This is a line from Henry James's play The High Bid, a three-act comedy which was first performed in London in 1907.
In the section of the first act from which the quote is taken, a character called Captain Yule is talking to Chivers, a butler in an English country house:
YULE ... What are you, my dear man?
CHIVERS (As if he really has to think a bit) Well, sir, I'm not quite that (Appealing to his friend's indulgence) Whatever in the world has there been to make me?
YULE (Washing his hands of it) I mean to whom do you beautifully belong?
CHIVERS (Who has really to think it over) If you could only just tell me, sir! I seem to quite waste away - for someone to take orders from.
YULE (Looking at him in compassion) Who pays your wages?
CHIVERS (Very simply) No one at all, sir.
YULE (Taking from his waistcoat pocket a gold coin, which he places with a little sharp click on a table near at hand) Then, there's a sovereign.
This section of the novel is set at the men-only swimming pond on Hampstead Heath.
On the Heath, there are about thirty ponds which were dug originally as reservoirs in the 17th and 18th centuries. Three of these, known as Hampstead Ponds, or Highgate Ponds, are used for swimming. Of the three bathing ponds, one is exclusively for men, one exclusively for women, and one is for mixed bathing.
The Men's Pond, like Hampstead Heath in general, is a popular venue for gay men.
Bang expanded throughout the 1980s, and later evolved into G-A-Y. The London Astoria was demolished in 2009.
The Y is the YMCA, which stands for Young Men's Christian Association.
The YMCA is a worldwide organisation which was founded in London in the mid-19th century. Its ethos is a Christian one designed to foster a 'healthy mind, body and spirit'. Today, the YMCA is not specifically for young men, its purpose being to provide a range of services and opportunities for young men and women (and others) within their communities.
Melisma appears to be an imaginary product.
In music, melisma is the singing of one syllable of text over a series of successive notes. It is an effect often used in religious chants, as well as in popular music.
Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman in 1941) is an American musician and singer-songwriter whose career has spanned five decades.
His early work during the first part of the 1960s included folk and protest songs such as 'Blowin in the Wind', 'The Times They are a-Changin'', and 'A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall'. Later on, he embraced different musical styles, including a brief foray into Christian music at the beginning of the 1980s.
Overall, he is probably best remembered for the albums he released during the mid-1960s and the early 1970s, which include songs such as 'It Ain't Me Babe', 'Like a Rolling Stone', 'Mr Tambourine Man', 'Just Like a Woman', and 'Lay Lady Lay'.
Listen here to 'Blowin in the Wind' on Spotify.
Listen here to 'It Ain't Me Babe' on Spotify.
Listen here to 'Lay Lady Lay' on Spotify.
Culture and Anarchy is a series of essays by Matthew Arnold (1822-1888), the British poet and cultural critic who also worked as an inspector of schools. The essays were first published in the Cornhill Magazine before being published in book form in 1869.
Click here to see Culture and Anarchy as an e-book.
North and South is a novel by the English novelist and short story writer Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865). It was first published in 1855, and is known as one of Mrs Gaskell's industrial novels because it deals with the relationship between employers and employees.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was one of the major English Romantic Poets, as well as a literary critic and philosopher. Amongst his best known poems are The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan.
From 1817 until the end of his life, Coleridge lived at the London homes of the physician James Gillman, first at 14 South Grove, Highgate, and later at 3 The Grove, Highgate.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) was an English poet, playwright, essayist and politician. He is often remembered in conjunction with his friend Richard Steele (1672-1729), the Irish writer and politician who founded the Tatler. In 1711, the two friends launched a short-lived daily publication called The Spectator.
Addison's best-known work is the play Cato: A Tragedy which was first performed in 1713. The play is based on the last days of the Roman statesman Cato the Younger, and is said to have inspired some of the leaders of the American Revolutionary War (the American War of Independence).
In 1986, Harper's and Queen was a fashion and society magazine. It was an amalgamation of the British society magazine Queen which was first published in 1861, and Harper's Bazaar which started life as an American fashion magazine in 1867. In 2005, Harper's and Queen changed its name to Harper's Bazaar, with the emphasis on Bazaar. The change of name was an attempt to relinquish the upper-crust image of Harper's and Queen.
Jennifer's Diary was an account of the social life of the English upper classes which began in the Tatler, and then moved to Queen and Harper's and Queen. The original Jennifer was Betty Kenward who died in 2001. Jennifer's Diary was discontinued in 2004, shortly before Harper's and Queen changed its name.
Postmodern trends in literature, art, philosophy, architecture and economics are all heavily influenced by the ideas of post-structuralist thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler and Jacques Lacan. In particular, literary postmodernism is associated with Derrida's concept of deconstruction which is discussed in the bookmark for p.129.
In the world of architecture and design, it is difficult to give a succinct description of postmodern influences. However, adjectives used to describe postmodern architectural and design trends include theatrical, exaggerated, unique, whimsical, colourful, outgoing, surprising, playful, confrontational, ironic, absurd, provocative, witty, and subversive.
A confessional is an enclosed booth or stall within a church where a priest hears confessions.
Gothick is an old-fashioned spelling of gothic. Gothic architecture originated during the Medieval period; the style was revived in England from the 1740s onwards, and lasted until the later decades of the 19th century, becoming known as Gothic Revival style (also, Neo-Gothic or Victorian Gothic).
Gothic revival architecture is characterised by castle-like features such as towers, spires and parapets, by windows with pointed arches and ornamental stonework (tracery), and by both steep-sloping roofs, and flat roofs with battlements. Internally, the style is characterised by painted panelling, vaulted ceilings, coloured carvings, and the use of rich fabrics such as velvet.