone, the 19th century missionary-explorer in Africa.

deceiving elf! – Keats ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ “Adieu! The fancy cannot cheat so well/As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.”

240 heir to thousands of impoverished acres – An echo of M’Turk in Kipling’s school story Stalky & Co :“he was viceroy of four thousand naked acres … lord of a crazy fishing-boat…”

Which is absurd – see above page 154.

242 made his old wounds bleed anew – Edmund Waller poem (1645): ‘The Self Banished’ in which only staying away from the beloved can ease his hopeless love’.

some foolish thing would remind him of her – a song ‘These Foolish Things Remind Me of You’ made famous by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. Lyrics by Holt Marvell (real name Eric Maschwitz), composer Jack Strachey, with the middle 8 bridge and the American version of the lyrics by Harry Link. Also Enter Sir Robert page 140.

245 but a child of larger growth – John Dryden play All for Love Act 4 scene 1: “Men are but children of a larger growth; /Our appetites as apt to change as theirs.”

249 descend the darkening slope – Rossetti, ‘Lovesight’: “How then should sound upon Life’s darkening slope/The ground-whirl of the perished leaves of Hope”.

250 wiser in her generation – Bible, St Luke’s Gospel chapter 16 verse 8 “for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” [parable of the unjust steward].

mouths of babes and sucklings – Bible, Psalms chapter 8 verse 2 ‘Out of the mouth of very babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies.’[here it is Susan Dean]. Also The Old Bank House page 271, Jutland Cottage page 275, Close Quarters page 49, Three Score and Ten page 30.

251 tendrils of a silver vine. – Also ‘wreathe itself in silvered tendrils’ iin Growing Up (page 217), ‘wildly wreathing hair’ Growing Up page 263, Jutland Cottage page 263, What Did It Mean page 153, page 208, page 298, A Double Affair page168 [Poppy Turner, not Serena].

bloody napkin – Shakespeare As You Like It Act 4 scene 3: “And to this youth he calls his Rosalind/ He sends this bloody napkin”. Also The Headmistress chapter 9, ineptly rendered as “Many. WILL. Swoon. When. They. DO. Look. On. Blood.”

253 From the persistence of little boys, good Lord deliver us – a borrowing from The Litany I, where the response to each request is “Good Lord, deliver us”

254 there were still milestones on the Dover Road – Dickens, Little Dorrit. Mr F’s Aunt, “an amazing little old woman with a face like a staring doll”, bursts out in a deep warning voice for no detectable reason with “There’s milestones on the Dover Road!” (She is also famous in AT’s fiction for telling her audience that “When we lived at Hendon, Barnes’s gander was stolen by tinkers.”)

The late Mr Finching’s bequest – Mr F’s Aunt was bequeathed to Flora Finching!

255 A few more years shall roll, a few more seasons come. – Horatius Bonar hymn (1844), continues “And we shall be with those that rest/ Asleep within the tomb”.

The Terewth – the hypocritical minister Mr Chadband in Charles Dickens’s Bleak House: “Now, my young friends, what is this Terewth, then? …When this young Heathen told us this story of a Cock and a Bull, was that the Terewth? No.”

Chapter 9

257 Old people killing themselves in their own way. – Dr Ford is also on record as believing this on other occasions. But is it a quotation? Also The Old Bank House page 59, What Did It Mean page 8, page 273.

I know where I’m going and I know who’s going with me – Traditional Scottish song dating back to the 19th century about a wealthy young woman pining for her “handsome, winsome Johnny”, composer Fred Hellerman.

amitié carrée

the Frenchies had been licked by the Prooshians. – The Franco-Prussian War 1870-71.

262 Ding, dong, bell,/Fraulein goes to hell” – parody of the nursery rhyme ‘Ding dong bell, pussy’s in the well.’

264 Fairy Blackstick – in Thackeray’s The Rose and the Ring she carries or rides upon a black stick to cast her spells, using a magic rose and a ring as part of her weaponry. Ostensibly for children it is filled with political satire that makes it entertaining for adults.

272 Well if it prove a girl, the boy/Will have plenty – Alfred Lord Tennyson, ‘Maud, a Monodrama’ scene VII. Also A Double Affair page 58, Enter Sir Robert page 48, Love at All Ages page 214.

275 Wind-blown rainbow fountain – Perhaps not a quotation but a Homeric epithet: comes in many references to Lady Emily; also on page 278, Marling Hall page 208, Happy Returns page 202.

those French people – The Boulle family in Wild Strawberries.

275 Even the best and most skilful service is not always an inheritance – see above page 98.

278 Service was no inheritance nor did it make an abiding place – another version of page 98 and page 275 above.

280 King’s daughter, fairest – see above, page 118.

Chapter 10

284 a Shalott mirage of the green world outside. – Tennyson, ‘The Lady of Shalott’: who looked at the world only through a mirror. Also below p.304 +TH 191.

285 like a wicked fairy at a princess’s christening – (Sleeping Beauty) + CC 133

286 in all things that were Caesar’s (quite inappropriate) – St Matthew’s Gospel 22,21: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.”

287 mortification doesn’t mean your sore toe going bad – Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer + ESR 199 + [Huck Finn]DA86+ LAA209 +Injun Joe LAA 197-8.

287 Soft you now, the fair – Ophelia Shakespeare, Hamlet III, i.

288 Cadet Roussel a trois cheveux, Deux sur la face, un sur la queue – The comment about Emmy’s being“well up in literature” is a joke. 18th century French song satirising an official in Auxerre which became the anthem for the Army of the North (1791-97) created to defend the country against the Prussians.

288 Marianne Dashwood …settled down happily with the staid Colonel Brandon. – Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility.

290 too too Kilmeny. – + HaR 101; 309. Poem by James Hogg (the “Ettrick Shepherd”, 1770-1835) in which Kilmeny, a girl symbolising purity, journeys to the kingdom of the fairies, returning years later and unable to explain her experience.

290 squeaked and gibbered in the Roman street.

In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets.

Shakespeare – Hamlet (1.1), Horatio 

291 in the stilly night. – Thomas Moore (1779-1852) poem ‘Oft in the stilly night’, set to music by John Stevenson.

292 the child is father of the man . – Wordsworth poem ‘My heart leaps up when I behold’

293 Not by an angel with a flaming sword. – Genesis 4,24 “he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way.”

295 ploughed the wine-dark ocean. – Homer and other Greek poets use ‘oinops’ [winedark] to describe the ocean.

295 speed the plough – Title of play by Thomas Morton 1798, notable for the unseen character of Mrs Grundy.

295 Hail calm acclivity, salubrious spot! – Robert Browning, ‘The Inn Album’ , part 1(1875) [Intended as satire about the visitors’ book in the inn.]

295 Casanova under the Leads – Casanova escaped from prison in The Leads (part of the Doge’s Palace in Venice) – ie, over the roof, hence Charles’s reference to on the tiles 297 Yet I,/ A dull and muddy-mettled rascal… Shakespeare, Hamlet II. 2 , speech beginning “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I!”

299 old Mr Thorne and his spinster sister Monica – Anthony Trollope Barchester Towers, esp ch 22.

300 adscripta [adscriptus in the masculine] glebae – a slave who was annexed to the land rather than the landowner and went with it if it was sold +NTL177 [there are others!]

300 hear what his fond heart would say – ‘The Lark in the Clear Air’. See above p.230

300 sent to Coventry – i.e. ignored. In the Civil War Royalist prisoners were sent to Coventry which was a Cromwellian stronghold.

303 Geneva bands whatever they were – the two strips of white cloth attached to the front of a clerical collar.

304 Lady of Shalott’s web – see above p.284.

311 all… turned to favour and to prettiness. – Shakespeare, Hamlet IV, v . Laertes’ observation on Ophelia’s madness “Thought and affliction, passion, hell itself,/She turns to favour and to prettiness”. +WDIM247+ESR39+NTL138.

317 digging a pit for their own destruction – Psalms 7, 15 “He made a pit and digged it, and is fallen into the ditch which he made”

Chapter 11

320 War to end War for the Second Time. – See above p.8.

321 Mrs Mounstuart Jenkinson – George Meredith, The Egoist. Clara is described as a dainty rogue in porcelain +3S60.

322 making elaborate clocks on the simulated stockings – Embroidered decoration on the ankles.

322 Terence and his views on playgoing public. – Famous for addressing the Roman audience direct in his prologues and haranguing his critics.

323 Gilbert and Sullivan interruptions. – At their peak in the 20th century the songs were so well known that audiences would applaud and encore them during performances

323 Paul’s Gaudy Oxford colleges’ – festival at the end of the academic year.

324 chief end of man. – Shorter Catechism (1647) “What is the chief end of man?” “To glorify God and to enjoy him for ever”.

325 We musicians know – Browning poem ‘Abt Vogler’ “But God has a few of us to whom he whispers in the ear;/ The rest may reason and welcome, ‘tis we musicians know” + MB 181 [romantics] + CC 314 + 3S&10 140.

325 Volumnia – Shakespeare, Coriolanus: Coriolanus’s mother. She does have some very long speeches!

325 Hamlet had tablets – Shakespeare Hamlet I, v “Oh villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!/ My tablets [ie notebooks] – meet it is I set it down,/That one may smile and smile and be a villain” . Other Hamlet refs +OBH 288 + CC 291+ HaR 28 [+LAA 166 – played by Mr Wopsle]

326 parent, child and husband. – ‘The Miller of Dee’, traditional song “I love my mill, she is to me/ Like parent, child and wife” with the refrain “I care for nobody, no, not I/If nobody cares for me”. For some reason there are various sanitised 19th century versions, eg extolling thrift. But millers were traditionally mistrusted (cf Chaucer)

326 holding no form of creed but contemplating all – Tennyson poem ‘The Palace of Art’+ PBO 96 [tolerating none]

326 the more deceived. – Shakespeare, Hamlet III.1 Hamlet has said “I loved you not.” Ophelia replies “I was the more deceived”.[other Hamlet refs: + MH 99 + PE 203; 349+ OBH 9; 17; 88 (!) +DA 165]

333 Vera incessu patuit dea. – Virgil, Aeneid 1,1, describing Venus as being “the real goddess revealed by her steps” [Dorothy L. Sayers has Peter Wimsey parody this as “vera incessu patuit dean” and kissing the Dean’s feet, in Gaudy Night]

334 speaking countenance – Arden of Faversham (1592) Act 1 “Love is the painter’s muse/That makes him frame a speaking countenance/A weeping eye that witnesseth heart’s grief”

335 Crowline 50 – cannot trace a real-life name for which this could be a joke.

336 Valkyrie’s war cry. – From Richard Wagner opera The Valkyries, Brunnhilde calls this warning to her father Wotan + SH 194.

337 limping Avenger – The lame god Vulcan, though not associated with retribution, was believed to preside over marriage – presumably AT’s implication here. +WDIM75 337

his antecedent crimes or misdemeanours – Legal terminology rather than a Relusion, I think, and has a satisfactory resonance about it.

338 And when I say Europe I shall be desirous now and then to read England – George Canning (1770-1827, Tory Foreign Secretary and Prime Minister) +HaR30.

339 Let contemplation with extended viewgia/Survey mankind from China to Perugia. – Parody (whose?) of Samuel Johnson’s ‘The vanity of human wishes’:“Let observation with extended view/Survey mankind from China to Peru”.

339 admired disorder – Shakespeare Macbeth 3,4 Lady Macbeth: “You have displaced the mirth, broke the good meeting/With most admired disorder.” [ie Macbeth’s alarm at ghost has been much wondered at] + PE 68 + [unadmired] CC 51.

340 Importance of Being Earnest – Title of play by Oscar Wilde (1895) +3S&10 50

340 Happy Hypocrite[s] – Short story by Max Beerbohm subtitled ‘A fairy tale for tired men’ +GU 75.

340 Miss Skiffins – Dickens, Great Expectations. She will not let Wemmick put his arm round her until they are married..

340 look, how the floor of heaven is thick inlaid …with patines of bright gold – Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice 5,1 It begins “Sit, Jessica”.

341 Miss Betsy Trotwood – Dickens, David Copperfield When David arrived unexpectedly at her house she sat down flat on the garden path.

Mr Dick lived with her and was obsessed with King Charles’s head. – +TH 43 +CC 128 +JC 126 + NTL 266 + DA 58, 71 + [garden path] CC 8 + NTL 11 + DA 274 + LAA 178 + [King Charles’s head] WDIM 182.

Chapter 12

345 Jupiter Pluvius Roman god of sky and weather – here “rain-bringer” 346 Dr Crawley’s grandfather + LAA 298 Other Crawleys are also referred to, eg HaR 42; 90; 287;312+DA249+CBI229-30+ MH159 +PE81 [? Same argument as for the Thornes?]

347 a pupil of Waterhouse – Alfred Waterhouse (1830-1905) designed much Victorian Gothic architecture incluing the Natural History Museum in London

347 Enoch Arden – Title of a narrative poem by Tennyson (1864) about a happily married fisherman who has to voyage overseas to earn money and comes back after years to find he has been posted as missing and his wife has married another man +MB 123 + OBH 27.

349 Mr Pilward doesn’t know much about Barsetshire – if he thinks the Marlings own Harefield, but they do own land on the Barchester side of it.

353 Friction of Constant Relations – Heather also studies Widdowson’s Law of Inverse Relations (MB 144), Kindred Affinities and Nepotic Constants (MB 105) and Duodenal Sections and Impacted Roots (MB 102)

354 Whips and scorpions – 1 Kings 12, 11. “my father hath chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions.”

355 a nation that walked in darkness had seen a great ligh – Isaiah 9,2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light”, well known from Handel’s Messiah.

355 into the ways they should go – Proverbs 22,6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it.

356 Huguenots rallied to the white plumes at Ivry – Henri of Navarre (Henri IV) defeated the Catholics at Ivry wearing a white plume for his men to follow. Macaulay wrote a poem Ivry: a Song of the Huguenots about this: “And be your oriflamme today/The helmet of Navarre.”

357 Sir Philip Sydney [sic] his need is greater than mine – Sir Philip Sidney was a courtier and poet who died in battle in the Netherlands 1586, having given water to another wounded soldier saying “Thy necessity is yet greater than mine.”

362 Art is to conceal art – Quintilian (AD 35-95)), also Ovid Ars est celare Artem = Real art conceals the fact that it is art.

362 The Lost Chord – Title of song by Sir Arthur Sullivan (1877) composed at his brother’s death-bed: immediately successful in Britain and USA +CQ168.

362 And damn his eyes, whoever tries/ To rob a poor man of his beer – English musichall song 1830.

364 Blood tears and sweat [sic] – Winston Churchill speech to House of Commons 13 May 1940 “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat” +HaR205+NTL179

364 Disraeli and Young England – A group of young Tories reacting against Peel’s leadership and nicknamed Young England, was set up in 1841 and looked to Benjamin Disraeli for inspiration which he provided in his novel Coningsby. +NTL 101-2.

365 Widow Twankey – the pantomime dame in Aladdin.

369 pitied their ignorance and despised them – Dickens Nicholas Nickleby ch.15 “I pity his ignorance and despise him” The shrewish Fanny Squeers’s postscript to her letter complaining about Nicholas +JC12; 278+WDIM 278.

371 sur la qualité de la voix – [literally On the quality of the voice] Does this mean anything more than laughing in the same voice as you use for speaking?

We hear no more of M. Houby, whose name is a type of mushroom. – Cf.

petite voix de compositeur – HaR15 [literally a composer’s little voice]

371 Your voice when you wish the snowdrops back – Robert Browning poem ‘The Lost Mistress’ “If you only wish the snowdrops back,/ That shall stay in my soul for ever!” +LAA 134.

371 An old man with a beard – Edward Lear limerick +PT 49 + OBH 16.

372 Fair Penitent – title of a tragedy by Nicholas Rowe (1791)

372 Rogue and a vagabond – Expression used in US and other legal systems even today, meaning a vagrant or someone who commits an offence on the street such as telling fortunes (or, no doubt, acting) +OBH 223+WDIM 101; 115 + ESR 172

374 Monrachet – [sic] for Montrachet, in which the t is not pronounced – led to correction in later book as Mrs Morland.

375 Oh Diamond Diamond – From a legend that Sir Isaac Newton left his notes from years of experiments near a candle which his dog Diamond upset, thus burning the lot. “O Diamond, Diamond, thou little knowest the mischief thou hast done” is what he is supposed to have said. + BL171.

376 a present help – Psalm 46,1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

378 no jot of former love – “Be it not seen in either of our brows/That we one jot of former love retain” Michael Drayton Sonnet 61.

381 Walk to the Paradise Garden – Song from a Delius opera A Village Romeo and Juliet.

381 Say I’m sick, I’m dead , Alexander Pope, – ‘Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot’ “Shut, shut the door, good John! fatigu’d I said;/ Tie up the knocker, say I’m sick, I’m dead.” + BL 202.

382 Have you followed your secret heart – Noel Coward song ‘I’ll follow my secret heart’ +OBH 220.

382 But what to me my love, but what to me? – Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost V ii (appropriately the final scene) + NTL 32 [also governess’s labour’s lost MB 73]






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