Page 353. " the double-tiered, gilt and white first-class dining room in the style of Louis XVI with an ornate domed ceiling and fluted marble columns "

Lusitania - First Class Dining Room
Public DomainLusitania - First Class Dining Room
This is what the Lusitania’s first class dining room looked like.

Page 354. " The ship’s band was playing It’s a Long Way To Tipperary "

Listen to Bill Edward’s lively ragtime rendition of this well-known tune.

Page 366. " The Voluntary Aid Detachment was a group of volunteers trained by St. John Ambulance to help with nursing and other duties "

Red Cross VADs were usually gently-reared, upper-class girls who volunteered to help trained nursing “sisters”. Famous VADs included Agatha Christie, whose work at a dispensary gave her insight into poisons, which she used in her novels; Vera Brittain, who wrote a classic memoir about her experiences as a VAD; and Lady Diana Manners, the most beautiful debutante in England, whose aristocratic parents expected her to marry the Prince of Wales. 

Page 372. " Tiffany stained glass panel "

Tiffany stained glass is legendary. Here’s an example.

Tiffany stained glass
Creative Commons AttributionTiffany stained glass

Page 373. " Soldiers in the trenches from both sides called a Christmas truce "

There is an excellent movie called Joyeux Noel, which depicts this true event. Here’s the short movie trailer, which conveys a good sense of that event.

Page 373. " those poems, especially the ones that mention our lake and the Shadow River where we’ve had so many picnics, are so evocative "
Shadow River - Credit: Frank Micklethwaite
Public DomainShadow River - Credit: Frank Micklethwaite

The poem he’s referring to was by Pauline Johnson, a part Mohawk poet. It is used in the introduction to the novel.

Shadow River

from the collection, Flint and Feather

by E. Pauline Johnson



A stream of tender gladness,

Of filmy sun, and opal tinted skies;

Of warm midsummer air that lightly lies

In mystic rings,

Where softly swings

The music of a thousand wings

That almost tones to sadness.

Midway 'twixt earth and heaven,

A bubble in the pearly air, I seem

To float upon the sapphire floor, a dream

Of clouds of snow,

Above, below,

Drift with my drifting, dim and slow,

As twilight drifts to even.

The little fern-leaf, bending

Upon the brink, its green reflection greets,

And kisses soft the shadow that it meets

With touch so fine,

The border line

The keenest vision can't define;

So perfect is the blending.

The far, fir trees that cover

The brownish hills with needles green and gold,

The arching elms o'erhead, vinegrown and old,

Repictured are

Beneath me far,

Where not a ripple moves to mar

Shades underneath, or over.

Mine is the undertone;

The beauty, strength, and power of the land

Will never stir or bend at my command;

But all the shade

Is marred or made,

If I but dip my paddle blade;

And it is mine alone,

O! pathless world of seeming!

O! pathless life of mine whose deep ideal

Is more my own than ever was the real.

For others Fame

And Love's red flame,

And yellow gold; I only claim

The shadows and the dreaming.

Page 375. " my job is doing reconnaissance, for which I fly a BE2c, two-seater biplane "

Watch a bit of this footage to get a sense of these early planes.