Page 306. " about garum, an ancient remedy. "

Garum, made from the fermented internal organs of a fish,was used in the ancient world as a cooking sauce, and also a remedy for many ailments.

Page 306. " her occasional trips to the Coliseum with Harriet "
London Coliseum
GNU Free Documentation LicenseLondon Coliseum - Credit: MykReeve

The London Coliseum, in St Martin's Lane in central London, is the home of the English National Opera.

It was originally built as a variety theatre or music hall.

Page 307. " the little twelve-sided coins with the clump of thrift, or the portcullis of the Bank of England. "

1953 threepenny bit
Public Domain1953 threepenny bit
How could anyone forget the threepenny bit, the friendly little coin which, as a child, I was always excited to receive, and with which I could buy 12 farthing chews, 6 halfpenny chews, or a small bar of Cadbury's chocolate in its royal blue and silver wrapping? But the twelve-sided gold-coloured ones with the portcullis or bunch of thrift were new-fangled, in my parents' view: they remembered when thrupenny bits were silver.

It is a fitting reminder of a way of life that one thought would last forever; the threepenny (pronounced thrippenny), or thrupenny piece, or bit, was around so many hundreds of years in one form or another that it developed variations in spelling and pronunciation.

1943 threepenny bit
Public Domain1943 threepenny bit - Credit: Welkinridge



Page 308. " The Proverbs of Old Tobit's God "

The Book of Proverbs, in the Old Testament is a collection of sayings on practical and moral issues.

Page 320. " over the Accademia Bridge "
Accademia Bridge
GNU Free Documentation LicenseAccademia Bridge - Credit: Gary Houston

The rather ugly wooden Accademia Bridge, which spans the Grand Canal near the Accademia Gallery, was built in the 1930s, replacing an 1854 steel structure. It is no. 4 on the map at the back of the book (Afterword p. 7).

Google Map
Page 320. " This is like St Augustine's cell! "
St Augustine in his Cell
Public DomainSt Augustine in his Cell

 St Augustine of Hippo, born in 354 in what is now Algeria, was a Doctor of the Church famous for his enormous influence on Christian theology, especially the doctrine of original sin. (He is not to be confused with St Augustine of Canterbury, sent by Pope Gregory the Great to bring Christianity to Britain.)

The reference to 'a painting first seen with Carlo' is puzzling. There are two paintings by Botticelli entitled: 'St Augustine in his Cell.' One is reproduced here. The other can be seen on the Web Gallery of Art. (Click on the link and choose 'B' at the bottom of the page. Go to p.6 of the Bs, click Botticelli, then choose 'Paintings of religious subject-matter p.1. Scroll down to 'St Augustine.') There is a third painting: 'St Augustine in his Studio'.

However, all three are in Florence.


Page 321. " The Feast of Raphael "

The calendar of the Roman Catholic Church includes feast days, each celebrating the life of a different saint (or in this case, angel.) The liturgy (prayers, readings etc) of the day  is appropriate to the saint in question. The Feast of St Raphael is 24th October. The Gospel reading for that day is John 5 v. 1-4, which describes a  pool that intermittently becomes turbulent when disturbed by an 'angel', the turbulence producing healing powers in the water. The story of Tobias also features prominently in the liturgy of that day.

Michaelmas, the feast of St Michael and All Angels, is 29 September. The Monsignore obviously thinks it would be a pity if the two were combined.

Page 325. " the church which was St Theodore's, before Marco's body was brought to put his nose out of joint. "

Tradition says St Mark, the apostle and writer of St Mark's Gospel, went to Africa, where he founded the Coptic church . He was buried in Alexandria, but in 828 two Venetian merchants stole his remains and took them  to Venice, where he replaced St Theodore as the patron saint of that city.The church in question is St Mark's Basilica.

For more information on St Theodore, see bookmark 247.