Page 86. " the beast that was Miss Lupescu "
St. Dominic and the Domini Canis,
Creative Commons AttributionSt. Dominic and the Domini Canis, "Hound of God" - Credit: Fergal OP

Like Silas, Miss Lupescu is a "solitary type". A clue to her identity is given in her name: Lupescu is a well-known Romanian surname derived from "lup", the Romanian word for "wolf".

Although werewolves are generally portrayed negatively in legend, Gaiman's "Hound of God", like his vampire, is a force for good.

"Hound of God" is also a name associated with the founder of the Dominican religious order. In iconography, St. Dominic is most often portrayed with a dog. This Domini Canis, or "Hound of God", is said to reflect the Dominican spirit of study, inquiry, and pursuit of truth. Miss Lupescu, a stern but faithful instructor, exemplifies this ideal.

Page 89. " That's Orion the Hunter "

Orion is a constellation made up of very bright stars.  It is named after a mythological hunter.

Taurus is another constellation, very close to Orion, whose name is the Latin word for "bull".

The constellation Orion
GNU Free Documentation LicenseThe constellation Orion - Credit: Stephan Brunker
The constellation Taurus
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe constellation Taurus - Credit: Till Credner
Page 95. " the moft glorious refurrection "

Gaiman is aping the "long s" which was used in preference to the more familiar short s when the letter came at the start or in the middle of a word.  It fell out of use in Britain around the turn of the nineteenth century.

 

Page 95. " Elements and Humours "

Before the discovery of chemical elements or particle physics, it was believed everything was made of the elements of fire, water, air, ether and earth in different proportions and combinations.  This idea came from Ancient Greek philosophy and was common until the late eighteenth century.

In the same period, the health and function of the body was believed to be governed by the four humours: black bile, yellow bile, phlegm and blood.  Imbalances of humours led to sickness and different types of disposition.  This theory was first put forward by Hippocrates and was widely believed (even by doctors) until the nineteenth century.

Page 98. " travel in a house on chicken legs "

An Inspiration for Baba Yaga's House?
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAn Inspiration for Baba Yaga's House? - Credit: m.prinke
 Baba Yaga, a witch from Russian folk-lore, has iron teeth and lives in a house which walks on chicken legs, among other eccentricities.

Listen on Spotify:   The Hut on Fowls' Legs   from Pictures at an Exhibition by Mussorgsky