Page 101. " if I'd gone to Stonyhurst "
Stonyhurst College
Creative Commons AttributionStonyhurst College - Credit: Henry Brett, Flickr

Stonyhurst College, established in 1794, was originally a Catholic boys' school in the Jesuit tradition, as well as a seminary for Jesuit priests. It is situated near the town of Clitheroe in Lancashire.

Its role as a seminary came to an end in the 1920s, but it continues as an independent Catholic boarding and day school, now fully co-educational.


Page 102. " and stopped to see Francis Xavier "
St. Francis Xavier depicted in a stained glass window in Hong Kong
GNU Free Documentation LicenseSt. Francis Xavier depicted in a stained glass window in Hong Kong - Credit: Isaac Wong, Wikimedia Commons

St. Francis Xavier (1506-1552) was a Spanish-born Roman Catholic missionary and co-founder of the Jesuits (the Society of Jesus).

He carried out his missionary work in many Asian countries, including India, Borneo and Japan.


Page 104. " I refused to be an Enfant de Marie "
19th Century painting of 'Our Lady' (Blessed Virgin Mary)
Public Domain19th Century painting of 'Our Lady' (Blessed Virgin Mary) - Credit: unknown

The exact meaning of an Enfant de Marie (Fr. Child of Mary) is unclear.

Possibly, it is related to an order known as the Congregation of the Children of Mary which was founded in Castelnaudary in the South of France by a Father Dulignan, sometime between 1830 and 1842. This order is what is known as a Third Order (one whose members, known as Tertiaries, live normally in the outside world, rather than being part of an institutionalised religious community).


The term Enfant de Marie is also linked to an organisation formed on the basis of a vision experienced by St. Catharine Laboure in 1835, which was especially popular during the mid-20th Century. After a six month period of 'aspirancy', its young women members earn the right to wear a blue cape which they relinquish on marriage.


Does anyone have any more information on this?

Page 105. " We must have the blessed Sacrament here "

In the Roman Catholic Church, the blessed Sacrament is the name given to the consecrated bread and wine (which are seen as representing the body and blood of Christ) used during Holy Communion (the Eucharist).

Some of the consecrated elements may be kept and stored in a locked cabinet known as a tabernacle.

See also: bookmark, p.68.


Procession carrying the blessed sacrament
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeProcession carrying the blessed sacrament - Credit: original by user: Fennec; modifications by de:user: JD
Page 106. " I can't spare you a whole rosary you know. Just a decade. "
Rosary beads
Creative Commons AttributionRosary beads - Credit: Pacopus, Flickr

A rosary is the term given to a set of prayer beads used in a Catholic devotion*, as well as to the devotion itself (the devotion usually being referred to as the Rosary).

A decade is one complete sequence of prayers which is timed by moving a group of 10 beads on the rosary.

*a prayer routine used by Catholics which is not an official public prayer of the Church, i.e., not part of the liturgy

Page 106. " 'Oh, I've got some harder cases than you. Lloyd George "
Cartoon of Lloyd George in a Dutch magazine, 1917
Creative Commons AttributionCartoon of Lloyd George in a Dutch magazine, 1917 - Credit: llSG, Flickr
Lloyd George (1919)
Public DomainLloyd George (1919) - Credit: Harris & Ewing

David Lloyd George (1863-1945) was a Welsh Liberal politician who served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1908 to 1915, and as Prime Minister from 1916 to 1922.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, he is best remembered for introducing financial state support for the sick and infirm, and for initiating the Old Age Pension in 1908.

As Prime Minister, he is renowned for steering Britain through the later stages of the First World War, and through the subsequent peace negotiations at Versailles.

He was a colourful and controversial figure and one may only speculate as to why Cordelia Flyte considered him a suitable object of her rosary devotions!

The Lloyd George Museum, Llanystumdwy, Gwynedd

Page 106. " and the Kaiser "
The Kaiser at Gallipoli (2nd left), October 1917
Public DomainThe Kaiser at Gallipoli (2nd left), October 1917 - Credit: unknown

Kaiser Wilhelm II (1859-1941) was the last Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia.

He succeeded his father as King and Emperor in 1888, and ruled until his forced abdication at the end of the First World War in 1918.

In spite of being a grandson of Queen Victoria, his role as Germany's wartime leader inevitably made him a hate figure to the British people and their allies.

Listen to Kaiser Wilhelm addressing the German people in 1914:



Page 107. " where we drove to the Lotti, had baths and shaved, lunched at Foyot's "
Rue de Condé, Paris
GNU Free Documentation LicenseRue de Condé, Paris - Credit: Thesupermat, Wikimedia Commons

As will be seen from this description, even when they were 'roughing it', life wasn't too bad for the young aristocrats of the 1920s!

Foyot's, which is no longer in existence, was a restaurant situated on the Rue de Condé in Paris' Latin Quarter. It is the setting for a humorous short story by W. Somerset Maugham, entitled The Luncheon. 

The Lotti is a luxury hotel situated on the Rue de Castiglione in Paris. It was established in 1910. 

Page 107. " then in the warm, dusty evening to the Gare de Lyon "

The Gare de Lyon is one of six large overground railway stations in Paris.

It is the main terminus for trains from the south and east of France.


Gare de Lyon
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGare de Lyon - Credit: poudoo99, Wikimedia Commons
Page 108. " a flask of Orvieto bought from a trolley "

Orvieto is a wine-producing region in Umbria and Lazio in Italy.

It is best known for its white wines, produced mainly from the Grechetto and Trebbiano grape varieties.

Page 109. " the piano nobile was in full sunshine, ablaze with frescoes of the school of Tintoretto "
Painting by Tintoretto in the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evanglista
Creative Commons AttributionPainting by Tintoretto in the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evanglista - Credit: TracyElaine, Flickr

The piano nobile is the first floor of a large house, and is a particular feature of Venetian architecture. It is the location of the grander rooms; the ground floor is often reserved for more functional areas, such as servants' quarters.


Tintoretto was the nickname of Jacopo Comin (1518-1594), an important artist of the Venetian Renaissance school.

Page 110. " It was as though he were conscious of a Byronic aura "

Lord Byron (1788-1824) was one of the best known British Romantic poets. His works include She Walks in Beauty and Don Juan.

Byronic describes someone fitting the legend of the man: brooding, passionate, solitary, unconventional, aristocratic or cynical.

Page 111. " a villa on the Brenta canal "
The Villa Contarini on the Brenta Canal
Creative Commons AttributionThe Villa Contarini on the Brenta Canal - Credit: ezioman, Flickr

The Brenta Canal is a waterway connecting Padua (Padova) to the sea just south of the Venetian lagoon.

Although called a canal, it is in fact part of the River Brenta which was diverted so that it would not silt up the Venetian Lagoon.

From the 15th Century onwards, wealthy Venetians buit villas along its banks.


Google Map
Page 111. " Where shall we dine? We might go to the Luna "

The Luna Hotel Baglioni is a luxury hotel situated in the heart of Venice.

Page 112. " 'Bellini,' I answered rather wildly. "
Portrait of Doge Giovanni Mocenigo
Public DomainPortrait of Doge Giovanni Mocenigo - Credit: Gentile Bellini
Madonna and Child
Public DomainMadonna and Child - Credit: Jacopo Bellini

Bellini is the surname of three important Venetian painters: Jacopo Bellini (1400-1470) and his two sons, Gentile Bellini (1429-1507) and Giovanni Bellini (1430-1516).

Jacopo was responsible for introducing the Florentine style of early Renaissance painting to Venice;

Gentile is best known for his work as official portrait painter of the Doges of Venice*;

Giovanni further developed his father's innovative techniques and was to become the most famous member of the family.

*the chief magistrates and community leaders of the Venetian republic.


Portrait of Raffaele Zovenzoni
Public DomainPortrait of Raffaele Zovenzoni - Credit: Giovanni Bellini


Page 112. " to Florian's for coffee "

Florian's is a café in the centre of Venice. It has been in existence since 1720.


Florian's café
Public DomainFlorian's café - Credit: Jeanne boleyn, Wikimedia Commons


Page 113. " She was not a voluptuous Toulouse-Lautrec odalisque "

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was a French painter, illustrator and printmaker, famous for his colourful depictions of Parisian life.

He often painted women working in nightclubs as entertainers, dancers or prostitutes.

An odalisque was a female slave in a Turkish harem who worked as an assistant to the wives and concubines.


'Au salon de la rue des moulins'
Public Domain'Au salon de la rue des moulins' - Credit: Toulouse-Lautrec
Page 113. " Vittoria Corombona has asked us all to her ball on Saturday "

Vittoria Corombona (or The White Devil) is the name of a play by John Webster (1580-1625); it belongs to the genre known as revenge tragedy.

The play's central character, Vittoria Corombona, is a young woman from a Venetian family who is tried for adultery and the murder of her husband.

A real event, the murder of Vittoria Accoramboni in Padua in 1585, was the inspiration for the plot.

We can, of course, only speculate as to whether Waugh wishes us to read any particular significance into his choice of name.


Page 114. " Alex has not let me inside San Marco even "

San Marco, sometimes known as Saint Mark's Basilica, is one of Venice's most famous churches.

It is an excellent example of Byzantine architecture, and is renowned for its ornate design and its gilded mosaics.

San Marco, Venice
Public DomainSan Marco, Venice - Credit: Gryffindor, Wikimedia Commons


Page 114. " fishing for scampi in the shallows of Chioggia "
Nephrops norvegicus
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeNephrops norvegicus - Credit: Hans Hillewaert, Wikimedia Commons

Strictly speaking, scampi are Norway lobsters (Nephrops norvegicus), but the term is also used in Italy and elsewhere to refer to similar species. Norway lobsters are also known as Dublin Bay Prawns and as langoustines.

Chioggia is a small town, situated about 12 miles south of Venice, on an island in the Venetian Lagoon.


Google Map
Page 114. " and champagne cocktails at Harry's bar "

Harry's Bar is a Venetian bar and restaurant. It was a famous haunt of the writer Ernest Hemingway. As it did not open until 1931, Waugh has made what Lord Marchmain would refer to as a bêtise.

The Bellini, a cocktail made from prosecco (a sparkling wine) and peach purée, is said to have originated there.

The original Bellini recipe


Interior of Harry's Bar, Venice
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeInterior of Harry's Bar, Venice - Credit: Felix Haslimeier, Wikimedia Commons
Page 114. " the Colleoni statue "
The Colleone statue by Verrocchio
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe Colleone statue by Verrocchio - Credit: Juju, Wikimedia Commons

The statue of Bartolomeo Colleoni (c.1395/1400-1475) by Verrochio is located in front of the Scuolo Grande di San Marco in Venice.

Bartolomeo Colleoni was a condottiero,  a mercenary leader.

Page 114. " 'It's rather sad to think that whatever happens, you and I can never possibly get involved in a war.' "
British propaganda poster World War 1
Public DomainBritish propaganda poster World War 1 - Credit: Savile Lumley

Charles Ryder and Sebastian Flyte belong to the generation that was just too young to have fought in the First World War, yet was old enough to be aware of its horrific carnage and suffering.

Sebastian's comment derives from the idea, prevalent in the war's aftermath, that such an event would never be allowed to happen again, and that the First World War would be the war to end all wars.

Waugh, writing Brideshead Revisited during the Second World War (in which he served), and portraying Charles Ryder as an Army Captain, would have been acutely aware of the tragic irony of Sebastian's words.


Page 115. " overlooking the Grand Canal "

The Grand Canal is one of the main waterways of Venice.

Take a trip along the Grand Canal:


Page 118. " Mr Samgrass of All Souls? "
Entrance to All Souls College
GNU Free Documentation LicenseEntrance to All Souls College - Credit: Bencherlite, Wikimedia Commons

Bookmark readers with good memories will recall that All Souls accepts only the crème de la crème as fellows of the college.

We may assume, therefore, that Mr Samgrass (whom we will come to know very much better, as the novel progresses) has top notch intellectual abilities.

It has been suggested that Waugh based the character on Maurice Bowra (1898-1971), Warden of Wadham College between 1938 and 1970, and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford between 1951 and 1954.

Page 119. " I suppose one joins the League of Nations Union "

The League of Nations Union was an organisation founded in Britain after the First World War.

It was a peace movement which subscribed to the principles of the League of Nations, which had been established at the Paris Peace Conference, held in 1919.



Page 119. " and drinks coffee in the morning at the Cadena café "

The Cadena Cafés were a national chain of cafés serving coffee and light meals which were taken over by Tesco in the early 1960s.

The Oxford branch of the Cadena was situated on Cornmarket Street.


Google Map


Page 119. " and goes out to tea on Boar's Hill and to lectures at Keble "
Keble College, Oxford
Creative Commons AttributionKeble College, Oxford - Credit: Dimitry B, Flickr

As mentioned previously (bookmark, p.35), Charles Ryder's cousin Jasper warned against Boar's Hill, although it was not quite clear why he should do so.

Tea on Boar's Hill might have involved one of the various literary or scholarly figures who lived there in the early decades of the 20th Century. These included the poets John Masefield, Robert Bridges, Robert Graves and Edmund Blunden, as well as the classical scholar, Gilbert Murray. Boar's Hill was also home to the actress Lillah Emma McCarthy (Lady Keeble) who was a leading lady in several plays by George Bernard Shaw.

Keble is an Oxford College, established in 1870 in memory of John Keble, one of the founders of the Oxford Movement which strove to introduce a more Catholic form of worship into the Anglican Church.

The college was originally heavily involved in theological teaching, although this is no longer the case.  Both its religiosity and its modernity (in the 1920s) might have been reasons to be suspicious of those who attended lectures there.

Page 120. " the Ruskin School of Art "
Entrance to the Ashmolean Museum
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeEntrance to the Ashmolean Museum - Credit: Merlin Cooper

What is now known as the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art was established by John Ruskin in 1871 as The Ruskin School of Drawing.

It is part of the University of Oxford, and offers both undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in the theory and practice of visual art. 

In the period in which Brideshead Revisited is set, the school was housed in the Ashmolean Museum.

Page 120. " and evoked a barely visible wraith of Trilby "
'Artist's Workshop' by Waliszewski (1917)
Public Domain'Artist's Workshop' by Waliszewski (1917) - Credit: Zygmunt Waliszewski

This is a reference to George du Maurier's 1894 bestselling novel Trilby. The heroine, Trilby O'Ferrall, is an artist's model in Paris.


Page 122. " in Hogarthian little inns in St Ebbe's and St Clement's "
Tavern Scene from 'A Rake's Progress' by Hogarth (1735)
Public DomainTavern Scene from 'A Rake's Progress' by Hogarth (1735) - Credit: William Hogarth

St. Clement's is an area of Oxford on the east bank of the River Cherwell.


Google Map


St. Ebbe's is an area of central Oxford which underwent substantial redevelopment in the latter part of the 20th Century. It is now the location of the Westgate shopping centre.


Google Map
Page 122. " The Gardener's Arms and the Nag's Head, the Druid's Head near the theatre, and the Turf in Hell Passage "
'The Turf Tavern', Oxford
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike'The Turf Tavern', Oxford - Credit: Jon Parise, Flickr

These are (or have been) actual pubs in Oxford.

The Gardener's Arms, The Nag's Head and The Turf are still in existence today, although Hell's Passage (the location of The Turf) has been renamed St. Helen's Passage.

Legend has it that it was at The Turf that the former U.S. president Bill Clinton famously did not inhale!

The Druid's Head closed down in 1934.

Page 123. " pub-crawling hearties from BNC "
Brasenose College, Oxford
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBrasenose College, Oxford - Credit: Michael Reeve, Wikimedia Commons

BNC is Brasenose College, an Oxford college founded in 1509.

Brasenose is said to be a contraction of Brazen Nose, a name stemming from the fact that the door knocker of the original college building was in the shape of a nose.

Page 123. " in that Michaelmas term "
Coat of arms of the University of Oxford
GNU Free Documentation LicenseCoat of arms of the University of Oxford - Credit: Kaihsu, Wikimedia Commons

The Michaelmas term is the first term of the academic year (starting in October) at Oxford University and many other British and Irish schools and universities.

The name is derived from the Feast of St. Michael and all Angels, which falls on September 29th.

At Oxford, the Michaelmas term is followed by the Hilary term (Spring) and the Trinity term (Summer).

Page 123. " killed between Mons and Paschendaele "
Stretcher bearers in the mud of Passchendaele
Public DomainStretcher bearers in the mud of Passchendaele - Credit: Lt. J.W. Brooke

Mons and Passchendaele were two First World War battles.

The Battle of Mons was the first major conflict of the war; it took place in August 1914.

The Battle of Passchendaele (also known as The Third Battle of Ypres) is the name given to a series of military operations which took place between July and November, 1917.

Page 125. " and was on easy terms with 'Max.' and 'F.E.' "
Bust of Lord Beaverbrook in Newcastle, New Brunswick
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBust of Lord Beaverbrook in Newcastle, New Brunswick - Credit: Lesfreck, Wikimedia Commons
Caricature of F.E. Smith (1906/7)
Public DomainCaricature of F.E. Smith (1906/7) - Credit: Leslie Ward

William Maxwell (Max) Aitken (1879-1964), better known as Lord Beaverbrook, was a Canadian-born business man who settled in Britain in 1910.

He subsequently bought a number of British newspapers, including the London Evening Standard, the Sunday Express and the Daily Express.

Evelyn Waugh satirised him in several novels: in the guise of Lord Copper in Scoop; and as Lord Monomark in Vile Bodies and Put out more Flags.


Frederick Edwin Smith (1872-1930), 1st Earl of Birkenhead, was a British lawyer and politician. He is particularly remembered for his colourful lifestyle, and for being a close personal friend of Sir Winston Churchill.

Page 125. " and 'Gertie' Lawrence and Augustus John and Carpentier "
Augustus John (1909)
Public DomainAugustus John (1909) - Credit: Jacob Hilsdorf

Rex Mottram moves in diverse circles:

Gertrude Lawrence (1898-1952) was a British actress and musical comedy performer;

Augustus John (1878-1961) was a Welsh artist, particularly well-known for his individualistic style of portrait painting;

Carpentier is probably the French boxer, Georges Carpentier (1894-1975).