Page 102. " What about All Souls? "
All Souls
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAll Souls - Credit: Bill Tyne

The impressive and statuesque All Souls College, also known as The Warden and the College of the Souls of all Faithful People Deceased, is one of Oxford’s wealthiest colleges and is quite different from its counterparts in that it has no undergraduate students.

To get to All Souls, Oxford and other grads compete for places by sitting the ‘hardest exam in the world.’ The result? Full Fellowship status at the college.


Page 103. " His father is a circuit judge "

Circuit judges are referred to as His or Her Honour and are senior judges in England and Wales. The countries previously had six circuits between them, although in 2005, these were replaced with seven regions.

Out-ranking the District Judges but not quite as prestigious as the High Court Judge (although they may be appointed to serve as a Deputy High Court Judge), the Circuit Judge would have had a minimum ten years barrister experience when LMS was writing.

Circuit Judges also go by the name ‘purple judges’ because of their dress robes.

Page 104. " I've seen Diana de Vere in Fatal Autumns three times - she supplanted Laurette Taylor "

A star of the stage, Laurette Taylor (1884-1946) performed many memorable roles, including 'Peg o' My Heart' and the Broadway production of 'The Glass Menagerie'.

The photograph shows Laurette prior to 1923, when she acted in her husband's play - Happiness'.



Page 109. " favourite piece of furniture: a Louis XIV escritoire "

Worth a fine fortune today, the royal French furniture style of King Louis XIV wears smooth curves and a beautifully rounded off style. Such baroque antiques flourished in 18th century France and dripped decadence.

The escritoire or writing desk referred to by LMS would probably have had a sloping front, which would have opened down for use as a writing surface and held drawers for writing materials inside.

Page 109. " favourite painting: Ben's Vlaminck "

French painter Maurice de Vlaminck (1876-1958) joins fellow artists André Derain and Henri Matisse as one of the small circle of Fauvist painters (see previous bookmark).

His work, which hints at the Impressionist period, therefore exudes beautiful bright colours, which burst forth from the canvas with a fantastic flourish.



Page 113. " in the corner with his copy of Proust "

'In Search of Lost Time' or 'Remembrance of Things Past' (À la recherche du temps perdu) -  call it what you will - is a remarkable achievement from a rather remarkable writer in Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (1871-1922).

The famous French novelist produced what is one of the longest literary works in the world and with almost 1.5 million words, it is definitely more than just 'a novel'.

Indeed, it comprises seven separate parts, published between 1913 and 1927 and makes reference to the idea of involuntary memory.

Aside for this epic however, Proust also wrote essays and worked as a critic.


In Search of Lost Time on Book Drum

Page 114. " to meet us in a rather smart Darracq "
A 1920s Darracq
Public DomainA 1920s Darracq - Credit: Buch-t

The splendid Darracq was, like many things in LMS' life, of French origin.

It owes its creation to a company founded in 1896 by Alexandre Darracq.


Page 115. " to make sure I wasn't ravishing her daughter on the Chesterfield "
Chesterfield sofa
Creative Commons AttributionChesterfield sofa - Credit: John Steven Fernandez from Toronto, Canada

The grand name 'Chesterfield' refers in actual fact to the humble sofa, which is sometimes referred to by its trademarked name. The Davenport is another.

The English Chesterfield, as demonstrated by this abandoned couch, is a leather sofa, with deep buttons embedded upon it and with arms and back at the same height.



Page 117. " to write three articles for Time & Tide and also, remarkably, for the Herald Tribune "

'Time & Tide' was a weekly literary review and political magazine which had many well known contributors, including Robert Graves, D. H. Lawrence, C.S. Lewis, George Bernard Shaw, Virginia Woolf and of course...LMS, who was one of many literary talents supported by the publication.

The International Herald Tribune meanwhile was and is a popular international newspaper, based in Paris but printed around the world.



Page 118. " all she would talk about was the election, Ramsay MacDonald, Oliver Lee "
Ramsay MacDonald
Public DomainRamsay MacDonald - Credit: Bain News Service

James Ramsay MacDonald, PC, FRS (1866-1937) became Britain's first ever Labour Prime Minister in 1924 and served two separate terms.

He didn't last long the first time round (he managed just one year), but returned with the Labour party in 1929 to try again. The Great Depression however put paid to any further political aspirations he might have had with Labour and MacDonald was eventually expelled from the party in 1931 after forming a National Government...with a Conservative majority.

He did however, rule with his new party for four years, but stood down as PM in 1935 due to ill health.

Oliver Milton Lee (1865 - 1941) meanwhile was a part time deputy U.S. marshal, rancher and gunman from Texas.


Page 119. " has managed to get me a monthly piece in the Mercury "

The London Mercury was an umbrella term for a variety of periodicals published between the 17th and 20th centuries.

By the 20th century however, the publication had carved out a name for itself in the city as an important literary journal (1919-1939).

Featured writers included Robert Frost, Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon and William Butler Yeats, amongst others.




Page 119. " small Legers, a lot of lurid Russian stuff and a small Modigliani drawing "
Fernand Léger's stained-glass window at the Central University of Venezuela
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFernand Léger's stained-glass window at the Central University of Venezuela - Credit: Caracas 1830
Woman with Black Cravat drawing
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWoman with Black Cravat drawing - Credit: Amadeo Modigliani

French painter Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (1881-1955) sculped, amade films and created stunning artwork.

 He drew on Cubism in his early work, which later took on a more figurative, populist style.

Amedeo Clemente Modigliani (1884-1920) meanwhile was not French, but Italian and produced a great many modernistic paintings and sculptures.

Mask-like faces and elongated forms dominated his work, most of which was created in...France. The country drew him in and the artist, when he died, did so in Paris.


Page 120. " Ernest Hemingway "

American writer Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961) is another epic author encountered by LMS and like LMS, he also contributed to journalism.

It is said the work of every great writer can be identified on the basis of its individual style and this was definitely true of Hemingway, whose work was easily identifiable. 

Unlike Virginia Woolf, who came in for criticism for her apparent detachment from reality in her novels, Hemingway connected with his readers by writing about things they could relate to.

He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954 and many of his works are now regarded as classics of American literature.

All in all. Hemingway published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously.

Amongst his novels are ‘A Farewell to Arms’, ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ and ‘True at First Light’.

Ernest Hemingway on Book Drum

Page 122. " F.Scott Fitgerald (1896-1940) was in Paris at the time "
Francis Scott Fitzgerald 1937 June 4 (1) (photo by Carl van Vechten).jpg
Public DomainFrancis Scott Fitzgerald 1937 June 4 (1) (photo by Carl van Vechten).jpg - Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Carl Van Vechten Collection, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-54231]

American novelist Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896-1940) penned full length books as well as short stories and poems, some of his best known work including 'The Great Gatsby', 'The Beautiful and Damned', 'Tender is the Night' and 'This Side of Paradise.'

A friend of fellow author, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald enjoyed his most notable success during the roaring '20s - indeed, he published 'The Great Gatsby' in 1925.

He mingled with many other well known writers throughout his lifetime and enjoyed frequenting the French Riviera.

F Scott Fitzgerald on Book Drum

Page 122. " A Farewell to Arms "

In 'A Farewell to Arms' Hemingway fuses fiction with his own real-life experiences from WW1 during the Italian campaigns.

Published in 1929, the book centres on Lieutenant Federic Henry, who serves in the ambulance corps of the Italian Army.

The story juxtaposes the young American's heart-rending romance with a British nurse with the devastation of the Great War to great effect and although the subject matter was serious and sombre in that respect, it paid dividends for Hemingway's literary career.

The book has since been named one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.