Page 54. " as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough I shall send round my cards "
White soup
Creative Commons AttributionWhite soup - Credit: krossbow, Flickr

At a private ball, it was customary to serve supper, and therefore some preparation was required. 

White soup was a common, fashionable dish, made of veal stock, cream, ground almonds and egg yolks. 

Recipe: White soup

Page 61. " Hunsford "

Fictional village where Mr Collins lives, Hunsford parsonage was shot in the Old Rectory at Teigh in Rutland in the 1995 BBC television series.

Teigh lane
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeTeigh lane - Credit: Kate Jewell, Geograph Project

Page 61. " Westerham "
Westerham in 1831
Public DomainWesterham in 1831 - Credit: Drawn by G. Shepherd, engraved by H. Adlard

 Westerham is a town in the Sevenoaks District of Kent, southeast of London.

The name means simply "town in the west", as ham is Old English for village.

Google Map
Page 61. " Kent "
Kent - Hever Castle
Creative Commons AttributionKent - Hever Castle - Credit: neiljs, Flickr
GNU Free Documentation LicenseKent - Credit: Morwen, Wikipedia Commons

A county in the southeast of England, Kent is the home of Mr Collins and esteemed his neighbour Lady Catherine de Bourgh.





Page 61. " Church of England "
Canterbury Cathedral (mother church of the Church of England)
Creative Commons AttributionCanterbury Cathedral (mother church of the Church of England) - Credit: David Spender, Flickr

The Church of England, established by Henry VIII, is the primary religion in England. The Church considers itself Reformed Catholic since it drew on Catholic doctrine to form its own.

Unlike the Catholic Church, the Church of England does not object to the marriage of its clergy.  More recently, it has decided to permit female priests and bishops.

Page 63. " next to impossible that their cousin should come in a scarlet coat "
British Army infantry uniforms from 1750 to 1835
Public DomainBritish Army infantry uniforms from 1750 to 1835

The scarlet coat was the distinctive clothing of the militia officers who so preoccupy Kitty and Lydia.

Page 65. " Rosings "
Burghley House
Creative Commons AttributionBurghley House - Credit: Acradenia, Flickr

Rosings is the fictional estate of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, known for its impressive number of expensive glazed windows. It was depicted by Belton House in the 1995 BBC television series and by Burghley House in the 2005 movie.

Page 65. " to make up her pool of quadrille "

Quadrille game
Public DomainQuadrille game - Credit: Viktor Vasnetsov
 Quadrille was a card game of Spanish origin quite popular in the 18th century. It was eventually abandoned, partly because of its extreme complexity.

For the ever curious, here is a book written in 1822: Quadrille elucidated, a historical, critical and practical treatise on this much admired game.


Page 66. " in her little phaeton and ponies "
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePhaeton - Credit: Joseolgon, Wikipedia Commons

A phaeton is a small, light four-wheeled carriage.

As this is associated with the daughter of Lady Catherine, a small and fragile girl herself, there is possibly a comparison intended. The fact that ponies instead of horses pull her carriage also conveys the same impression.

Page 67. " every thing announced it to be from a circulating library "
Circulating library
Creative Commons AttributionCirculating library - Credit: MonkeyMyshkin, Flickr

Circulating libraries, or public libraries, started to appear in the early 17th century. They were designed for those who wouldn't have access to books otherwise. They provided a wide array of books, including the new novels that were rapidly gaining in popularity at that time. They also offered booksellers and publishers a new place to sell or lend their books. The association with poverty and 'frivolous' novels led people from the upper classes to look down on circulating libraries.


Page 67. " he chose Fordyce's Sermons "
Protested that he never read novels
Public DomainProtested that he never read novels - Credit: Hugh Thomson

Fordyce's Sermons, or Sermons to Young Women, was written in 1766 by Dr James Fordyce, a Scottish clergyman. He prescribed how women, especially when young, should act, think, and present themselves.

Mr Collins' approval of this book reveals his conservative, misogynistic view of women.

Page 67. " he offered himself as his antagonist at backgammon "
Backgammon board
Creative Commons AttributionBackgammon board - Credit: heydrienne, Flickr

Backgammon is one of the most ancient board games. A similar game has been found to date back to 3000 BC.


Page 71. " a really new muslin in a shop window "
Marie Antoinette muslin dress - 1783
Public DomainMarie Antoinette muslin dress - 1783 - Credit: Vigée le Brun

Muslin is a thin cotton fabric.

A garment made of muslin was also often called a muslin.



Page 73. " nice comfortable noisy game of lottery tickets "
Page 75. " by sitting down to whist "
Game of whist
Public DomainGame of whist - Credit: Bertall, La Comédie de notre temps : études au crayon et à la plume

Whist is a classic card game requiring 4 players and a standard 52-card deck. It rapidly gained in popularity during the 18th and 19th centuries.

A great many books were written on the subject, for example Whist, or Bumblepuppy? written in 1883 (after Austen's time). It was described by the London Sunday Times as "one of the most entertaining and at the same time one of the soundest books on whist ever written. Its drollery may blind some readers to the value of its advice: no man who knows any thing about whist, however, will fail to read it with interest, and few will fail to read it with advantage."