Samgrass revealed - I take leave of Brideshead - Rex revealed
a group of travellers, possibly with both horses and camels
144 Kemals army
Mustapha Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938) had engineered the ejection of Greek forces from mainland Turkey (1921-1923), the abolition of the sultanate (1922) and the Caliphate (1924), and the foundation of the Turkish republic with himself as the first President (1923).
historic city in Syria, containing wonderful architecture from many periods
145 a rather tiresome Kurd
The Kurds are a proud people who have not been able to create their own nation and so find their lands divided between Turkey, Iran and Iraq. Why this particular one should follow Samgrass around is an intriguing question; there probably is a sexual connotation. Anyway, who took the photos of Samgrass if Sebastian was not there?
145 Pontus, Ephesus, Trebizond
Pontus was successively a Persian satrapate, an independent Kingdom and a Roman province in what is now north-eastern Turkey.
The city of Trebizond (Trabzon) lies within old Pontus. The city gained importance as an artistic, cultural, and commercial centre during the Middle Ages when it was the capital of the Trebizond Empire, which lasted from 1204 until it was conquered by the Ottoman Turkish sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror in 1461.
Ephesus was an ancient Greek city on the western coast of Asia Minor, now in Turkey. It was the site of the temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and later an important centre for early Christianity. Saint Paul addressed one of his letters to the Ephesians.
The order of the locations he mentions indicates Mr Samgrasss unease - there is no logic to it.
a marvellously well-preserved Crusaders fortress (modernised from about 1142) in Syria. Its Kurdish predecessor had first been given to Tancred Prince of Antioch (1072?-1112) and then handed over to the Knights Hospitaller, who built the present structure. The castle was never taken by siege; its fall to Sultan Baibars in 1271 was owing to trickery.
A Greek island (Samothraki) in the north-eastern Aegean Sea, it was the centre of an ancient cult. The famous statue known as the Winged Victory, now in the Louvre, was discovered there.
now Batumi, a popular health resort in Georgia and a place of ancient Greek settlement; Batumi is the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara, which forms part of the republic of Georgia. The process of complete integration into Georgia appears to be under way (2007). Batumi has become an important oil-exporting city.
capital city of the Lebanon
ancient city, until a year before the time of these events capital of the Ottoman Empire. Its name was not changed to Istanbul until 1930.
the famous British travel agency
147 Île St-Louis
one of the two islands in the River Seine in the centre of Paris
the famous art museum in Paris which contains many masterpieces and also many dreary pictures in French public style
Francis Picabia (1879-1953), popular French avant-garde artist of Cuban-Spanish descent. He painted in almost every major contemporary style and was one of the first Dadaists. Charles seems to feel that he has facility rather than genius, though since then some critics have praised his refusal to be bound by consistency as a comment on the destructive values of conventional art.
Popular magazine aimed at the wealthier classes advising them on fashion, life-style and in-places
Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863), a French painter whose paintings exemplified 19th-century Romanticism. His work emphasises colour and movement.
147 Great bosh.
i.e. worthless rubbish. EW was something of an artist himself, mainly in drawing and design. (He did six line drawings for his first novel Decline and Fall.) He did however come early to think that modern art was on a wrong course. Picasso was a particular bête noire for him.
adherents of a religion which is an offshoot of Islam, found mainly in the Lebanon and Syria. The Druse hold, with Islam, that the Quran is sacred, but have other religious texts. They believe in a single God and recognize seven major prophets, including Adam, Abraham, and Jesus. They differ strongly from Islam in believing in the transmigration of the soul : at death, ones soul is instantaneously reborn into another life until eventually it unites with the Cosmic Mind or God's Will. They believe heaven and hell to be spiritual in nature.
A bishop who is called the patriarch heads many of the old Christian churches of the East. The orthodox churches have nine patriarchs and the Eastern Catholics have seven. The Archbishop of Constantinople is the Ecumenical Patriarch, i.e. senior in honour in the Orthodox churches.
holy paintings of Christ, the Virgin Mary or saints; they are characteristic of the East and are painted on wooden panels. EW spelt the word eikons in the first edition of BR.
a title applied to architecture erected in Europe between the time of the ancient world and that of the Gothic developments beginning in the twelfth century. It was often based on circular forms and so had rounded arches, semi-circular apses and barrel vaults as common features.
Christian Arab members of an oriental church in communion with the Pope but with their own distinctive regulations and liturgy. They were originally a group of Christians who gathered around the hermit Maron near Antioch in Syria in about 400. They now live mainly in the Lebanon, and their leader is the Patriarch of Antioch.
150 The Diary of a Nobody
Amusing account of the life and bumbling misadventures of a lower middle class clerk and his family in late Victorian London, written by George Grossmith (1847-1912) and illustrated by his brother Weedon (1854-1919). It was first published in serial form in Punch in 1888-9. EW spent the Christmas of 1946 collating the book (an extended version published in 1892) with the serial.
The horse is obviously named after the fairy in Peter Pan by Sir James Barrie (1860-1937). The play was first performed in 1904 and had already reached a peak of popularity.
a now dated term for a person with an uncontrollable craving for alcohol
152 Military Governor at Rhodes
From 1912 to 1943 Rhodes was under Italian rule, so the Governor would have been an Italian.
An hotel at Constantinople
the port of Athens, lying some 6 miles (10 Km) from the capital
the ancient city in Egypt, originally founded by Alexander the Great
153 Mediterranean Fleet
As a great naval power at that period, Britain maintained several fleets. One of them, the Mediterranean Fleet, was based at Gibraltar, Malta and Alexandria.
a childish word for a lie. Its childishness perhaps conceals a harder truth : Sebastian is already using lies to get his way in a form of behaviour which is habitual to an alcoholic.
155 Grand Tour
Charles is sarcastically comparing Mr Samgrasss recent confused journeyings with the lengthy and purposeful residences in centres of civilisation undertaken by British gentlemen from the 17th to the 19th centuries.
156 the peke
i.e. the pekinese dog, Julias pet
Then part of the British Empire, Kenya (pronounced Keen-ya in 1923/4) had a high plateau which was tolerably fertile and possessed a climate similar to Europes. It was an area where many farmers from Britain, often wealthy and well-born, settled.
a person obsessed with a single idea, here hunting
157 Notre Dame
the great cathedral of Paris on the Île de la Cité, almost overlooking the Île St-Louis
158 drawing the home woods
a hunting term meaning that the hounds are following the scent into the wood
the government minister charged with overseeing the direction of the Post Office and its associated functions. It was thought in politics to be a sign of failure not to be given a less humdrum job.
dating from before Noahs flood, and so ancient-seeming
a city in Switzerland, already noted as a centre of psychoanalysis. Borethus is a fictional name.
childish slang for superb
161 Captain Morvins Riding Academy
I have not been able to find out anything about this outfit. It may be based on the Academy run by Captain J.H. Hance near Madresfield Court, Malvern, where EW learned to ride, though I have no reason for saying so other than my suspicion that Morvin is a childish corruption of Malvern.
This Captain Hance is mentioned in the Memories of Sir Maurice Bowra. Bowra came across him when he was being trained in World War I to ride a horse and become an officer in the Royal Field Artillery. Hance treated his charges like fools and did not hesitate to use extreme language. (He seems to have done the same in civilian life later.) For example, he shouted at one unfortunate horseman, Youre not a cadet. Youre an old Piccadilly prostitute on a night-commode!
162 The Times
the London daily newspaper of great repute then and for a long time after
It seems that the nuns at Cordelias convent school were French and taught a handwriting style which they had learned at school. A French persons handwriting is even now very different from an English persons.
here means purloined or just borrowed
164 awful row
Cordelias language is very schoolgirlish.
164 there goes a packet
Rex Mottram thinks he has wasted a large amount of money.
A distinctively French character, usually a woman, she acts as caretaker to a block of apartments and is always ensconced by the main door. She sometimes lives in the building too.
a club. Gambling is a central activity here.
an expensive restaurant intended for customers from high society. The original Ciros had been created at Monte Carlo when James Gordon Bennett, the heir to the founder of the New York Herald, grew angry at slow service at his favourite restaurant there, bought it, and renamed it as Ciros. Today there are many Ciros all over the world, though none now in Paris (as far as I know).
Paillards was one of leading restaurants of Paris, so Rexs ignorance of it may be considered a little surprising. The restaurant was created in 1880 when M. Paillard took over an establishment situated at the corner of the Rue de la Chaussée-dAntin and the Boulevard des Capucines from the Bignon brothers. According to Larousse Gastronomique, Favourite dishes were chicken Archduke, Georgette potatoes, calves sweetbreads with asparagus tips, fillets of sole Chauchat and, above all, stuffed duck, rivalling the duck au sang of the Tour dArgent.
The culinary term paillard is of course named after the famous chef, who trained under the great Escoffier himself. It is a thin slice of veal (or now, any meat) pounded even thinner until it is translucent and then grilled or fried for a few seconds only.
166 caneton à la presse
duckling served with a sauce prepared from its own pressed juices. Usually the duck is placed in the duck press after its breast meat has been removed for cooking. It was EWs wife Lauras favourite dish; they ate it in Paris on the evening of their wedding day.
166 caviar aux blinis
caviar served with Russian pancakes
166 1906 Montrachet ... Clos de Bèze of 1904
excellent wines from Burgundy. Montrachet is a Grand Cru white wine of intense flavour and loveliness; Clos de Bèze a superb red from the commune of Gevrey-Chambertin.
i.e., the exchange rate of French francs to the pound. The French franc was not stabilised until 1926.
members of the criminal class of Paris often thought to dominate bars and similar places. In origin they were unemployed and disaffected youngsters who then developed links with the underworld.
167 It doesnt matter what people call you unless
they call you pigeon pie and eat you up.
This is a proverb from Charless childhood : his nanny or his mother might have used it to him when he was in a temper and using strong language. It has a similar meaning to Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.
168 peg out
170 we dont take much account of Catholics in Canada
It is a remarkable indication of Rexs insensitivity even to his own countrys character that he can so discount half the population! Clearly his acquaintanceship is only with English-speaking Canadians.
Non-Catholics planning to marry Catholics were generally required to promise solemnly to honour their future spouses religious practices and to bring their children up as Catholics.
The name recalls Pratts, a gentlemans club of some repute in London, but the club is actually modelled on Whites, one of EWs clubs. It appears in several of his novels.
170 north Gridley
In Britain there is no such parliamentary constituency. Indeed there is mercifully no such town as Gridley.
170 Rent Restrictions
The laws regulating landlords and rents were under discussion in this period. The Labour Party (in government for ten months in 1924) had as a concern the easing of restrictions on tenants though events proved that it had no time to do anything about it.
170 the other thing
171 Monte Carlo
a district of the principality of Monaco on the Mediterranean coast. It has the Casino and the Opera House.
171 Continental Daily Mail
The Daily Mail was a respected London newspaper of Conservative views. At that time it published a Continental edition printed on thinner paper which was available in Paris late on the day of publication.
171 Savoy Chapel
Julia later explains to Charles how sordid the whole affair had been. She points out that the Savoy Chapel was the place where divorced couples got married in those days - a poky little place.
The Chapel in fact has an interesting history. Savoy is today a province of France but in the Middle Ages was a more-or-less independent dukedom. King Henry III of England married Anne of Savoy and so began the Anglo-Saxon involvement with the word Savoy. Her uncle Peter of Savoy built a palace in London which contained the original Savoy Chapel; both were destroyed in the Peasants Revolt (1381). On its site Henry VII started to build the Savoy Hospital for homeless people in the last years of the fifteenth century; it was not completed until 1512. It was huge, with a nave 200 feet long designed to hold a hundred beds. All that now remains of that great endeavour (dissolved in the Reformation) is the side chapel we call the Savoy Chapel, though the hotel and the theatre which were later built on the site were also named Savoy.
The Chapel is in fact in the private possession of the monarch, and has been since 1937 the official chapel of the Royal Victorian Order. The fact that the chaplain is answerable only to the monarch and not to the church authorities allowed divorced people to book it for remarriage.