Panama hats originated in Ecuador and were exported from the mid-19th century onwards. They are made from a soft straw (obtained from the leaves of the toquila straw plant, Carludovica palmata) and often have a ribbon around the crown.
They have traditionally been worn with warm weather clothing, including schoolgirls' summer uniforms.
Buchman travelled widely in Nazi Germany, and it is said that he entertained the hope of converting Hitler to Christianity.
Benito Mussolini (1883-1945) founded and led Italy's National Fascist Party.
He maintained a fascist dictatorship in Italy between 1922 and 1943, and began using the title Il Duce (The Leader) in 1925.
Following Italy's support for Nazi Germany in World War II, Mussolini was eventually executed by Italian partisans in 1945.
The Italian Renaissance is the name given to a period of intense cultural activity which took place in Italy between approximately 1300 and 1600.
Winnie the Pooh, a much loved children's book about a honey-loving bear, was first published in 1926.
Click here to see a photo of the exterior of A.A. Milne's former home as it is today.
It is not clear whether Muriel Spark is assuming some particular knowledge on the part of the reader at this point, or whether this is a deliberately enigmatic statement designed to add to Miss Brodie's undoubted mystique.
In the early 1840s, Charlotte and Emily spent some time in Brussels studying languages and teaching at the Pensionnat Heger where Charlotte fell in love with the owner, Constantin Heger, who was a married man.
Charlotte's subsequent love life was not uneventful. She is said to have been proposed to on four occasions, and in 1854 she accepted the proposal of her father's curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls. She died in March of the following year whilst expecting her first child.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who is most famous for having formulated the general theory of relativity, which he published in 1915. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921.
His ground-breaking insight into the relationship between matter and energy is expressed in the equation E=mc2, which has become widely known (if not so widely understood!).
The Battle of Flodden (often known as Flodden Field) took place in 1513 near the village of Branxton in Northumberland.
It was fought between Scottish forces under the command of James IV of Scotland and English forces under the command of Thomas Howard, Earl of Surrey.
The battle ended in victory for the English, the death of James IV, and a tragic number of casualties on both sides.
Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807-1882) was a soldier and politician. He played a significant role in the unification of Italy and is considered one of the country's national heroes.
The standard version reads:
Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.
Listen on Spotify to a recitation of the poem by Dame Sybil Thorndike
1936 was a politically turbulent year in both Britain and Europe:
In May, Italian forces captured Addis Ababa in the culmination of what was known as 'The Abyssinia Crisis';
In July, the Spanish Civil War broke out;
In December, following a prolonged period of constitutional crisis, King Edward VIII abdicated the British throne in order to marry Wallis Simpson, an American divorcée.
Listen on Spotify to Edward Vlll's abdication address
He fought the 1929 General Election (which he lost) under the slogan 'Safety First', which was meant to imply that he and his party were trustworthy and a 'safe pair of hands' for the nation.
A many-talented individual, he made significant contributions in the fields of art, sculpture, architecture, music, mathematics, engineering, anatomy, botany, geology and literature.
He is generally considered one of the best painters of all time. His celebrated works include The Virgin of the Rocks, The Last Supper and La Gioconda (better known as the Mona Lisa). He was also a talented draughtsman, whose beautifully crafted drawing and sketches include the type of studies known as caricatures.
Giotto di Bondone (1266/7-1337), usually known simply as Giotto, was a Florentine painter and architect.
He broke new ground in painting technique, and is seen as one of the most significant figures in Early Renaissance Italian art.
His most famous works include a series of frescos in the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua and the altar piece known as the Ognissanti Madonna.
Jeanne d'Arc, known in English as Joan of Arc or the Maid of Orléans, was born in northern France ca.1412.
Claiming divine inspiration, she led the French Army to several victories in the Hundred Years' War, but was eventually captured and tried by the English before an ecclesiastical court.
She was found guilty of witchcraft and burnt at the stake at the age of 19.
In 1920 she was canonized by Pope Benedict XV, and subsequently became one of the most revered saints of the Roman Catholic Church.
Tiger Tim and his friends from Mrs. Bruin's jungle school were comic strip characters designed to appeal to very young children.
Following their appearance in The Rainbow comic in 1914, the characters were given their own comic named Tiger Tim's Tales in 1919. This was renamed Tiger Tim's Weekly in 1920.
When Tiger Tim's Weekly merged with The Rainbow in 1940, the characters continued to appear, and when publication of The Rainbow ceased in 1959 they were transferred to Jack and Jill, making their final appearance there in 1985.
Listen on Spotify to a recitation of the poem by Robert Donat
The area known as the County of Flanders between 862 and 1795 is now divided between France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
The First World War Armistice (the agreement to end hostilities between Germany and the Allied Powers) was signed on November 11, 1918 in a railway carriage in the Compiègne Forest in northern France.
The signatories were Marshall Ferdinand Foch, representing the Allies, and the politician Matthias Erzberger, representing Germany.
The poet Wilfred Owen was killed in action on 4 November 1918, exactly one week (almost to the hour) before the Armistice. It is likely Muriel Spark was aware of this.
Armistice Day in London:
Ayrshire (Gaelic: Siorrachd Inbhir Àir) was, prior to 1975, one of the administrative counties of Scotland, and is now the name of one of its registration counties.
It is situated in the southwest of the country, on the shores of the Firth of Clyde, and is one of the most agriculturally productive areas of Scotland.
Willhelm II (1859-1941), generally known as The Kaiser, was the last German Emperor and King of Prussia.
Following Germany's defeat in the First World War, he signed the instrument of abdication on November 28th, 1918. He went into exile in the Netherlands.
Kaiser Willhelm was the grandson of Queen Victoria, but this did not prevent him becoming a much-hated figure in Britain during the war.
Flowers of the Forest is a Scottish folk tune which has been on record since the early 17th century.
Various lyrics have been written to the music, the most famous being Jean Elliot's 1755 lament, written in Scots, to commemorate those who died at the Battle of Flodden in 1513 (see Bookmark p.6).
Flowers of the Forest is often played at funerals and to commemorate the deaths of soldiers, particularly Scottish soldiers.
Listen on Spotify to the Scots Guards play The Flowers of the Forest
Listen on Spotify to Isla St Clair sing The Flowers of the Forest
Click here for the sheet music to play it yourself!
Being an area noted for its frogs and toads, it is sometimes thought that the name comes from puddock, the Scots language word for frog.
However, it has also been suggested that the name is a corruption of Paddock Hall or Paddock Haw.
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (1900-2002) became the Duchess of York in 1923 when she married Prince Albert, Duke of York, the second eldest son of King George V and Queen Mary.
Following the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936, she became Queen consort when her husband ascended the throne as George VI.
She was widowed in 1952 when, as the mother of the present Queen, she became known as The Queen Mother.
The four-arched Dean Bridge crosses the Water of Leith at Dean Village.
It was designed by Thomas Telford and opened in 1833.
As in the preceding paragraph, these lines are taken from The Lady of Shalott by Alfred Lord Tennyson (see Bookmark p.7).
The Mona Lisa is a world-famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, currently on display at the Musée du Louvre in Paris. It is sometimes known as La Gioconda or La Joconde, which translates as the joyous one or the laughing one.
This is a slightly modified quotation from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible's New Testament (Luke 1:41):
And it came to pass that when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in the womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.
Possibly a reference to The Sea-Maiden, a Scottish fairy tale collected by John Francis Campbell, which first appeared in 1862 in Popular Tales of the West Highlands.
Alternatively, this may be a reference to the mermaid that is said to have been sighted off the coast of Benbecula (Gaelic: Beinn nam Fadhla), an island in the Outer Hebrides, in 1830. It is said that she was killed by a local boy and buried on the island.
The Lord Lyon is empowered by a Scottish parliamentary act of 1592 to prosecute anyone who uses unauthorised coats of arms.
She is particularly noted for her potrayal of Joan of Arc in George Bernard Shaw's Saint Joan, a role she played on numerous occasions between 1924 and 1941.
Click here to see a news report featuring Sybil Thorndike in 1933.