From the Katha Upanishad. This quotation is the source of this novel's title.
is one of the principal Upanishads, or Hindu scriptures. It presents a dualistic philosophy. The Buddhist ideas suggest it was written after the 5th century BCE. Katha Upanishad tells the story of a Brahmin who renounced all his possessions and his son, who condemns his behaviour.
The Moon and Sixpence is not copyrighted in the United States and is available for download at Project Gutenberg.
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin (1848–1903) was a French Post-Impressionist painter. He lived in Tahiti for many years and died in French Polynesia.
Henry James (1843–1916) was an American writer, a key figure of literary realism. He spent the last 40 years of his life in England.
In 1919, Chicago was the second largest city in the United States. It is located in the Midwestern state of Illinois on the southewestern shore of Lake Michigan.
An inexact term, usually denoting Eastern Asia but having a cultural significance as much as a geographic one.
Thomas Chippendale (1718–1779) was a London cabinet-maker who designed furniture in the mid-Georgian, English Rococo, and Neoclassical styles.
French: "We Americans".
Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson (1721–1764), Marquise de Pompadour, member of the French court and official mistress of Louis XV from 1745 to 1750.
Likely referring to aristocracy who have lost their wealth.
French: "friend of the house"; the household pet.
The Great War, now also known as World War I.
Somerset Maugham served in France as an ambulance driver with the British Red Cross.
French: "this dear Elliott".
A 1911 novel by Hugh Walpole about a conflict between two teachers at a boys' public school.
By Hubert Henry Davies. A 1907 play — a comedy of domestic politics.
Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole (1884–1941), English novelist. The character Alroy Kear in Somerset Maugham's 1930 novel is widely thought to be a caricature of Walpole.
Hubert Henry Davies (1869–1917), English playwright.
Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel Proust (1871–1922), French novelist, critic, and essayist. His masterpiece, the seven-volume À la recherche du temps perdu, is all about the inner life.
After the American revolution (late 18th century), the Episcopal Church was organized when forced to break with the Church of England on penalty of treason. The Episcopal Church considers itself "Protestant, yet Catholic".
Princess Henriette Marie Charlotte Antoinette of Belgium (1870–1948) was Duchesse of Vendôme upon her marriage to the Duke of Vendôme, Philippe Emmanuel Maximilien Marie Eudes d'Orléans (1872–1931). The title "duc de Vendôme" is a courtesy title.
One of the highest honours that could be bestowed on a Catholic layman by the Pope. The chamberlain served the Pope for one week per year during official ceremonies. The office was abolished by Pope Paul VI.
The Order of the Holy Sepulchre is a Catholic order of knighthood.
French: "man of the world".
Louis IX (1214–1270), King of France, conducted two crusades.
King Henry VIII of England met King Francis I of France on the Field of the Cloth of Gold, in Balinghem, in June of 1520. The meeting served to enhance goodwill after the Anglo-French treaty.
A directory of Europe's royalty and nobility.
According to Wikipedia:
Following World War I and the fall of many royal houses, noble titles became easy to masquerade due to the lack of a central regulating authority on granting titles; this made inclusion in the incorruptible Almanach de Gotha even more essential. If a noble title was not listed in the almanach, it could be presumed that the title was self-created and therefore invalid. Inclusion of lower nobility was never even attempted, as that was seen as the task of each country's own nobility or corresponding institution.
Quirinal Palace was the residence of the king of Italy until the monarchy was abolished in 1946.
Metropolis located in northern China, capital of the People's Republic of China. Peking is the name for the city according to standards set for the romanization of Chinese place names in 1906. The city has been known as Beijing following the establishment of the People's Republic of China.
Mary, Duchess of Olifant, likely a fictional personage. On page 13 referred to simply as Mary Olifant.
Pennsylvania was founded with the help of the Religious Society of Friends, whose members are known as Quakers. Philadelphia, the largest city in Pennsylvania, was founded by William Penn, a noted Quaker. Quakers believe direct experience of God is available to all people. As such, they can be regarded as practicing group mysticism.
A shrug of indifference, a typically French gesture.
"Here’s the smell of the blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!"
— Macbeth, Act V, Scene I.