Page 277. " instruction in music from Charles Hallé "

 Charles Hallé (1819-1895) was a pianist and conductor from Westphalia, Germany. Originally based in Paris, where he was friends with Liszt and Chopin, following the French revolution of 1848 he moved to England, where he became famous for pioneering a method of musical education which prioritised fidelity and accuracy over expression and passion in performances.

Page 283. " in letters three feet high: Sinope "

Sinop, or Sinope, lies midway along Turkey's Black Sea coast, at its most northern point. The attack described here happened on 30 November 1853.


Google Map
Page 284. " He took no open stance on the Home Rule question "

In 1800, Ireland was politically joined to Great Britain through the Acts of Union. Though the two countries had been in personal union since 1541, meaning they shared the same monarch, these Acts officially rendered Ireland a part of Great Britain.

Although the Acts were intended to quell expressions of Irish nationalism, they had the reverse effect, and throughout the nineteenth century protests occurred as Irish nationalists demanded the Acts be repealed and a self-governing Kingdom of Ireland be established. The Home Rule movement, as it came to be known, continued to be an important part of Irish politics until the end of the Great War.

In the 1880s, the Liberal British Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone attempted to pass Home Rule bills through Parliament; the text of his famous three-hour speech can be read here. From 1886 to 1920 a series of Home Rule acts were proposed in the British Parliament, eventually resulting in the Partition of Ireland and the creation of the Republic of Ireland.

Page 292. " Lord Hardinge, commander-in-chief of the entire army "

 Field Marshal Henry Hardinge, 1st Viscount Hardinge (1785-1856), succeeded the Duke of Wellington as commander-in-chief of the British army. He was appointed in 1852. Previously he served as governor-general of India, as Member of Parliament for Durham, and as a minister in Robert Peel's cabinet.

In 1815 he lost his left hand at the Battle of Ligny, and was consequently prevented from taking part in the Battle of Waterloo.

Page 296. " Ah yes, Mr Hart Seymour "

 Thomas H. Seymour (1807-1868) was a Democratic politician. Born in Hartford, Connecticut, he was his home state's Governor from 1850 to 1853, before becoming America's Minister to Russia from 1853 to 1858. He served in the U.S. army during the Mexican-American War, eventually becoming a lieutenant colonel.