Page 429. " She was much too young for Mrs Gereth, and quite wrong for Fleda Vetch "
Henry James
Public DomainHenry James - Credit: John Singer Sargent

Mrs Gereth and Fleda Vetch are characters in Henry James's short novel The Spoils of Poynton which was first published in book form in 1897.

See also the bookmark for page 213.

Page 432. " It's a Black Monday "
Wall Street Crash montage
Creative Commons AttributionWall Street Crash montage - Credit: Ninian Reid

Here the name Black Monday refers to a cocktail made with dark rum, cherry brandy and black sambuca.

Click here to see a recipe for a Black Monday, and click here to see a very comprehensive list of cocktails.

Black Monday is also the name given to Monday, October 19th, 1987 when stock markets around the world crashed.

Previously, the term Black Monday had been used to describe the events of October 28th, 1929. That was the first Monday of the American Wall Street Crash of 1929 which triggered the Great Depression.

Page 433. " 'Hey, the Dow was down five hundred points.' "

Graph of Dow Jones indices showing the Black Monday crash of October 1987
Public DomainGraph of Dow Jones indices showing the Black Monday crash of October 1987 - Credit: Edward
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (also known as the Dow Jones index, the Dow Jones, the Dow 30 or simply, the Dow) is a stock market index.

Stock market indices are mathematical measures of stock market performance.

The Dow index was created by the American businessman Charles Dow and his statistician collaborator Edward Jones in 1896. It indicates the trading performance of 30 large American publicly-owned companies during a specific trading period.

Page 434. " Somehow another James film, The Bostonions, had come up "
Henry James
Public DomainHenry James - Credit: John Singer Sargent

The Bostonians is a tragi-comic novel by Henry James which was serialised in The Century Magazine during 1885 and 1886. It was also published in book form in 1886.




Page 436. " 'I mean, can I imagine asking Meryl Streep "
Meryl Streep at the 1990 Grammy Awards
Creative Commons AttributionMeryl Streep at the 1990 Grammy Awards - Credit: Alan Light

 Meryl Streep, who was born Mary Louise Streep in 1949, is an American actress.

She has had an enormously successful career as a television, stage and screen actress. Amongst her numerous accolades are three Oscars, for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), Sophie's Choice (1982), and The Iron Lady (2011).

In The Iron Lady, she plays the role of Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister.


Page 443. " Nick crossed Knightsbridge and went through Albert Gate into the Park. "

Knightsbridge is a road which has given its name to a district in central London. It is situated in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

Hyde Park is a large park in central London. It is the location of the recreational lake known as the Serpentine, and of Speakers' Corner, a renowned open-air public speaking arena.

Albert Gate is a small conservation area set just off Knightsbridge (the road). It is one of the many entrances into Hyde Park.


Albert Gate, London - Hyde Park's South Carriage Drive is in the foreground
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAlbert Gate, London - Hyde Park's South Carriage Drive is in the foreground - Credit: Nigel Cox

Google Map




Page 443. " A group of young women on horseback came trotting down Rotten Row "
Oilette postcard entitled 'The Parade, Rotten Row'
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeOilette postcard entitled 'The Parade, Rotten Row' - Credit: Leonard Bentley (photograph); Raphael Tuck & Sons Ltd. (postcard)

 Rotten Row is a broad thoroughfare less than a mile long which leads from Hyde Park Corner to Serpentine Road within Hyde Park.

It was created by William III at the end of the 17th century, and given the name Route de Roi, which became corrupted to Rotten Row. In the 18th century, it was an important meeting point for London society who would ride on Rotten Row, or drive in carriages along the South Carriage Drive which runs close by.

In 1876, Rotten Row was given a brick base, and sanded, to make it more suitable for horseriding, and it remains in use as a bridleway up to the present day.

Click here to see an interactive map of Hyde Park.





Rotten Row, Hyde Park (2010)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRotten Row, Hyde Park (2010) - Credit: Rankeelaw

Google Map




Page 443. " He took the long diagonal that went past Watts's monument "

This is a reference to the 'Physical Energy' statue, a bronze sculpture by  the sculptor and painter George Frederic Watts (1817-1904). It is located in Kensington Gardens, a Royal Park situated to the west of Hyde Park, and immediately adjacent to it.

Watts's statue depicts a naked man on horseback. It is based on an equestrian memorial that Watts made in 1870 of Hugh Lupus, an ancestor of the Duke of Westminster. Two castings of the 'Physical Energy' statue were made in 1902 and 1905. The first became part of the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town, South Africa, and the second was placed in Kensington Gardens. A third, slightly modified, casting was made in 1959 and is currently in the grounds of the National Archives in Harare, Zimbabwe.


'Physical Energy' by George Frederic Watts in Kensington Gardens, London
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike'Physical Energy' by George Frederic Watts in Kensington Gardens, London - Credit: Chmee2

Google Map


Page 444. " Baalbek House "

Baalbek (or Baalbeck) is a town in Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. When under Roman rule, it was known as Heliopolis, and it has some of the best-preserved Roman ruins in Lebanon.

Baalbek is home to the Baalbeck International Festival, an annual event held in July and August, which features a range of music, theatre, and dance.


Entrance to the Temple of Bacchus, Baalbek, Lebanon
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeEntrance to the Temple of Bacchus, Baalbek, Lebanon - Credit: Heretiq

Google Map


Page 446. " It was the set with a pink Petit Trianon in a wreath on each cup and saucer "
Madame du Barry depicted as Flora (1769)
Public DomainMadame du Barry depicted as Flora (1769) - Credit: François-Hubert Drouais

The Petit Trianon is a small château, built in the Neo-classical style between 1762 and 1768. It is part of the Palace of Versailles at Versailles in the western suburbs of Paris, France.

The château was commissioned by Louis XV for his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. However, she died before its completion, so it was transferred to Madame du Barry, her successor as Maîtresse-en-titre (official mistress of the king).

The Petit Trianon is in the grounds of a larger building known as the Grand Trianon, which was built by Louis XIV.







The Petit Trianon at Versailles
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Petit Trianon at Versailles - Credit: Colocho

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Page 446. " Nick thought of the scene in The Portrait of a Lady when Isabel discovers her husband sitting while Mme Merle is standing "
Henry James
Public DomainHenry James - Credit: John Singer Sargent

 The Portrait of a Lady is a novel by Henry James, first published in 1881.

The main character in the novel is Isabel Archer, an American heiress who moves to London following her father's death, and later travels in Europe. Whilst in Europe, she marries an American, Gilbert Osmond, who has a daughter Pansy, supposedly from his first marriage. Unknown to Isabel, her marriage to Gilbert has been engineered by another American expatriate, Madame Merle.

The marriage between Isabel and Gilbert turns out to be an unhappy one, and it emerges that Gilbert has been having a long-standing relationship with Madame Merle, and that she is Pansy's mother.

Click here to see an e-book version of Volume 1 of The Portrait of a Lady.