Page 352. " St Paul on the road to Damascus "

St Paul was an early Christian who began to follow Jesus after a miraculous conversion.  Before this conversion, Paul (then known as Saul) persecuted Christians.  While travelling to Damascus, Saul was struck blind by a bright light and heard Jesus' voice, telling Saul to cease persecuting him.  When he arrived in Damascus, a Christian laid his hands upon Saul and his sight was restored.  Saul changed his name to Paul and went on to be one of Christianity's most enthusiastic early missionaries.

Page 354. " the younger Mill "

This refers to the philosopher and politician John Stuart Mill, mentioned in the bookmark to page 155.

Page 355. " Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde "

A double-exposure photograph of Richard Mansfield, an actor famous for portraying both roles in the theatrical adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
Public DomainA double-exposure photograph of Richard Mansfield, an actor famous for portraying both roles in the theatrical adaptation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

 The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is horror novella written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886.  It tells the story of Dr Jekyll, an ostensibly respectable and successful doctor who develops a potion that allows him to switch between his normal character and that of Mr Hyde, an evil man who delights in breaking the moral code and taboos of Victorian society, even to the point of committing murder.

The book was highly popular with Victorian readers, and two theatrical adaptations appeared within a year of its publication.

 

Page 366. " There is a remedy for members of my sex. "

Ernestina refers to the civil offence of Breach of Promise.  In this period, an offer of marriage from a man to a woman was considered a legally-binding contract and financial recompense could be sought if the man broke this contract.

Middle- and upper-class families rarely brought actions against the men who broke engagements with their daughters, because of the embarassment and scandal caused by the necessary courtroom examination of private affairs and documents.  As this 1860 article on the problems of breach of promise cases observes:

"The court vastly enjoys the perusal of [the defendent's] letters, and the papers quote them entire and unabridged."

Page 371. " like a Judas, an Ephialtes "

Judas Iscariot was a follower of Jesus who betrayed him to the Roman authorities, and thus was instrumental in bringing about Jesus' execution. 

Ephialtes was a Greek soldier who betrayed the Greek army at the battle with the Persians at Thermopylae.  This battle is the subject of the 1998 comic and 2007 film 300.