Love at All Ages (1959)

Love At All Ages - cover picture

References for the novel Love At All Ages, by Angela Thirkell.

‘Relusions’ from the Hamish Hamilton edition.

Chapter 1

6 The Anglo-Bengalee Disinterested Loan and Life Assurance Company – established by Montague Tigg in Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit.

8 Sibylline – The Sibyl was a priestess of Apollo who prophesied.

Sylvia Gould and Dr. Ford – become emotionally involved at the end of The Demon in the House. Angela Thirkell wrote to her typist Margaret Bird in March 1960: ‘I had already – to my horror – realised how old everyone is now – including Sylvia Gould”.

9 William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham, 1708-78, English statesman.

William Pitt, 1759-1806, twice Prime Minister.

Edmund Burke, 1729-97, British statesman.

The Houses of Parliament were burnt in 1839 – The Palace of Westminster, the medieval royal palace used as the home of the British parliament, was largely destroyed by fire on 16 October 1834.

Gothic architecture – a style of architecture that flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. Its characteristics include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress.

The Gordon Riots – 1780 began as an anti-Catholic protest in London against the Papists Act of 1778. The protest evolved into riots and looting.

9 A book about Queen Victoria’s Coronation by someone with a name like Turtle” – an in-chuckle. Mrs Gould is referring to Thirkell’s own Coronation Summer, published 1939.

10 George Knox …hurt because no one recognized his apt quotation – I can’t either.

Grow old along with me! – The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made: the opening lines of ‘Rabbi Ben Ezra’ by Robert Browning.

seeing what Master Alfred was doing and telling him not to – Cartoon from Punch referred to several times in the novels.

11 Sputnik 1 – the first artificial Earth satellite. The Soviet Union launched it into an elliptical low Earth orbit on 4 October 1957.

12 Emotion recollected in tranquillity – “I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings – it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity.”
William Wordsworth in Preface to Lyrical Ballads, 1800.

Peter Pan – a character created by novelist and playwright (Angela’s godfather) J. M. Barrie (1860- 1937). He is a free-spirited and mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up.

13 she had indeed set her hand to the plough – Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God: St Luke chapter 9 verse 62.

a recommendation to exhort one another – The Vicar is right: “exhort one another daily, while it is called Today: lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews chapter 3 verse 13.

Cruden’s Concordance – A Concordance to the Holy Scriptures, an alphabetical list of topics in the King James Bible,t was created by Alexander Cruden (1699–1770).

15 George Sampson and Lavinia Wilfer – George first courted Bella Wilfer, then transferred his attentions to her sister Lavinia in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend.

Brave New World – Words spoken by Miranda at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Shakespeare. Frequently used by Thirkell, often with the same irony as that used by Aldous Huxley for the title of his 1932 novel. See also page 54 below.

16 Anah, Ajah, Zibeon etc – In the Book of Genesis chapter 36. The mules were not really mules but hot springs in the desert! Obviously a misunderstanding on the part of the scholars.

17 When Mr. F’s aunt lived at Hendon… – from Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit.

The Almanach de Gotha – a directory of Europe’s royalty and higher nobility.
20 Why were I and my Franks not there? – The Franks were the earliest of all the Germanic invaders to fix themselves in the Roman province of Gaul. When their King, Clovis was told of the way Jesus suffered death on the cross, he grasped his battle-axe fiercely and exclaimed: “If I had been there with my Franks I would have revenged his wrongs!”

21 and storied windows richly dight – John Milton, ‘Il Penseroso’:
“To walk the studious cloisters pale,
And love the high embowed roof,
With antique pillars massy proof,
And storied windows richly dight,
Casting a dim religious light.”

Pomfret Towers was its wash pot – Psalm 60 verse 8: “Moab is my wash pot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe.”

Bluebeard – a French folktale character who lived in a sinister castle.

22 Guido Guidone, Pictor Ignotus, St Panurge – a typical piece of satire by Angela Thirkell. Guido Guidone is exactly the kind of name that a classical Italian would have; Pictor Ignotus means Unknown Painter; and Panurge is a principal character, crafty, a libertine and coward, in Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais.

23 Woolcott Jefferson Van Dryven – married Betty Dean in Before Lunch.

25 Simony or not – Simony is the act of selling church offices and roles.

26 a happy mother made – “Younger than she are happy mothers made”: Paris, of the 14 year-old Juliet, in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Act I scene 2.

28 I could an if I would – “You, at such times seeing me, never shall –
With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could an if we would,”
Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be an if they might,”
Or such ambiguous giving out—to note,
That you know aught of me. Shakespeare, Hamlet Act I scene 5.

30 each of her Gamps … Gampish conversation – Mrs Gamp is the unhygienic drunken midwife in Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit.

like a roasted Manningtree ox with a pudding in his belly – a reference to Falstaff in Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1 Act 2 scene 4. Manningtree is a town in Essex, noted for its Whitsun fair, where an ox was roasted whole.

deliberately misquoting ‘now this wild thing is wedded..’ – “Often she thinks, Were this wild thing wedded/More love would I have and much less care”. From
‘Love in a Valley’ by George Meredith (1828-1909).

Chapter 2

34 A heave offering – generally used in the positive sense of an offering to God, ‘heave’ suggesting an uplifting motion.

here stand I like the Turk with my doxies around – John Gay, The Beggar’s Opera Act 3.

35 Lucina – title of the goddess Juno as patroness of child-bearing and new-born infants.

37 Balliol and Oriel – are both colleges of Oxford University.

38 Alfred Lammle and Fascination Fledgeby – in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend.

39 Dido and Aeneas – in Virgil’s Aeneid.

39 John Constable – 1776-1837, English landscape painter.

41 de mortuis, you know – De mortuis nil nisi bonum – say nothing but good about the dead.

44 “And as Jesus passed forth from thence – He saw a man sitting at the receipt of custom, named Matthew; and He saith unto him, Follow me.” – Matthew 9.9.

47 Tony’s adventure with the pram – happens in The Demon in the House.

49 felt with Touchstone that when they were at home they were in a better place – “Ay, now am I in Arden – the more fool I, when I was at home, I was in a better place.” Shakespeare’s As You Like It Act 2 scene 4.

51 Like Frankie and Johnny – a traditional American popular song telling the story of a woman, Frankie, who finds that her man Johnny was making love to another woman and shoots him dead.

52 laying low and saying nothing like Brer Fox – a fictional character from the Uncle Remus folktales adapted and compiled by Joel Chandler Harris.

The Battle of Fort Sumter – (April 12–14, 1861) was the bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina by the Confederate States Army, and the return gunfire and subsequent surrender by the United States Army that started the American Civil War.

All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight – poem by American writer Ethel Lynn Beers, first published in 1861.

53 Sir John Everett Millais – 1829-96, English painter.

54 Beauty lives with Kindness – “Is she kind as she is fair?/For beauty lives with kindness.”: From poem“Silvia”, in Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare.

Brave New World – see above page 15.

55 Borough English – In England, patrilineal ultimogeniture (inheritance by the youngest surviving male child) is known as Borough English, after its former practice in various ancient English boroughs.

56 as Man Friday might have approached Robinson Crusoe Robinson Crusoe, novel by Daniel Defoe 1719.

56 the Red Dean – Hewlett Johnson, Dean of Canterbury Cathedral 1931-1963, so called because he had converted to Communism in the 1890s.

57 quiet slumber, beyond the depth of plummet – Thirkell frequently uses this metaphor to described babies sleeping.

Chapter 3

64 Time is most confusing, as Orlando felt when Rosalind delivered her rather prosy dissertation on the variety of his pace. – “I’ll tell you who time ambles withal, who time trots withal, who time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal.” – Shakespeare, As You Like It Act 3 scene 2.

an ever-rolling stream -“Time, like an ever-rolling stream/Bears all its sons away.
Hymn ‘Our God, our help in ages past’ (1708) by Isaac Watts.

64 Tare and Tret – the arithmetical rule used for calculating the net weight of goods by subtracting the tare and the tret from the gross weight. Tare is an allowance made from the gross weight of goods for the box, bag or other wrapping in which the goods are packed. Tret is an allowance of 4 lb. in every 104 lb. of weight, made as compensation for loss by waste. For Borough English, see page 55 above.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field – 25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way.” – Matthew 13.24.

65 The Ingoldsby Legends – by R. H. Barham,1837.

66 whence came his help – “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help: Psalm 121.

67 A Group of Noble Dames – short stories by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)

68 Sir John Franklin – 1786-1847, British explorer.

Everything is Peaches Down in Georgia” – song by Grant Clarke, 1918.

70 the Monstrous Regiment of the Teen-Agers – parody of The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment [rule]of Women” – a polemical work by the Scottish reformer John Knox, published in 1558.

70 The Heir of Redclyffe – novel by Charlotte M. Yonge, 1853.

71 Touchstone’s fine words to Audrey – “Bear your body more seeming, Audrey”: Shakespeare, As You Like It Act 5 scene 4.

73 the gypsy magic that George Borrow knew – George Borrow (1803-81) wrote several books about gypsies, including Lavengro and Romany Rye.

74 Hectic is a medical term meaning face flushed with fever – as explained on pages .

76 Is not on cheeks like this lovely the flush? /Ah! o the silence was!
so was the hush!
– lines at the end of ‘Bacchanalia; or, The New Age’ by Matthew Arnold.

Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations – an American reference work that is the longest- lived and most widely distributed collection of quotations. The book was first issued in 1855.

79 Cherry Ripe – an English song with words by Robert Herrick (1591–1674) and music by Charles Edward Horn (1786–1849).

The Bay of Biscay-O

My Willie stands on board of a timbo –
And where to find him I do not know
But for seven long years I am constantly waiting
For to cross the Bay of Biscay O.

The Death of Nelson – O’er Nelson’s tomb, with silent grief oppress’d,
Britannia mourn’d her hero, now at rest;
But those bright laurels
Ne’er shall fade with years,
Whose leaves are water’d by a nation’s tears.

Horatio Nelson, Viscount Nelson, 1758-1805, English naval officer.

80 The Mertons dined with the Pomfrets – and Ludovic sang in Aubrey Clover’s production in What Did It Mean? Lady Pomfret adds “In the Coronation summer…” and it would have been a good title for this book, centred on celebrations of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, but Angela Thirkell had already used that title in 1939 for a book about the coronation of Queen Victoria.

The husband listens and sings. – But the wife remembers.”
– I can’t trace the original which is being parodied.

81 “Steel true, blade straight, The Great Artificer made my mate” – R.L. Stevenson’s poem ‘My Wife’: punctuated more correctly as “steel-true, blade-straight”. Also inscribed on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s gravestone.

Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold, -continues:
And the mate of the Nancy brig,
And a bo’sun tight, and a midshipmite,
And the crew of the captain’s gig.” The singer has eaten them all – in ‘The Yarn of the ‘Nancy Bell”, Bab Ballads by Sir William Schwenck Gilbert, 1869.

81 The Periwinkle Girl, Duke Bailey and Duke Humphy –

Dukes with the lovely maiden dealt,
Duke Bailey and Duke Humphy,
Who ate her winkles till they felt
Exceedingly uncomfy.
Again from the Bab Ballads by W. S. Gilbert.

82 Diane Chasseresse – The Diana of Versailles is a marble statue of the Greek goddess Artemis, also known as Diana à la Biche, Diane Chasseresse (“Diana Huntress”), Artemis of the Chase, and Artemis with the Hind.

82 Never glad confident morning again

There would be doubt, hesitation and pain –
Forced praise on our part—the glimmer of twilight,
Never glad confident morning again!
‘The Lost Leader’ by Robert Browning.

Giles Foster – first visited Pomfret Towers and met Sally Wicklow in Pomfret Towers.

83 Voici Comme – “Je t’attraperai bien, dit-il. Et voici comme.” from ‘L’Ours et L’Amateur des Jardins’ by Jean de La Fontaine.

84 who could an if they would – “You, at such times seeing me, never shall/
With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could an if we would,”
Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be an if they might,”
Or such ambiguous giving out—to note
That you know aught of me.” Shakespeare, Hamlet Act I scene 5.

Genesis – first book of the Old Testament.

The Warden … Anthony Trollope – 1815-82, English novelist. Thirkell wrote an introduction to one edition of this novel.

the silver cord is loosed, the pitcher… – Bible, Ecclesiastes chapter 12 verse 6:” Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.” [Verse 8 is the famous: “Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher: all is vanity.”]

the Great Anarch – “Thy hand, great Anarch! lets the curtain fall, –
And universal darkness buries all.” Last lines of The Dunciad by Alexander Pope.

Mrs Proudie – Bishop Proudie’s wife in Trollope’s Barchester series.


What our formerly lively neighbours the Gauls call a duck – ‘canard’ is the French word both for a duck and a false report.

Mrs Gamp’s great words about the Rooshans and Prooshans – Surprisingly tolerant view of the horrid nurse/midwife in Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit.

Chapter 4

86 there was metal more attractive – Hamlet’s words to his mother on being invited to sit next to her to watch the play: “No, good mother. Here’s metal more attractive [Cordelia].” Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 3 scene 2.

87 Famous Battle of the World – capitalised to allude to Famous and Decisive Battles of the World – The Essence of History for 2500 Years by Charles King, 1899.

89 Who will smoke his meerschaum pipe when he is far away? – “Oh, who will smoke my meerschaum pipe When I am far away?”: from Song-book Of The Commandery Of The State Of Pennsylvania.

90 Crabbe – George Crabbe, 1754-1832, wrote “The Village”, painting a grim picture of rural poverty.

The short and simple annals of the poor

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
The short and simple annals of the poor: from ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ by Thomas Gray (1716-1771).

Mr Mantalini – in Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby he refers to “a dem’d moist, unpleasant body”.

the Complaint Barrier had to be crashed – as opposed to the sound barrier, broken in 1947.

90 we all had to pack up our troubles in the old kit-bag – ‘Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag, and Smile, Smile, Smile’ is a World War I marching song, published in 1915 in London, written by George Henry Powell under the pseudonym of ‘George Asaf’.

91 British Warm – a type of woollen overcoat based on the greatcoats worn by British Army officers in the First World War.

92 Mrs Morland coming out of the fish ..not like Jonah – “And the Lord spake unto the fish – and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” Bible, Jonah chapter 2 verse 6.

the finest lepper in the Four Provinces – Irish expression for dancer.

Caldecott books – Randolph J. Caldecott (1846-86) illustrated books for children, particularly celebrated for his The House that Jack Built and The Diverting History of John Gilpin. Famous for his fluid style his name is perpetuated in the Caldecott Medal awarded by the American Library Association for children’s book illustration.

Mrs. Mary Blaize – by Oliver Goldsmith, a version of The Vicar of Wakefield. Subtitled An Elegy on the Glory of her Sex, Caldecott made her a pawnshop owner: thus it was rather more suitable for adults. 1885.

93 laudator temporis acti – a praiser of past times, from Horace’s Odes.

sighed as a … and obeyed as a husband – “I sighed as a lover and obeyed as a son.” Edward Gibbon, Memoirs of My Life, chapter 4.

to witness if he lied – “Earth and sea bear England witness if he lied who said it”:
from ‘England, An Ode’ by Algernon Swinburne.

94 flee from the wrath to come – St Matthew chapter 3 verse 7: John the Baptist says “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”

Slough of Despond – from Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

98 in the habit of unpacking her heart with words

“That I, the son of a dear father murder’d, –
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell,
Must, like a whore, unpack my heart with words,
And fall a-cursing, like a very drab,
A scullion!” Shakespeare, Hamlet Act 2 scene 2.

the crew of the Hot Cross Bun – “When Jack Tars growl – I believe they growl with a big big D -.
But the strongest oath of the Hot Cross Bun was a mild “Dear me!”
from ‘The Bumboat Woman’s Story’ in the Bab Ballads by W. S. Gilbert.

100 Eye of newt and toe of frog, – … Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark: the ‘Double, double, toil and trouble’ chant by the witches in Shakespeare, Macbeth Act 4 scene 1.

the Awful medicine Mr Squeers gives the boys – the evil schoolmaster of Dotheboys Hall in Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby.

like Rosa Dartle, wanting to know – the embittered spinster in Dickens’s David Copperfield.

Ivanhoe – the 1819 novel by Sir Walter Scott, set in mediaeval England, which inspired increased interest in chivalric romance.

100 “a loathsome mass of liquid putrescence” – ‘The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar’, short story by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49).

101 Old Mother Slipper Slopper – from ‘Fox’, a traditional English folk song.

the geese …in Rome… saved the Capitol In 390 BCE, Juno’s geese on the Capitol warned the Romans of the Gallic attack.

102 Lord Burleigh’s nod – In Sheridan’s The Critic, – or A Tragedy Rehearsed, a preposterous tragedy called The Spanish Armada is presented by the author, Mr Puff. The characters include Elizabeth I’s chief minister Lord Burleigh who is supposedly too weighed down with affairs of state to communicate with anything but a portentous nod.

104 Alea jacta est – the die [dice] is cast. Attributed to Julius Caesar in 49 BC as he led his army across the Rubicon river in Northern Italy. Very suitable for a game where players bet on the outcome of rolling a pair of dice (‘craps’ in the USA)!

104 Hackney Road Reformatory School – As Roddy explains, “Where wicked youths in crowds are stowed
He shall unquestioned rule,
And have the run of Hackney Road
Reformatory School!”
is the last verse of ‘The Two Ogres’ in the Bab Ballads by W. S. Gilbert.

107 drab baulo, dukkerin, lils – Romany terms for poison the pig; fortune-telling; words.

Gorgio – the gypsy name for a non-gypsy.

109 Archimedes – Greek mathematician born c. 287 BC. By displacing water in his bath he discovered the principle of specific gravity (relative density)..

110 Euclid – c.300 BCE, Greek mathematician, compiled Elements, a collection of
postulates, rules, theorems and problems which form the basis of Euclidean geometry.

Chapter 5

112 Geoffroy (Jaufré) Rudel – born in the 12th century in Blaye, was an Aquitan troubadour. He wrote love songs in which he sings of “courtly love,” that is to say, love impossible and hopeless. His work was the source for Edmond Rostand’s play La Princesse Lointaine (1895).

117 The Dale twins – are christened in County Chronicle page 120.

118 deep peaceful sleep, past the plunge of plummet – from ‘A Shropshire Lad’ by A.E.Housman: “Ah, past the plunge of plummet,
My heart and soul and senses,
World without end, are drowned.”
– from “A Shropshire Lad” by A. E. Housman.

119 Everyone was peaches down in Georgia – song ‘Everything is peaches down in Georgia’ by Grant Clarke, 1918.

121 James hung the bell up again – Edith’s brother restores the fish-feeding bell in County Chronicle.

124 She is the darling of my heart and lives in our family

Of all the girls that are so smart,
There’s none like pretty Sally!
She is the darling of my heart,
And she lives in our alley!
– song by Henry Carey (1687?-1743).

125 had made him bold, rather like Lady Macbeth – “That which hath made them drunk hath made me bold.”: Lady Macbeth in Macbeth Act 2 scene 2.

The die had been cast – see above, p.104.

the éminence grise – a powerful decision-maker or adviser who operates ‘behind the scenes’ or in a non-public or unofficial capacity..

she looked on the wine when it was red – “Look not thou upon the wine when it is red – …Thine eyes shall behold strange women, and thine heart shall utter perverse things.” (Proverbs chapter 23 verses 31-33. Apart from the well-known quotation, Lord William is making a pun on the alternative meaning of ‘grise’ which is ‘intoxicates’.

126 le mot juste – the exact word in French. Coined by 19th-century novelist Gustave Flaubert, who often spent weeks looking for the right word to use.

130 The Monstrous Regiment of WomenThe First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment [rule] of Women is a polemical work by the Scottish reformer John Knox, published in 1558 and frequently cited by Thirkell.

There was not exactly a roasted Manningtree ox – See note on page 30 above.

the storming of Badajoz – In the spring of 1812 the British army under Sir Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Wellington, had driven the French from Portugal. With Napoleon obsessed by the invasion of Russia, Wellington turned toward Spain. The way was barred by two fortresses, Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. When Ciudad Rodrigo collapsed after a short siege, Wellington prepared to break the fortress of Badajoz. A typical Thirkellian piece of exaggeration, as is:

the sack of Troy – which ended the Trojan Wars as recounted in Homer’s Iliad.

Nature red in tooth and claw – “Who trusted God was love indeed /
And love Creation’s final law/Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw/
With ravine, shriek’d against his creed–
– from ‘In Memoriam’ by Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

131 this philippic – a fiery, damning speech or tirade.

132 English Civil War – 1642–1651.

we have to become all things to all men – “I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” I Corinthians chapter 9 verse 22.

had the root of the matter in her – “He was a man that had the root of the matter in him – but he was one of the most troublesome pilgrims that ever I met with in all my days.” From The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

134 Royal Botanic Gardens, – at Kew, Richmond, south London.

mutual friends…friends the merest …when you wish the snowdrops back – Angela Thirkell kindly supplies the sources here!

Chapter 6

136 Princess Louisa Christina – [Note copied from relusions for Before Lunch]: Princess Louisa Christina of Hatz (sometimes Herz)-Reinigen appears
also in Enter Sir Robert 246, Three Score And Ten 12, 42, Jutland Cottage 167. Cobalt= Coburg – HT suggests a play on words for Windsor & Newton watercolours. Queen Victoria’s mother was a Princess of Leiningen, while Queen Adelaide was a Princess of Saxe-Meiningen; Reinigen means “cleaning”, hertz means “heart”, hatz means “hounding”, or is it just supposed to be “hats”? Jo March, of course, smartened up old hats by painting them…!

137 Juliana Starter who could talk about nothing but her own health and diet – especially Kornog!: See Before Lunch

Lord Mickleham … Miss Dolly Foster – in Anthony Hope’s The Dolly Dialogues (1894, still hilarious).

a photograph of him by Mrs Cameron – Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79) was a famous photographer, celebrated for her portraits in soft-focus.

a thin red line of Council houses – The Thin Red Line (Battle of Balaclava) was an 1854 military action during the Crimean War, with the British soldiers in red uniforms.

Nous avons changé tout cela – We have changed all that: from Le Médecin malgré lui by Molière (1666), Act 2 scene 6.

138 Mary Thorne in Trollope’s novel Doctor Thorne, 1858.

139 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – by Thomas Hardy, 1891.

dépaysé – a useful one-word description of not being comfortable in new surroundings.

140 Small by degrees and beautifully less – “That Air and Harmony of Shape express,/Fine by Degrees, and beautifully less.” From ‘Henry and Emma, a poem upon the model of the Nut-brown Maid’ by Matthew Prior, 1774.

141 le mot juste French for the exact word. Coined by 19th-century novelist Gustave Flaubert, who often spent weeks looking for the right word to use.

Augustus Moddle – in Charles Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit he boarded at Todgers’s, then proposed to Charity Pecksniff but fled abroad on the eve of the wedding.

Pliny the Elder – Roman scholar (23-79 CE).

The Dickens Fellowship – founded in 1902, a worldwide association of people who share an interest in the life and works of Charles Dickens. Its headquarters are indeed at Dickens’s old home, 48 Doughty Street. See also page

142 sunt aliquid manes – roughly, There is something in the shades of dead people (ie beyond the grave): from Propertius, elegiac poet, born in Assisi around 50-45 BCE.

142 The Mitre – a famous inn in the centre of Oxford, now closed.

144 Dorothea – marries Mr Casaubon in Middlemarch by George Eliot, 1871.

145 All Quiet Along the Potomac Tonight – see note on page 52 above.

150 all glorious within – The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. Psalm 45 verse 13.

the halt and the blind – “Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant – Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.” – St Luke chapter 14 verse 21.

shorter in wind and in memory more unreliable – actually “Shorter in wind as in memory long” from the poem ‘Invictus’ by W. E. Henley (1849-1903). The school song for Harrow.

Battle of Waterloo – 1815

Battle of Ramillies – 1706

Senlac – a hill in Sussex, site of the Battle of Hastings, 1066.

151 Jephthah’s daughter – Jephthah had sworn an oath to God that he would sacrifice the first person who came out of his house: “and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances. Judges chapter 11 verse 34.

152 Nunc Dimittis – Now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace.

“You will, Oscar, you will” – James Mcneill Whistler claimed that once when he uttered a witticism, Oscar Wilde said “I wish I had said that”. Whistler replied, ‘You will, Oscar, you will”.

153 till Truth made all things plain – Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream Act V scene 1: Gentles, perchance you wonder at this show.
But wonder on, till truth make all things plain.

The old order changeth yielding place to new – Alfred, Lord Tennyson, ‘The Passing of Arthur’:

“And slowly answer’d Arthur from the barge,
The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”

154 like panting Time, toiling after his old friend in vain – Samuel Johnson (1709-1784), ‘Prologue at the Opening of Theatre in Drury Lane’:

“When learning’s triumph o’er her bar’brous foes –
First reared the stage, immortal Shakespeare rose;
… Existence saw him spurn her bounded reign,
And panting Time toiled after him in vain.”

155 Echos du temps passé – was a collection of songs by Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin, 1821- 1910.

the General Epistle of Jude – like the Book of Haggai (Dr Dale’s research subject in The Headmistress) this is a miniscule work in the New Testament, consisting of only one chapter and coming immediately before Revelation. It is extremely unlikely that Everard would know of the reference to Core (see below page 156).

156 Chi va sano va lontano – Whoever goes steadily goes far: in other words, slow and steady wins the race, as in the Aesop fable of the hare and the tortoise.

pursue the noiseless tenor of one’s way – “Far from the madding crowd’s ignoble strife/They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.” From ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ by Thomas Gray a frequent source of reference by Thirkell.

Core – “Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.”: Jude verse 11.

Korah and Dathan and Abiram – “So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, on every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children.
Bible, Numbers chapter 16 verse 27.

Jude the Obscure, novel by Thomas Hardy, 1896.

158 in the dark backward and abysm of time – “What seest thou else/
In the dark backward and abysm of time? Prospero in Shakespeare, The Tempest Act I scene 2.

Analects of Procrastinator – In Private Enterprise: “Yes, damn it, I shall,” – said Mr. Birkett. “And there I shall sit in my damned comfortable house, like Cicero in his retirement at Tusculum, working away at the Analects of Procrastinator, and wondering all the time if you are handling the Masters’ Common Room properly.” Also in County Chronicle: [Mr. Birkett] was well-known to fall into a kind of author’s frenzy while working on the Analects of Procrastinator. No exact parallel, but a Thirkellian joke on anecdotes about putting things off. There is no previous reference to someone having written a book about them and declined a knighthood.

159 The Rohans – Real people: Louis de Rohan – (1635-1674)
Guy-Auguste de Rohan-Chabot – (1683-1760).
Louis Rene Edouard, Prince of Rohan – 1734-1803.

“Dieu ne puis, Roi ne veux, Rohan je suis”: I cannot be God, I do not want to be king, I am Rohan.” Apparently said by the Vicomte de Rohan when offered the title of Duke (“King, then, Duke no deign, Rohan am”). The king, Henri IV, gave him the title of Duke, which he finally accepted. The true motto of the Rohan is “A plus”, which can be translated as “always higher”.

160 through caverns measureless to manIn Xanadu did Kubla Khan/
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea. Poem ‘Kubla Khan’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Arundel prints – A collection of chromolithographs of masterpieces of European art was created by the Arundel Society between the years 1848 and 1897.

St Ursula – was a princess who, at the request of her father King Dionotus of Dumnonia in south-west Britain, set sail to join her future husband, the pagan governor Conan Meriadoc of Armorica, along with 11,000 virginal handmaidens.

The Medici Society Ltd – founded in 1908, publishes Open Edition Prints.

Chapter 7

163 Noel’s fascination with Peggy Arbuthnot is recorded in Private Enterprise.

164 the female form divine

For Mercy has a human heart.
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress. William Blake (1757-1827)

164 Tennyson’s Maud – “Maud is not seventeen, But she is tall and stately.” ‘Maud: a Monodrama’ by Alfred Lord Tennyson

166 William Barnes – 1801-86. Dorset polymath. Published Poems of Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect 1844.

Beauty vanishes, beauty passes

“But beauty vanishes; beauty passes
However rare rare it be;
And when I crumble, who will remember
This lady of the West Country?” Walter de la Mare (1873-1956).

a generation… that knew not Joseph – Exodus chapter 1 verse 8.

Mr Wopsle plays Hamlet in Dickens’s Great Expectations.

167 lambs could not forgive nor worms forget – Mrs Gamp is the nurse/ midwife in Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit. Angela Thirkell refers to her many times in the novels.

Sonnets from the Portuguese – Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poems derived their title from the fact that ‘the Portuguese’ was Robert Browning’s pet name for Elizabeth, because of her olive skin.

cry Havoc, and let loose the dogs of war – or more correctly “let slip the dogs of war!” from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Act 3 scene 1.

168 cast down their holy crowns upon a glassy sea – “Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee,/Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea.” Hymn by Reginald Heber written in 1826: most of his 57 hymns are still in use today.

Mrs Fanny Dombey – first wife of Mr Dombey: according to his sister she did not make an effort in giving birth to Paul, and consequently died. Dickens, Dombey and Son.

170 Brother Ass – St Francis of Assisi’s affectionate name for the human body. Again Angela Thirkell shows growing sensitivity to cold.

172 the Coronation summer – All memories of events in What Did It Mean? See note to pages 80-1.

She never told her love‘ – set to music by Haydn, which doesn’t sound like a silly Victorian song. Continues
“But let concealment, like a worm i’ the bud,
Feed on her damask cheek.” Viola in Twelfth Night Act 2 scene 4.

173 Apollo’s lute, strung with his hair – “As sweet and musical/As bright Apollo’s lute, strung with his hair.” Shakespeare, Love’s Labour’s Lost Act 4 scene 3.

173 stand like a Turk with his doxies around – more correctly “Thus I stand like a Turk, with his doxies all round”: from The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay, 1728.

Garrick Between Tragedy and Comedy – a portrait of the actor David Garrick choosing between Thalia (the classical muse of comedy) and Melpomene (the muse of tragedy) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1760.

174 HMS Birkenheadwas wrecked on 26 February 1852. There were not enough serviceable lifeboats for all the passengers.

the wreck of the something-or-other – this is The Raft of the Medusa, painted by Théodore Géricault, 1819.

“The judge said he would not have the court turned into a circus…” – Source? Why does Lady Pomfret seem to reprove Noel Merton: does she feel he is trying to dominate the conversation by referring to shipwrecks and paintings while she was merely recounting childhood experiences?

175 Woodstock – novel by Sir Walter Scott, 1651. A Roundhead soldier Joseph Tompkins pushes the out of the pulpit as part of the sequestration of Woodstock Palace.

176 like Jonah and the whale – Bible, Jonah chapters 1 and 2: “And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land” (chapter 2 verse 10).

you can go back to Northbridge like the Lady of Shalott – in Tennyson’s poem ‘The Lady of Shalott’:

Down she came and found a boat, –
Beneath a willow left afloat, …
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away…”

178 Miss Betsy [sic: for Betsey] Trotwood in Dickens’s David Copperfield.

181 The Vox humana – (Latin for human voice) is a short-resonator reed stop on the pipe organ, so named because of its supposed resemblance to the human voice. The oboe stop is a single-rank reed stop used as both a solo stop and a chorus reed, widely used in French romantic organ music.

185 In fact a story of a cock and a bull – “L–D! said my mother, what is all this story about?” “A Cock and a Bull” said Yorick “And one of the best of its kind I ever heard.”: the last lines of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, 1759.

Rottingdean – autobiography again, Angela’s childhood holidays at Rottingdean, Sussex as recounted in her Three Houses.

186 You needn’t, Oscar, you needn’t” – see above, page 156. One of a set of repetitions:

Echos du temps passé – see above, page 155.

Lord Burleigh’s nod – see above page 104.

187 music as divine mathematics – ‘Someone said that’ suggests it is a specific quotation?

188 Ah! so the silence is, so is the hush – see above, p.76.

Max Beerbohm – 1872-1956, English writer and caricaturist.

Chapter 8

189-190 Then all for Women, Paining, Riming, Drinking,
Besides ten thousand freaks that died in thinking
– from ‘Absalom and Achitophel’ by John Dryden, 1681.

Sally Pomfret – first came to stay at Pomfret Towers in Pomfret Towers.

192 Lupin Pooter – in The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith, 1892.

Peter Gray a tea-taster … from ‘Etiquette’ in the Bab Ballads by Sir W.S. Gilbert, 1869.

Ruth and Tom Pinch – in Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit.

193 Lord Stoke … Edith Thorne – Lord Stoke gives Edith Graham the pearls he had offered to Edith Thorne in Never Too Late.

195 a Babel of talk – “Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth.” Genesis chapter 11 verse 9.

197 Stokey Hole – see The Demon in the House.

Injun JoeThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, novel by Mark Twain, 1884.

198 Thomas Hardy 1840-1928, novelist and poet.

200 Weltschmerz – German for a feeling of melancholy and world-weariness.

201 Gibbon – Edward Gibbon’s History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in six volumes was published between 1776 and 1788.

Ferdinand Gregorovius – wrote the 8-volume History of the City of Rome in the Middle Ages (1859–1872).

Marcel Proust – wrote the 12-volume À la recherche du temps perdu 1913.

Thrift, thrift, Horatio – In Act 1 scene 2 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet he cynically welcomes his friend Horatio to his mother’s wedding which happens an indecently short time after his father’s death: “the funeral baked meats did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.”

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteeen six – Mr Micawber is the improvident but optimistic character, based on Charles Dickens’s father, in David Copperfield.

202 “The Lord have mercy on your soul” – “May God have mercy upon your soul” is a phrase used within courts in various legal systems by judges pronouncing a sentence of death.

I can only pity your ignorance and despise you – Yes, it is Fanny Squeers, daughter of the cruel schoolmaster Wackford Squeers, in Nicholas Nickleby.

Always verify your references – said by Martin Routh, President of Magdalen College Oxford from 1791-1854.

Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev – 1818-83, Russian author. Correctly transliterated by Thirkell as Turgeniev to represent the Russian pronunciation.

The Dickens Fellowship – see note and above, page 141.

snipe-flights – Thirkell frequently refers to these concerning Laura’s conversation, after the zigzag flight of the snipe.

203 A Queen’s Counsel – (abbreviated to Q.C.), or King’s Counsel (K.C.) during the reign of a king, is an eminent lawyer. They are usually barristers.

beak – The slang use of this word for a magistrate or justice of the peace has not been satisfactorily explained. The earlier meaning, which lasted down to the beginning of the 19th century, was “watchman” or “constable.” According to Slang and its Analogues (J. S. Farmer and W. E. Henley, 1890), the first example of its later use is in the name of “the Blind Beak,” which was given to Henry Fielding’s half-brother, Sir John Fielding (about 1750). Thomas Harman, in Caveat or Warening for commen cursitors, 1573, explains harmans beck as “counstable,” harman being the word for the stocks. Attempts have been made to connect “beak” in this connexion with the Old English beag, a gold torque or collar, worn as a symbol of authority, but this could only be plausible on the assumption that “magistrate” was the earlier significance of the word.

Margaret Fuller… I accept the universe – the 19th century teacher and journalist (full name Sarah Margaret Fuller Osoli) was reported as saying this by William James in his book The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902), although this and Thomas Carlyle’s riposte were not witnessed by him.

Thomas Carlyle – 1795-1881, British man of letters.

204 hawfinch – thus named by ornithologist Francis Willughby in 1676 because it eats the red berries of the hawthorn.

204 Captain Hawdon – not only Lady Dedlock’s lover in Dickens’s Great Expectations but father of the heroine Esther Summerson. ‘Hawden’, further in the passage, is a misprint.

Euclid – c.300 BC, Greek mathematician, compiled Elements, a collection of
postulates, rules, theorems and problems which form the basis of Euclidean geometry. A confusing analogy as Noel finds!

204-05 Gordian Knot – Giles is becoming very like the young Tony Morland.

209 Do right and fear no man – First found in Proverbs of Good Counsel in Book of Precedence, c.1450. Apparently Lady Pomfret’s addition appeared in the Cincinatti Enquirer around 1918.

The Royal Nonesuch in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – chapters 23-25 of this novel by Mark Twain, 1884.

212 The Battle of Prague – sonata by Frantisek Koczwara, so famous that Jane Austen and Mark Twain alluded to it. Exists in various arrangements.

school near Brighton – Roedean School is an independent day and boarding school on the outskirts of Brighton, East Sussex. Any connection with nuns, Huguenots? Or possibly Mayfield School, about an hour away, a Catholic boarding school for girls, formerly a convent, in East Sussex?

213 Euterpe – the muse of lyric poetry.

Chapter 9

216 haute couture was Madame Tomkins’s washpot – a nice variation on “Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe.” See note for page 21 above.

217 Mrs Aggs, Mrs Baggs, Mrs Caggs… “Young Blight made a great show of fetching from his desk a long thin manuscript volume with a brown paper cover, and running his finger down the day’s appointments, murmuring, ‘Mr Aggs, Mr Baggs, Mr Caggs, Mr Daggs, Mr Faggs, Mr Gaggs, Mr Boffin’.” In Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend. Also Miss Bunting, chapter 1 in which Jane Gresham hears Mr Pattern murmur the same words, of course substituting Mrs Gresham for Mr Boffin.

218 Angela Thirkell shows a close eye for current and period fashions.

Madame Tomkins… rattled off a list of numbers – Thirkell is also very up-to-date, considering this novel was published in 1959, with her reference to ‘a computing machine.’!

219 Jennifer Gorman – despised by Clarissa Graham and Mrs Grantly in The Old Bank House (1949), but now has become a nice English girl, ‘bien élevée’ even if ‘bête comme tout’ (well brought up, thick as two short planks).

Dukes are in the Almanac de Gotha – the Almanach was an annual directory of Europe’s royalty and higher nobility, also including the major governmental, military and diplomatic corps. It ceased publications in 1944.

220 ‘Enfin, votre eglise anglaise ou les clairgymen se marient!… personne de tres bonne famille.” – ‘What, your English church whose clergy are allowed to get married! She can make do with Bostock and Plummer. If she were to set foot in here..’ ‘Don’t be too harsh, Madame Tomkins, given that my youngest son, Lord William, who is a clergyman very happily married to a charming person from a very good family…’

Madame Tomkins was practically doing penance in a white sheet – This was the Church’s form of punishment for people who had committed fornication or adultery: they had to attend church wearing a white sheet, carry a white wand and often repeat a confession in front of the congregation or church officials. Edward Penny’s painting ‘Jane Shore Led in Penance to St Paul’s’ in Birmingham Art Gallery shows this.

222 Now the Dowager’s conversation resembles a “snipe-flight” – as we are so often told that Laura Morland’s does. See above, page 202.

225 Sir Walter Scott – 1771-1832, Scottish author. ‘Scotch’ is usually nowadays seen as referring to Scotch whisky.

226 A sphinx without a secret – Sir Robert Fielding is correct: it is a short story about two friends meeting in Paris by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900), published in 1887.

227 hireling shepherd – the painting Angela Thirkell describes, by pre-Raphaelite painter William Holman Hunt, is in Manchester Art Gallery

King Log and King Stork – Aesop (fl. 6th century BCE) is famous for his Greek fables.

Piljian’s Projess of a Mortal Wale – a favourite relusion of Angela Thirkell. The alcoholic nurse Mrs Gamp’s prose style verges upon the poetic, especially when she is describing, as here, a conversation with her imaginary friend Mrs Harris. Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit.

Catullusdesideratum lectum – Gaius Valerius Catullus, 84-54 BC, Latin poet.

228 The Death of Chatterton – an oil painting by the English Pre-Raphaelite painter Henry Wallis, 1856.

The Last of England – painting by Ford Madox Brown, 1855.

Henry Kingsley – 1830-76, wrote Geoffrey Hamlyn and The Hillyars and the Burtons, novels set in Australia. It was Alfred Deakin (Prime Minister of Australia 1903-10) who called them ‘A Charter of Australia’

Charles Kingsley – 1819-75 wrote The Water-Babies.

229 suttee – an obsolete Hindu funeral custom whereby a widow immolates herself on her husband’s pyre or commits suicide in another fashion shortly after her husband’s death.

230 Catullus 84 – a humorous poem about a man named Arrius, who insisted on placing the ‘h’ sound in his words in order to appear more Greek, and thus more educated. Catullus loathed this and wrote the poem to express his deep dislike of this ploy.

232 Mulier cum non olet – … actually means “A woman smells best with no smell”. The translation is very tactful of Mr. Oriel, and clever of Angela Thirkell!

233 Wake Up and Dream – a musical revue of 1929 with a book by John Hastings Turner and music and lyrics by Cole Porter and others.

Chapter 10

238 Jean Baptiste Cavaletto – the Italian who comes to London and is employed by Arthur Clennam in Dickens’s Little Dorrit.

240 Empedocles – little is known about this person, who lived around 490–430 BCE, except that he was a Greek philosopher and statesman. He was reputed to have committed suicide by throwing himself into the volcano, Mount Etna; though some argued that he did so to prove he was immortal. Matthew Arnold wrote a poetic drama on the subject.

you, seeing me, never shall
With arms encumbered thus, or this headshake,
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
As “Well, well, we know,” or “We could an if we would,”
Or “If we list to speak,” or “There be an if they might,”
Or such ambiguous giving out—to note
That you know aught of me. Shakespeare, Hamlet Act I scene 5. See comments for page 28 above. Also page 84.

243 what you tell me two times is true – “Just the place for a Snark! I have said it thrice:/What I tell you three times is true: from ‘The Hunting of the Snark’ (1874) by Lewis Carroll.

244 Sara giving birth at ninety – Genesis chapter 17.

253 hectic – a frequent irritant to Angela Thirkell: see also page 74.

‘Too Late’ – William Lindsay Windus painted this picture in 1858.

the R.A.C. and the A.A. – Motoring organisations the Royal Automobile Club and the Automobile Association which offered guidance on places to eat and stay while journeying.

Malvolio – the steward in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

255 Little Rock – “We’re just two little girls from Little Rock,
We lived on the wrong side of the tracks”: opening lines of song sung by Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in the 1963 film, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

257 Woolcott Jefferson Van Dryven – becomes engaged to Betty Dean in Before Lunch.

258 Lord Byron – the poet George Gordon, 6th Baron Byron, 1788-1824, had a club foot.

259 The Ziegfeld Follies – conceived and staged by Florenz Ziegfeld. The first Follies was produced in 1907 at the roof theatre Jardin de Paris.

tire the electric light with talking… – “Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky”: William Johnson Cory poem ‘Heraclitus’.

At one stride comes the dark – from Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S. T. Coleridge:

“The Sun’s rim dips –
the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark”.

260 obiter dicta – an opinion given incidentally, usually in a court of law.

261 Miss Betsy [sic: for Betsey] Trotwood – One of Angela Thirkell’s most frequent relusions, from Dickens’s David Copperfield.

Chapter 11

268 Dinner party – events in What Did It Mean? again.

270 laudator temporis acti – a praiser of past times, from Horace’s Odes, as page 78
Quintus Horatius Flaccus 65-8 BC, Roman poet and satirist.

271 et patati et patata – and so on, and so forth.

Mlle Chiendent – literally dogtooth: the French for couch grass, very difficult to eradicate! May also mean hangover.

Fräulein Katzenjammer – uproar, or a severe hangover. Subtle linguistic jokes again!

from China to Peru – “Let observation with extended view/Survey mankind from China to Peru”: Samuel Johnson.

Gotthold Lessing – 1729-81, German author.

Pierre Corneille – 1606-84, French dramatist.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe – 1749-1832, German author.

272 Die Wahlverwandtschaften – a novel by Goethe, 1809.

Heinrich Heine – 1797-1856, German poet. It is possible that Ludo reflects Angela Thirkell’s girlhood experience.

272 Rudyard Kipling – 1865-1936, English author (and second cousin of Angela Thirkell).
‘A Code of Morals’ by Kipling includes the lines:
For clear as summer lightning-flare, the husband’s warning ran: –
“Don’t dance or ride with General Bangs – a most immoral man.”

276 a course of Burke or Debrett – Burke’s Landed Gentry provides a detailed listing of families once holding or who continue to own large estates of land; first published in 3 volumes 1833–35, updated and re-issued frequently.

Debrett’s is a specialist publisher – founded in 1769 with the publication of the first edition of The New Peerage. Debrett’s is published under the name Debrett’s Peerage & Baronetage, a book which includes a short history of the family of each titleholder.

she had the root of the matter in her – “He was a man that had the root of the matter in him – but he was one of the most troublesome pilgrims that ever I met with in all my days.” – from The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.

Brightness had fallen from the air– “Brightness falls from the air/Queens have died young and fair” from ‘In Time of Pestilence’. poem by Thomas Nashe, 1593.

278 Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres – from ‘Clair de Lune’, 1869 poem by Paul Verlaine (1844-96).

Charles Baudelaire – 1821-67, French Symbolist poet.

“Clair de lune” – (“Moonlight”) Op. 46 No 2, is a song by Gabriel Fauré (1845- 1924), composed in 1887 to words by Paul Verlaine.

Claude Debussy – 1862-1918, French composer.

‘Entbehren sollst du, entbehren – Thou shalt forego, shalt do without. – from Faust by Goethe.

280 Ivanhoe – novel by Sir Walter Scott, 1819.
Wamba the Witless – character in Ivanhoe.

Chapter 12

281 Guido Strelsa – is also reported to have been turned out of every gambling hell in Europe in Pomfret Towers.

Professor Milward – the young historian at the house party in Pomfret Towers.

Guy Barton says – “Mother [Susan Barton] had three letters about her last book, one from Professor Marston, and one from Cardinal Boccafiume, and one from the Duke of Monte Cristo” in Pomfret Towers (where the same lines about Prof. Marston’s monumental footnote-comprising books appear).

the Reichenberg Falls – Sherlock Holmes the detective apparently falls to his death in The Reichenbach Falls, a waterfall in Switzerland, at the the end of The Final Problem by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1893), but the author was persuaded to bring him back to life for more stories.

canard – is the French word both for a duck and a false report (as on page 86).

283 Sentimental Tommy – novel by J. M. Barrie, 1896.

ego et rex meus – Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (1473-1530) was reputed when chancellor to speak thus to his secretary: “Ego et meus rex, his Majesty and I, command you …”. In Latin this is perfectly acceptable, but sounds egotistical in English.

284 Rider Haggard – 1856-1925, English novelist.

Marie Corelli – ;pseudonym of Mary Mackay.1855-1924, author of Gothic and romantic novels.

Andrew Lang – 1844-1912, poet and writer. with his wife, of 12 Fairy Books each with its own colour.

283 all very Morland – George Morland,1763-1804, English landscape painter. Angela Thirkell also uses the adjective ‘Morlandesque’ about rural paintings.

286 events from Pomfret Towers again.

290 “dort d’un bon sommeil vermeil…” – ‘La Mer’, poem by by Jean Richepin (1849-1926)

Symbolism – a late nineteenth-century art movement in poetry, literature and other arts.

293 Harriette Wilson (1786–1845) was a celebrated British Regency courtesan, about whom Angela Thirkell wrote The Fortunes of Harriette (1936).

296 Boreas – the North Wind.

time did not always gallop withal – “Time travels in diverse paces with diverse persons. I’ll tell you who time ambles withal, who time trots withal, who time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal.” Rosalind in As You Like It Act 3 scene 2.

297 The Count of Monte Cristo – an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas (père),1844. A favourite writer of Angela Thirkell’s: she would perhaps assume that we know the significance of punctuality to the Count. Can anyone throw light on this?

298 Josiah Crawley, summoned by the Bishop, has to walk to Barchester, though his wife secretly arranges for Farmer Mangle to take him. It is a distance of fifteen miles. The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope (1867).

300 dem’d moist unpleasant summer-time – Mr. Mantalini in Dickens’s Nicholas Nickleby refers to ‘ dem’d moist, unpleasant bodies’.

301 Guster – the Snagsbys’ maidservant, prone to fits, in Dickens’s Bleak House.

Florence Nightingale …dreadful woman – After her experience in the Crimean War Nightingale (1820-1910) remained closely associated with Sidney Herbert (1810-1861) to achieve their joint objective of improving medical standards. Herbert as a politician kept working to achieve reforms in the War Office and in Army health, even against his doctor’s orders, until his premature death.

302 Popular Music of the Olden Time – Songs, Ballads, and Dance Tunes collected by William Chappell. Thirkell would literally have left her copy in Australia.

306 Lilac Time(Das Dreimaederlhaus) is a play with music in three acts, original book by A. M. Willner and Heinz Reichert, music by Franz Schubert adapted by Heinrich Berte, 1916.

308 Burke and Debrett – see notes to page 276 above.

309 manifold sins and wickednesses – at the beginning of the General Confession in The Book of Common Prayer: “We acknowledge and bewail our manifold sins and wickedness which we from time to time most grievously have committed.”

309 grew small by degrees and beautifully less – “That Air and Harmony of Shape express/Fine by Degrees, and beautifully less. From ‘Henry and Emma’ by Matthew Prior, 1774.

322 La Laitière et le Pot au Lait is one of the Fables of Jean de La Fontaine (1621-95) with the moral Don’t make ambitious plans and fail to notice the reality of the present. Dreaming of growing rich from the sale of the milk in the jug which she carries on her head to market, she drops it.

Philip Winter brings Lydia the telegram – about Noel’s fate at Dunkirk at the end of Cheerfulness Breaks In.






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