Page 205. " It was one day in Rome when we had ridden out together to the tomb of Cecilia Metella. "

Tomb of Cecilia Metella, c.1870
Public DomainTomb of Cecilia Metella, c.1870 - Credit: Giorgio Sommer
Caecilia Metella was a daughter of Quintus Caecilius Metellus Creticus, Consul of Rome in 69 BC. She was married to Marcus Licinius Crassus the Younger, a legate to Julius Caesar.

When she died, her husband erected a magnificent tomb in her memory on the Appian Way.

Page 212. " ... he presents her with sugar-plums ... which he puts into her mouth playfully. "

Sugar plums, associated with the Victorian Christmas, were made of fruit (not  necessarily plums). The dried fruit was finely chopped and combined with chopped almonds, honey and aromatic spices.This mixture was then rolled into balls, and coated in sugar or shredded coconut.

A video recipe of how to make Victorian sugar plums can be found at


Page 223. " I remember the time, Countess, when you advocated the Rights of Women ... "

Mary Wollstonecraft
Public DomainMary Wollstonecraft - Credit: John Opie (1761–1807)
Mary Wollstonecraft, a British writer and philosopher, published A Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792, arguing that it was the education and upbringing of women that created limited expectations.  She attacked gender oppression, pressing for equal educational opportunities, and demanded "justice!" and "rights to humanity" for all.  Along with her British contemporaries Damaris Cudworth and Catherine Macaulay she started to use the language of rights in relation to women, arguing that women should have greater opportunity because like men, they were moral and rational beings.

A Punch cartoon mocking John Stuart Mill's efforts to give women the right to vote
Public DomainA Punch cartoon mocking John Stuart Mill's efforts to give women the right to vote - Credit: Punch 1867
John Stuart Mill, in his 1869 essay The Subjection of Women, wrote: "We are continually told that civilization and Christianity have restored to the woman her just rights. Meanwhile the wife is the actual bondservant of her husband; no less so, as far as the legal obligation goes, than slaves commonly so called."

Mill argued that women should be given the right to vote.  Suffrage became the primary cause of the British women’s movement at the beginning of the 20th century.  Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst led the public campaign on women's suffrage.  In 1918 a bill was passed allowing women over the age of 30 to vote.