Page 13. " as the Bayonne ham or Bologna sausage is to be found in the shops "
Bayonne ham
GNU Free Documentation LicenseBayonne ham - Credit: Émile Pujolle

Bayonne Ham, or Jambon de Bayonne, is an air-dried salted ham that takes its name from the ancient port city of Bayonne, in the far southwest of France.

Bologna sausage originated in the Italian city of Bologna, and is made of highly seasoned minced meat. It is now commonly referred to as baloney or polony.

Page 14. " or perhaps that of Heliogabalus "

Elagabalus (203–222), also known as Heliogabalus, was Roman Emperor from 218 to 222. He was a member of the Severan Dynastry, and was Syrian on his mother's side.  He became emperor at the age of 14, and took the name Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus.

During his brief rule he showed total disregard for tradition, and indulged in extreme hedonism and decadence. He replaced the traditional head of the Roman pantheon, Jupiter, with a lesser god, known in Greek as Helios, hence his name Heliogabalos, which was conferred on him after his death.  He married as many as five times, lavished favours on male courtiers rumoured to be his lovers, and was generally wild and riotous.  At 18, he was assassinated in a plot led by his grandmother and members of the Praetorian Guard.

Page 14. " and hereafter hash and ragoo it with all the high French and Italian seasoning "
Tagliatelle al ragù alla Bolognese
GNU Free Documentation LicenseTagliatelle al ragù alla Bolognese - Credit: Ivan Vighetto

A ragù is an Italian meat-based sauce, commonly served with pasta.  There are many styles of ragù.  In northern Italy, a ragù is typically a sauce of minced, chopped or ground meat, cooked with sauteed vegatables. The meat used may include beef, chicken, duck, goose, lamb, mutton, veal, or game and offal.  It may be cooked with broth, stock, water, wine, milk, cream, or tomato.  In southern Italy, ragùs are often prepared from substational quantities of large, whole cuts of beef and pork, and sometimes regional sausages, that are cooked with vegatables and tomatoes. After simmering, the meat is removed and may be served separately, without pasta.

Page 15. " Which certain droll authors have been facetiously pleased to call The History of England "
The History of England
Public DomainThe History of England - Credit: John Oldmixon

John Oldmixon (1673-1742) was an English historian from Somerset.  His Critical History of England (1724-1726) is recognised to be a very biased work, and it generated considerable controversy.  He followed this with History of England during the Reigns of the Royal House of Stuart (1730); the History of England during the Reigns of William and Mary, Anne and George I (1735); and the History of England during the Reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary and Elizabeth (1739).

The Critical history of England is subtitled, "wherein the errors of the monkish writers, and others before the Reformation, are expos'd and corrected. As are also the deficiency and partiality of later historians. And particular notice is taken of the History of the grand rebellion. And Mr. Echard's History of England. With remarks on some objections made to Bishop Burnet's History of his times, and the characters of Archdeacon Echard's authors."

Page 16. " I should be glad to see her committed to Bridewell "
The Pass Room at Bridewell
Public DomainThe Pass Room at Bridewell - Credit: Ackermann's Microcosm of London (1808-11).

Bridewell Prison and Hospital was established in a former royal palace in 1553, as a place in which to punish the disorderly poor and to house homeless children in the City of London.  It was located on the banks of the Fleet River, and was the first house of correction in England, and a major charitable institution.  Petty offenders were committed to Bridewell by City officers, including constables and magistrates, and occasionally by parents and masters.  Offences might include vice, vagrancy, property crimes, prostitution or "smaller acts of dishonesty".  Between 1701 and 1760, offenders from the eastern half of the City were usually sent to the Workhouse of the London Corporation of the Poor in Bishopsgate, while those from the western half were sent to Bridewell.  Most prisoners were given punishments, which were determined by the governors. These included whipping and hard labour. 

Page 17. " The Gothic style of building could produce nothing nobler than Mr Allworthy’s house "

Canterbury Cathedral
Public DomainCanterbury Cathedral - Credit: Kerri
Gothic architecture flourished during the high and late medieval period.  It originated in 12th century France and lasted into the 16th century. At the time it was known as "Frankish work." The term Gothic first appeared during the latter part of the Renaissance.  Characteristics include pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses. 

Page 24. " the famous hole in the wall was by Thisbe of old "
Public DomainThisbe - Credit: John William Waterhouse

Pyramus and Thisbe were lovers in Roman mythology. Their tale is told by Ovid in Metamorphoses. 

The lovers live in Babylon, in connected houses. They are forbidden by their parents to wed, because of their families' rivalry. Through a crack in the wall between their houses, they whisper their love for each other. One day, they arrange to meet under a mulberry tree.  Thisbe arrives first, but finds a lioness with mouth bloody from a recent kill. She flees, leaving behind her veil. The lioness mutilates the veil, so that when Pyramus arrives he thinks the lioness has killed his love.  Pyramus falls upon his sword.  Thisbe returns and, finding Pyramus dead, stabs herself with the same sword.

Page 25. " one of those wanton smiles, which Homer would have you conceive came from Venus "
Venus, most beautiful of the goddesses, and her son Cupid
Public DomainVenus, most beautiful of the goddesses, and her son Cupid - Credit: Jan Saenredam

Venus is a Roman goddess, embodying beauty, sex, enticement, seduction and persuasive female charm.  Her male counterparts are Vulcan and Mars, who vie for her attentions. Venus can bestow military victory, sexual success, good fortune and prosperity. In some accounts, she is the goddess of prostitutes, in others she turns men and women away from sexual vice to virtue. 

Homer’s Odyssey tells the tale of Mars/Ares and Venus/Aphrodite, conducting an affair in the house of Vulcan/Hephaestus, her husband. The sun tells Vulcan what is taking place under his roof. Vulcan, enraged, forges magical unbreakable and invisible chains with which he sets a trap for the lovers.  Vulcan calls down the wrath of the gods upon the cheating pair, but the gods all agree that they too would sleep with Venus if they had the chance, and they prevail upon Vulcan to set the couple free.


The Odyssey on Book Drum

Page 25. " from the dimpled cheeks of the august Tysiphone "

Tisiphone was one of the Erinyes in Greek mythology.  These are deities of vengeance, and correspond with the Furies of Roman mythology.  Virgil identifies three sisters - Alecto (unnameable), Megaera (grudging), and Tisiphone (vengeful destruction).  Their heads are wreathed with serpents, and their eyes drip with blood.  Some depictions show them with the wings of a bat and the body of a dog.  Tisiphone is responsible for punishing crimes of murder - parricide, fratricide and homicide.

Page 25. " sweet as the evening breeze of Boreas in the pleasant month of November "

Boreas and Orithya
Public DomainBoreas and Orithya - Credit: Heinrich Lossow (1840-1897)
Boreas is the Greek god of the cold north wind and the bringer of winter. His name means "Devouring One". He is characterised by physical strength and a violent temper.  He was often depicted as a winged old man with shaggy hair and beard, holding a conch shell and wearing a billowing cloak.  The ancient Athenians believed that he came to their aid during battles, raising the winds against their enemies.