Page 376. " a wide-shouldered white-and-gold jacket, amazingly embroidered like a Ruritanian uniform "
Illustration of Austro-Hungarian military uniform (c.1914)
Public DomainIllustration of Austro-Hungarian military uniform (c.1914) - Credit: unknown
Austro-Hungarian Empire
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAustro-Hungarian Empire - Credit: KarnRedsun

 Ruritania is a fictional country which is the setting for three novels by Anthony Hope: The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), The Heart of Princess Osra (1896) and Rupert of Hentzau (1898). Following the publication of these novels, Ruritania was also adopted as a fictional setting by other writers, and sparked a genre known as Ruritanian romances.

In the Hope novels, Ruritania is a German-speaking, socially divided country ruled by an all-powerful monarch. It is generally supposed that it is based on one of the countries of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which was in existence for about 50 years prior to 1918, and had extensive territories in Central Europe and parts of the Balkans.

Page 378. " like a convivial Jabberwock "

Jabberwock insignia for rowing team (1887)
Public DomainJabberwock insignia for rowing team (1887) - Credit: unknown
The Jabberwock is the mythical monster from Lewis Carroll's poem 'Jabberwocky', which appears in his Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871):

                                          Beware the Jabberwock, my son

                                         The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Click here for the full text.

See also the bookmark for page 319.                           

Page 384. " a fine if improbable fusion of the Vorticist and the Baroque "
Wyndham Lewis (1929)
Public DomainWyndham Lewis (1929) - Credit: George Charles Beresford
Cover of 'BLAST'
Public DomainCover of 'BLAST' - Credit: Wyndham Lewis

 Baroque is the name given to an artistic style which originated in Italy around 1600. It is characterised by opulence and elaborate ornamentation.


Vorticism was a short-lived movement in British art in the early 20th century. The style was characterised by geometric abstract forms.

One of its chief proponents was Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957), who edited BLAST, the magazine of the Vorticists. The picture which appears below was painted by Wyndham Lewis in 1914, and is entitled 'Combat No. 2'.

Click here and here to see other examples of Vorticist art by Edward Wadsworth and Helen Saunders.




Combat No. 2 - Wyndham Lewis, 1914

Page 385. " 'Get Off Of My Cloud' "

Get Off Of My Cloud was a single released by The Rolling Stones in 1965. It topped the charts in both Britain and America.

Listen here to Get Off Of My Cloud on Spotify.



Page 385. " Forum Magazine "

Forum magazine, a sexually explicit, but serious magazine with the subtitle The International Journal of Human Relations, was established in London in 1967 by Albert Z. Freedman. It was later published in the United States and nine other countries.

It is still in publication today, and now has the cover title Penthouse Forum.

Click here and here to see American Forum cover from 1977 and 1985.

Page 395. " He did a lot of smarmy joshing with Robin Day "

Robin Day (1923-2000) was a British political broadcaster and commentator.

A former President of the Oxford Union, he began working in television in 1955, and pursued a career in television and radio up until the 1990s. He was renowned for his forthright, somewhat abrasive interviewing style, and for his signature thick-rimmed spectacles and bow tie.

Among those he interviewed were President Nasser of Egypt, the American President Harry Truman, and the British Prime Ministers Harold Macmillan, and Margaret Thatcher. He was knighted in 1981 for services to broadcasting.



Page 396. " 'the quality that M. Mitterrand has attributed to the Prime Minister "
François Mitterrand in the 1980s
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFrançois Mitterrand in the 1980s - Credit: MMEKAYHAGAN

 François Mitterrand (1916-1996) was a French Socialist politician who was President of France between 1981 and 1995. He was, therefore, Mrs Thatcher's French counterpart during most of her term as British Prime Minister (1979-1990).

François Mitterand is reported to have said that Margaret Thatcher 'has the eyes of Caligula, but the mouth of Marilyn Monroe'!

Click here and here and here to see some images of François Mitterand with Margaret Thatcher.

Page 398. " black jeans and Doc Martens "
Doc Martens classic boot (2006)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeDoc Martens classic boot (2006) - Credit: Kim Piper Werker

The distinctive laced boots known as Dr Martens (or more commonly as Doc Martens) were manufactured from 1960 onwards by a British company known as R. Griggs & Co., who made use of an air-cushioned sole which had been developed in Germany during the late 1940s.

They become popular with British skinheads in the 1970s, and retained their popularity with various youth subcultures until the late 1990s. Sales declined during the early part of the 21st century, but Doc Martens have seen something of a revival over the past few years.

Today, Doc Martens boots and shoes are manufactured mainly in China and Thailand, although a Vintage range is still manufactured in Britain.