Page 102. " and the princess played the clavichord "

The clavichord is a keyboard instrument dating from the fourteenth century. Its popularity was at its height from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries; it appears in compositions from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical periods. It produces sound by means of keys attached to metal blades (tangents) which strike brass or iron strings. Because the sound it produces is relatively quiet, it was often used as a practice instrument. Princess Marya's playing would not have disturbed her father's rest.

The British Clavichord Society's website.


Page 103. " of the Dušek sonata "

František Xaver Dušek (1731-1799) was a Czech musician and composer known for his abilities with keyboard instruments such as the piano and the harpsichord. He was friends with Mozart, and taught Mozart's son Karl Thomas to play the piano.

Listen to Dušek's Sonata in E Flat Major on Spotify.

Page 109. " there were no longer any Potyomkins "
 Prince Grigoriy Aleksandrovich Potemkin (1739-1791) is the most famous of Catherine the Great's lovers and advisors. He first came to her attention during the coup that ousted her husband, Tsar Peter III, and eventually became the new Empress's lover. It is thought that they probably married in secret. Even after their relationship fizzled out, Potemkin remained a valued friend and advisor to Catherine.

He was a capable military leader, serving in the Russo-Turkish War where he became Major-General of the cavalry; but he is now best known for his political role. The idea of "Potemkin villages" came about after one of Catherine's tours of southern Russia, where Potemkin was the governor. Potemkin is accused of having set up fake villages along the Catherine's route in order to make the south appear more prosperous than it really was. However, this is probably false. Contemporary witnesses countered these allegations, and such a massive fraud would have been incredibly difficult to pull off convincingly.

In 1900 the Russian navy launched a battleship called Potemkin. In 1905, during the first revolution, the crew of this ship mutineed. The rebellion was later portrayed in Sergei Eisenstein's famous 1925 film The Battleship Potemkin.

Page 113. " As Sterne says: "We don't love people so much for the good they have done us, as for the good we have done them." "
Laurence Sterne by Sir Joshua Reynolds
Public DomainLaurence Sterne by Sir Joshua Reynolds
 Laurence Sterne (1713-1768) was an Irish writer, author of The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey. He was an Anglican priest, and published a number of sermons. Sterne was an important influence on Tolstoy's development as a writer, especially in terms of his use of digressions, details, and the analysis of characters' subconscious motives.
Page 124. " He used to have a predilection for Bacchus "
Bacchus by Leonardo da Vinci
Public DomainBacchus by Leonardo da Vinci
 In other words, a drinking problem. Bacchus was the Roman name for Dionysus, the Ancient Greek God of wine and of ecstatic madness. Bacchus gives his name to the bacchanalia, wild and ecstatic festivals of drunken celebration which were originally religious occasions held in secret and celebrated only by women. The word has since come to mean any wild, drunken revelry.