Page 89. " in that Edenic moment at what was suddenly the centre of the world, with that shaft of sunlight and those vestigial flowers – sweet pea? "
Le Printemps ou Le Paradis terrestre
Public DomainLe Printemps ou Le Paradis terrestre - Credit: Nicolas Poussin

"Edenic" would normally imply a state of innocence, which is perhaps not what is meant here.  Eden, for Max, is simply paradise - the ultimate happiness.

The bible doesn't record whether the Garden of Eden featured sweet peas.

Sweet Pea
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSweet Pea - Credit: Living in Monrovia


Page 91. " and putting on a cockney accent "

The Cockney accent originates from the East End of London.  One of the best known (but least authentic) examples is the character played by the American actor, Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins.  Audrey Hepburn did a better job in My Fair Lady.



Page 95. " all slouched hats and crombie overcoats "
Creative Commons AttributionCrombie - Credit: Simon Whitson

The crombie overcoat is named after J&J Crombie, the Aberdeen company that first created the three-quarter length wool coat.  Today, the name speaks of a tradition of craft and quality which has made the coat an icon.



Page 95. " gentry still clinging on in their Big Houses "
Bantry House
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBantry House - Credit: eigene Arbeit von Schorle

The 'Big House' was the home of the Anglo-Irish aristocracy who owned much of the land in Ireland.  The houses were far grander than the humble cottages of the Irish. Bantry House in County Cork is one such house which has been lovingly restored. 

The charming novels of Somerville & Ross (Irish writers Edith Somerville and Violet Florence Martin) depict the time of the 'Big House'.