Page 51. " some gave her a gift of a Jerusalem artichoke "


Jerusalem artichoke
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeJerusalem artichoke - Credit: net_efekt

The Jerusalem artichoke is neither from Jerusalem nor an artichoke. It does, however, have a similar taste to an artichoke. It belongs to the sunflower family, and originated in North America.


According to Jamie Oliver, "Jerusalem artichokes are sweet and almost garlicky and mushroomy and gorgeous." You can check out his recipe for them here.

Page 51. " It was strange sleeping in the basilicas, or monasteries "
Page 51. " lay belladonna over his eyes "
Page 51. " give him saline baths for the keloided skin and extensive burns "
Page 53. " Alonson fon! "

"Alonson fon!" (53) As a child, Hana had learned this song in a French class in Toronto and stood on a bench to sing it, her left hand on her heart. These invented words suggest a child singing a song in words she does not comprehend. These words mimic the sounds of the opening words of the French national anthem, "La Marseillaise": Allons enfants de la patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé! Let's go, children of the fatherland, The day of glory has arrived!

Page 55. " I thought of you always as the Scarlet Pimpernel "
Page 55. " like the worm-pickers "

Page 55. " They thought it was more trenchant. "

Caravaggio is punning on the word trenchant.

trench·ant  (trnchnt)

1. Forceful, effective, and vigorous: a trenchant argument. See Synonyms at incisive.
2. Caustic; cutting: trenchant criticism.
3. Distinct; clear-cut.

[Middle English, from Old French, cutting, from present participle of trenchier, to cut; see trench.]

trenchan·cy n.
trenchant·ly adv.
Page 55. " Ranuccio Tommasoni "


Page 56. " this must be Poliziano's room "

Page 56. " the great protege of Lorenzo "
Page 56. " In Florence, in Santa Trinita Church "
Page 56. " you can see the painting of the Medicis with Poliziano in the foreground "
Page 57. " Daggers and politics and three-decker hats "

speaking of ren. - etc

Page 57. " Of course Savonarola came later, not much later, and there was his Bonfire of the Vanities. "
Page 57. " He wrote a great poem on Simonetta Vespucci "
Page 57. " He made her famous with Le Stanze per la Giostra "
Page 57. " Botticelli painted scenes from it "
Page 57. " Leonardo painted scenes from it "
Page 57. " He had a friend called Pico della Mirandola "

Page 57. " and the young Michelangelo "
Page 57. " The held in each hand the new world and the old world. "

also, connect with where Hana et al stand - at the end of WWII -- also the break between old world & new world

Page 57. " hunted down the last four books of Cicero "
Page 57. " with a bust of Plato "
Page 59. " Walked past Brunelleschi's church "

Page 60. " He was on the Santa Trinita Bridge. "

Page 60. " the shallow water of the Arno "


Page 63. " she saw one of the men was a Sikh "
Page 64. " When I take my sugar to tea "

From the song: When I Take My Sugar to Tea by


Page 69. " Fortress towns on great promontories "

reference to the Germans v Allies fighting over the towns as they retreated, see earlier notes on this


Page 69. " When the armies assembled at Sansepolcro "

Page 69. " Field Marshal Kesselring of the retreating German army "

Page 69. " Mediaeval scholars were pulled out of Oxford colleges and flown into Umbria. "

The type of warfare needed to take this very clever and well-fortified towns was no longer in use, hence the need for mediaeval scholars.

Luckily, we now have the internet with handy pages like this one on how to defend your medieval castle.

If you're very interested you can learn mediaeval war skills in Sussex:

Page 69. " the Madonna del Parto "

Page 69. " Piero della Francesca "

Page 70. " where Hercules slays the Hydra "