Page 484. " her favourite opera by Cherubini "
Cherubini by Ingres
Public DomainCherubini by Ingres

 Beethoven regarded Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) as an important contemporary composer, although he is not nearly as well known today. Born in Italy, Cherubini spent most of his life in France, where he composed a quantity of operas such as Les deux journées, Démophon and Médée, as well as Church masses, requiems and some chamber music. His connections with the French aristocracy caused him some trouble after the French Revolution, and he was forced into hiding; appreciation for his music briefly suffered as a result of his political unpopularity, but when the monarchy was restored he came into favour again, attracting international acclaim for his compositions.

Listen to Médée by Cherubini on Spotify

Page 485. " in the Tauride Gardens "
The Tauride Palace, showing the gardens beyond
Public DomainThe Tauride Palace, showing the gardens beyond


The Tauride Gardens lie behind the Tauride Palace, one of the oldest and grandest palaces in St Petersburg. The palace and the gardens were built for Potemkin, Catherine the Great's lover, whose title was Prince of Tauride; they were designed by the architect Ivan Starov and completed in 1789.

After the February Revolution of 1917, the Tauride Palace became home to the Provisional Government of Revolutionary Russia, and then to the Bolshevik's Congress, until the government was moved from St Petersburg to Moscow.

Page 497. " Napoleon's Spanish affairs "
The Third of May by Francisco Goya, showing Spanish guerillas being executed by French soldiers
Public DomainThe Third of May by Francisco Goya, showing Spanish guerillas being executed by French soldiers

 Whilst continuing with his mission to dominate Prussia and the east of Europe, Napoleon was also deeply embroiled in a war in Spain. France fought both Portugal, Spain and Britain in what is known as the Peninsula War; Britain was an ally of Spain, and got involved when the latter was invaded. The Duke of Wellington first distinguished himself in Spain, where he commanded the British Army. The Spanish army consisted of irregular, swiftly-moving units who used their superior knowledge of the terrain to fight off the larger French forces: it is from these fighters that we get the term guerilla warfare. In fact, Tolstoy's is one of the earliest known uses of this word. The Peninsula War was also the inspiration for the Spanish artist Francisco Goya's great series The Disasters of War.