Page 490. " I heard of a situation, as plain cook "


A plain cook performed many housekeeping duties. She might be expected to dust and sweep the dining room or parlour, light the fires, sweep the front hall and even clean the grates—all in addition to her work in the kitchen.  She would have to rise early, light the kitchen fire, do her upstairs chores and then cook breakfast.

Plain cooks cooked only simple meals, as the description implies. After dinner, she would wash the dishes and clean the kitchen. All her duties had to be completed before she went to bed.

For this work, she would be paid about £25 to £30 a year.  






Page 491. " brought a bit of mahogany wood with him ... put one end over the lady's heart and the other to his ear, and listened carefully. "

Nineteenth-century stethoscopes (catalog illustration, 1869; National Library of Medicine, Bethesda, Md.)

The stethoscope was devised in 1816 by the Breton René-Théophile-Hyacinthe Laënnec (1781–1826). Instead of having to depend on subjective accounts of their symptoms, the physician could now rely on his own interpretation of the sounds he himself heard. This meant that diagnosis could become more objective and more scientific. Many other instruments came into use in the course of the 19th century, such as the laryngoscope, the bronchoscope, the ophthalmoscope, the endoscope and the urethra-cystic speculum, also allowed for objective diagnosis by penetrating beneath the body’s exterior. The culmination of this development was the introduction of X-rays by Wilhelm Konrad Röntgen (1845–1923) in 1895. [further information at]




Page 499. " the Cathedral of Notre Dame, with Victor Hugo's noble romance for our guide "
Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris
GNU Free Documentation LicenseCathedral of Notre Dame in Paris - Credit: Jens Peter Clausen

Notre Dame de Paris (Our Lady of Paris) is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Paris’ fourth arrondissement.  It is the official chair of the Archbishop of Paris.  The cathedral treasury is purported to house the crown of thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails of the crucifixion. 

The church is built in a Gothic style.  Construction began in 1163 and went on until 1345.  It was among the first buildings in the world to use the flying buttress (arched exterior supports), which are populated by statues of gargoyles and chimeras. 

The cathedral has a narrow climb of 387 steps, the top of which provides a spectacular view across Paris.


Illustration from 1881 edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Public DomainIllustration from 1881 edition of The Hunchback of Notre Dame - Credit: Luc-Olivier Merson

Victor Hugo published The Hunchback of Notre-Dame in 1831. It tells the tragic tale of Quasimodo and Esmeralda. 


Page 500. " the cemetery of Pere la Chaise "
Pere Lachaise 2000
Public DomainPere Lachaise 2000 - Credit: Craig Patik

François de la Chaise (1624-1709) was a French Jesuit priest and the confessor of King Louis XIV.  He is said to have exercised considerable moderating influence over the King, and was widely recognised for his humane and honorable character.  

His name became attached to the Jesuit house where he lived. In 1804, Napoleon established a cemetery on the land, naming it the Père Lachaise Cemetery. 

It can be found in the 20th arrondissement in Paris.