Page 555. " This is a Reine des Violettes "

Reine des Violettes rose
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumReine des Violettes rose - Credit: Classic Roses
 The Reine des Violettes (Queen of the Violets) is a scented shrub rose. As Henry says, it was first introduced in 1860, in France, and is still unusual for its purple or violet flowers.

Page 555. " And that is a Madame Isaac Pereire "

Madame Isaac Pereire
Permission Granted by Copyright Owner for Use on Book DrumMadame Isaac Pereire - Credit: Classic Roses
 Madame Isaac Pereire is a climbing Bourbon rose, another purple-coloured bloom. It is considered to be one of the most fragrant roses in history.

Page 555. " Pluto and Persephone. "
Gabriel Dante Rosetti's Prosperpina (Persephone)
Public DomainGabriel Dante Rosetti's Prosperpina (Persephone)
 The famous legend of Persephone comes from Ancient Greek myth; it is a way of explaining the passage of the seasons. Persephone was the daughter of Zeus and Demeter, Goddess of the harvest. Hades (or Pluto, as the Romans called him) abducted her and dragged her into his kingdom of the Underworld. Her mother Demeter was so distraught the earth stopped supporting life, and the world became barren. Eventually Zeus ordered Hades to return Persephone, but Hades had tricked her into eating a certain small number of pomegranate seeds. Anyone who consumes the food of the Underworld is doomed to stay there for eternity, so Persephone was forced to return to the Underworld for a season each year from then on. Every time Persephone returns to Hades, Demeter mourns for her, and we have winter.
Page 555. " gave him a vaguely Amish appearance "

The Amish are a Christian church related to the Mennonites. Formed in the late seventeenth century Switzerland by Jakob Ammann, the Swiss, German and Alsatian followers of Ammann's teachings emigrated to Pennsylvania in America in the eighteenth century.

The church is known for its adherence to strict rules regarding modest dress, simple rural lifestyles, and an avoidance of modern technology. This has made the Amish a constant source of fascination and antagonism in the outside world. Amish people can be  subject to abuse when interacting with wider American society, as their horse-drawn buggies and modest dress code make them stand out. Conversely, their lifestyle has also drawn interest from the outside world. The 1985 film Witness, starring Harrison Ford, was set within the Amish community.