Page 277. " the tedium of being in The Mousetrap "
Agatha Christie
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAgatha Christie - Credit: Agatha Christie plaque - Torre Abbey

 The Mousetrap is a murder mystery play written by the renowned crime writer Agatha Christie, and is the longest-running play in the history of the theatre.

It opened in London's West End in November 1952, and is still performed nightly (excluding Sundays) at St Martin's Theatre near Charing Cross Road.


St Martin's Theatre, London in 2010
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSt Martin's Theatre, London in 2010 - Credit: Ewan Munro

Page 278. " this thing called librium that she's on "
Chlordiazepoxide capsules
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeChlordiazepoxide capsules - Credit: Literaturegeek

At different points in the narrative, both of Catherine's parents refer to the lithium that she takes as librium.

Lithium is a drug used to stabalize mood in depressive and bipolar illnesses (see bookmark for page 258).

Librium (whose generic name is Chlordiazepoxide) is a drug with sedative and hypnotic properties which is used to relieve anxiety.

Page 279. " 'She's doing some great work now, at St Martin's.' "
St Martin's Art School Charing Cross Road site in 2006
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSt Martin's Art School Charing Cross Road site in 2006 - Credit: Fin Fahey

 St Martin's School of Art was a prestigious London Art School founded in 1854. During the period in which The Line of Beauty is set, its main premises were on the Charing Cross Road.

In 1989, St Martin's merged with the Central School of Art and Design to form Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, whose main campus is now in the Kings Cross area of London.

Page 285. " as if showing him the Doge's Palace "
Doge Andrea Vendramin
Public DomainDoge Andrea Vendramin - Credit: Gentile Bellini (cropped by Jan Arkesteijn)
Doge Francesco Erizzo
Public DomainDoge Francesco Erizzo - Credit: Bernardo Strozzi

The Doge's Palace is a building in Venice, Italy. It is built in the Venetian Gothic style, and parts of it date back to the 14th century.

Originally, the building was the home of the Doge of Venice, the elected leader of the Venetian Republic. Since 1923, the building has been operating as a museum.









Doge's Palace, Venice
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDoge's Palace, Venice - Credit: Andrew and Annemarie

Google Map


Page 285. " a work of Sir Christopher Wren "
Church of St Martin, Ludgate, City of London (rebuilt by Wren 1677-84)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeChurch of St Martin, Ludgate, City of London (rebuilt by Wren 1677-84) - Credit: John Salmon

 Sir Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was a renowned English architect. Following the Great Fire of London in 1666, he was responsible for re-building 52 of the city's churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral.

Other notable works by Wren include the south facade of Hampton Court Palace, and the Royal Naval College in Greenwich.


Royal Naval College, Greenwich
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRoyal Naval College, Greenwich - Credit: Kenneth Yarham

Page 285. " it had ranked with the Taj Mahal and the Parliament Building in Ottawa in his private architectural heaven. "

The Taj Mahal is a domed white marble mausoleum in Agra in India.

It was built between 1632 and 1648 by the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.


Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeTaj Mahal, Agra, India - Credit: Núria Pueyo

Google Map




The three buildings, built around a central lawn, which are home to the Parliament of Canada are situated on Ottawa's Parliament Hill. All of the buildings are built in the Gothic Revival style, although the design of the Centre Block is more modern that that of the East and West Blocks.


Rear view of Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Canada
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRear view of Parliament Buildings, Ottawa, Canada - Credit: Jeremy

Google Map


Page 288. " business conferences and Rotary dinners "
Rotary International emblem in Feira de Santana, Brazil
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRotary International emblem in Feira de Santana, Brazil - Credit: Andrevruas

 The Rotary Club (also known as Rotary International) was founded in Chicago in 1905. By today, it has over 34,000 clubs worldwide and a membership of more than 1.2 million.

Members of the clubs are business and professional people whose objectives include the maintaining of high ethical standards in the workplace, and the provision of some humanitarian services. At the local level, Rotary Club members, who are known as Rotarians, generally meet weekly to discuss club business and listen to a guest speaker.

Up until the 1980s, Rotary clubs generally did not admit women. However, prior to that point, many relatives of Rotary Club members joined a similar organisation known as the Inner Wheel.

Page 288. " old Speed maps of the county "
Portrait of John Speed
Public DomainPortrait of John Speed - Credit: Possibly C.Lacey

 John Speed (1552-1629) was an English historian and mapmaker.

One of his achievements was the compiling of an atlas containing the first set of county maps of England and Wales, which was published in 1610/11. He was also responsible for the production of a world atlas (the first ever produced by an Englishman) which was published in 1627.


Speed map of Northamptonshire
Public DomainSpeed map of Northamptonshire - Credit: John Speed/engraved by Jodocus Hondius



Page 289. " 'I know, we can never get into Tante Claire' "

La Tante Claire was a London restaurant which opened in 1977 and closed in 2004. It was owned and run by the French-born chef Pierre Koffmann, and had three Michelin stars between 1983 and 1998.

During the period in which The Line of Beauty is set, La Tante Claire was located on the Royal Hospital Road in Chelsea. It re-located to the Berkeley Hotel, Knightsbridge in 1998.

Pierre Koffmann produced a recipe book entitled La Tante Claire: Recipes From a Master Chef, which was published in 1993 (a section of which may be seen below).


la tante claire

Page 296. " left-behind Frederick Forsyths "
Frederick Forsyth in 2003
Creative Commons AttributionFrederick Forsyth in 2003 - Credit: Das blaue Sofa

 Frederick Forsyth, who was born in 1938, is an English author who specialises in crime fiction and thrillers.

Some of his best-known novels include The Day of the Jackal (1971), The Odessa File (1972), Avenger (2003), and The Cobra (2010). Several of his books have been made into films including The Day of the Jackal, The Dogs of War (1974) and Avenger.

Page 296. " "Il ridotto della Procuratoressa Venier." It's just behind San Marco.' "

Piazza San Marco (St Mark's Square) is the main public square in Venice, Italy. It is dominated at one end by the cathedral church known as St Mark's Basilica.

A ridotto, or casino, was a small house or apartment which was used by 18th century Venetian nobility to eat, entertain, relax and gamble. The Procuratoressa Venier was Elena Priuli, wife of the 'procurator' Federico Venier who owned the Casino Venier. Since 1987, the Casino Venier has been the headquarters of the Alliance française in Venice.


Interior of the Casino Venier (2008)
Creative Commons AttributionInterior of the Casino Venier (2008) - Credit: Geraud

Google Map


Page 297. " one bright curve of the Dronne "

The River Dronne is a 201 km-long river in southwestern France. It rises in the Massif Central and joins the River Isle at Chalûs (south west of Limoges).

It passes through five French départements including the  Dordogne. Within the  Dordogne, it flows through the picturesque towns of Ribérac and Brantôme, which is the site of an 8th century abbey.

The abbey church on the banks of the Dronne at Brantôme
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe abbey church on the banks of the Dronne at Brantôme - Credit: Traumrune