Page 151. " What about the Rope Trick? "

Page 152. " I spent two years in the Ashrama of one "

Sukhanand ashram, Nimach
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSukhanand ashram, Nimach - Credit: LR Burdak
An ashram is a religious hermitage, typically secluded and suited to meditation and spritual or other instruction.

Page 153. " In Travancore, a beautiful country of green hills and valleys and soft-flowing rivers "

The Kingdom of Travancore was a princely state on the Indian subcontinent ruled by the Travancore Royal Family until 1949 when it merged to become a state of the Republic of India.

Page 153. " on foot or by bullock cart "

A bullock cart or ox cart is a two-wheeled vehicle pulled by oxen.

Page 160. " Like Eleanora Duse in La Locandiera. "

Eleonora Duse (1858–1924), Italian actress. Duse was the innovator of a technique she described as "elimination of self" to internally connect with the character she was portraying and allow expression to occur.

La Locandiera ("The Mistress of the Inn"), a 3-act comedy by Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni, premiered in 1753. Duce played the lead role in a command performance for Queen Victoria in 1894.

Page 163. " D'you remember that Ode of Keats's? 'Bold Lover, never, never canst thou kiss, though winning near the goal.' "

The poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" was written by English Romantic poet John Keats (1795–1821) in 1819.

Page 166. " just the sort of thing to suit the Ladies' Home Journal "

The Ladies' Home Journal is an American magazine founded in 1883, concerned with "women's issues": home economics, beauty, food, relationships.

The narrator is being ironic.

Page 167. " the love of Paolo and Francesca or Romeo and Juliet "

The story of Paolo and Francesca is told in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy. Francesca was to marry the deformed Giovanni by proxy through his brother Paolo, but she fell in love with Paolo, and they became lovers.

Romeo and Juliet is a tragic play by William Shakespeare about a couple of young lovers from feuding households.

Page 167. " what song the Sirens sang "

Dr. Thomas Brown (1605–1682), English author, in Chapter V of his essay Hydriotaphia (or Urn Burial) wrote, "What song the sirens sang, or what name Achilles assumed when he hid himself among women, though puzzling questions, are not beyond all conjecture."

 

 

Page 168. " Pascal said that the heart has its reasons "

Blaise Pascal (1623–1662), French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopher. "The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of."

Page 168. " It destroyed Antony and Cleopatr, Tristan and Isolde, Parnell and Kitty O'Shea. "

Charles Stewart Parnell, leader of the Irish Parliamentary Party from 1875 to 1891, had an affair with Katharine O'Shea, which eventually caused his political downfall.