Page 82. " to show Sir Cuthbert Orme-Herrick the Etruscan bull in the gallery "
6th Century BC Etruscan wine jug depicting the head of a bull
GNU Free Documentation License6th Century BC Etruscan wine jug depicting the head of a bull - Credit: Sailko, Wikimedia Commons

Assuming this to be the audacious purchase from Sonerscheins referred to earlier, we now have some information about Mr. Ryder's terra-cotta bull.

The Etruscan civilization had established itself in Central Italy by about the 7th Century BC, and had probably been in existence for several centuries prior to that time. It is likely that the decline of the civilization occurred towards the 3rd Century BC, although views on this issue appear to vary.

Much, though not all, of Etruscan Art was destroyed. What has survived tends to fall into the category of funerary art (artworks related to the burial of the dead).

As Mr. Ryder's  terra-cotta bull was previously described as being from the 5th Century, we must assume, if it is Etruscan, that this refers to the fifth century BC.

Page 91. " Perhaps in the mansions of Limbo the heroes enjoy some such compensation for their loss of the Beatific Vision "
'The Descent into Limbo' (from a 14th Century Spanish altarpiece)
Public Domain'The Descent into Limbo' (from a 14th Century Spanish altarpiece) - Credit: Jaume Serra

Limbo is derived from the Latin word limbus, which means edge. It is a concept devised by the Roman Catholic Church (although not an official part of its doctrine) to describe the situation of those whose spiritual status does not allow them to enter heaven or hell.

Essentially, there are two groups who are perceived as being in Limbo, namely unbaptized infants and righteous individuals from the past who lived too early to be eligible for the redemption of Christ.


The Beatific Vision is a concept in Christian theology. It refers to the direct visual perception of God which will be experienced after death by those entering heaven.

Generally, it is seen as a contrast to the knowledge of the presence of God which may be had on earth but which does not include a visual component.

Page 91. " Why is this house called a Castle? "
Chillingham Castle, Northumberland which dates from the 12th Century
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeChillingham Castle, Northumberland which dates from the 12th Century - Credit: Richard Thomson, Wikimedia Commons

The term castle is generally used to describe fortified* buildings of various types which included a residence.

However, even after the period of English castle building (in its strictest sense) came to an end, the term continued to be used for some country houses, such as Castle Howard, the stately home in Yorkshire on which Brideshead Castle is partially based.

* strengthened against attack

Page 92. " 'Is the dome by Inigo Jones, too? It looks later.' "
Banqueting House, Whitehall
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBanqueting House, Whitehall - Credit: en:User: ChrisO
Bust of Inigo Jones
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBust of Inigo Jones - Credit: Philip Halling, Wikimedia Commons

Inigo Jones (1573-1652) was an architect and stage-set designer who introduced the ideas of the Italian Renaissance into English architecture.

He was responsible for the design of the Banqueting House in Whitehall, the Queen's Chapel at St. James Palace (now Marlborough House Chapel) and Covent Garden.

Castle Howard, the model for Brideshead, was designed by Sir John Vanbrugh.

Page 92. " the Soanesque library "
Dulwich Picture Gallery interior
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDulwich Picture Gallery interior - Credit: Bridgeman, Wikimedia Commons

Soanesque means in the style of the English architect Sir John Soane (1753-1837).

Soane designed in the Neo-classical style, a form of architecture influenced both by the Ancient Greeks and by the Renaissance Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580).

Sir John Soane by Lawrence
Public DomainSir John Soane by Lawrence - Credit: Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830)

Soane's many architectural works include the Bank of England, the Dulwich Picture Gallery and St. John's Church, Bethnal Green.


Page 92. " Chippendale fretwork "

Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) was an 18th Century cabinet maker and furniture designer. The business he set up was continued by his son of the same name, now referred to as Thomas Chippendale the younger (1749-1822).


Fretwork is a woodworking technique whereby small pieces of wood, cut with a fine-bladed fret saw, are put together to form various patterns.

These fretwork patterns may be 'open' (one can see through them) or 'blind' (they are fixed onto, or carved into, a solid wood background).

Page 92. " the Pompeian parlour "
Pompeian wall painting: Flora with the cornucopia
Public DomainPompeian wall painting: Flora with the cornucopia - Credit: unknown

Pompeii was a Roman city situated close to present-day Naples in Italy.

In 79 AD, the city was completely buried, following the eruption of the Mount Vesuvius volcano.

It was rediscovered in 1592, and excavation work was carried out from the mid-18th Century onwards.

The murals uncovered at the site were classified into four categories, each of which was painted at different periods in the history of the city.

The second category, for example, contains paintings of the trompe-l'oeil type (giving the impression of three dimensions), whilst the fourth category is characterised by dramatic narrative scenes and panoramic vistas.


Google Map


Page 93. " Sebastian set me to draw it "

Although many aspects of Brideshead are based on Castle Howard, the fountain which Charles Ryder sketches does not  correspond to the famous  Atlas fountain at Castle Howard, with sculpture by John Thomas


Atlas Fountain close-up
Creative Commons AttributionAtlas Fountain close-up - Credit: Richard Kelly, Wikimedia Commons
Page 93. " a very passable echo of Piranesi "
Porta Maggiore, Rome - an etching by Piranesi
Public DomainPorta Maggiore, Rome - an etching by Piranesi - Credit: Giovanni Battista Piranesi

Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720-1778) was an Italian artist and architect, best known for his etchings of Roman buildings and of imaginary prison interiors.

Page 94. " the puritanism of Ruskin to the puritanism of Roger Fry "
An example of Pre-Raphaelite Art - 'Flabellifera' by Godward (1905)
Public DomainAn example of Pre-Raphaelite Art - 'Flabellifera' by Godward (1905) - Credit: John William Godward
Portrait of Edith Sitwell by Roger Fry
Public DomainPortrait of Edith Sitwell by Roger Fry - Credit: Roger Fry

John Ruskin (1819-1900) was an English art critic, social commentator, painter and poet, whose ideas were highly influential during the Victorian era.

His central belief was that society expresses its values through its art and that certain art forms are more conducive than others to spiritual well-being.

He was a champion of the artist J.M.W. Turner and of the Pre-Raphaelite painters; he favoured Gothic Art over Classical Art, and was also influential in the development of the Arts and Craft Movement.  

Roger Fry (1866-1934) was also an English art critic and painter, who had a significant influence on public artistic taste.

One of his central beliefs was that the visual elements of a painting are more important than its perceived meaning (see also: bookmark, p.36).


Page 94. " This was my conversion to the Baroque "
'The Martyrdom of St.Thomas' by Rubens
Public Domain'The Martyrdom of St.Thomas' - Credit: Peter Paul Rubens

Baroque is the name given to a range of artistic styles which existed between the late 16th and late 18th Centuries.

The earliest expression of the Baroque style may be seen in the dramatic, visually and emotionally appealing artwork of the Roman Catholic Church, the function of which was partly to counter the rise of Protestantism.

Artists representing various stages of the Baroque period include Rubens, Caravaggio and Rembrandt.

Page 96. " and nibbled Bath Oliver biscuits "

The Bath Oliver biscuit was invented by Dr. William Oliver of Bath in about 1750.

It is a hard, dry biscuit, often eaten as an accompaniment to cheese.

In Charles' and Sebastian's wine-tasting sessions, it functions as a palate cleanser.

Page 97. " I wish I'd seen Tennyson make that fifty-eight last Thursday "
England Test Cricketers (1928)
Public DomainEngland Test Cricketers (1928) - Credit: State Library of Queensland

Lionel Tennyson, 3rd Baron Tennyson (1889-1951), was the grandson of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

He played first-class cricket for Hampshire from 1913 onwards and captained the team between 1919 and 1932.

He also represented England in nine test matches, five of which were in the 1913-14 series, and four in the 1921 series.

Page 97. " after we'd been to the induction of the Abbot at Ampleforth "
Ampleforth Abbey
Public DomainAmpleforth Abbey - Credit: Wongchungman, Wikimedia Commons

Ampleforth Abbey is a Benedictine Monastery in North Yorkshire.

A private Catholic boarding school called Ampleforth College is attached to the abbey. Established in 1802 as a boys-only institution, it is now co-educational.

Page 99. " He turned back to the pages of the News of the World "

News of the World

The News of the World newspaper was established in 1843. It ceased publication in July 2011 in the wake of the Phone Hacking Scandal.

Throughout its history, it was  renowned for the sensational and titillating nature of its contents.

Page 99. " I prayed like mad to St Anthony of Padua "

St. Anthony of Padua (c.1195-1231) is a Portuguese Catholic Saint, traditionally prayed to for the recovery of lost or stolen items.

It is said that he may be invoked through the use of the rather informal couplet:

Tony, Tony , turn around.
Something's lost and must be found.


Madonna and Child with St. Anthony of Padua (left) and St. Roch by Giorgione
Public DomainMadonna and Child with St. Anthony of Padua (left) and St. Roch by Giorgione - Credit: Giorgione