The Hôtel-Dieu is the oldest hospital in Paris. It was founded circa 651 on the Île de la Cité. Until the Renaissance, it was the only hospital in the city. having survived centuries of tumult, revolution and several fires, it remains in operation today.
Anthrax is a lethal disease which commonly affects mammals and can be spread to humans through diseased flesh. In the 18th century, there was no vaccine. Grenouille catches the disease through contact in his tanning work and unexpectedly survives it. He is disfigured, but immune to the disease.
Les Halles is an area of central Paris, for many years the site of a huge market.
Structures were first erected there for merchants in 1183. In the 1850s, a glass and iron structure was built to house the stall holders selling their wares. It was for a time known as 'the belly of Paris'. In 1971 the market was replaced with an open-air shopping centre.
Dauphin was the title given to the heir apparent to the throne of France. The 'Dauphin' (literally 'dolphin', as depicted on the coat of arms) title was used between 1350 and 1791. At the time of the novel, Louis XV bore the title. He was the second Dauphin of France.