My cousin Jaspers Grand Remonstrance - a warning against charm - Sunday morning in Oxford
41 Grand Remonstrance
This term comes from English history. A remonstrance takes the form of a protest and a demand for reform. The original Grand Remonstrance debates took place in 1640-1 when the leaders of the Long Parliament prepared a catalogue of their grievances against King Charles I. It signalled the imminent outbreak of the English Civil Wars since for the first time members of the House of Commons began to form into opposing parties of royalists and parliamentarians.
41 schools ... History Previous
Schools is the university term for examinations.
There is some confusion resulting from this sentence. We know that Charles met Sebastian in his third term since matriculation (page 26) and that, as one would expect, this was the summer term. History Previous was the first examination the students would take for the History School, but it was taken at the end of the second (the spring) term, not the third term. EW has obviously forgotten this fact, or he may have been confused by the fact that, unusually, he himself began his university career in the second term, the Hilary Term. I have not yet ascertained whether he therefore took his History Previous examination at the end of the summer, the Trinity, term, but it seems likely.
Subfusc means dark, but in this context actually indicates black. Students were always required to wear subfusc academic dress (that is, black suit, white bow-tie and white shirt) for their examinations, for example.
41 Pindars Orphism
Pindar was a Greek lyric poet of the fifth century B.C.
Orpheus was the greatest musician in ancient Greek mythology. A religion developed in Greece supposedly based on the teachings and songs of Orpheus which certainly became influential by Pindars time. In the Orphic religion, the physical body was understood to be a prison for the essence of a person, which could be released when a state of ecstasy was achieved. Jasper has presumably been examined on the extent to which Pindars choral odes were influenced by Orphic ritual and religious ideas.
Oxford Student Christian Union, an evangelical group
Hops are used to flavour beer. They are ready for harvest in August, and because the harvesting then was very labour-intensive, vast numbers of the poorer Londoners combined work with a holiday by coming into the countryside for three to six weeks to pick the hops, particularly in Kent. This practice has now all but ceased since machines do the job faster and better.
42 long vac.
i.e. long vacation, the summer holiday which lasts from late June to early October
a regiment of cavalry raised from a defined area (usually a county), obviously from among people who were rich enough to own and ride horses. They were therefore a force for conservative strength in the century after their first formation in 1761. Some yeomanry regiments were raised specially to go to war in France in World War I. Lord Marchmain tells us much later that his own neighbour (Strickland-Venables) was the Commanding Officer.
As we find out later that Brideshead is in Wiltshire, his regiment must be the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (The Prince of Wales Own Regiment). In 1884 Queen Victoria allotted to the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry the position of Number One in the authorised table of precedence for the several regiments of Yeomanry in Great Britain.
Lord Marchmain mentions a common fate of yeomanry regiments in his long reminiscence towards the end of the book; he says that, when he was fifty, his regiment was dismounted and sent into the line. Cavalry regiments were of little utility in a war of limited manoeuvre and massive firepower, and indeed they were never important afterwards. They were to be transformed into armoured regiments by the time World War II came along.
As today, the Catholic Church did not give divorces. Occasionally annulments are granted, but they are technically declarations that the marriages were invalid from the beginning. Jasper expresses the common (and false) opinion that divorces can easily be bought from the church.
43 stiffer element
i.e. the tiresomely manly students, what we might today call the macho men
a fountain in the middle of Tom Quadrangle in Christ Church College. A new statue of Mercury can now be seen there, but in 1923 the original had long gone. Nevertheless the unoccupied basin was still called Mercury.
one of the best cigars, first created in Cuba in 1845 by Jaime Partagas. From 1900 the firm was run by the Cifuentes family, who became the best-known cigar makers in Cuba and therefore the world. EW loved their cigars, especially the classic Lusitania model. In 1961 Ramon Cifuentes (1907-2000) left the country when the new revolutionary government took over the factories. He eventually combined with the General Cigar Company to set up a new Partagas business in the Dominican Republic which attempted, with some limited success, to replicate the ancient qualities. The Cubans still make what are called Partagas cigars but many doubt that their quality is as high as it was under Cifuentes.
René Lalique (1860-1945), famous French designer and maker of art nouveau decorative glassware and jewellery
Oxford University Dramatic Society, a high-powered and respected theatrical group
a Berkshire town remarkable perhaps for its middle-class solidity, though in the 1920s it became for a time a resort of high society
song-singing in three (or more) parts, very popular in Victorian times and still common in 1923. Glees developed in the 17th century at least as early as John Playfords A Musical Companion of 1667 but derived from the ayres of the Elizabethan era. They can be distinguished from ayres and ballads only by being wholly light-hearted, i.e. full of glee.
43 garden suburb
a small, planned suburb that was intended to combine the amenities of urban life with the ready access to nature typical of rural environments. Jasper obviously despises them as artificial.
ancient Roman city in north-eastern Italy near the Adriatic Sea, about 70 miles south of Venice
44 S. Nichodemus of Thyatira
I think this must be the Pharisee Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin, who visited Christ at night to find out more about his teaching (Gospel of Saint John 3) and then demurred at the attitude of his fellow Pharisees when they took an aggressive attitude towards Our Lord (John 7, 50). He helped Joseph of Arimathea by supplying the aloes and myrrh for the burial of Christs body after the Crucifixion (John 19, 39). But I know of no evidence either that he was born in or associated with the Lydian town of Thyatira (now in Turkey and called Akhisar) or that he is the patron saint of bald people. He is certainly venerated as a martyr, though no facts survive of his martyrdom. And the date of his feast-day (then 3rd August but now 31st August) does not fit in with the timing of the Easter vacation.
This detail has a piquancy for students of EWs life. In old age he liked to proclaim his deafness and carry an ear-trumpet around with him that gave him an additional weapon with which to disconcert those he wished to keep at a distance.
45 Byzantine Art
the art of the Eastern Roman Empire, a vast subject covering a period from the early fourth to the mid-fifteenth centuries. One of EWs friends from Oxford, Robert Byron, became an expert on this subject but the value of his judgment was undermined by his assertion that there was no worthwhile art in western Europe from the Middle Ages to the 20th century apart from El Grecos.
45 Mausoleum of Galla Placidia
Aelia Galla Placidia (390?-450) was the daughter of one Roman Emperor (Theodosius I), the sister of a second (Honorius), the wife of a third (Constantius) and the mother of a fourth (Valentinian III). A mausoleum is a building designed to contain the tomb of a famous person. Galla Placidias mausoleum at Ravenna is a triumphant example of Romanesque architecture but its chief claim to fame is the mosaics inside, one of which presents Christ as the Good Shepherd for the first time in art history.
45 San Vitale
a remarkable octagonal church in Ravenna built 525-547. There are wonderful mosaics of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora and their retinues.
45 All Souls
All Souls is the only college in Oxford which has no undergraduates. All scholars are therefore first-class graduates. Every year graduates compete for two fellowships of seven years duration, which may be extended. In a year of hot competition even very good candidates would fail to get a place. There are also elected fellowships awarded to prominent people virtually for life and visiting fellowships awarded for a short period generally to eminent foreigners. Mr Samgrass, who is inflicted on the boys later, is a scholar of All Souls.
46 naughtiness high in the catalogue of grave sins
the only reference in BR to the depth of Charles Ryders relationship with Sebastian (after all he was looking for love). Some think that the implication is that they were lovers. They argue that grave sins are known in the Catholic Church as mortal sins, and, if unrepented, deserve eternal damnation. Mere friendship cannot qualify for such condemnation.
At that time, and until much later, passionate male friendships were common in British universities because of the comparative lack of female companionship. EW himself had at least two such passionate friendships at Oxford.
But it is possible that the relationship between Charles and Sebastian could be considered worthy of disapproval though it fell short of full sexual expression. One correspondent has reminded me that the drunkenness and self-centred hedonism of the two boys were in themselves grave sin in the theology of St Thomas Aquinas, and that this fact may be what Ryder is referring to.
46 my first schools
i.e. the first examinations counting towards his History degree, taken at the end of the academic year
46 the spirit they mix with the pure grape of the Douro
a reference to the method of producing port, a favourite drink in Britain. The Douro is the Portuguese river on the slopes of which the port grapes are grown.
elegant, clever arguments which are unconvincing and deceptive when studied deeply
47 Wandering Jew
a mythical figure who, after insulting Christ, is condemned to wander the world until Jesus returns in His Second Coming. EW used this legendary character in his historical novel Helena.
47 a Hogarthian page boy
William Hogarth (1697-1764) was perhaps the first great English-born painter. In his etchings and paintings he revealed with satirical intent the true state of English society. He exposed flaws in all sections of the community, which he nevertheless portrays as having an earthy vitality.
His page boys are confederates in the vice of their employers, usually enablers but sometimes participants.
47 Jockey Club at Buenos Aires
Many countries have Jockey Clubs, of course, all having something to do with horse-racing. The original Jockey Club was founded at Newmarket in 1752 in order to form and apply the Rules of Racing and to license individuals and racecourses. Its Stewards have disciplinary and coercive authority in British horse-racing.
Many foreign Jockey Clubs followed. The one at Buenos Aires was created in 1882 with the intention of founding and managing racing activities, but also with the aim of becoming a social centre for the top set. It had its own race-course, and the specially designed headquarters in Florida Street had a magnificent facade, splendid rooms and luxurious furnishings. By 1923 the Club was the leading social centre in the city.
The names that follow represent the great and good of European artistic life in the 1920s, especially those based in Paris, then the centre of artistic ferment. Anthony Blanche is clearly well acquainted with the smartest set. The tone of the relationships that he formed abroad and are now mentioned is covertly homoerotic.
Marcel Proust, the great French novelist (1871-1922), author of À la recherche du temps perdu, the final three volumes of which had not yet appeared
André Gide (1869-1951), French novelist and writer. He was famous for his modern approach to personal morality, expressed first in his novel LImmoraliste (1902). In all his novels individuals struggle to express their nature fully, though their actions and beliefs may be at odds with societys prevailing concepts. He was to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947.
Jean Cocteau (1889-1963), French artistic polymath, most famous in 1923 for his poetry and his ballet creations
Sergey Diaghilev (1872-1929), émigré Russian theatrical entrepreneur who founded the Ballets Russes in Paris in 1909
Ronald Firbank (1886-1926), English novelist whose fantastic and idiosyncratic humour and subtle style of writing influenced EW. His novels include Valmouth (1919), Prancing Nigger (1926) and Concerning the Eccentricities of Cardinal Pirelli (1926).
island at the southern end of the Bay of Naples. By 1923 it was an elite resort. As Capri was the site of the Swedish doctor-writer Axel Munthes Villa San Michele, Blanche had possibly been visiting him.
ancient town in northern Sicily, then a centre for the occult arts practised by decadent western pseudo-intellectuals led by a diabolist named Aleister Crowley (1875-1947). One of EWs acquaintances died there in mysterious circumstances while studying black magic.
47 cured of drug-taking in California
a therapy with a surprisingly modern sound, but already answering a need in 1923
47 Oedipus complex
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) introduced this lynchpin of psychoanalytical theory in his book The Interpretation of Dreams (1899). It postulates a stage which children have to go through in which a child feels attraction to the parent of the opposite sex and rivalry towards the one of the same sex. Lack of harmonious resolution of the complex would lead to neurotic problems in adult life. By 1923 the term was part of the common cant of the chattering classes. Vienna was still the centre of Freuds practice and a magnet for disgruntled and wealthy idlers.
the ancient city in Italy, until the middle of the nineteenth century the capital of a decadent and shabbily splendid kingdom. The capering urchins mentioned here are still only too obvious today.
a small and pleasant town just over ten miles east of Oxford, pronounced Tame. The inn Blanche takes Charles to is the Spreadeagle, one of EWs favourite hostelries. From 1922 to 1932 it was run by a remarkable eccentric called John Fothergill (1876-1957) whose An Innkeepers Diary is a fascinating account of his inn-keeping philosophy and his varied encounters with customers. EW inscribed a copy of Decline and Fall with the words To John Fothergill, Oxfords only civilising influence. The Spreadeagle was originally a 16th century private house but became a coaching inn after the brick façade was built in the 18th century. The great sign on the pavement outside was erected to Fothergills own design and the dismay of the local council. It is a notable landmark now.
the famous club joined by the hearty rich to dine and drink heavily. It still exists, its members distinguished by their blue and white tailcoats. After one of their dinners they frequently find the club suspended by the university authorities because of gross behaviour and outrageous vandalism. EW gives a thinly disguised account of its activities (under the name of the Bollinger Club) in the opening chapter of his novel Decline and Fall.
48 Rhine wine
This German wine was very popular in Britain in Victorian times though one might be surprised to find Anthony Blanche proposing to drink it in 1923. Did he judge it as suitable for Charless taste? Or is he being provocative in maintaining a flagrantly individual preference which is not that of the up-to-date set?
Mr Jorrocks is a character from the tales and novels of Robert Surtees (1803-1864). Jorrocks is a Cockney grocer who is celebrated for his bluntness and is entirely devoted to fox hunting. Surteess first book was entitled Jorrocks Jaunts and Jollities (1831).
48 Alexandra cocktails
to Charles a noxious concoction. An Alexandra cocktail consists of equal parts of Tia Maria, Rum, Cream, and Cream of Coconut. Shake with ice and serve.
Blanche judges sherry to be a conventional drink which is to be avoided. It is odd he did not equally discount Rhine wine.
48 Antic Hay
a novel by Aldous Huxley (1894-1963), just published in 1923. It is a witty, malicious satire of the English literary world. EW considered it Huxleys best book; he thought that Huxley declined afterwards. Blanches judgment of it as forbidding is unexpected : it is perhaps a little long.
Garsington Manor in Oxfordshire was owned by Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873-1938) and her husband Philip. She was a hostess and patron of the arts who brought together some of the most important writers and artists of her day, including, among others, D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Aldous Huxley, Bertrand Russell, T.S. Eliot and Augustus John. So Blanche is moving in exalted circles. He possibly expects Huxley to be present to receive his snub.
Garsington Manor is now a centre for the arts, and hosts opera performances.
48-49 Vichy water
a water from the mineral springs at Vichy in central France. It was very popular at this time.
Peckwater Quad is a quadrangle in Christ Church College built in the 18th century.
49 vieux port
old port (French), an ancient quarter containing the red light district of Marseilles, the French Mediterranean city. It serves as the location where Paul Pennyfeather loses his hat in Decline and Fall. Let us assume that Anthony Blanche was there as a tourist studying the architecture.
a devotion consisting of alternations of the varied names of God or appropriate saints with (generally repetitive) petitions. Blanche is (unconsciously?) setting himself up as god-like.
party (French); a great parti means an impressive person, often with a hint of irony in it. Possibly Blanche chooses to use it because Mulcaster is also fat, though in the first edition of the novel he is described as lanky. EW changed the description of Mulcaster entirely for the revised edition. In full the original read (the changed text is in italics, the unchanged in red) :
Now you may or may not know Boy Mulcaster. Seen at a distance - at some considerable distance - you might think him rather personable; a lanky, old-fashioned young man, you might think; but look at him closer and his face all falls to pieces in an idiot gape. People are rather free with the word degenerate. They have even used it of me. If you want to know what a real degenerate is, look at Boy Mulcaster. He came to Le Touquet at Easter and, in some extraordinary way, I seem to have asked him to stay. Well, my mother is used to me, but my poor step-father found Mulcaster very hard to understand. You see, my step-father is a d-d-dago and therefore has a very high opinion of the English aristocracy. He couldnt quite fit Mulcaster into his idea of a lord, and really I couldnt explain him.
(The topic of degeneracy was quite strong in the 1920s and 1930s. For background information see my note to page 10. EW was clearly ill at ease with this passage by the time he came to revise the novel.)
49 le Touquet
A town on the north French coast which was a popular resort for fashionable society in the twenties, by 1923 it was easily reached by aeroplane. The casino was the centre of activity.
49 old sponge and toady
i.e. heavy drinker and servile flatterer
clumsy and oafish young men
50 coloured tail-coats
i.e. a formal coat which normally is black but here has tails of a coloured cloth to distinguish the wearers from other diners and from waiters. (The point of the story of G.K.Chestertons The Queer Feet, later read aloud by Lady Marchmain, is that waiters and male diners can easily be confused because of the similarity of their dress.)
This term was often used in the early twentieth century for a person who displayed traits supposedly characteristic of the other sex. It was gradually replaced by the word homosexual.
Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), Romanian-French pioneer of modern abstract sculpture
In the first edition of BR, this word is spelt in the accepted manner, ecstasy. I do not know if EW changed it or the printers have made a mistake.
A word used by Freud to signify the energy associated with sexual urges
51 la fatigue du Nord!
the wearisome quality of the North! (French)
This is the Rhine wine that Blanche promised Charles. The term comes from one of the Rhineland towns that makes and sells the wine, Hochheim (though it is actually on the River Main). The legend is that, after sampling it, Queen Victoria said that she liked this hoch ... hoch .... hock. The name stuck. Since she spoke excellent German the tale is unlikely, to say the least.
51 Mrs P-p-ponsonby-de-Tomkyns
Mrs Ponsonby de Tomkyns was a character created by the novelist and illustrator George du Maurier (the author of Trilby, 1834-1896) for satirical articles and cartoons which he produced for publication in the magazine Punch. She was a caricature of the nouveaux riches who liked to fancy themselves as patrons of the arts. She was a young, pretty woman who was nevertheless cunning and deceitful in furthering her interests.
Punch was the weekly humorous magazine published in London. It was at a peak of popularity in the 1920s. A very pale successor existed for a brief period around the turn of the twenty-first century as a vanity publication.
twenty-four senior pupils at Eton College who were (and are) the self-perpetuating arbiters of taste and conduct. (The number can vary over the years.) Its formal name is the Eton Society. It was founded in 1811 originally as a debating society which met in a lollipop shop, hence its nickname. Over time its character changed from an intellectual to a sporting one and its members assumed disciplinary powers which (moderated in harshness) persist to this day.
The playwright William Douglas Home, who was elected in 1930, describes Pop like this in his autobiography Half-Term Report (1955) :
The boys in Pop make no effort to disguise the fact. They wear bow ties and stick-up collars, coloured waistcoats of the fiercest hues and of the strangest materials - of velvet, silk or even crêpe de Chine - sponge-bag trousers, rolled umbrellas, black patent-leather shoes, blue overcoats, spats if they so desire, and most eccentric of all, large seals on the centre of the top and fore and aft (below and above the brim) of their top hats. In other words they are a sight, but be it said with all honesty, a not unpleasing sight - and they are distinguishable from their non-elect colleagues with as much certainty (and probably with as little justice) as a peacock is distinguished from an owl. They stroll down the High Street at Eton linked arm in arm. They are in fact, in that small world, the gods.
a reference to the Greek mythological character famed for his beauty. Narcissus died through pining away gazing at the reflection of his own beauty.
In the confessional, the priest sat in one room and the penitent knelt in another, with between them an open window with a grill.
Eton cant for ones housemaster
the autumn, the period when the grapes are harvested. The celebrations are often extensive.
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, French painter (1780-1867), famous for his cool, meticulously drawn works. He was well known in Britain even in his lifetime, since in Rome in his thirties he had drawn portraits of many British tourists to alleviate his poverty.
53 G-g-green Chartreuse
the famous liqueur, with a spicy and aromatic flavour. It was and is again made by the monks of the Grande Chartreuse. There is also a yellow Chartreuse, which is milder and sweeter. The colour depends on the plants used; the taste therefore is different.
53 expulsion of the monks
Religious orders were in effect expelled from France in the early years of the twentieth century under anti-clerical laws promulgated by socialist governments. Blanche rightly implies that Chartreuse was inferior when its production was forcibly taken over by a company set up to do it by the French government in 1904. Eventually the authorities recognised their failure and allowed the monks to resume their life-style. At any time only three of them make the liqueur and only two of those know the recipe, which is reputed to contain over 130 ingredients. The secret has consequently never been revealed.
54 Aztec sculptor
The features would have been stylised, with long lines and simple, exaggerated features.
54 Beechams Pills
a proprietary medicine which aids digestion and regular bowel movements. The pills made a fortune for the Beecham family of whom Sir Thomas the conductor was the most famous.
54 Florentine quattrocento
The quattrocento was the fifteenth century (the fourteen-hundreds). Florence was the prime centre of the movements in art and thought which we call the Italian Renaissance.
i.e. green and yellow.
In 1877 the Grosvenor Gallery opened in Bond Street, London. The rooms were decorated in green and gold, which seemed a wishy-washy background to a Victorian clientele expecting sumptuousness. Sir Edward Burne-Jones (1833-1898) sent several esteemed pictures to the opening. Their late Pre-Raphaelite figures encouraged the fashion-conscious to dress in styles suggested by both the paintings and the decor, namely a willowy look, long costumes (often curiously embroidered) and pastel tints. The aesthetes, led by Oscar Wilde, took up this style and liked to appear in public carrying colour-coordinated flowers (especially carnations that had been dyed green, sunflowers and lilies). There was an accompanying fashion for tasteful yellows, greens and pastel tints in interior decoration. These fads led to the use of the term greenery-yallery.
There is no doubt that in circles which knew about such things the term became synonymous with homosexual. W.S. Gilbert mocked the aesthetes in Patience (1881) :
A pallid and thin young man,
A haggard and lank young man
A greenery-yallery, Grosvenor Gallery
Foot-in-the-grave young man!
This word did not have its modern meaning of homosexual until well into the second half of the twentieth century, though its origins lie at least as early as the film Bringing Up Baby (1938). The term bachelor gay is much older but did not at first have a homosexual connotation. The loss of the word gay deprives English of a specific meaning somewhere between happy and merry, with a special light-heartedness added. EW of course has this earlier meaning in mind.
Undoubtedly Anthony Blanche is referring to the Spanish Inquisition, which was as much an agent of the state as it was a branch of the Church. Its consequently unbridled powers of torture and confiscation made it feared throughout the country and abominated throughout Europe.
It is intriguing that we are introduced to Julia in this horrifying manner. Quite what it is Blanche has against her, other than that she is beautiful and a woman, is not clear.
a person of importance (originally a nobleman of Venice)
in the brooding, passionate pattern set by George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), i.e. mad, bad, and dangerous to know (Lady Caroline Lamb)
54 Reinhardt nun
Max Reinhardt (1873-1943), Austrian theatrical director, was most famous in London at this time for his production of Karl Volmöllers The Miracle (first produced 1911), which required more than 2000 actors, musicians, dancers and other helpers, and had no dramatic dialogue. Extremely popular, the spectacle was revived in New York in 1924 and in London in 1932 with EWs friend Lady Diana Cooper starring in both. In the 1924 production she alternated the roles of a statue of the Madonna and a troubled nun who bears a child. Her role as the Madonna, in which she achieved true fame, required her to stand immobile for a long time before coming to life to succour the nun. EW at first loathed the play - he called it a disgusting thing - but later toured with it as a companion for Lady Diana.
i.e. palace (Italian). The term can be used for any large house.
The word means sandbank but here it refers to an island reef a little distance from the city itself which has developed into a seaside resort.
55 Madame Récamier
Julie Récamier (1777-1849), French hostess of great charm and wit whose salon attracted most of the important political and literary figures of early 19th-century Paris. Blanche is referring to her well-known portrait by Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) in the Louvre Museum in Paris, where she is seen reclining on a chaise longue looking over her right shoulder at us.
55 Celtic play
The Celtic Renaissance, at least two decades old in 1923, was still attracting interest. There was however a certain preciousness about the solemn presentations of Celtic themes on the Dublin and London stages.
Maurice Maeterlinck, Belgian playwright and writer (1862-1949), famed for his symbolist approach to literature. The heroine Blanche is thinking of is probably Mélisande, a fey, doomed creature in the play Pelléas et Mélisande (1892) who is celebrated for letting down her long hair and losing her wedding ring in a pool.
55 Sodom and Gomorrah
The two cities of the plain destroyed by God as a punishment for vice, as told in Genesis 19. Marcel Prousts Sodome et Gomorrhe had just been published in 1922 and may be in Blanches mind.
56 St. Jamess
The site of Marchmain House in St. Jamess indicates how prestigious the Marchmains are. It is the very best area of London.
a restaurant of great repute in Paris, closed in 1954
56 Edwardian style
The reign of Edward VII (1901-1910) was a relaxed period after the austerities of Victoria. Among the characteristics of the reign was a decided preference for the delights of Paris as opposed to the propriety of Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II. Many men of the upper classes thought they should imitate the King by sloughing off responsibility and going to the French capital to enjoy themselves, sometimes to the extent of creating establishments for congenial mistresses.
56 Top Storey
i.e. the brains
a well-known painting by Sir John Everett Millais (1829-1896) which shows a blonde child with a clay pipe and a dish of soapy water watching an iridescent bubble rise into the air. When the soap firm Pears bought it and used it in their advertisements, the picture gained extra notoriety.
57 Mavrodaphne Trifle
Mavrodaphne is a sweet dessert wine from Greece, here used in a trifle instead of the customary sweet sherry. John Fothergill at the Spreadeagle Inn, Thame, was famous for his Mavrodaphne trifle.
i.e. plagued by mental anguish. The term derives from the influence exerted by malevolent witches in an attempt to ruin the peace of mind of their victim.
57 Corporate Communion
clearly a new-fangled service at Charless college. It seems to mean no more than a Communion service for the whole body of the college. Today it means an ecumenical service of Communion.
58 gowned and surpliced
Most undergraduates would wear their academic gowns for the service in the chapel; those wearing a surplice (a white outer garment which looks like a smock) would be assistants at the service or members of the choir.
58 the empty Broad ... Balliol
The Broad is Broad Street. Balliol College is on Broad Street. It seems that Charles, like EW, did go to Hertford College (or perhaps an imaginary college next to Hertford) since he is walking away from it at this point.
another college, next to Balliol
the peals of bells characteristic of English bell ringing, in those days often used to summon worshippers to church.
58 St Barnabas
the leading Anglo-Catholic church of Oxford
58 St Columba
In 1923 this was the University chaplaincy for the Presbyterians of the University. It later developed into a self-governing congregation.
58 St Aloysius
St Aloysius Gonzaga is the Roman Catholic church for the parish of Oxford. Since 1990 it has been served by the Oratorians, thus fulfilling Cardinal Newmans dream of creating an Oxford Oratory, by which name the church is now sometimes known.
58 Pusey House
the University centre for Anglo-Catholic worship, as opposed to the parish centre. It is named after Edward Bouverie Pusey (1800-1882), a leader of the Oxford Movement from 1841. The Oxford Movement wished for a Catholic expression in the Church of England but Pusey House, unusually for Anglo-Catholics, maintained a severe, non-Roman attitude to ritual.
Blackfriars Priory is the centre for the Dominican friars in Oxford.
58 restored Norman and revived Gothic
forms of architecture to be found in Oxford. The Norman would be original but restored (probably badly) in Victorian times; the revived Gothic was a Victorian fashion under the impetus of architects like A.N.W.Pugin and William Butterfield; Butterfield designed Keble College (opened 1870).
59 Plays Unpleasant
a volume of three plays by George Bernard Shaw which he said forced playgoers to face unpleasant facts. The most famous play in the book is Mrs Warrens Profession, which is about the economic imperatives accompanying prostitution rather than prostitution itself. The other two plays in the set are Widowers Houses and The Philanderer.
59 In the Cornmarket
i.e. in Cornmarket Street, also called simply the Corn. It is one of the four main roads radiating from Carfax; it leads north.
59 Clarendon Hotel
This building in the Cornmarket was demolished in 1954 and has now been replaced by a shopping centre bearing the same name. You may see a photo of the old hotel here.
59 Golden Cross
The Golden Cross is a medieval inn, the oldest in Oxford, just off Cornmarket in its own courtyard. Its landlord was prosecuted for selling wine on the black market in 1285. It was for centuries the property of New College. In ALL EW states that he joined a university club that met regularly at the Golden Cross; it was called the White Rose Club and supported the cause of the Stuart claimant to the throne of Great Britain.
59 the City Church
the name given at that time to All Saints Church in the High Street. It was of broad church character and therefore considered suitable for the business and professional men of the City Council. When All Saints was made redundant in 1970 and converted over the following five years into a library for Lincoln College, St-Michael-at-the-Northgate became the City Church.
The original City Church (from about 1122 to 1896) had been St. Martins at Carfax. The Mayor had his seat there and the Corporation appointed the Rector. St. Martins had been rebuilt in 1822 but was then demolished in 1896 to make room for traffic. All that remains of St Martins is the thirteenth-century tower now known as the Carfax Tower.
59 St Aldates
the major road south from Carfax on which Christ Church College is sited. Charles is on his way to see Sebastian there.
The crocodile of choir boys that Ryder sees is coming from the Cathedral School, which is in Brewer Street, across the road from Christ Church and the Cathedral. Dean Liddell, the father of Alice of Wonderland fame, was responsible for moving the choir school into new buildings there in 1894.
59 Tom Gate and the Cathedral
Tom Gate is the splendid entrance to Christ Church College fronting St Aldates. Oxford Cathedral, the smallest in England, is actually attached to the college buildings and has a second function as the college chapel.
59 Lady into Fox
a popular novel of the time (published 1922) by David Garnett (1892-1981), writer of light fantasies: in it a woman becomes a vixen.
59 Old Palace
the name of the Catholic chaplaincy building, just off St Aldates in Rose Place and close to Christ Church College. It was originally medieval in origin, but its Elizabethan and Caroline features were (and remain) prominent. It got its name from being the residence of Bishop King, the only Catholic Bishop of Oxford to take up his office, in the reign of Mary I (1554-1559), though it is extremely doubtful if Bishop King ever resided there.
59 Monsignor Bell
A monsignor is a priest of prominent position in the Roman Catholic Church who has been honoured by the Pope. The chaplain at Oxford University would be a natural candidate for the honour.
The Catholic chaplain at Oxford at this time was actually Monsignor Arthur Stapylton Barnes, nicknamed Mugger by everybody. He had previously been chaplain at Cambridge University. He was famous for never getting flustered, whatever the situation. He fully expected undergraduates to fall away from their faith, but then to return to it after a few years absence. He was a sociable, well-liked man, popular with both dons and students.
It was Mgr. Barnes who had moved the Catholic chaplaincy into the Old Palace in 1920, buying the site, raising the money to renovate and furnish it, and converting a large room into a chapel (they are now the chaplains own private rooms).
59 the Hail Marys
The Hail Mary (Ave Maria in Latin) is a Catholic prayer which is not and never has been part of the liturgy of the mass. It was however the practice in England at the time to add prayers after the end of mass which included it.
In 1859 Pope Pius IX had authorised these Prayers after Low Mass in his own Papal lands with the express intention of countering the claims of the Italian state to his territory. Despite this precaution, all the Popes lands except the Vatican City were incorporated into Italy in 1870. Pope Leo XIII extended these prayers to the whole church in 1884 (which is why they are often called the Leonine Prayers) with the wider intention that the Christian people would implore God with common prayer for that very thing which benefits the whole Christian commonwealth, but with the restoration of the papal lands as the unstated main purpose. Pope St Pius X added a three-fold invocation to the Sacred Heart in 1904. After the signing of the Lateran Treaty in 1929, an event which settled the quarrel with Italy, Pope Pius XI changed the specific intention of the Leonine Prayers to the conversion of Russia. So in 1923 Sebastian would have been shouting for the return of the papal lands to the Pope!
The Leonine Prayers took the form of three Hail Marys, the Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen), a prayer for Gods favour, a prayer for protection to Saint Michael the Archangel, and the invocation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The words of the Hail Mary are :
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus;
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death;