The Duke’s Daughter (1951)

Picture of the dust cover of "The Duke's Daughter"

References for terms found in The Duke’s Daughter, by Angela Thirkell.

‘Relusions’ for the Hamish Hamilton edition.
Compiled by Penny Aldred, Edith Fearn and Hilary Temple.

“People are always prepared to think of books as a sort of cube which has one surface removed – this results in the author hastening to ‘introduce therein’ people he comes across (as characters presumably).”

Proust – (thanks to Edith Fearn for the translation).

Chapter 1

7 Lloyd-George peerage – In 1910 there was a constitutional crisis over the Budget. Conservatives in the House of Lords were at odds with Liberals in the Commons pushing for social reforms introduced by Lloyd-George. When the King agreed to create enough Liberal peerages to pass the measure the Lords capitulated and gave up the power of absolute veto, resolving the problem officially with passage of the Parliament Bill in 1911. Hence the song: “Lloyd-George knew my father, father knew Lloyd-George”. “Lloyd-George peerages” were evidently considered somewhat inferior to the older creations.

8 Palafox – see The Old Bank House p.23 for first mention.

speckled Tootings – Buff Orpingtons (Tooting and Orpington are both London suburbs)

9 Heptarchy -The seven kingdoms into which England was divided by 650 AD after the Anglo-Saxon conquest.

face-à-main – what most of us would call a lorgnette!

10 Lord Hartletop’s coming-of-age – Anthony Trollope, Last Chronicle of Barset, I think?

13 Scenes From Clerical Life – George Eliot, 1858. Includes ‘The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton’, ‘Mr Gilfil’s Love Story’ and ‘Janet’s Repentance’.

14 Good Lord Deliver Us – From Ghosties and Ghoulies and long leggittie beasties, and things that go bump in the night… Good Lord deliver us! A Scottish prayer used on Hallowe’en.

ingans – a Scottish word for onions

16 The struggle has naught availed – poem by Arthur Hugh Clough:
“Say not the struggle naught availeth/The labour and the wounds are vain/The enemy faints not, nor faileth/And as things have been they remain.”

17 Escamillo – the bullfighter in Bizet’s opera Carmen. In true Thirkell style she is alluding to manzanilla. There would have been no imports from Spain during WW2.

18 In the spring a livelier iris changes on the burnished dove – continues “In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love”. Tennyson, ‘Locksley Hall’.

Daughter am I in my father’s house, but Mistress in my own” – from the Rudyard Kipling poem ‘Our Lady of the Snows’: “A Nation spoke to a Nation,/A Throne sent word to a Throne:/ ‘Daughter am I in my mother’s house,/But mistress in my own.’” See also County Chronicle, page 18.

22 Mr Crawley’s daughter – in Anthony Trollope’s Framley Parsonage and The Last Chronicle of Barset.

24 In total wacancy of hoofs – this is Joe Gargery in Great Expectations by Dickens, Chapter 15: “which I meantersay as even a set of shoes all four round might not be acceptable as a present, in a total wacancy of hoofs..”

Lucina’s chariot – Lucina was the Roman goddess of childbirth.

Roasted Manningtee ox – Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 1. The description of Falstaff as a roasted Manningtree ox with a pudding in his belly is thought to derive from the custom of ox-roasting in the town of Manningtree in Essex.

25 The Book of Ezra – comes between Chronicles II and Nehemiah in the Bible.

Propria Persona – a legal term meaning “for one’s self”, eg, acting on one’s own behalf.

26 Supererogation – good actions going beyond what is morally required.

27 Red Tape & Sealing Wax Department – from W. M. Thackeray, who uses it in several books, including Vanity Fair.

30 Dry Fly – an artificial fly used in fishing, often made of feathers and tied with silk, with names like Brown Turkey, Tin Tadpole, etc. Lord Norton, even though he is only the son of a Lloyd-George baron (see page 7 above) will be a fly- fisherman, rather than an angler or coarse fisherman which is definitely for the lower classes. It’s also a brand of sherry.

Chapter 2

31 Holding a child over the fonts – tenir un enfant sur les fonts, to stand as a sponsor/godparent to a baby at its baptism. Now superseded by “être parrain (marraine)”. [thanks to Edith Fearn for the translation]

36 A Man mayn’t Marry. . . – Many of us have whiled away the time during over-long sermons by reading the Table of Kindred and Affinity Wherein Whosoever are Related are Forbidden by the Church of England to Marry Together, found at the end of the Book of Common Prayer.

39 He and his sister were in the village one winterMarling Hall.

40 Who’s your Lady Friend
“Who, who, who’s your lady friend? Who’s the little girlie by your side? I’ve seen you with a girl or two. Oh,oh,oh I am surprised at you!
Hallo, hallo, stop your little game!
Don’t you think your ways you ought to mend? It isn’t the girl I saw you with at Brighton. Who, who, who’s your lady friend?” Presumably a music hall song.

Lest all should think that we were proud
“The morning came, the chaise was brought,/But yet was not allow’d/
To drive up to the door, lest all /Should say that she was proud.
poem ‘John Gilpin’ by William Cowper (1731-1800)

41 The Heir of Redclyffe – Novel by Charlotte M Yonge, 1853. The Heir marries his guardian’s daughter, Amabel, or Amy.

42 Annabel Lee – Poem by Edgar Allan Poe, 1839.

Riding the whirlwind – James Boswell in his essay ‘On War’ (written in 1717, and well worth reading today) quotes Addison representing the Duke of Marlborough as ‘an angel riding in a whirlwind and directing the storm’. But does it originally come from the Bible?

42 In charge of remounts – providing new horses to replace those which had been killed.

43 Spurlos versenkt – WW1 military jargon – German for ‘sunk without trace’.

44 Bracebridge Hall – Scenes from English Life, by Washington Irving, published 1822

47 L’ami de la maison – friend of the family, and thus innocuous.

48 Washington’s Vimphos, Corbett’s Bono-Vitasang and Holman’s Phospho-Manuro – any ideas on these? It is tempting to think that there may have been a brand of fertiliser made by Lincoln or Jefferson, Hunts, or Fords, or some other name associated with the Pre-Raphaelites.

51 The grasshopper is a burden – Bible, Ecclesiastes chapter 11 verse 6. Also The Old Bank House page 301.

52 Mammon of Unrighteousness – Bible, St Luke chapter 16 verse 9.

53 Monstrous Regiment – The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment [Rule] of Women. Title of pamphlet by John Knox, 1558. See also page 140 below.

Praetorium here, Praetorium there – “Praetorian here, Praetorian there, I mind the bigging o’t.” Sir Walter Scott’s novel The Antiquary, chapter 4.

Chapter 3

55 Beltons, Harefield, Hosiers’ Girls’ Foundation School… – see The Headmistress.

Thornes of Ullathorne – in Anthony Trollope, Dr Thorne.

Lord Nutfield…one letter – William Morris (not the one we associate with Burne-Jones) was the founder of the Morris car factory in Oxford. He became a baron as Lord Nuffield in 1934, and a viscount in 1938.

56 Rare Baronetcies that can go sideways – In Titles and Forms of Address I find that “failing a son to the first holder, the title goes to the nearest male descendant of a former holder.”

59 wigs on the green – a fight, brawl or fracas, or to a difference of opinion that could lead to fisticuffs. It often appears as “there’ll be wigs on the green”, as a warning (or a prediction) that an altercation is likely to occur. It’s originally Irish, dating from the eighteenth century, when men usually wore wigs. If a fight started, the first thing that happened was that the wigs of those involved would be knocked off and would roll incongruously about on the grass, to the amusement of bystanders and the embarrassment of participants.

60 Plassey, Arcot, Dowlah, etc.Clive of India captured Arcot in 1751. This was followed by the battle of Plassey where he defeated Suraj-ad-Dowlah’s army in 1757.

65 sound and fury – “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” Shakespeare, Macbeth Act 5 scene 5.

68 1949 Ocelot – word-play on Jaguar.

69 Never, no never – “What never? No never! What never? Well, hardly ever!” W. S. Gilbert operetta HMS Pinafore.

Dr Mothersill – Dr (later Baroness) Edith Summerskill was Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Food (1945-50), Minister of National Insurance (1950- 51)

70 Drinking the King’s health with one foot on the table – presumably this refers to some archaic custom in the Royal Navy, but I can’t find out what.

72 Touchstone – “It’s a poor thing, but mine own”: I have had the utmost trouble checking this, because it turns out to be a common misquotation and should read “An ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own”. Shakespeare, As You Like It, Act 5 scene 4.

The late and lamented H W Fowler – author of classic reference works on English usage: Modern English Usage, 1926 and (co-edited with his brother F. G. Fowler) The King’s English, 1906. He lived from 1858-1933.

73 Half-pay officer – receiving the allowance paid to an officer when neither retired nor in actual service.

74 Bumped – Oxford and Cambridge hold rowing races between the colleges annually, where the boats try to bump, rather than overtake, each other.

75 Lisa Bedale/Isabel Dale – see The Old Bank House.

76 Lotus-eater – from Homer. People who ate of the lotus-tree forgot their friends and homes and lost all desire to return to their native country.

Rape of the Book – she is alluding to Pope’s mock-heroic comic poem ‘The Rape of the Lock’.

Chapter 4

78 Second pip – The senior master just made it from second to first lieutenant. The pips are stars on the uniform shoulder straps.

Pippa Parson – apart from sounding like Browning’s Pippa Passes, does this refer to any particular film star? Rhymes with Greer Garson, but from the hairstyle it would seem to be Veronica Lake? See also The Old Bank House page142.

79 Trailing clouds of glory – Wordsworth poem ‘Ode on the Intimations of Immortality’, stanza beginning “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting”.

81 Bathwater Cold – does this refer to anywhere in particular? It sounds a bit like Dartington Hall in Devon. In the Cotswolds I can only find Cold Aston and Bourton on the Water, neither of which have any connection with teaching arts and crafts as far as I know.

82 Morpheus – the Greek god of sleep.

83 Mr F’s aunt – see Dickens’s Little Dorrit. Other occurrences:

Threnody – an ode, song or lamentation for the dead.

Whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth – Bible, Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews, chapter 12 verse 6.

85 Old Cripps – Sir Stafford Cripps, Chancellor of the Exchequer in the postwar Labour Government. Very left-wing, he was expelled from the party from 1939-1945 for recommending closer links with the Communist Party.

87 Wemmick – Mr Jaggers’s clerk and Pip’s friend in Dickens’s Great Expectations.

88 Gaiters’– Word play on Boots the Chemists,

Sheepskins’ – Woolworths chain store.

Lukes and Huxley – chain store Marks & Spencer (the evangelists Luke and Mark, and Spencer and Huxley who were both involved in the great 19th century evolution debates as well as Darwin.

Pickwickian – said of words or epithets, usually of a derogatory nature, that, in the circumstances in which they are employed, are not to be taken as having quite the same force or implication as they naturally would have. See Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, Chapter 1.

Mark of the Beast – The number of the Beast, 666, received on the right hand or forehead so that no-one could buy or sell until he had this mark. Bible, Revelations chapter 13, verses 16-18.

Petroushka – In the ballet by Stravinsky, Petroushka is a doll stuffed with sawdust.

91 And a ropewalk – This sounds as if it might be Dickens? The only specific reference I can find to a ropewalk is in Great Expectations, Chapter 46, but it doesn’t quite fit.

93 The “Nelson Touch” – became the phrase used to refer to the ability of one man to touch the lives of many and command an almost unwavering loyalty. Also pages 130, 150 below. See also **

98 Each glance of the eye…. – Robert Browning poem ‘The Lost Mistress’.

99 If wishes were horses, Beggars would ride – Continues “If turnips were watches, I’d wear one by my side.” Angela Thirkell often uses this old rhyme, and one of Aubrey Clover’s plays is called If Turnips were Watches.

103 Caveat Emptor – let the buyer beware.

104 Grobury – see Trollope’s Last Chronicle of Barset.

Chapter 5

111 moist energy

116 Prince Giglio – in W M Thackeray’s The Rose and the Ring.

117 Prettyman – Trollope, Last Chronicle of Barset.

119 Friends the merest – again Robert Browning, ‘The Lost Mistress’.

120 129 He knew what the ten-year soldier tells – from Kipling’s poem ‘The Road to Mandalay’. Also page 129 below.

123 Which in this case it has not got – From Henry Reed’s satirical poem ‘Naming of Parts’, published in the New Statesman, August 1942: “And this is the piling swivel,/which in your case you have not got./The branches hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gesture/Which in our case we have not got.”

125 Story of Kay and Gerda – Hans Christian Andersen fairy story ‘The Snow Queen’.

126 Professor Henbane – Which despised woman academic is meant here?

127 There was an old man of Sid Sussex – Sidney Sussex is a Cambridge college. Is the limerick one of Edward Lear’s? It might be, as it uses his rhyme scheme rather than the one usually used nowadays.

Chapter 6

129 Take up the white man’s burden – title of a poem by Kipling, 1899

130 Flowers of the Forest – There seem to be two 18th century poems with this title, one by Jean or Jane Elliot, and one by Alison Cockburn, both re-workings of an older Scottish ballad about the non-return of some 10,000 soldiers from the Battle of Flodden.

132 Hick, hock, hackery hail – I think AT made this one up, but it is very similar to some of the old English rhymes in her Mother Goose essay. All the leaf-dipping in the spring is very reminiscent of Kipling’s Puck of Pook’s Hill.

136 Mithra-worshippers – In the Roman worship of Mithras a bull was involved, though not in the Iranian cult.

139 Lord Dumbello – comes in Anthony Trollope’s Framley Parsonage and Last Chronicle of Barset.

140 John Knox – protestant Scottish preacher, who was exiled to Geneva during the reign of Mary Tudor and in 1558 published a First Blast of the Trumpet against the Monstrous Regiment of Women. See above page 53.

Who will to Cupar maun to Cupar – sounds like a quotation from Sir Walter Scott to me, though I can’t trace it. Mr Macpherson often lapses into somewhat impenetrable Scottish dialect.

Feeling rather like Jo that everyone was allus a-chivvying on him – Dickens’s Bleak House.

141 Parables from Nature – by Mrs Gatty, published between 1855 and 1871.

The real name of the artist – Claud Lorrain or Lorraine, 1604-1682, was Claude Gelée

142 Todgers’s can do it – Dickens’s Martin Chuzzlewit. Also **

144 The cottage with the stream running through it appears in The Carasoyn, by George Macdonald, Works of Fancy and Imagination, 1871. Also County Chronicle page 244.

Dine on mince and slices of quince – Edward Lear’s nonsense rhyme ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’.

made the Priory its washpot and cast its shoe over it – “Moab is my washpot; over Edom shall I cast my shoe”: Bible, Psalm 108.

147 Bolton Abbey in the Olden Time – painting, 1834, by Sir Edwin Landseer, now in the collection at Chatsworth. Also **

Door with a grill in it – grille, surely!

Lord Welter – Charles Ravenshoe’s friend in Henry Kingsley’s Ravenshoe, 1861.

148 Jasper and his grandmother – see Growing Up.

What Nelson felt like every time he went to sea – Nelson was renowned for never overcoming seasickness, or is it his sense of duty that Cecil means?

150 Meteor flag of England – nickname for the Red Ensign, (although that is now the flag of the merchant navy, it was that of the Royal Navy until 1864):
“The meteor flag of England
Shall yet terrific burn
Till danger’s troubled night depart
And the star of peace return . . .” From ‘Ye Mariners of England’, by Sir Thomas Campbell, 1801.

151 O.C.T.U. – Officer Cadet Training Unit.

Chapter 7

158 As we have just… found the reference with great difficulty – This book was written in 1950, just at the time when Margaret Bird came into Angela Thirkell’s life and started to help her.

Tyrell…William Rufus – William II of England, known as Rufus, was shot, possibly not accidentally, by a huntsman called Walter Tyrell in the New Forest in 1100.

159 Ghost’s Walk at Chesney Wold – “The rain is ever falling — drip, drip, drip — by day and night upon the broad flagged terrace- pavement, the Ghost’s Walk. The weather is so very bad down in Lincolnshire that the liveliest imagination can scarcely apprehend its ever being fine again.” Dickens’s Bleak House.

160 Europa – She was abducted from Phoenicia to Crete by Jupiter in the form of a bull.

161 The Statue and the Bust – Poem by Robert Browning,

Thoughts, Silent Thoughts:
“Thoughts, silent thoughts, of Time and Space and Death, like waters flowing, Bear me indeed as through the regions infinite,”
‘Passage to India’, by Walt Whitman, used as the text for Vaughan-Williams’s Sea Symphony.

PhantastePhantastes: a faerie romance, by George Macdonald, in prose and verse, 1858. In Chapter 23 the hero is imprisoned in a tower, but every night when the moon shines through a hole in the roof the walls of the tower vanish in a mist, only to reappear at sunrise.

162 The Pit and the Pendulum – short story by Edgar Allan Poe, 1842, about a man undergoing torture during the Spanish Inquisition.

168 Chinese rococo Garden House at Harefield – see The Headmistress.

174 Emmy … fell in to the pond – see Wild Strawberries.

People that call a turnip a navvy – French for turnip is ‘navet’. A navvy is a labourer, short for ‘navigator’, from the days when the canals were first dug and were called ‘navigations’.

175 If you want a proud foe to make tracks – from ‘My name is John Wellington Wells’, W S Gilbert The Sorcerer.

180 Consulibus Illis – literally “They being the consuls”, the capital I indicating They/Them, ie the Labour Government.

Chapter 8

186 Oh Miss Shepherd”- Dickens, David Copperfield, Chapter 18.

189 Cora, coram – Coram is a good joke, as it is a Latin word meaning in the presence of.

Patient Griselda – Originally from Boccaccio’s Decameron, but used by Chaucer in The Canterbury Tales (The Clerk’s Tale). She was a model of enduring patience and wifely obedience, and subjected to almost unendurable trials.

192 The one to wash the other – A Nanny kind of saying, perhaps from a nursery rhyme, but I can’t trace it.

193 laggard in love – “A laggard in love and a dastard in war”,from the poem ‘Young Lochinvar’ in Sir Walter Scott’s novel Marmion (1808).

Eventré – disembowelled.

194 Little red decoration – presumably the Légion d’Honneur.

On va vous en dire des nouvelles – I’ll tell you what [shades of Lucy!]

Society for the Propagation of English – possibly the English Speaking Union?

195 Stuck close to his desk and never gone to sea…: and you all may be rulers of the Queen’s Navee – W S Gilbert operetta HMS Pinafore.

Soliloquy in a [sic should be of the] Spanish Cloister – Poem by Robert Browning, often quoted by Angela Thirkell.

196 Embusqué – one who avoids active service in wartime, shirker.

chivvies and worrits – evidently Dickens, but where?

197 Those things we ought not to have done: The General Confession from the Book of Common Prayer.

199 Hold your hand but as long as all may – Robert Browning’s poem ‘The Lost Mistress’ again!

This is the heart the Queen leant on – From Browning’s ‘Misconceptions’: see below page 212.

Chapter 9

203 Mr Guppy – A character in Dickens’s Bleak House.

205 A former Dowager Lady Lufton …Lucy Robarts, Justinia Lufton who married Sir George Meredith: Trollope, Framley Parsonage.

George Richmond – RA, 1809-1896 – studied under Fuseli, influenced by Blake, was one of the “Ancients”, later became a successful society portrait painter.

206 Peter Gray, Somers, Robinson – in ‘Etiquette’, one of the Bab Ballads, by W S Gilbert.

210 The Black Douglas – Sir James Douglas, (1286-1330), champion of Robert Bruce, and a figure of dread to the English of the Border.

Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. He cut his customers’ throats and their bodies were put into pies.

211 Turk – see Marling Hall

212 Mr Attlee – Clement Attlee, the Labour Prime Minister who supplanted Angela Thirkell’s beloved Winston Churchill..

This is a heart the Queen leant on – “Thrill’d in a minute erratic,
Ere the true bosom she bent on, Meet for love’s regal dalmatic”. Source?

Chapter 10

224 Kate Barlass – King James I of Scotland, a cultured and firm ruler, was seen by some of his countrymen as a tyrant. Under attack by his enemies while staying at the Dominican chapter house in Perth on 20 February 1437, he was holed up in a room whose door had the usual metal staples for a wooden bar, but whose bar had been taken away. The legend has it that Catherine Douglas, one of the queen’s ladies-in-waiting, tried heroically to save James I by barring the door. with her naked arm. Her attempt failed, her arm being broken in the process, and the King was murdered, but she was thereafter known as Catherine Barlass. Dante Gabriel Rossetti wrote a poem about her in 1881, entitled The King’s Tragedy, of which one stanza is:
“Like iron felt my arm, as through
The staple I made it pass:
Alack! It was flesh and bone – no more! ‘Twas Catherine Douglas sprang to the door, But I fell back Kate Barlass.”
(See also Cheerfulness Breaks In page 133, County Chronicle page 84.

The Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight – During the 17th century, Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, sentenced a soldier to be shot for his crimes. The execution was to take place at the ringing of the evening curfew bell. However, the bell did not sound. The soldier’s fiancée had climbed into the belfry and clung to the great clapper of the bell to prevent it from striking. When she was summoned by Cromwell to account for her actions, she wept as she showed him her bruised and bleeding hands. Cromwell’s heart was touched and he said, “Your lover shall live because of your sacrifice. Curfew shall not ring tonight!”

Chapter 11 (246) **

Chapter 12

270 The dead they cannot rise – Kipling, ‘Barrack Room Ballads’.

273 Drink eisel and eat a crocodile – Hamlet’s rage against Laertes at Ophelia’s funeral in Hamlet Act 5 scene 1.

Sixpence will not part usNicholas Nickleby, Chapter 23, by Charles Dickens

274 Thomas à Becket’s mother – was said to be a Saracen Princess. The only two English words she knew were “Becket” and “London”

Chapter 13 (278) **

Chapter 14 (296) **

Chapter 15

314 Sir Crossjay Patterne – Mr Crossjaye Patterne is a character in The Egoist, by George Meredith

Chapter 16 (327)

334 Punic faith – treacherous.


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