Three Score And Ten (1961)

Colour picture of the dust cover from Angela Thirkell's 29th Barsetshire novel Three Score and Ten

References for the novel Three Score And Ten, by Angela Thirkell.

‘Relusions’ for the Moyer Bell 2005 edition.

The first five chapters of Three Score and Ten were written by Angela Thirkell. After Angela’s death in January 1961, the novel was completed by her friend the renowned film critic, C A Lejeune.

Chapter 1

9 MIDNIGHT – in no midsummer tune –
The breakers lash the shores:
The cuckoo of a joyless June
Is calling out of doors:

Midnight -and joyless June gone by –
And from the deluged park
The cuckoo of a worse July
Is calling thro’ the dark:
both verses from Prefatory Poem to My Brother’s Sonnets, by Lord Tennyson.

That’s the wise thrush; – he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture
The first fine careless rapture!
from Home-Thoughts, from Abroad by Robert Browning (1812-89).

10 Randolph Caldecott – 1846-86, book-illustrator.

11 Thomas Hardy, – 1840-1928, poet and novelist.

Tess of the D’Ubervilles, – novel by Hardy, 1891.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin, – novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852.

Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, – 1769-1839.

Horatio Nelson, – 1758-1805.

11 12 Horatio Nelson died leaving no legitimate children, – so his eldest brother, the Reverend William Nelson, was created the 1st Earl Nelson by George III, given £90,000 (£100 million at today’s property values) to buy an estate (Trafalgar Park in Wiltshire), and a pension of £5,000 a year, to last for as long as there were Lords Nelson. The pension duly passed to his descendants. But in 1889 the government made an attempt to buy it out, offering a lump sum to the then Lord Nelson, which he rejected. When Lord Nelson tried to revive negotiations in 1904 the government not only refused to increase the offer but said that it could not afford to honour the one made 15 years previously. By the end of the Second World War, the Nelson pension – still £5,000 a year – was the only surviving one of its kind; the families of other national heroes such as the Duke of Marlborough, had been bought out. In 1946 the 4th Earl complained to the Attlee government that much of the pension was being eaten up by the cost of maintaining Trafalgar Park; so the Treasury proposed a deal that entailed passing a Bill ending the pension, but allowing the family to sell the estate, which had been purchased with public money for Horatio Nelson’s successors.

12 Whoso turns as I, this evening, – turn to God to praise and pray,
While Jove’s planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.
– from Home-Thoughts, from the Sea by Robert Browning.

Christ Church college, – Oxford University, is known as “The House”.

Eton College – is an English independent boarding school for boys in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor.

Lord Stoke’s reminiscences about wallpaper – compare:
‘One occupation I can thoroughly recommend if your heartless parents send you to bed while it is still light. You lick your finger and rub it up and down on the Morris wallpaper. Presently the paper begins to come off in rolls and you can do this till you have removed so much of the pattern that your mother notices it.’ – from Thirkell’s Three Houses.

WHEN all the world is young, lad
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen;
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
>And every dog his day.
– from “Young and Old” in The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley.

Lacrimae rerum (tears of things) – from Book I, line 462 of the Aeneid by Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro), 70–19 BC.

14 The tumult and the shouting dies;
 The Captains and the Kings depart:
from Recessional by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936).

A Complete Concordance to the Holy Scriptures,- generally known as Cruden’s Concordance, is a concordance of the King James Bible that was singlehandedly created by Alexander Cruden (1699–1770). The Concordance was first published in 1737.

As good as Marleen it was” – may refer to a film featuring Marlene Dietrich, German actress b.1904.

15 O tempi passati! – Presumably Thirkell is remembering and regetting past times, but source?

Hebe – cup-bearer to the Greek gods.

Dr Pepper – is a carbonated soft drink marketed as having a unique flavor. The drink was created in the 1880s by Charles Alderton in Waco, Texas. Like many early sodas, the drink was marketed as a brain tonic and energizing pick-me-up.

Princess Louisa Christina of Cobalt-Hatz – (sometimes Herz)-Reinigen appears also in ESR, NR, LAAA and JC. Cobalt= Coburg – HT suggests a play on 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”?
The long poem, The Princess, by Tennyson, includes the lines –
“She stretched her arms and called
Across the tumult and the tumult fell.”

16 First par – who can this woman with shawls and bare feet be?

grown-up feet – Compare “It was one of the worst shocks in my life when I looked at my own feet when I was about fourteen and realised that they were getting grown up”, spoken by George Halliday in Peace Breaks Out.

17 Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, – 1819-61.

Tony spat out his cherry stones – in The Demon in the House, chapter 3.

18 “Tinker Tailor” – is a counting game, nursery rhyme and fortune telling song. “Who shall I marry? Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor, Rich Man, Poor Man, Beggar Man, Thief!”.

Where did you come from, baby dear? Out of the everywhere into here.
– by George Macdonald, – 1824-1905.

“Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” – Matthew 23.33

 “Maud Muller” is a poem from 1856 written by John Greenleaf Whittier (1807–1892).

19 Mark Twain – (Samuel Langhorne Clemens), American humorist, 1835-1910.

Algernon Swinburne, – English poet, 1837-1909.

Edwin Drood, – unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, English novelist, 1812- 1870.

23 In which novel does Adrian fal into the river – ???
Throughout her novels, Thirkell makes many bitter criticisms of mispronunciations by the BBC.

24 “Friends the merest
Keep much that I’ll resign.”
– from “The Lost Mistress” by Robert Browning, 1812-80.

In which novel does Lord Stoke tell Laura of this romance???

25 “The River of Life” – a painting by William Blake (1757-1827) illustrates lines from the Book of Revelation. The River of Life flows from the throne of God to the Tree of Life.

Time, like an ever rolling stream, –
Bears all its sons away;”
– from “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past”, a hymn by Isaac Watts.

25 “His helmet now shall make a hive for bees.”
– from Polyhymnia by George Peele (1558-1597.

The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment of Women: – a 1558 tract by John Knox.

27 Under way – (not weigh) is the right phrase for in motion; it has nothing to do with the anchor’s being aweigh. Strictly a vessel is under way when she is not at anchor or made fast or aground; she may be under way and yet have no way on her. – from Dictionary of Modern English Usage.

The skipjack – is a traditional fishing boat used on Chesapeake Bay for oyster dredging.

28 Lord Stoke had proposed in youth to Edith Thorne, – who rejected him and married Giles Pomfret, 7th Earl Pomfret. In which novel does he tell Laura of this ???

No motion has she now, no force
She neither hears nor sees;
Rolled round in earth’s diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.
– from “A Slumber Did My Spirit Steal” by William Wordsworth.

In which novel does Mr Parkinson move to Greshambury **

‘In less time than it has taken us to write the preceding paragraph (with frequent intervals to look out of the window and watch the workmen painting the house opposite a most revolting shade of shrimp-gamboge which we could describe far more accurately in one word, borrowed from our formerly lively neighbours the Gauls, if it were not rather too French)’.
– compare this from a letter Thirkell wrote to Margaret Bird in October 1959:
“The large low building opposite me has changed hands and has been repainted a most hideous kind of browny-red – what the French wd call ‘caca’.” She repeats the term ‘caca’ for this colour in three other letters.

30 Cold Comfort Farm – a novel by Stella Gibbons published in 1932, parodying heavy countryside novels such as Precious Bane by Mary Webb, published in 1924.

31 KINCHINJUNGA, or Kanchanjanga, – is a peak of the eastern Himalayas, situated on the boundary between Sikkim and Nepal.

Mount Everest – is in the Mahalangur Range. The international border between China and Nepal runs across Everest’s summit point.

moraines – are ridges of debris deposited along the sides of a glacier.

Oliver Twist – by Charles Dickens, published 1837.

32 a quadroon – was a mixed-race person with one quarter African and three quarters European ancestry.

Alexandre Dumas, – French writer, 1802-70.

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings – hast thou ordained strength”.
– Psalms 8.2.

34 Why Lord Stoke never married – see above, p.28.

Chapter 2

36 There was an old woman who lived in a shoe -.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread; Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.
– traditional nursery rhyme.

37 Why Lord Stoke never married – see above, page 28.

The chancellor, sedate and vain
In courteous words return’d reply:
But dallied with his golden chain,
And, smiling, put the question by.
– from “The Revival” by Alfred Tennyson.

38 “Open Sesame” – is a magical phrase in the story of “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves” in One Thousand and One Nights. It opens the mouth of a cave in which forty thieves have hidden a treasure.

39 Punch, or The London Charivari – was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew.

40 Dr Ford proposes to Anne Todd – who rejects him to marry George Knox in High Rising.

“There was a kind of idea about one of the Vicar’s daughters” – Sylvia Gould in The Demon in the House.

41 Swing high swing low
swing to and fro,
That’s the way they set wedding
bells ringing you know.
– appeared on a Valentine card about 1907.

41-2 The expression the hair of the dog, for an alcoholic drink taken to cure a hangover, is a shortening of ‘a hair of the dog that bit you’. It comes from an old belief that someone bitten by a rabid dog could be cured of rabies by taking a potion containing some of the dog’s hair.

43 Roundhead – was the name given to the supporters of the Parliament of England during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against Charles I of England and his supporters.

Sputnik 1 – the first artificial Earth satellite, launched into an elliptical low Earth orbit by The Soviet Union on 4 October 1957. Thirkelll wrote in a letter to Margaret Bird, June 1958, “this horrible cold and those silly Sputniks upsetting the weather”.

White Hell of Pitz Palu – was a silent movie from Germany, 1929, directed by G. W. Pabst.

43-44 Princess Louisa – see above, p.15.

45 The Corsican Brothers – (Les Frères corses) is a novella by Alexandre Dumas, père, first published in 1844. It is the story of two conjoined brothers who, though separated at birth, can still feel each other’s pains.

Dion Boucicault – adapted Alexandre Dumas’ French original into a play, The Corsican Brothers; or, The Fatal Duel, in three acts. The play was first shown at the Princess’s Theatre in February 1852.

Sir Henry Irving, – English actor-manager, 1838-1905.

46 Fred and Algernon Littimer – can’t trace
Littimer is Steerforth’s servant in Dickens’s David Copperfield.

Edith Graham and the pearls – in which Angela Thirkell novel **

47 “In this year [1000 AD] a terrible comet appeared – which by its look terrified many, who feared that the last day was at hand; inasmuch as several years before it had been predicted by some, deluded by a false calculation, that the visible world would end in the year of Christ 1000.”
– from the Annales Hirsaugiensis written by the German abbot Joannes Tritemius, about 1500.

48 “A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit – embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.” From Areopagitica by John Milton, 1644.

Jonas Chuzzlewit – in Martin Chuzzlewit by Dickens.

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; – and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. – Psalm 90.

O fortunatos nimium sua si bona norint, agricolas – translated from Latin means “The farmers would count themselves lucky, if they only knew how good they had it”. (Virgil, The Georgics, 458).

49 Virgil – (Publius Vergilius Maro), 70-19 BC.

Hundreds and Thousands, – also known as sprinkles or sugar strands, are very small pieces of confectionery, multicoloured, used as a decoration for cakes or desserts.

laudator temporis acti – (praiser of time past) – from Horace’s Ars Poetica.

stalactites – deposits of carbonate of lime hanging like icicles from roof of caves.

stalagmites – deposits of carbonate of lime rising like spikes from floor of caves.

If seven maids with seven mops – Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,’ the Walrus said, – they could get it clear?’
– from ‘The Walrus and the Carpenter’ in Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll, 1871.

The Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, London, was an exhibition hall built in the ancient Egyptian style in 1812. Presumably Lord Stoke is recalling a film shown there.

50 Hin und zurück – (There and Back) is an operatic ‘sketch’ (Op. 45a) in one scene by Paul Hindemith, with a German libretto by Marcellus Schiffer.

Le Spectre de la rose (“The Spirit of the Rose”) is a short ballet about a young girl who dreams of dancing with the spirit of a souvenir rose from her first ball.

Captain Deuceace is a character in Vanity Fair by W. M. Thackeray.

50 Tony’s exploring of the Stokey Hole – is recounted in The Demon in the House, chapter III.

51 Cheltenham, – also known as Cheltenham Spa, is a regency spa town and borough located on the edge of the Cotswolds, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Gloucestershire. Sister Chiffinch also plans to retire there, but I can’t recall in which book.

In Act 2 of Oscar Wilde’s play, The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack appears in ostentatious mourning.

Queen Victoria remained in deep mourning after the death of Prince Albert in 1861.

52 “And a partridge in a Pear Tree” – is the last line of the carol ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’.

54 The BBC Third Programme – was a national radio service produced and broadcast by the BBC between 1946 and 1970. It became one of the leading cultural and intellectual forces in Britain. It was the BBC’s third national radio network, the other two being the Home Service (mainly speech-based) and the Light Programme, principally devoted to light entertainment and music.

Chapter 3

61 “Elderly women are much more apt than men to ‘Have a leg’,”
– compare “half the elderly women in Chelsea have a limp or a shuffle” inThirkell’s letter to Margaret Bird of January 1957.

Mrs. Mounstuart Jenkinson and Sir Willoughy Patterne appear in The Egoist , a novel by George Meredith, 1879.

62 God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it. – Bible, Genesis 1.28.

63 I can call spirits from the vasty deep. – Hotspur in Henry IV Part 1, Act III, scene 1.

64 “England expects that every man will do his duty” – was a signal sent by Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, from his flagship HMS Victory as the Battle of Trafalgar was about to commence on 21 October 1805.

See how this river comes me cranking in – Shakespeare, Henry IV Part 1, Act III, scene 1.

65 Vehmgerichte – a tribunal in Germany during the Middle Ages, in connection with a secret organisation under sanction of the emperor for the enforcement of justice.

66 “Moab is my wash pot -; over Edom will I cast out my shoe:” Psalm 60.

68 Stonkered – Australian slang: completely exhausted or beaten; whacked. (recall the years Thirkell spent in Australia with her young sons..

72 The National Health Service – was launched by Aneurin Bevan in July 1948.

Kaiser William II – German Emperor, 1859-1941.

In Norse mythology, Ragnarok – a series of fuure events resulting in the doom of the Gods.

73 Younger than she are happy mothers made. – said by Paris in Romeo and Juliet Act I scene 2.

cela n’empêche pas” – that doesn’t matter.

74 Tony Morland played with Rose and Dora Gould – and Dr Ford appeared to be becoming emotionally involved with Sylvia Gould, in The Demon in the House.

76 the female of the species is more deadly than the male.
– from ‘The Female of the Species’ by Rudyard Kipling.

The victoria was an elegant French carriage. – It may be visualised as essentially a phaeton or brougham with the addition of a coachman’s box-seat, but not enclosed and therefore open to the elements.

77 Rudyard Kipling – (1865-1936.

Kipling was an early convert to motoring – and originally had a steam car, which always needed water and was always breaking down. He wrote about invented adventures in that car in ‘Steam Tactics’ in Traffics and Discoveries, 1904.

Mrs Merivale agonises over guest towels – in Miss Bunting Chapter 7.

78 In which novel does Laura visit Pomfret Towers – **

“One does miss the war sometimes.” – Thirkell’s attitude to the war can be gauged by her calling the novel in which World War II begins Cheerfulness Breaks In, and that in which it ends Peace Breaks Out.

79 In Sir Walter Scott’s Rob Roy – (1817) Robert MacGregor, the romantic outlaw and freebooter, says: “Where MacGregor sits, there is the head of the table.”

Glamora Tudor again – thought to be Gloria Stuart, born 1910, who appeared in more than forty films in the thirties.

Voltaire pseudonym of François Marie Arouet, – French writer, 1694-1778.

The Académie française – is the pre-eminent French council for matters pertaining to the French language.

The Spectator – is a weekly British conservative magazine, first published in 1828.

80 Rose and Dora – want to see “a Travelogue about New Guinea”. Margaret Mead’s Growing Up in New Guinea was published in 1930, comparing the views of the indigenous people on family, marriage, sex, child rearing, and religious beliefs to those of westerners. Might a salacious film have been made of this work, making “Everyone was glad that they should improve their minds” ironic?

81 Sylvia “went rather red in the face and twisted her hands”. – This was the behaviour of adolescent Alice Barton and Anne Fielding.

82 Letters from people recognising original sources in novels – didn’t the families of the originals of Miss Bunting and Lady Emily recognise themselves and object?

And Ezra the scribe – stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they had made for the purpose: Bible, Nehemiah chapter 8 verse 4.

83 Letters complaining of errors – in a letter to Margaret Bird, 2 October 1950, Thirkell writes of “A very angry letter from a lady who said she was an R.C. and that the Church of England had no real head”.

Robert Browning, – English poet, 1812-1889.

84 Manichaeism – was a major religious movement that taught an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness.

85 The Snipe – has a zigzag flight.

86 The morning came, the chaise was brought
But yet was not allowed
To drive up to the door, lest all
Should say that she was proud.”
– from ‘The Diverting History of John Gilpin’ by William Cowper, 1785.

Chapter 4

88 Along the cool sequestered vale of life – They kept the noiseless tenor of their way – from ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ by Thomas Gray (1751).

The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations – was first published by the Oxford University Press in 1941.

“In Baedeker’s guide book of England, – current some years ago, Baedeker recited the beauties of both the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, but, at the end of its section on the latter, added the words: “If pressed for time, omit Cambridge.”: from The Winnipeg Tribune, 12 January 1939.

89 Laura forgets who built Rising Castle – According to The Demon in the House, the 4th Lord Stoke had defended the castle against Cromwell, and “the present earl’s great-great-grandfather had built a comfortable mansion from the stones of the ruins”.

Oliver Cromwell – 1599-1658.

English Civil War – 1642-51.

90, 91 Compare Mrs Morland’s description of baths in her youth with this from Thirkell’s Three Houses:
Nursery bath-time was delicious. The big tin bath was brought in from the brown staircase-landing and Nanny hung towels on the fender to warm while she went downstairs to fetch a huge can of hot water from the pantry boiler. It was so comfortable to sit in the high-backed bath with the hot water surging up round one, and then to get out in front of the blazing fire and be wrapped in a delightfully scorching towel’, followed by Marie or Petit Beurre biscuits.

91 “Echos du temps passé” – song by Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin (1821-1910.

Alphabet biscuits – Tony Morland and Eric Swan perform this feat of cramming the alphabet into their mouths in Summer Half.

In which novel does Albert go on the school outing?

93 Tony’s exploring of the Stokey Hole – is recounted in The Demon in the House, chapter 3.

94 “Let ’em all come” – the only song Google suggest for this is that of Millwall football team!

95 Time travels in divers paces with divers 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.

William Shakespeare – 1564-1616.

Helicon – a mountain range in Greece sacred to the Muses.

Others abide our question, Thou art free– sonnet, ‘Shakespeare’ by Matthew Arnold (1822-88.

Henry Keith was killed in Love At All Ages. **

97 Aeneid by Virgil – (70-19 BC). Book II begins (in translation):
“The room fell silent, and all eyes were on him
As Father Aeneas from his high couch began:”
– so also “did Lord Stoke speak, from his seat of honour.”

99 Peacockian vein – must be like Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866). One of his poems includes the line, “Let the bottle pass freely, don’t shirk it nor spare it.”

The Club or Literary Club – is a London dining club founded in February 1764 by the artist Joshua Reynolds and essayist Samuel Johnson.

100 The events Laura describes to Daphne Bond – all occurred in Before Lunch.

The Middle and Inner Temple – are two of the four Inns of Court, or Honourable Societies of Barristers.

101 Happy Families – is a traditional card game, usually with a specially made set of picture cards, featuring illustrations of fictional families of four, most often based on occupation types.

103 Charles John Huffham Dickens – 1812-70.

Anthony Trollope – 1815-82.

William Makepeace Thackeray – 1811-63.

Charlotte Bronte – published novels under the pseudonym of Currer Bell.

Sir Walter Scott – 1731-1832.

104 spurlos verseukt – misprint for Spurlos Versenkt ? This means something like “sunk without a trace” and refers to the German U-boat campaign during World War 2.

Charlotte Bronte – 1816-55.

Emily Jane Bronte – 1818-48.

Anne Bronte – 1820-49.

Patrick Prunty – 1777-1861, father of the three girls.

Maria Bronte – 1783-1821, mother of the three girls
(There seems to be no reference to Branwell in this passage.)

The goddess Aphrodite – (Venus to the Romans) was the daughter of Zeus and Dione, held to have sprung from the foam of the sea.

108 The Cheshire Cat – in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1832-98) fades away, leaving only his grin visible.

Chapter 5

113 Anne Hathaway – 1556-1623, wife of William Shakespeare.

114 Franco-Prussian war – 1870-71.

116 Laura recalls the events chronicled in High Rising.

117 Trial by Jury – comic opera with libretto by W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911), first produced in 1875.

“Ye mariners of England!” – ballad by Thomas Campbell (1777-1844).

“our parents took a house somewhere in Sussex” – autobiographical:

Rottingdean – on the south coast of Sussex.

“Echos du temps passé” – song by Jean-Baptiste Weckerlin (1821-1910.

Compare “It was one of the worst shocks in my life – when I loked at my own feet when I was about fourteen and realised that they were getting grown up”, spoken by George Halliday in Peace Breaks Out.

Isadora Duncan – American dancer, 1878-1927.

Trilby and Little Billee – characters in the novel Trilby by George du Maurier, 1894.

There mark what ills the scholar’s life assail,
Toil, envy, want, the patron, and the jail.
– from ‘The Vanity of Human Wishes’, a poem by Samuel Johnson (1709-84.

118 “… the engine puffed up to the platform – and drew up in front of one of those advertisements, much valued by connoisseurs for its rarity in these degenerate days, enamelled on tin with a fine original example of the distich about the Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pens.”
A distich is a couplet, a two line stanza making complete sense.
The old advertising slogan ran: “They come as a boon and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen.”

118 A pogrom – is a violent riot aimed at the massacre or persecution of an ethnic or religious group.

119 Wamba the Witless, Cedric the Saxon – and his jester are all characters in the novel Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott, 1819.

Edie Ochiltree – is a character in Sir Walter Scott’s 1816 novel The Antiquary.

120 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.

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

A mystery! ay, good, my masters.
—-there’s mystery
In a moonbeam– in a gnat’s wing–
In the formation of an atom–
An atom! it may be a world–a peopled world–
Canst prove that it is not a world? Go to,
We are all fools. – from The Buccaneer by Mrs S. C. Hall, 1833.

123 Horatio Nelson – 1758-1805.

“if the materials be nothing but Dirt, – spun out of your own Entrails (the Guts of Modern Brains) the Edifice will conclude at last in a Cobweb”: from The Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift, 1697.

Jessica Dean’s performance – of the Argentina Tango at the Northbridge fete is recounted in Private Enterprise, chapter 13.

Voltaire – pseudonym of François Marie Arouet, French writer, 1694-1778. He is reputed to have made this comment about Habbakuk, a prophet in the Hebrew Bible.

125 Cassie Nova Of course, – Giovanni Giacomo Casanova de Seingalt, the Venetian adventurer.

Orphans of the Storm – is a 1921 silent drama film by D. W. Griffith set in late- 18th-century France.

127 128 The near-affair at Laverings between Catherine Middleton and Denis Stonor happens (or rather doesn’t) in Before Lunch.

128 Phantastes – an allegorical fantasy by George MacDonald, 1858.

For all we have and are – “For all our children’s fate,/Stand up and take the war./
The Hun is at the gate!” From ** Rudyard Kipling, 1914.

“The old order changeth yielding place to new
And God fulfills himself in many ways
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.
– from ‘The Passing of Arthur’ by Alfred Tennyson.

129 The Pied Piper of Hamelin – poem by Robert Browning.

All these details abut the Greyhound Inn – and its environs are recounted in Three Houses, Part Two.

William Makepeace Thackeray – 1811-63.

Esmond – is the protagonist of the novel Henry Esmond by Thackeray, 1852.

Anne – British queen, 1665-1714.

George I, King – 1660-1727.

Now therefore ye are cursed, – and there shall none of you be freed from being bondmen, and hewers of wood and drawers of water for the house of my God. Bible, Joshua chapter 9 verse 23.

“your adversary the devil, – as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5.8.

130 Young William Adams – is referred to in Close Quarters, but there is no earlier mention of Leslie Adams. ????

130, 131 Miss Sowerby sold her house – and moved to Worthing in The Old Bank House.

131 By Ellen’s side the Bruce is laid;
And, for the stone upon his head,
May no rude hand deface it,
And its forlorn Hic jacet!”
 ― from “Ellen Irwin” by William Wordsworth.

“The Bishop Orders His Tomb – at Saint Praxed’s Church”, poem by Robert Browning.

132 When her mother tends her before the laughing mirror,
Tying up her laces, looping up her hair,
Often she thinks, were this wild thing wedded,
More love should I have, and much less care.
– from ‘Love in the Valley’ by George Meredith (1828-1909.

133 Brave New World – Words spoken by Miranda at the end of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Also used, ironically, as title of novel by Aldous Huxley, 1932.

134 The Rev. Francis Arabin – who becomes Dean of the Cathedral of Barchester , appears in four novels by Anthony Trollope (1815-82).

Canon Fewling – marries Margot Phelps in Close Quarters.

In which novel does William Harcourt – marry Edith Graham?

A sad reference – to the death of Thirkell’s infant daughter Mary.

135 first paragraph – compare this passage from a letter to Margaret Bird in January 1960:
‘they are removing our pretty gas lamps and replacing them by those awful tall electric lamp posts that shine into all the bedroom windows.’

absit omen – “may what is said not come true”, – literally “may omen be absent”.

here is the finger of God, – a flash of the will that can,
Existent behind all laws, that made them and, lo, they are!
And I know not if, save in this, such gift be allowed to man,
That out of three sounds he frame, not a fourth sound, but a star. … But God has a few of us whom he whispers in the ear;
The rest may reason and welcome; ’tis we musicians know.
from “Abt Vogler” by Robert Browning.

Erato – muse of erotic poetry and music -.

“de musique tout confit” – who said this ???

135 136 Great Conservative Rally – in Love Among the Ruins ???

137 The victoria was an elegant French carriage. – – It may be visualised as essentially a phaeton or brougham with the addition of a coachman’s box-seat, but not enclosed and therefore open to the elements.

Chapters 6 onward – of Three Score and Ten were written by C. A. Lejeune.






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