Page 234. " delirium tremens. He positively saw snakes now "

Delirium tremens is a state of profound confusion and trembling usually caused by withdrawal from alcohol or drugs. Hallucinations are a common part of it. Visions of snakes and spiders are recorded as the most common visions, although sufferers can see anything, even pink toads, as the chief engineer of the Patna sees in Conrad’s 1900 novel, Lord Jim

Page 234. " crush my head under your heel "

Carving of Adam and Eve and the serpent on Notre Dame Cathedral
GNU Free Documentation LicenseCarving of Adam and Eve and the serpent on Notre Dame Cathedral - Credit: Rebecca Kennison

Winnie Verloc doesn’t help her case here with her biblical reference to snakes, which recalls the punishment God gave to the serpent for tricking Eve into eating the apple in the Garden of Eden:

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3:14-15

Page 236. " undoing some hooks of her bodice "

An example of a bodice shown in Joseph Julien's
Public DomainAn example of a bodice shown in Joseph Julien's "The Hay Harvest"

Bodices were commonly worn by women in the nineteenth century. Fastened with a hook and eye system (similar to the clasps on a bra), they cinched in the waist to achieve the classic hour-glass figure.


Page 236. " as if addressing some hob-goblin "

A Hobgoblin shown on a pub sign in Brighton
Creative Commons AttributionA Hobgoblin shown on a pub sign in Brighton - Credit: foshie
Hobgoblins are troublesome mythical creatures. Fond of causing havoc, they are usually pictured as small hairy men.

Page 237. " The bank has the numbers of these notes "

Each bank note bears a unique serial number that enables it to be tracked and traced. 

Page 241. " the towers of the Abbey "
Westminster Abbey
GNU Free Documentation LicenseWestminster Abbey - Credit: Gordon Joly

Founded in 960, Westminster Abbey is one of England’s most historically important churches.  English monarchs have been coronated at the Abbey since 1066, and seventeen are buried there, along with many of the nation's greatest poets.

Page 242. " an expanse of arsenical green "

Paris Green
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeParis Green - Credit: Chris Goulet

Paris Green, a form of the deadly poison arsenic, was used in pigments during the nineteenth century. Copper arsenate was even used for colouring in sweets, leading to a number of poisonings. 


Page 243. " Faith, Hope, Charity "

In Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, he sets out Faith, Hope and Charity (or Love in modern translations) as the three greatest virtues. The text has become one of the most popular choices for wedding readings.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

1 Corinthians 13:13

Page 243. " Theirs is the kingdom of the earth "

A corrupted biblical reference:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:3