Page 31. " 'Goodbye Professor Chips!' "

This references the novel, Goodbye Mr Chips, by James Hilton published in 1934. It tells of the story of a retired school master, as he looks back on his life and teaching career. 

Page 32. " He has told them to read 'Lara'. "




Lara, a Tale was written by Byron in 1814. It concerns the return of the mysterious Count Lara to his ancestral home from overseas. 

In Disgrace, David likens the outsider, Lara, to the figure of Lucifer, the fallen angel. For centuries, the story of Lucifer and how he was banished from the kingdom of heaven after he challenged the power of the Lord has been told. He has often been used in works of fiction to convey a certain message. 

In John Milton's epic poem, Paradise Lost, in which he explores the fall of man, Lucifer figures prominenetly.


Page 34. " He assigns the first cantos of Don Juan and ends the class early. "

 Widely considered to be Byron's masterpiece, Don Juan is a satirical re-telling of the famous legend. While traditionally, Don Juan is portrayed as a womaniser, Byron turns this idea on its head painting Juan as an innocent easily seduced by predatory women.

Comprising of eighteen cantos in all, the epic poem remained unfinished at the time of Byron's death in 1824. The full text can be read online, here.

Aside from Byron's work, the character of Don Juan has been well represented in all areas of the arts. The illustration on the right refers to Charles Bauldelaire's poem, Don Juan In Hell. The 1934 film, The Private Life of Don Juan, based on the play L'homme à la Rose, cast a satirical eye over the myth, with Douglas Fairbanks playing an ageing version of the ladykiller.

Page 40. " its cross of righteousness: J'accuse. "
The term J’accuse meaning literally, I accuse, has come to be widely associated with a letter written to the French government by Emile Zola and published in the French newspaper, L'Aurore in 1898. It was composed in response to the imprisonment of a Jewish army officer, Alfred Dreyfus, on Devil’s Island by the French military and legal establishment.
Although Zola was convicted of libel, he sought refuge from imprisonment in England. he eventually turned to France in 1899, the same yrar as dreyfus' retrial and subsequent pardon. 
After Zola's letter, the term J'accuse came into popular use as an expression to denounce someone guilty of a perceived injustice.  


Page 42. " Take a yellow card. "


Referee showing a yellow card
Creative Commons AttributionReferee showing a yellow card - Credit: Nathan Forget



A card shown by the referee to a player guilty of an infringement on the pitch during a football match. If the player re-offends the referee can then issue a red card, which permanently removes the player from the match. 


Page 45. " David, have you seen today's Argus? "




The Cape Argus is a daily newspaper published in Cape Town, South Africa since 1857. Its founder, the liberal politician, Saul Solomon, is pictured on the right.




Cape Argus headline, July 1988
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCape Argus headline, July 1988 - Credit: warrenski




Headline from the Cape Argus celebrating Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday on 18th July 2008.




Page 46. " Blest be the infant babe. No outcast he. "

Hawkshead Grammar School
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeHawkshead Grammar School - Credit: Chris Downer




These phrases crop up in Book 2 of The Prelude by Wordsworth. This section of the poem continues on from Book 1, dealing with childhood and school-time.


Wordsworth House
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWordsworth House - Credit: Alexander P Kapp









During his childhood, Wordsworth's family home was in Cockermouth; a property now owned by the National Trust and named Wordsworth House. In the period depicted in Book 2, Wordsworth attended Hawkshead Grammar School in the market town of Hawkshead. However, his formal education in school is never directly referred to, with Wordsworth again concentrating on the indirect education provided to him through nature.   



Lake Windermere, Cumbria
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLake Windermere, Cumbria - Credit: J. Edward Taylor



Page 49. " This is all very quixotic, Professor Lurie "


Don Quixote fighting a windmill, Gustave Dore, 1863
Public DomainDon Quixote fighting a windmill, Gustave Dore, 1863

The word quixotic, which can be used to describe someone driven by unrealistic ideals with no regard for practicality, is derived from the novel Don Quixote

Don Quixote written by Miguel de Cervantes, tells the story of a middle aged man who, inspired into action by the kind of chivalrous idealism he reads about in books, sets off on a series of fantastic adventures in the name of purpose and beauty. Determined to set himself up as the hero of the story, Quixote cannot see he has become a victim of his own imagination, living in a fantasy world that bears no resemblance to reality.


This illustration shows Don Quixote fighting the windmills he believes are 'hulking giants'.