Page 429. " Shakespeare foresaw him, writing that curse "

Shakespeare's grave, Holy Trinity Church
Creative Commons AttributionShakespeare's grave, Holy Trinity Church - Credit: David Jones
Poet and playwright William Shakespeare is buried at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. His gravestone bears a warning, cursing anyone who digs up his grave and disturbs his bones. It reads:

"Good friend for Jesus sake forbeare,
To digg the dust encloased heare,
Blest be the man that spares these stones,
And curst be he that moves my bones."

Page 429. " Cropper is the Ankou "
The Grim Reaper
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe Grim Reaper - Credit: Factumquintus
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAnkou - Credit: Ifernyen

The Ankou, in Breton mythology, is the personification of death. He is variously described as a man or skeleton in a cloak, and a shadow-man wearing a hat that hides his face. In each case he carries a scythe for harvesting the souls of the dead. In some tales he drives a coach pulled by black horses, or pulls a cart to collect the dead.



Page 431. " extreme and scattering bright "

This is a line from the poem Air and Angels by John Donne. You can read it here.

Page 436. " you could spend the whole proceeds on legal fees -' 'Like Bleak House,' "

 Charles Dickens' 1852/3 novel Bleak House, details a legal battle waged over a disputed inheritance, in the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. The litigation drags on for generations, and by the time that a resolution is reached, the entire inheritance has been exhausted in legal fees.

Page 439. " Why not behave like the thieves who took Impression at Sunrise "

 Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant) is an 1872 painting by Claude Monet that lent its name to the Impressionist movement. In October 1985 it was stolen, along with eight other paintings, from the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris. The painting was recovered in 1990, and Philippe Jamin and Youssef Khimoun were arrested for the theft. Impression, Sunrise has been back on display in the museum since 1991.

Page 442. " Harriet Martineau, in her autobiography "

 Harriet Martineau (1802 - 1876), was an English social theorist and author of more than 50 books. 



Page 443. " Hallam Tennyson "

Hallam Tennyson (1852 - 1928) was the elder son of Alfred Tennyson, and named after his father's dear departed friend Arthur Hallam.

Page 443. " Sir Rowland Michaels "

Compare this name to that of Possession's protagonist: Roland Michell.

Page 444. " Cardinal Bembo's epitaph for Raphael "

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, also known simply as Raphael (1483 - 1520), was an Italian artist and architect and a great master of the High Renaissance. His portraits and painted alterpieces and frescoes for places of worship are still well-known today, and his Putti (cherubs) - a detail from his Sistine Madonna painting - are a popular and oft-copied image. His frescoes still decorate the walls of four rooms in the Palace of the Vatican - known as the Stanze di Raffaello, or Raphael Rooms. When he died at the age of 37, Cardinal Pietro Bembo - a scholar, poet, and literary theorist - wrote a verse to be inscribed on his tomb:
"Ille hic est Raffael, timuit quo sospite vinci, rerum magna parens et moriente mori" which translates as
"Here lies that famous Raphael by whom Nature feared to be conquered while he lived, and when he was dying, feared herself to die."

Page 445. " Even Rossetti thought better of burying his poems with his tragic wife "

 Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti lost his wife, Elizabeth Siddal, in 1862, to an overdose of laudanum. Rossetti buried the only manuscript of his unpublished poems in her grave, but eventually allowed them to be exhumed, at the urging of his friends.

Page 446. " not unlike a William Morris repeating pattern "


 William Morris (1834 - 1896), was an English artist and designer, writer, and socialist. He was associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the  Arts and Crafts Movement. His designs - intricate repeating patterns, usually featuring flora and fauna - were used on furnishing decorations such as wallpapers and textiles, and these remain popular today. An example of one of these designs, Brother Rabbit, can be viewed here.

The William Morris Society
Morris & Co.


Page 446. " Rembrandt "

 Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (1606 - 1669), was a Dutch artist, considered to be one of the most important in Dutch history, as well as one of the greatest painters and printmakers in European art history.



Page 446. " Racine "

 Jean-Baptiste Racine (1639 - 1699), was a French dramatist, primarily a tragedian, producing works such as Phèdre, Andromaque, and Athalie.

Page 449. " Dull sublunary lovers' love "

This is a line from John Donne's poem, A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning. The poem can be read here.