Page 181. " I had strayed through Moorgate "
A fragment of the 'London Wall' at Coopers Row
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA fragment of the 'London Wall' at Coopers Row - Credit: John Winfield, Wikimedia Commons

Moorgate is a street in London which connects the City of London to the boroughs of Islington and Hackney.

Originally, Moorgate was a postern (a small inconspicuous gateway) in the London Wall, the defensive structure built by the Romans around the city they called Londinium.


Google Map
Page 181. " wandered towards St. Paul's "

St. Paul's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral situated on Ludgate Hill in the City of London.

The Cathedral, famous for its domed roof, was built in the 17th Century. It was designed by Sir Christopher Wren.


St. Paul's Cathedral dome, as seen from Blackfriars Bridge
GNU Free Documentation LicenseSt. Paul's Cathedral dome, as seen from Blackfriars Bridge - Credit: ChrisO, Wikimedia Commons
Page 182. " I was at Smithfield, at the Dead Meat Market "
Interior of Smithfield Market
Creative Commons AttributionInterior of Smithfield Market - Credit: Aled Betts, Wikimedia Commons

 Smithfield is an area in the City of London famous for its meat market, which is known simply as Smithfield or as London Central Markets. It is situated on Charterhouse Street.

Livestock has been traded in the area for over 1000 years, although the present-day covered market has only been in existence since 1868. 


Smithfield Market
Creative Commons AttributionSmithfield Market - Credit: Steve Parker, Flickr
Page 182. " very close to the Farringdon Street railway "
Farringdon Station sign
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFarringdon Station sign - Credit: Sunil060902, Wikimedia Commons

Farringdon Street Station was one of the very first London Underground stations. It was the terminus of the Metropolitan Railway, which opened in 1863 and ran initially between Farringdon Street and Paddington.

Now known simply as Farringdon, the station is on the Metropolitan Line, the Hammersmith and City Line, and the Circle Line. It is currently undergoing redevelopment in order to accommodate Thameslink trains.

Follow this link for a map of the London Underground.

Page 185. " Limehouse "

Limehouse is an area in the East End of London, situated at the eastern end of the Commercial Road in the Borough of Tower Hamlets.

By the late 19th Century, Limehouse Causeway and nearby Pennyfields (in Poplar) had become London's Chinatown (an area with a high Chinese population and a large number of Chinese-run businesses). 


Google Map
Page 185. " and Soho "

Soho is a vibrant area in the West End of London.

Traditionally, it has been associated with entertainment and film, and the sex industry (strip-clubs, brothels and sex shops). Today, the sex-related industries have declined somewhat, but it is still the location of many media-related businesses as well as a large number of up-market restaurants.

Since the 1970s, Gerrard Street in Soho has become the centre of London's Chinatown. 


Google Map
Page 185. " bagels "
Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel (Australian-style!)
Creative Commons AttributionSmoked salmon and cream cheese bagel (Australian-style!) - Credit: David Jackmanson, Flickr

Bagels are ring-shaped rolls with a tough, chewy texture; they are made from yeast dough dropped briefly into boiling water before baking.

They originated in the Polish Jewish community, and have been introduced into many other cultures by Jewish immigrants.

In New York City, which has a large Jewish population, bagels served with smoked salmon (lox) and cream cheese have achieved almost iconic status.

Bagels (often spelt beigels) were also available in the Brick Lane area of London during the 19th Century, as Whitechapel and Spitalfields (now in the Borough of Tower Hamlets) had a significant Jewish population.


Brick Lane, as it is today
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBrick Lane, as it is today - Credit: Justinc, Wikimedia Commons
Page 185. " brioches "

Brioche is a soft, light-textured bread, made from flour, yeast, butter, eggs and sugar. It is usually shaped into a roll or bun.

It originated in France where it is traditionally made in the brioche à tête style: a small ball of dough sitting on top of a larger ball with fluted edges.

Recipe for brioche dough

Follow this link to see brioches à tête.


Page 185. " flat Greek loaves "
Greek Street sign
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeGreek Street sign - Credit: Alkan Chaglar, Wikimedia Commons

A small Greek community was established in the Greek Street area of Soho in London in the late 17th Century. Later on a Greek community grew up in the Bayswater area.

From the 1930s onwards, Greek Cypriots began to settle in London, firstly in Soho and later on in areas such as Camden and Fulham.

Although the term Greek flat bread is now sometimes used to describe the bread usually known as pitta or pita, this is probably not what is meant by flat Greek loaves.

Page 185. " sweetened with condensed milk "

Condensed milk is cows' milk with sugar added and much of the water removed.

It is now usually sold in cans and tubes, and keeps well because of its high sugar content.

Condensed milk recipes

Commercially-produced condensed milk first appeared in the second half of the 19th Century.

Another form of dehydrated milk is evaporated milk; this is more liquid than condensed milk and does not contain sugar.

Page 193. " in the mouth of an alley off Berwick Street "

Berwick Street is situated in Soho, an area of London which has been the centre of the city's sex industry for over 200 years. 


Google Map


Page 198. " 'A sovereign, for a suck or for a Robert' - he meant, of course, a Robert Browning "

A sovereign is a gold coin which traditionally had the value of £1 sterling.

There is no mention of what Robert Browning, or Robert, is slang for in any of the dictionaries named below.

Robert Browning, the poet, famously used the word twat in a poem entitled Pippa Passes, mistakenly thinking that it was part of a nun's habit (not that this throws any light on the present question).


Dictionary of Victorian sexual slang

Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1811)

Cockney Rhyming Slang

Taboo Cockney Rhyming Slang

Page 198. " Half a guinea for a dubbing "
A half guinea (1786)
GNU Free Documentation LicenseA half guinea (1786) - Credit: Classical Numismatic Group, Wikimedia Commons

A guinea was a coin minted in Britain between 1663 and 1813; from 1717 onwards, its value was fixed at 21 shillings (one pound and one shilling, or £1.05 in present-day money).

Although not in existence as a coin after 1813, the term guinea was used in prices up until the decimalisation of the British coinage in 1971. It was generally used to make things sound cheaper than they were, as 8 guineas sounded cheaper than £8 and eight shillings.

Dub or dubbing does not appear with a sexual meaning in any of the dictionaries referred to in the previous bookmark, although it is noted in the Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue that a dubber is a picker of locks, which gives some scope for an interpretation in terms of Cockney rhyming slang!

However, the word 'dubber', meaning 'mouth' or 'tongue',  appears in Albert Barrière's dictionary of Argot and Slang, as in 'mum your dubber' ('hold your tongue'), which may explain the use of 'dubbing' in the present context.