Page 278. " James Joyce's use of it for his hero "
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Stephen Dedalus is the protagonist of Joyce's semi-autobiographical novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.  In effect, Stephen is the name Joyce chose for himself.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man on Book Drum

Stephen Tennant (1906-1987) was a louche British aristocrat who was said to spend most of his time in bed. Some of that horizontal time was spent with the war poet Siegfried Sassoon, with whom he had a four-year relationship.  Tennant is thought to have been a model for Evelyn Waugh's Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited.

Stephen Spender (1909-1995) was a British poet and author who fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. Like Tennant (but not Dedalus), he was bisexual.

Listen on Spotify: Stephen Spender reading Ultima Ratio Regum   Read the poem here

Page 280. " As flies to wanton boys "
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Fry adapts Shakespeare:


As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods.
They kill us for their sport.

King Lear IV:1

Page 287. " the overture to The Thieving Magpie "
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Public DomainGioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

La gazza ladra by Gioachino Rossini

The producer apparently had to lock Rossini in a room the day before the performance in order to get the overture out of him. Rossini would throw the sheets out of the window below, where they would be swiftly gathered up and sent to the copyist. 




Kurt Redel – The Thieving Magpie: Overture

Page 294. " Sons and Lovers "
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A 1913 novel by D.H. Lawrence with frank exploration of sexual relationships.


Page 295. " My party piece "
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Listen on Spotify:

Hunting Tigers Out in India

Jollity Farm

Rock Around the Clock

Rockin' Chair


Page 295. " The Hoste Arms "
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To be even more brazen about the publicity:  The Hoste Arms

Page 297. " the St. Crispin's day speech from Shakespeare's Henry V and its suggestive reference to those holding their manhoods, cheap. "
Title page of the first quarto (1600)
Public DomainTitle page of the first quarto (1600)

A history play written in approximately 1599, Henry V presents events leading up to and following the Battle of Agincourt (1415). This famous speech is Henry's rousing call for action, delivered in response to Westmoreland's wish for more soldiers to join them in battle. Henry's contention is that if the battle is unsuccessful only a small fighting force will have been lost, whereas a victory would mean a 'greater share of honour'. 

This story shall the good man teach his son;    
And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,    
From this day to the ending of the world,    
But we in it shall be remembered-    
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;    
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me    
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,    
This day shall gentle his condition;    
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed    
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,    
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks    
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day. 

Read the full play here.

Two excellent films of the play have been made. The first was a propagandist film starring Laurence Olivier in 1944, the second starred Kenneth Branagh in 1989: