Page 257. " no one knew his Christian name "

Personal man-servants and butlers were called by their surnames as a mark of respect for their seniority, while lower ranking servants, such as footmen, were usually referred to by their Christian names.

Page 258. " We went down by the Mail. "

The mail coach carried postal deliveries from location to location within England from 1728.

The carriage was drawn by four horses. The driver sat outside, and a postal worker would guard the box containing the mail at the rear.

Four passengers were able to travel inside the carriage. Travelling by the mail coach was faster and therefore more expensive than travelling by stagecoach, which made more stops and was often uncomfortable due to overcrowding. 

During the 1840s and 1850s, the mail coach was gradually replaced by a rapidly expanding railway system.

 

Page 262. " I saw her, a most beautiful little creature, with the cloudless blue eyes, that had looked into my childish heart "
Little Em'ly
Public DomainLittle Em'ly

It has been suggested that Emily was inspired by Charles Dickens’ childhood sweetheart, Lucy Stroughill.

In  The Childhood and Youth of Charles Dickens (1883) by Robert Langton, the author suggests that Lucy’s older brother George possessed qualities which were similar to those of Steerforth.

Page 265. " We made merry in the little parlour, where the Book of Martyrs, unthumbed since my time, was laid out upon the desk as of old "

The Book of Martyrs (1563) by John Foxe (1517-1587) recounts the stories of Christian martyrs from the first to the early sixteenth century. The work sought to affirm the Protestant Reformation, which had been undermined by the recently deceased Catholic Queen Mary I (1516-1558).