Page 205. " funereal baked meats "

A reference to Hamlet’s cynical comment on the speed of his mother’s remarriage, as he jokes that the leftovers from his father's funeral were served at the wedding:

 

Horatio: My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.

Hamlet: I prithee do not mock me, fellow student./ I think it was to see my mother's wedding.

Horatio: Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.

Hamlet: Thrift, thrift, Horatio. The funeral baked meats/ Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

Act I, Scene ii

Page 210. " The waves of air of the proper length, propagated in accordance with correct mathematical formulas "

Chart showing sound waves of different frequencies (the ones at the bottom produce the higher sounds)
Public DomainChart showing sound waves of different frequencies (the ones at the bottom produce the higher sounds)

Sound travels in longitudinal waves of vibrations. Here, Conrad demonstrates Winnie Verloc’s sense of unreality by making the description very cold, clinical and theoretical.

 

 

Page 216. " except in illustrative woodcuts to a certain type of tales "

A reference to the penny dreadfuls, a lurid genre of sensationalist fiction which was printed in serial form and aimed at young working class people. Packed with tales of blood, gore and intrigue, the pamphlets were designed to thrill and titillate.

Woodcut illustrations were created by carving an image in relief into a block of wood and then printing from it.

 

Page 216. " The drop given was fourteen feet "

Measured drop hanging began in Britain in 1874. Each prisoner was given a specific distance to fall when a trapdoor opened. The fall was calculated to break their neck, according to their weight, height and build.