Page 26. " You are an Ariel "
Prospero and Ariel
Public DomainProspero and Ariel - Credit: William Hamilton (1751-1801)

 Ariel is the name given to a spirit in William Shakespeare's play The Tempest.

His* role is to serve the magician Prospero.



*Ariel is generally viewed as a male character  although the part has sometimes been played by women, especially during the Restoration.

Page 26. " next year when we go for the Festival "
Festival fireworks over Edinburgh Castle
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFestival fireworks over Edinburgh Castle - Credit: Lauren, Flickr

There are two festivals associated with Edinburgh, both of which took place for the first time in 1947.

The more sedate one is the Edinburgh International Festival of music (mainly classical), theatre, dance and opera which takes place for several weeks in August.

The second, which is also held in August,  is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a forum for innovative and experimental theatre, comedy, music and dance. 

Click here and here to access the official festival sites. 

Page 27. " The wind blew from the icy Forth "

The River Forth (Gaelic: Uisge For or Abhainn Dhubh) lies to the north of Edinburgh and is one of the major Scottish rivers.

It rises in Loch Ard in the Trossachs and flows 29 miles to the Firth of Forth.

Click here to see the course of the river.

The River Forth at Stirling
Creative Commons AttributionThe River Forth at Stirling - Credit: Worawit Suphamungmee, Flickr


Google Map


Page 28. " Sandy, who had been reading Kidnapped, was having a conversation with the hero, Alan Breck "

Kidnapped is a historical novel for children, written by the Scottish novelist and poet, Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). 

It was first published in installments in the magazine Young Folks in 1886; Catriona, a sequel, was published in 1893.

It deals with events following the Jacobite Risings, and one of the main characters of the novel, Alan Breck Stewart (Ailean Breac Stiùbhart), was a real person, an 18th century soldier and member of the Jacobite resistance.




Page 29. " the Old Town "


Old Town, Edinburgh
GNU Free Documentation LicenseOld Town, Edinburgh - Credit: Jonathan Oldenbuck, Wikimedia Commons


Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is divided into two sections: the Old Town and the New Town.

The Old Town dates back to medieval times and is renowned for its Reformation era buildings. The principal road in the Old Town is the Royal Mile, which extends from the Castle to the ruins of Holyrood Abbey. The area is also the location of the Royal Museum of Scotland, the University of Edinburgh and St. Giles Cathedral.

Historically, the Old Town was a poor, over-crowded area; in the 18th century it had 80,000 residents housed mainly in multi-storey buildings known as tenements; today, the area has a residential population of 4,000.

Page 29. " the Middle Meadow Walk "

The Meadows  is a large public park in Edinburgh, situated just south of the city centre.

Its central tree-lined avenue is known as the Middle Meadow Walk.


The Meadows, Edinburgh
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Meadows, Edinburgh - Credit: Richard Webb, Wikimedia Commons


Google Map


Page 29. " Edinburgh, Leith, Portobello, Musselburgh And Dalkeith "

 Here Eunice appears to be reciting a hopscotch, or skipping, rhyme.

Leith is a district in northern Edinburgh;

Portobello is a coastal resort on the Firth of Forth, about 3 miles to the east of Edinburgh;

Mussleburgh is also situated on the Firth of Forth, about 6 miles east of Edinburgh;

Dalkeith is a town in Midlothian, about 7 miles to the southeast of Edinburgh.


map of Edinburgh
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alikemap of Edinburgh - Credit:


Google Map


Page 30. " The League of Nations "
(left to right) Lloyd George, Vittoria Orlando, Georges Clemencau, Woodrow Wilson at the 1919 Peace Conference
Public Domain(left to right) Lloyd George, Vittorio Orlando, Georges Clemencau, Woodrow Wilson at the 1919 Peace Conference - Credit: Capt. Jackson, US Army Signal Corps.

The League of Nations was established following the Paris Peace Conference in 1919. It was a multi-national organisation whose stated aim was to prevent war through collaborative policies, arbitration and negotiation.

During the 1930s, however, several countries refused to adhere to collective agreements, and there were withdrawals and expulsions from the League.

For example, Germany and Japan withdrew in 1933, Paraguay in 1935, and Italy in 1937. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was expelled in 1939.


Page 31. " the Brownies and the Girl Guides "

Girl guides camping in 1939
Creative Commons AttributionGirl guides camping in 1939 - Credit: EmerandSam, Flickr
 Girl Guides were the female branch of the scouting movement. The organisation was established formally in the U.K. in 1910 under the management of Agnes Baden-Powell, sister of Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Scout Movement.

The organisation, which developed internationally, sought to offer citizenship training and to develop domestic, physical fitness and survival skills.

The Browniesa junior branch of the organisation, was set up in 1914.

Today in Britain, girls and young women between the ages of 5 and 25 may join the organisation Girlguiding UK where the terms 'brownie' and 'guide' are still in use.


Page 31. " in her best Edinburgh voice "
Edinburgh (2005)
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeEdinburgh (2005) - Credit: landhere, Flickr

People from different parts of Scotland have different accents.

Edinburgh accents are sometimes considered somewhat 'posh' compared to other areas.

Follow this link to hear a male Edinburgh accent (that of Malcolm Rifkind who attended James Gillespie's Boys' School, the male branch of James Gillespie's High School for Girls on which Muriel Spark based the Marcia Blaine School).

Follow this link to hear a male Glasgow accent.

The character Miss Jean Brodie is partly based on Christina Kay, one of Muriel Spark's teachers at James Gillespie's.


Page 31. " These are the fascisti "

Fascisti were Italian fascists during the period of Mussolini's dictatorship (1922-43). Because of the uniforms they wore, paramilitary fascist groups were known in the inter-war period as 'The Blackshirts'.

The title British Fascisti was used by a British fascist organisation set up in 1923 by Miss R.L. Lintorn-Orman. This was distinct from the British Union of Fascists, set up in 1932 by Oswald Mosley.



Page 32. " The Canongate, The Grassmarket, The Lawnmarket "
North side of the Lawnmarket (1850s)
Public DomainNorth side of the Lawnmarket (1850s) - Credit: Thomas Keith (1827-1895)

 The Canongate, situated at the lower end of the Royal Mile, is a small area of central Edinburgh whose main street is Canongate. Formerly  an over-crowded and poverty-stricken slum area, it has recently been rejuvenated and is now the site of the Scottish Parliament building. 

The Grasssmarket is the name of an old market square in central Edinburgh where horses and cattle were sold, and public executions took place. It is also the name of the surrounding area. Once an impoverished district, it is now increasingly popular, both as a residential area and for socialising.  

The Lawnmarket, formerly the site of stalls selling cloth, is the general name given to that part of Edinburgh which lies between the old West Bow and St. Giles' Church. Particularly rich in history, it was once the home of Deacon William Brodie who, as we will learn later, was a famous ancestor of Miss Jean Brodie.




Page 32. " the Royal Mile from the Castle or Holyrood "
Edinburgh Castle
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeEdinburgh Castle - Credit: David Clay, Flickr

The main thoroughfare of Edinburgh Old Town, the Royal Mile, runs from Edinburgh Castle to the ruins of Holyrood Abbey and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It consists of the following streets: Castle Esplanade, Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High street, Canongate, and Abbey Strand.

Follow this link to see a map of the Royal Mile


Ruins of Holyrood Abbey
Creative Commons AttributionRuins of Holyrood Abbey - Credit: LASLO ILYES, Flickr







Page 32. " the bed, too short and too broad, where Mary Queen of Scots had slept "
Mary Queen of Scots (1578)
Public DomainMary Queen of Scots (1578) - Credit: Nicholas Hilliard (1547-1619)

Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots (1542-1587), was the daughter of James V of Scotland. She reigned as Queen of Scotland between 1542 and 1567, and was briefly Queen consort in France following her marriage to Francis II.

A devout Roman Catholic, Mary's life was turbulent and troubled. In 1567, she was forced to abdicate the Scottish throne. She was later arrested in England by her cousin Queen Elizabeth I and, after 19 years of imprisonment, executed for treason.

Her Scottish home was the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where it is possible to visit Mary's private chambers and see the bed given to her by her second husband, Henry Stuart,  Lord Darnley.

Today, the Palace of Holyroodhouse is the official residence in Scotland of the British monarch.

Mary Queen of Scots' bedchamber at Holyrood
GNU Free Documentation LicenseMary Queen of Scots' bedchamber at Holyrood - Credit: Kjetil Bjørnsrud, Wikimedia Commons
Page 32. " where the Queen had played cards with Rizzio "
'The Murder of David Rizzio' (1833)
Public Domain'The Murder of David Rizzio' (1833) - Credit: Sir William Allan (1782-1850)

 David Rizzio (1533-1566), sometimes known as David Riccio or Rizzo, was Mary's private secretary.

He was murdered on March 9, 1566 at the Palace of Holyrood in front of the pregnant Queen Mary. Lord Darnley, who believed that Mary and Rizzio were having an affair, is believed to have instigated the murder.


Palace of Holyroodhouse
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePalace of Holyroodhouse - Credit: Mark Hogan, Flickr


Page 33. " 'John Knox,' said Miss Brodie, 'was an embittered man. He could never be at ease with the gay French Queen. "
John Knox House, Edinburgh
Public DomainJohn Knox House, Edinburgh - Credit: Masson, Rosaline Orme: "Edinburgh" (1912)
 John Knox (1510-1572) was a Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation; he is generally considered the founder of Protestantism in Scotland.

He came into conflict with Mary of Guise, the second wife of King James V and mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, who acted as regent on behalf of her daughter between 1554 and 1560.

He also vehemently opposed Mary, Queen of Scots herself, even  though she was relatively tolerant of  the Protestant Kirk (the term used for the Protestant Church in Scotland).

Presumably, Jean Brodie refers to Mary as 'the gay French Queen' because of the French connections on her mother's side and her 18-month reign as Queen consort in France.

The house where John Knox is said to have lived is situated on the High Street, a section of the Royal Mile.

Page 34. " Sister Helena of the Transfiguration "
The shrine to Saint Helena in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome
Public DomainThe shrine to Saint Helena in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome - Credit: Use the force, Wikimedia Commons

As a nun, Sandy follows the Catholic convent tradition of taking the name of a saint that she wishes to emulate.

Saint Helena (246/250-330), also known as Helena of Constantinople, was the mother of Constantine I and is credited with having located a number of Christian relics of the True Cross.

It is also said that in the 4th century she erected a church on Mount Tabor, which is believed to be the site of the Transfiguration.

The Transfiguration of Jesus is one of the miracles referred to in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It refers to the occasion when Jesus became radiant, spoke with the prophets Moses and Elijah, and was addressed directly by God the father.

Page 34. " Did you read Auden and Eliot? "
W.H. Auden (1939)
Public DomainW.H. Auden (1939) - Credit: Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964)

 Wystan Hugh Auden (1907-1973), better known as W.H. Auden, was an English-born poet and essayist who settled in America from 1939 onwards.

In 1937, at the time of the Spanish Civil War, he visited Spain where he gave some radio broadcasts and wrote articles in support of the Republican cause.

During this period he wrote a poem entitled 'Spain' (also published under the title 'Spain 1937'), which he later rejected along with the political stance which motivated it.

Extracts from 'Spain 1937'


Portrait of T.S. Eliot
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePortrait of T.S. Eliot - Credit: Simon Fieldhouse, Wikimedia Commons

 Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965), usually known as T.S. Eliot, was an American-born poet, literary critic and playwright who settled in England from 1915 onwards.

Although by no means a prolific poet, he is considered one of the greatest of the 20th century; he is particularly remembered for 'The Waste Land' (1922) and 'The Four Quartets' (1945).

Opening lines of 'The Waste Land':

April is the cruellest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain.

Full text


Page 34. " We wanted to go and fight in the Spanish Civil War "
Republican propaganda poster (1936)
Public DomainRepublican propaganda poster (1936) - Credit: unknown

The Spanish Civil War took place between July 1936 and April 1939. It was fought by Nationalist forces led by General Franco (sometimes known as insurgents) against the forces of the Spanish Republican Government.

The war ended with victory for the Nationalists and the establishment of a Spanish dictatorship under General Franco.

Many non-Spanish citizens from a range of countries also participated in the war. Groups such as the 'Irish Brigade' led by Eoin O'Duffy supported the Nationalists, while around 30,000 people from numerous countries fought on behalf of the Republicans as part of the International Brigade.

Click here and here to watch videos about the war. 

Listen on Spotify to some music of the Civil War (from both sides).

Page 35. " Was it Calvinism? "
Statue of John Calvin in Geneva
Public DomainStatue of John Calvin in Geneva - Credit: Maurice Raymond (1862-1910)

 Calvinism is a form of Christianity that developed during the 16th century. It takes its name from Jean Cauvin (1509-1564) who is known in English as John Calvin.

Calvin, a French theologian and pastor who was one of the principal figures of the Protestant Reformation, was a major influence on John Knox (Bookmark p.33).

This meant that the Church of Scotland (known informally as 'The Kirk', and in Gaelic as Eaglais na h-Alba) developed in the Calvinist tradition, which is also known as Presbyterianism.


Page 35. " We will not go into St Giles "

St. Giles' Cathedralalso known as the High Kirk of Edinburgh, is situated on the Royal Mile and is one of the Church of Scotland's principal places of worship.


St. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh
Creative Commons AttributionSt. Giles' Cathedral, Edinburgh - Credit: Tony Hisgett, Flickr


Page 35. " Miss Brodie had shown them a picture of Cologne Cathedral "

 Cologne Cathedral, in the city of Cologne, Germany, dates from the 13th century. It is considered a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.


Cologne Cathedral close-up
Creative Commons AttributionCologne Cathedral close-up - Credit: Michelle Walz Eriksson, Wikimedia Commons




Page 35. " the Prodigal Son in his early career "

The parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the best known parables of Jesus. It is found in the Gospel of Luke (15: 11-32) in the New Testament of the Christian Bible.

It tells how a young man descends into poverty after having claimed his share of his father's estate and squandered it; he returns home, begs his father's forgiveness, and is welcomed back into the family fold.


'Return of the Prodigal Son'
Public Domain'Return of the Prodigal Son' - Credit: Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1618-1682)
Page 36. " the strict Church of Scotland habits of her youth, and keeping the Sabbath "
Glen Fincastle kirk in Perthshire
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGlen Fincastle kirk in Perthshire - Credit: Sandy Gemmill, Wikimedia Commons

Traditionally, the form of Calvinism associated with the Church of Scotland has tended to be viewed as rather repressive and puritanical.

Click here and here to read some views on Scottish Calvinism.

Page 37. " described in a novel by the daughter of John Buchan "

 John Buchan, 1st Baron Tweedsmuir (1875-1940), was a Scottish novelist and politician, best known for his adventure novel The Thirty Nine Steps, published in 1915.

His daughter,  Alice Fairfax-Lucy (1908-1993), was a writer whose works include A Scrap Screen (1979) and Mistress of Charlecote (1983), but there is no record on the internet of any earlier works.


Page 38. " Venus incarnate "
Public Domain'Venus' - Credit: Hans Thoma (1839-1924)
Vittoria della Rovere depicted as Venus
Public DomainVittoria della Rovere depicted as Venus - Credit: Justus Sustermans
 Venus was the Roman goddess of love, beauty and fertility; she is viewed as the equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
Page 38. " James Hogg's poem 'Bonnie Kilmeny' "
Memorial to James Hogg at St. Mary's Loch
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMemorial to James Hogg at St. Mary's Loch - Credit: Colin Smith, Wikimedia Commons

 James Hogg (1770-1835) was a poor and uneducated Scottish shepherd who became a well known novelist, poet, short-story writer and journalist.

He wrote in both Scots and English, and became widely known as the Ettrick Shepherd.

James Hogg on Book Drum

Two of his best-known poems are 'The Witches of Fife', a comic narrative poem, and 'Kilmeny' which, like some of his other work, deals with the supernatural.

Extract from 'Kilmeny':

For Kilmeny had been, she knew not where,

And Kilmeny had seen what she could not declare;

Kilmeny had been where the cock never crew,

Where the rain never fell and the wind never blew.

Full text

Page 39. " to go to tea with Miss Brodie in her flat at Churchhill "

Church Hill  is the name both of a street and a district of Edinburgh.

It is situated to the southwest of the city centre, north of Morningside and south of Bruntsfield.


Approaching Church Hill from the south
GNU Free Documentation LicenseApproaching Church Hill from the south - Credit: Kierant, Wikimedia Commons
Google Map


Page 39. " In England they are called the Unemployed. They are waiting to get their dole from the labour bureau "
Men eating at a soup kitchen during the Great Depression in Canada
Public DomainMen eating at a soup kitchen during the Great Depression in Canada - Credit: unknown

Unemployment was a major problem in Britain from the end of the First World War onwards, and was at its peak in the early 1930s following the onset of the global economic recession known as the Great Depression.

In Britain, the hardest hit areas in terms of unemployment were those such as South Wales, Northern England and central Scotland, which relied on heavy industries like coalmining, steel manufacture and shipbuilding. For example, 30% of the workforce of Glasgow were unemployed in 1933.

Dole was the informal term for unemployment benefit. A compulsory National Unemployment Scheme, whereby employees made weekly insurance contributions, had been instigated during the Liberal Welfare Reforms (1906-1914). Further unemployment Insurance Acts were then passed during the 1920s and early 1930s to deal with the problems arising from the mass unemployment of that period.

Labour Exchanges (offices where employers could advertise jobs and the unemployed could search for jobs) were established from 1909 onwards following the Labour Exchanges Act. Similar offices known as labour bureaux had existed following legislation passed in 1902.

Page 39. " In Italy the unemployment problem has been solved "
German photo 1931 to illustrate unemployment in Italy
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGerman photo 1931 to illustrate unemployment in Italy - Credit: German Federal Archive

Italy was in a very poor economic position following the First World War. Like other countries in 1930s Europe, Mussolini's fascist government faced serious problems resulting from the Great Depression, including mass unemployment.

There was considerable state intervention during this period. This included the nationalization of bankrupt firms, which from 1933 onwards were put under the control of the Industrial Reconstruction Institute.

During the Fascist period, there were also schemes such as state-sponsored road building, which provided work for individuals who would otherwise have been unemployed.

The picture, from a German source, claimed to show hundreds of Italian workers queuing outside a factor for just 10 jobs during October 1931.

Page 43. " they preached the inventions of Marie Stopes "
Copy of the 1st edition of 'Married Love'
Public DomainCopy of the 1st edition of 'Married Love' - Credit: Marie Stopes

Edinburgh-born Marie Carmichael Stopes (1880-1958) was one of the pioneers of birth control (contraception) for British women.

In 1918 she published a book about sex and marriage called Married Love (which was an immediate best-seller) and a book on birth control called Wise Parenthood.

She opened the UK's first birth control clinic in North London in 1921.

Although admired as a feminist and promoter of women's rights, she has also been criticised for her support of the eugenics movement as evidenced in her book Radiant Motherhood (1920).




Page 43. " they attended the meetings of the Oxford Group "

The Oxford Group is another name for the Buchmanites, referred to in Bookmark p.5

Page 43. " Some assisted in the Scottish Nationalist Movement "
Scottish Nationalist sentiments
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeScottish Nationalist sentiments - Credit: Alan Strevens, Flickr

  The Scottish National Party (Gaelic: Pàrtaidh Nàiseanta na h-Alba) was founded in 1934 through the amalgamation of the National Party of Scotland and the Scottish Party.

Their first leader was John MacDonald MacCormick, who resigned from the party in 1942 after failing to persuade his fellow nationalists to support devolution rather than full independence.

In 1979 a devolution referendum was held in Scotland. The electorate were offered the opportunity to vote for or against the setting up of a Scottish Assembly. The final result was a rejection of the proposal. However, in 1997, a second devolution referendum was held. On this occasion, the electorate voted in favour of devolution, and a devolved Scottish Parliament was established in 1999. 

On September 18th, 2014, an independence referendum took place in Scotland. The Scottish people were given the opportunity to vote either for a fully independent Scotland or to remain as part of the United Kingdom. The final result was that 55.3% of the electorate voted to retain Scotland's union with the rest of the UK, while 44.7% voted for full independence. 

Page 43. " the city of Hume and Boswell "
David Hume (1766)
Public DomainDavid Hume (1766) - Credit: Allan Ramsay (1713-1784)

 David Hume (1711-1776) was an Edinburgh-born philosopher, historian, essayist and economist.

James Boswell (1740-1795), the 9th Laird of Auchinleck, was also born in Edinburgh. He was a lawyer and diarist who is mainly remembered for his 1791 biography of Dr Johnson (the famous author and lexicographer) entitled The Life of Samuel Johnson. 

Engraving of James Boswell
Public DomainEngraving of James Boswell - Credit: S.Freeman


Page 43. " But those of Miss Brodie's kind were great talkers and feminists "
First-wave feminist campaigning for 'the vote' (early 20th century)
Public DomainFirst-wave feminist campaigning for 'the vote' (early 20th century) - Credit: Ch. Chusseau-Flaviens

 Feminism describes those movements which aim to achieve equality for women (in relation to men) in every aspect of life.

The development of feminism in America and the UK is now generally considered to have occurred in three stages:

the First-wave feminisim of the late 19th and early 20th century, when the emphasis was on educational opportunities, property and marriage rights, and the suffrage (the right to vote);

the Second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s, when the focus was on issues such as reproductive rights and equality in the workplace;

the Third-wave feminism of the 1980s onwards, which acknowledges the varied nature of the  issues faced by women in different parts of the world.   

Page 43. " Professor Tovey's Sunday concerts "

Sir Donald Francis Tovey (1875-1940) was a musician, composer, conductor, writer and academic who was the Reid Professor of Music at Edinburgh University between 1914 and 1940.

One of his aims was to bring classical music to as wide an audience as possible. In 1917 he established the Reid Symphony Orchestra which gave eight public concerts a year for the rest of his life.

One of his best known works is the opera 'The Bride of Dionysius'. Listen to the Prelude here:



Page 44. " Here is a Cimabue "

 Cimabue (c.1240-1302) was a Florentine painter, known by a variety of names including Cenni di Pepo and Cenni di Petro.

Although he painted in the rather flat and stylized manner of the Byzantine tradition, his work also shows signs of the greater realism which would characterize Early Renaissance Italian Art.

He was the teacher of Giotto, who is viewed as the first great artist of the Italian Renaissance.

One of Cimabue's most famous works is the crucifix in the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence. Unfortunately, the crucifix was damaged by flood water in 1966.


The Santa Croce crucifix (prior to damage)
Public DomainThe Santa Croce crucifix (prior to damage) - Credit: Cimabue
Page 44. " In the hall was hung a reproduction of Botticelli's Primavera which means the Birth of Spring "


'La Primavera'
Public Domain'La Primavera' - Credit: Sandro Botticelli

Miss Brodie appears to be confusing two paintings by the artist Sandro Botticelli; namely, La Primavera (often known as Allegory of Spring) and The Birth of Venus.

Perhaps Miss Brodie is not as well up on Italian Renaissance Art as she would have her 'girls' believe! 


'Birth of Venus'
Public Domain'Birth of Venus' - Credit: Sandro Botticelli
Page 44. " Ramsay Macdonald, and his fascisti "
Ramsay MacDonald (1920s)
Public DomainRamsay MacDonald (1920s) - Credit: US Government

 James Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937) was the first British Labour Prime Minister. He held office in 1924, and then again in 1929.

In 1931 he formed a coalition government with the Conservatives,  which lasted until 1935. This led to his being perceived as a 'traitor', and he was expelled from the Labour Party.  

Page 45. " In Rome I saw the Forum and I saw the Colosseum "
The Forum, Rome
Creative Commons AttributionThe Forum, Rome - Credit: Elliott Brown, Flickr

The Forum was the marketplace of ancient Rome and the focal point of its public activities.

The Colosseum is a ruined amphitheatre situated to the east of the Forum. It was completed in 80AD and became the site of many public events including gladiatorial contests, executions and theatrical performances.


Interior of the Coliseum
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeInterior of the Coliseum - Credit: kperkins14, Flickr




Exterior of the Coliseum
Creative Commons AttributionExterior of the Coliseum - Credit: Jorge Andrade, Flickr



Page 46. " Here is a picture of Dante meeting Beatrice "
'The Salutation of Beatrice' (1)
Public Domain'The Salutation of Beatrice' (1) - Credit: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
'The Salutation of Beatrice' (2)
Public Domain'The Salutation of Beatrice' (2) - Credit: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
 Dante Alighieri (1265-1321) is considered one of the greatest of Italian poets.

He is especially well known for his Divine Comedy, an epic poem, which tells of the poet's own journey through the three realms of the dead: Hell, Purgatory and Heaven.

In the poem, Dante is guided through Heaven by Beatrice, a real Florentine woman a year younger than Dante, with whom he had fallen in love during his childhood.




The painting being referred to is by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, who made Dante and Beatrice the subject of several paintings and drawings. Possibly, the picture that Miss Brodie is showing her class is the bi-partite picture painted by Rossetti between 1849 and 1863 entitled The Salutation of Beatrice.


The artist Henry Holiday also depicted Dante meeting Beatrice near a Florentine bridge in a painting entitled Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita.


'Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita' (1883)
Public Domain'Dante meets Beatrice at Ponte Santa Trinita' (1883) - Credit: Henry Holiday (1839-1927)
Page 46. " on the Ponte Vecchio "
Ponte Vecchio
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePonte Vecchio - Credit: Robert Scarth, Flickr


The Ponte Vecchio is a medieval bridge over the River Arno in Florence.

It is lined with shops. Originally butchers' shops, these now house an assortment of jewellers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.

Page 46. " It was painted by Rossetti "
Christina Rossetti
Public DomainChristina Rossetti - Credit: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Public DomainDante Gabriel Rossetti - Credit: William Holman Hunt
 Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882) was an English artist and poet. Along with two other artists (William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais), he was responsible for establishing the school of painting known as the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

He was the elder brother of the poet Christina Rossetti (1830-1894). 

Page 46. " 'Swinburne,' said a girl. "
Sketch of Swinburne (1860)
Public DomainSketch of Swinburne (1860) - Credit: Dante Gabriel Rossetti

 Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909) was an English poet, novelist and playwright.

His Poems and Ballads, published in 1866, caused a stir in Victorian society because of the overtly sexual content of poems such as 'Anactoria' and 'Sapphics' which were written in homage to the Ancient Greek female poet Sappho.

Swinburne himself was an alcoholic and an algolagniac (someone who derives sexual pleasure from physical pain).

Page 47. " 'Come autumn sae pensive, in yellow and gray, "

These lines come from a poem/song entitled 'My Nanie's Awa', written by the Scottish poet Robert (Rabbie) Burns (1759-1796). 

Full text

It is generally sung to the tune, 'There are few good fellows when Jamie's awa' '.

Listen to both an instrumental version of this tune and an alternative melody for 'My Nanie's Awa':


Page 49. " Miss Brodie seated herself nobly like Britannia "
Statue of Britannia (Plymouth)
Creative Commons AttributionStatue of Britannia (Plymouth) - Credit: Mageslayer99, Wikimedia Commons
 Britannia is the ancient Latin name for Britain.

It is also the name given to the personification of Britain as a young woman carrying a trident and shield.

During the 19th century, Britannia came to be seen as a symbol of British unity and imperial power. 

Listen on Spotify to the song 'Rule Britannia'.


Cartoon of Thomas Paine lacing Britannia's stays (1793)
Public DomainCartoon of Thomas Paine lacing Britannia's stays (1793) - Credit: James Gillray