Page 176. " Quisling molecules "
Vidkun Quisling, 1942
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeVidkun Quisling, 1942 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This is a reference to Vidkun Quisling (1887-1945), a Norweigan army officer and politician. Quisling served as Minister-President of Norway's collaborationist government when the country was occupied by Germany, at the appointment of the Germans. After the Second World War, he was tried for high treason and executed. Today, his name is synonymous with the word traitor.

Page 177. " Hark the herald angels sing: Mrs. Simpson's pinched our King "
Wallis Simpson, 1936
Public DomainWallis Simpson, 1936 - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This play on the traditional hymn references the constitutional crisis that erupted in England in 1936 when King Edward VIII decided to marry Wallis Simpson, a twice divorced American socialite.

Edward's engagement was opposed by his government. However, Edward persisted, and abdicated his throne in December 1936 to marry the woman he loved. He was the only English monarch to abdicate his position since Anglo-Saxon times. His brother Albert succeeded him, becoming George VI. Edward became the Duke of Windsor and married Simpson six months later. They remained together until his death 35 years later.

Page 183. " Fauve "

Les Fauves ('Wild Beasts') were a loose group of early-20th century Modernist artists, whose work emphasised strong colours and experimental painting as opposed to the more realistic or representational works of Impressionism.

The movement only really lasted between 1904 and 1908. Its leaders were Henri Matisse and Andre Derain.

Page 184. " Norfolk jacket "
Norfolk jacket
Public DomainNorfolk jacket - Credit: Wikimedia Commons

A Norfolk jacket is a loose, belted, single-breasted jacket with box pleats. It became fashionable after Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) wore one in his sporting circles.

It is still worn sometimes as part of military and police uniforms, as it is designed not to bind when the wearer's elbow is raised to fire a gun.