In Ancient Greece, Athenaeum was the name given to buildings dedicated to the goddess Athena; in particular, it was the name of a temple in Athens where poets, philosophers and orators gathered to discuss their work.
During the Victorian era, the term was used for various kinds of academy and learned societies.
There is a gentlemen's club on Pall Mall in London called the Athenaeum, but this is unlikely to be the venue referred to. More probably, it is a reference to the Athenaeum Club which was opened in the Vale of Health in north Hampstead in 1877. This was frequented by political radicals and foreigners, and its upper hall was leased to the Salvation Army in 1882.
It also appears that there was a ladies-only club known as the Ladies Athenaeum in existence at one time in London (possibly between 1913 and 1925).
As noted in bookmark, p.205, the role of guardsmen was (and is) to protect the Sovereign and her properties.
In the 18th and 19th Centuries St James's was one of the most fashionable residential areas in London.
Its central feature is an equestrian statue of William III, erected in 1808.
The threepence, generally known as the threepenny (pronounced thrupenny) bit, was a British coin.
It was first produced in the 16th Century and continued to be minted until the decimalisation of the currency in 1971.
Originally a small, slim, silver coin, from the reign of Edward Vlll onwards it was a chunkier, twelve-sided coin made from a mixture of brass and nickel.
The Foundling Hospital, an orphanage, was established in 1742 on Bloomsbury Fields, north of Great Ormond Street and west of Gray's Inn Lane. Its founder was Thomas Coram, a retired sea captain.
Although a foundling, strictly speaking, was a deserted or abandoned child of unknown parentage, the hospital was for illegitimate children who would otherwise have spent their lives in the workhouse; they were, therefore, often brought to the hospital by their own mothers.
The hospital remained in use until 1926, when it was relocated to Hertfordshire.
Today, memories of the Foundling Hospital are kept alive in the Foundling Museum which is situated adjacent to the original hospital site in Brunswick Square.
St. John's Wood is a leafy area of northwest London, close to Regent's Park; it is a highly desirable residential district, just as it was in the 19th Century.
The style has certainly been in existence since the 17th Century, and continues to be popular today.
If you were queen of pleasure,
And I were king of pain,
We'd hunt down love together,
Pluck out his flying-feather
And teach his feet a measure,
And find his mouth a rein,
If you were queen of pleasure
And I were king of pain.
Out of curiosity, she is said to have opened a jar (often wrongly translated as a box) which led to all the evils of the world being released.
Metaphorically speaking, then, to open Pandora's box is to start something that will lead to innumerable troubles; the equivalent of opening a can of worms.
The word has been in use in English since the 16th Century, and dildo-like objects have existed since prehistoric times.
Sometimes dildos may be battery-powered, in which case they are known as vibrators.
During the Victorian era, women's underwear was a complicated business.
Underneath a dress, a woman would wear drawers, a chemise, a corset, and a petticoat (or petticoats). Chemise and drawers could also be worn combined, in a garment known as combinations.
Corsets were worn over the chemise and drawers, and either above or below the petticoat/s. They were made of cloth, stiffened with boning (sometimes known as ribs or stays) which were made out of whalebone (also known as baleen*), cane or steel.
The purpose of corsets was to support the breasts and constrict the size of the waist. They could be laced at the back (which required help from someone else) or fastened at the front.
Click here to view a selection of 'hour-glass' corsets.
* material obtained from the upper jaw of the baleen whale
By the end of the 19th Century, it had evolved into a simply cut sleeveless garment with a round, square or v-shaped neckline. It was made from cotton, linen or silk, and was often decorated with lace or embroidery.
Drawers (the early version of knickers) were worn by Victorian women from about 1850 onwards.
Initially, drawers were open at the crotch and extended below the knee. Later on, they were closed at the crotch and gathered onto a band at the knee; these were known as knickerbockers. Towards the end of the 19th Century, and during the Edwardian period, drawers became wide-legged and flared.
Making the second toe longer than the big toe was the norm in Greek Sculpture, and it later became the accepted form for Roman and Renaissance Sculptors.
Although 10-25% (estimates vary) of the world's population have this characteristic, it is generally viewed as a potential problem and is given the medical name Morton's Toe.
The Statue of Liberty suffers from Morton's Toe!
Does anybody know which story this refers to?
The word catamite, meaning a boy kept for sexual pleasure by a paedophile, is derived from the name Ganymede.
Ganymede is also the name given to Rosalind, the heroine of Shakespeare's play As You Like It, when she is disguised as a boy.
Sarah Waters might have had either, or both, of these characters in mind at this particular point in the text.