Angry at being turned out of the Baron's house because of letters he did not write, de la Roncière made a bet with his friend that he could make Marie his mistress. Eventually, he persuaded Marie to allow him into her bedroom. On the night of the alleged assault, de la Roncière was let into the house and into Marie's bedroom by Miss Allen, who was his lover.
Sir Galahad is a knight of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. He is renowned for his virtue and particularly his chastity, which gained him the name Sir Galahad the Pure. Guinevere, by contrast, is a character notorious for her unchastity: married to King Arthur, she was the lover of Lancelot. In some versions of the Arthurian stories, Galahad and Guinevere have a particularly close and warm relationship before her adultery is exposed.
Fowles refers to the painting called The Vision of St Eustace. The story of St Eustace is often attributed to St Hubert. The story of the moment depicted can be found here.
Jezebel is a Biblical figure whose name has become a general term for evil women. The original Jezebel was a queen of Israel who converted the king her husband from the worship of the Christian God to the worship of Baal. According to the Bible, she encouraged sexual immorality and persecuted Christian prophets.
Also known as "smelling salts", sal volatile is ammonium carbonate, a chemical compound commonly used to rouse the semi-conscious or unconcious.
The existentialists were a group of philosophers whose thought focused on the individual, their inner life and actions, and considerations of how an individual can bring meaning to their own life.
The poetry of the ancient Roman poet Catullus (84-54 BCE) veers between passionate, agonised love poetry and scurrilous, obscene attacks on enemies and rivals. A translation of the poem from which Fowles quotes can be found here.
Sappho is the most famous female poet of the Classical age and the only ancient Greek female poet whose work has survived to this day. She is best known for her passionate love poetry addressed to men and women.
Catullus' respect for Sappho can be seen not only in his quotation of her work, but also in the pseudonym he gives the addressee of his most heartfelt love poetry: Lesbia, named for Lesbos, Sappho's birthplace.
A translation of Sappho's original poem can be found here.
Janus was the Roman God of gates, doorways, beginnings and endings. His name survives in the name of the month January. He is commonly shown with two faces or two heads, representing his ability to see into both the past and future.
Exeter is a city in Devon (near Dorset) and was at the period of the novel one of the central transport hubs of the region, due to its railway links to London.