Page 52. " Technically Aziraphale was a Principality "

In the nine choirs of angels, Principalities belong to the Third Sphere, higher than archangels and angels.

They are educators and guardians, providing inspiration for science and art.

Page 55. " Elgar and Liszt. That's all. We've got the rest. Beethoven, Brahms, all the Bachs, Mozart "

Following a string of personal disasters, Franz Liszt (1811-1886) withdrew to a monastery and received the four minor orders of the Catholic Church.  He became known as the Abbé Liszt.  Unusually for an Englishman, Edward Elgar (1857-1934) was a devout Catholic.

All the composers claimed by Crowley are German, but that is probably not why he thinks they all belong in hell...

Listen on Spotify:

Liszt - Christus

Elgar - The Dream of Gerontius

Mozart - Don Giovanni


Page 55. " Flaming swords, the Four Horsemen "

In the book of Revelation, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride out before the Last Judgement. The four horses are described by St John the Divine as white, red, black and pale. By tradition, the Horsemen are named Pestilence/Pollution, War, Famine and Death, but only Death is named in Revelation. War and Famine are alluded to (“to kill with sword… and hunger”). Pestilence is not mentioned; the bearer of the crown, sitting atop the white horse, is said to be the Antichrist, or in some versions Christ himself.

Page 57. " The Reign of Terror "
Portrait of Maximilien de Robespierre, oil on fabric, 0.600 x 0.490 m
Public DomainMaximilien de Robespierre
1819 Caricature by English caricaturist George Cruikshank. Titled
Public Domain1819 Caricature by English caricaturist George Cruikshank. Titled "The Radical's Arms", it depicts the infamous guillotine. "No God! No Religion! No King! No Constitution!" is written in the republican banner.

After championing democracy during the French Revolution (1789 - 1799), leader Maximilien de Robespierre set in motion the Reign of Terror.  Extreme penalties were imposed to crush any possibility of a counter-revolution and thousands were guillotined. The number of victims is thought to have exceeded 40,000.

Page 58. " he had a complete set of the Infamous Bibles "

Aziraphale’s Infamous Bibles are known as Bible Errata. From those mentioned, only the Buggre Alle This and Charing Cross editions are fabricated. There are numerous other Bible Errata (e.g. The Idle Shepherd Bible, in which the passage should have read “the idol shepherd”).

Aside from the Unrighteous and Wicked bibles, explained in the novel, the other errors were:

Standing Fishes Bible, 1806: Ezekiel 47:10 “And it shall come to pass, that the fishes shall stand upon it…” Fishes should have been fishers.

Discharge Bible, 1806: I Timothy 5:21 “I discharge thee before God…” Discharge should have been charge.

Treacle Bible, 1549: Jeremiah 8:22 “Is there no treacle in Gilead?” Treacle used to have a dual meaning in Early Modern English as either a cure-all or molasses. Modern texts generally use ‘medicine’.

Page 73. " He had worked at the Chernobyl Power Station, and at Windscale, and at Three Mile Island "
Color photograph of the Three Mile Island nuclear generating station, which suffered a partial meltdown in 1979. The reactors are in the smaller domes with rounded tops (the large smokestacks are just cooling towers).
Public Domain Three Mile Island nuclear generating station, which suffered a partial meltdown in 1979. The reactors are in the smaller domes with rounded tops (the large smokestacks are cooling towers). - Credit: United States Department of Energy, U.S. federal government

The Chernobyl Power Station in the Ukraine, Windscale in Britain and Three Mile Island in the United States have all experience nuclear accidents of varying magnitudes, leading to radiation leakage.

Page 75. " Crowley had seen Mary Poppins on television one Christmas "