Louis Spohr (1784-1859), sometimes known as Ludwig Spohr, was a prolific German composer, conductor and violinist. He produced a very varied body of work including concertos, operatic overtures, oratorios, and 10 symphonies, one of which was unfinished. He was married to the harpist Dorothea (Dorette) Scheidler and wrote several pieces for the harp and violin.
Although extremely well known during his lifetime, Spohr's music is not often performed today. There was, however, a resurgence of interest in his work during the late 20th century.
It is unclear which of his symphonies is referred to here by Edith Wharton.
Listen here to part of Spohr's Symphony No. 1
Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) wrote incidental music for Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, including the famous Wedding March which is often played as the recessional tune at weddings. Mendelssohn wrote in the Classical Romantic style and began his career as a child prodigy. German by birth, he toured extensively in Europe and visited many countries including Britain, which inspired such famous works as The Scottish Symphony and the Hebrides Overture.
The wedding march became popular when it was performed for Victoria, The Princess Royal, at her marriage to Prince Frederick William of Prussia on 25 January 1858. Her mother, Queen Victoria, loved Mendelssohn's music and he often played for her.
Brown's Hotel was founded on Albermarle Street in the Mayfair area of London in 1837. It underwent modification in 1889, when it was amalgamated with St. George's Hotel, and remains in existence today as a five-star luxury establishment. The fictional hotel in Agatha Christie's At Bertram's Hotel (1965) is based on Brown's.
Pocahontas (1595-1617) was a Native American princess who helped settlers in the US state of Virginia. She converted to Christianity, took the name Rebecca, and eventually married one of the settlers, John Rolfe.
She is said to have saved the life of an English explorer, Captain John Smith, by intervening when her father was about to execute him.
The Clyde is the third longest river in Scotland, at 106 miles. Historically it was of great economic importance, due to the industry situated along its banks in the lower sections, from the Cotton mills of Lanarkshire, upstream of Glasgow, to the ship building of Clydebank and Dumbarton towards the estuary.
Two of the world’s largest luxury liners of their time, the Queen Mary (1934) and Queen Elizabeth (1938) were launched from the John Brown shipyard in Clydebank. The Queen Mary is now moored on London’s Victoria Embankment, next to Waterloo Bridge, as a pub.
The Clyde shipyards were heavily bombed during World War II. One strategy for reducing the devestation was construction of false towns in the hills of the surrounding area. Black-out conditions, and the inaccuracies of navigation over such a long distance, not to mention anti-aircraft guns, made it possible to misdirect the German bombers with lights placed in prefab structures. The latter made for a diversion target, protecting the actual towns.
The cottage-orné was an architectural style which was part of the Picturesque Movement. It developed in Britain during the late 18th and early 19th century, and later became popular in Europe and America.
Generally, the cottage-orné was a small house built in an artificial countrified manner (often using cob, thatch and wood) designed to convey the impression of idyllic rural domesticity. Buildings of the cottage-orné type were often constructed in the grounds of country estates and used as summer-houses by the wealthy occupants of the main house.
Click here to see a more elaborate form of cottage-orné architecture in Newport, Rhode Island, U.S.A.