My thanks to Jon Brierley for his exhaustive notes - some of which I'd forgotten myself and others which turned out a lot better than I had intended! This is a double-edged sword for me as Jon has illuminated the references extremly well - but also thrown up numerous errors that I am continually at pains to erradicate - the Antelope horn/antler problem, for one - and then the Tasmanian wolf not chasing its tail - and the spelling of 'Saknussen' and..... Oh Lordy. Enjoy. Updated: 28th Nov 2002
Jon Brierley's British Reference Notes
A Non-Brit's Guide to the Thursday Next series
For more Brierley-based tomfoolery and an excellent reading list,
stories, poetry, pictures of his dogs, etc, go to: The Jon Brierley Website
Here as promised are the reference notes to Lost In A Good Book, hereinafter referred to as LIAGB. Items already referenced in The Eyre Affair are not repeated here; see Eyre Affair Notes.
Page references are to the UK paperback first editions, 'cos them's the ones I've got. Annotations are taken in page order as the item first appears. All notes not by Mr. Fforde are strictly unofficial, and all opinions are entirely my own. Additions, corrections and disagreements can be sent to me at email@example.com, because we don't want to stop Mr. Fforde writing, do we? Are you still sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin.
Lost In A Good Book
p.1; One More Chance To See!; The late great Douglas Adams wrote a book called Last Chance to See? about various endangered species. It's very good.
p.1; Jackanory Gold; Jackanory was a long-running children's show on the BBC (to 1996), featuring a story-teller (often a celebrity, on one occasion Prince Charles) re-telling some favourite tale in daily instalments. I particularly liked the adventures of Littlenose (a Neanderthal boy with a pet mammoth called Two-Eyes), and I daresay the viewers of Neanderthal Network 4 do, too.
p.2; Desert Island Smells; another immemorial BBC ritual, the radio show Desert Island Discs has apparently been going for ever. The format is, some celeb is interviewed, and has to pick eight records to take with them to a desert island. Was it Maria Callas who picked eight of her own?
p.2; Cordelia Flakk; 'flak' is another word for anti-aircraft fire, from the German contraction for FLiegerAbwehrKanone.
p.4; Penzance; town in the west of Cornwall. The Bronte Sisters' mother was born there.
p.5; President Formby; George Formby (1904-1961) was a Lancashire comedian and singer whose act consisted chiefly of rendering cheerful songs laden with double-entendres whilst accompanying himself on a banjolele (which he insisted on referring to as a ukulele). Thanks chiefly to the shrewd and ruthless management of his wife Beryl, Formby became the biggest attraction in British show business in the late '30s and '40s, and made a string of very successful comedy films. Let those who consider Formby becoming President of Nextian England unlikely remember that the first President of Poland was Paderewski the pianist and the Czech Republic chose Vaclav Havel the playwright. As for comedy actors becoming President, what would anyone in the US know about that?
p.5; Barnstaple; town in North Devon, not terribly handy for Penzance, as it happens.
p.7; Rabone; My ignorance has been enlightened - see below.
(JFf Note: This is what I like about notes like these - they miss all the impossibly obscure ones so I can still say, in a pathetically childish manner "Ah-ha, missed that ONE, Jon!" Rabone means nothing on its own but added to Chesterman (of the Bronte Federation) we get Rabone-Chesterman which is, as any ful kno, the popular make of leather-bound rewindable measuring tapes - I used one for fifteen years as a focus-puller in my previous life and wore out one casing and three tapes.)
p.7; Schitt-Hawse; if we may descend to the vulgar, a shit-house is Northern English vernacular for an outside toilet, known in other lands as a privy, biffy, or dunny.
p.8; Captain Marat; Jean-Paul Marat (1743-1793) was a leading French Revolutionary, best known for being murdered in his bath by Charlotte Corday. Revolutionary France does appear to be the favoured recruiting ground of the ChronoGuard.
p.9; Leptonic; a real adjective, meaning 'incredibly small', derived from 'lepton', a sub-atomic particle.
p.15; twinset and pearls; a twinset is a sleeveless sweater and long-sleeved woolly jacket combination, much favoured by middle-class ladies of a certain age. A twinset and pearls is the uniform of the militant old bat wing of the Conservative Party. (My thanks to my wife for this information).
p.15; The Master of the Sums; this is a much better name for a finance minister than Chancellor of the Exchequer. One of the top legal jobs in government is in fact called the Master of the Rolls. He does not have an assistant called Comptroller of Croissants, though.
JFf Note: In Elizabethan times, the person in charge of the Queen's merriment was known as the 'Master of Revels'. In 'Shakespear in Love 'the part was played by Simon Callow, Uberluvvy and author of probably the best biography of Orson Wells.
p.17; informal evenings; Prime Minister Tony Blair (like Harold Wilson before him) is fond of having gatherings of celebs round at 10 Downing Street, presumably in the hope of acquiring glamour by association. He wishes.
p.19; Tess acquitted; Tess Durbeyfield, heroine of Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles is hung for murder at the end of the book. There is no way on earth she could be acquitted.
p.19; Max de Winter convicted; in Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca it transpires that Max has in fact killed his eponymous first wife, for no very good reason. Never mind convicted; I'd settle for tried, myself.
p.19; Kent; county of South East England, famous for growing hops.
p.20; Reading; pronounced 'Redding', a non-descript industrial town on the Thames in Berkshire, about 25 miles nearer London than Swindon. Has a rotten train service, apparently.
p.20; Salisbury; pronounced 'Sauls-burry', ancient cathedral city in Wiltshire, about 30 miles South of Swindon. It seems like a very nice place.
p.20; Anti-Leylandii Association; Leylandii are very tall plants, aka Leyland Cypress, often planted in garden hedges. So tall are they, they can effectively block all the sun from your neighbour's garden. As a result, leylandii over a certain height (calculated by measuring the distance between a window and the hedge, dividing the result by two and adding two metres) are now illegal. And you thought Jasper just made all this stuff up, didn't you?
JFf Note: The Pampas Grass Vigilante Squad really did exist on the South coast of England - Bournemouth, I think. They used to go and tear up people's pampas grass which is a very aggressive form of cacti and really very ugly. And you thought I made all this up, didn't you?
p.23; Blind Date; truly awful TV show, which sets contestants up with, um, blind dates. So far as I can see the chief object of the show is to get wannabes a free screen test.
p.23; tensionologist; see MadeUp Words. All right, it's made up now, but give it a week and California will be full of them.
p.24; stresspert; see above entry.
p.24; verruca; A verruca is a large wart that appears on the sole of the foot, also called a plantar wart. Apparently the word is not commonly used in America.
p.24; chin-chin and toodle-pip; old fashioned upper class slang for 'goodbye'. Chin-chin derives from a Chinese phrase, qingqing. Toodle-pip is a variant of 'toodle-oo', from the French a tout a l'heure, 'see you soon'. There's education, then.
p.26; smaller portions; not long ago the BBC acquired a new head honcho, one John Birt. He was very keen to purge the BBC of what he saw as waste, and he may have had a point, but like all bean-counters he lost sight of it. Guess what one of his ideas was?
JFf Note: I didn't know this, but it must be a BBC thing. During the making of a film called 'The Trial' in Prague I worked on in 1991, the BBC producer asked the caterers to give everyone 'small portions'. The caterers told us straight away, of course, and she was known as 'Small Portions' for the rest of the shoot. True to form, I caught her raiding groceries from the back of the catering truck to replenish the larder in her apartment!
p.27; while he's away; if he carries on emulating his hero to the letter, Byron2 will not return; Byron died while aiding the Greeks in their War of Independence.
p.29; Shakespeare's handwriting; the fragment of King Lear appears to be fictional. (And the Thomas More is disputed).
p.30; Hathaway34; (Ann) Hathaway was of course the maiden name of Mr. Shagsberd's wife. The previous appearance of the word 'mother' in this note was the result of an attack of grammarsites. Ahem.
p.30; car boot sale; OK, what happens is, a park or school playing field is hired out, for a small fee, to people who have junk to sell. These persons then display their wares in the open trunks (or boots) of their cars. These events are usually in aid of charity, but among the innocent clearing out the attic there are always a few dodgy characters selling stolen or otherwise dubious goods.
p.31; Range Rover; type of luxury 4x4 car (or SUV) popular with the kind of people who like to pretend they live in the country.
p.31; forgeries; there are two lots of resonances going on here. First, being fooled by a crap forgery isn't the sole province of idiots like Mrs. Hathaway34. A whole load of people were conned out of a lot of money, and several experts made fools of, over the 'Hitler Diaries', which were nearly as bad a forgery as this ballpoint Cardenio. Second, Shakespeare forgeries are not exactly unknown in our world. The most spectacular example was that of William Henry Ireland, who ran off a whole series of forged documents and manuscripts in 1794. The enthusiastic reception for these led him to forge a whole new play - not Cardenio, but Vortigern and Rowena. It took playgoers at the premiere about ten seconds to realise that this was not by Shakespeare, and the whole scam was blown.
p.33; Cirencester; market town in Gloucestershire, about 25 miles north west of Swindon. It used to be pronounced 'Sissiter', but so many incomers live there now that most people call it 'Sirensester'. It's not just foreigners who get confused, see.
p.33; Volescamper; Volestrangler was a character name much used by John Cleese. Volescamper sounds like a name that might have been used in Round the Horne (see entry 'Uncultured Rats' in the Eyre Affair Notes), but I'm not sure if it ever was.
p.34; Gothic Revival; the fondness for over-decorated mock-medieval architecture was characteristic of the period 1850-1914. The Houses of Parliament is perhaps the Revival's greatest legacy.
p.35; Chard; small town in Somerset, some 50 odd miles south west of Swindon. The A30 was the main road to the south-west before the coming of the motorway.
p.35; antlers; Ahem. Antelope don't have antlers; they have horns. I don't think male antelope are called stags, either. Deer, that is. I think male antelope are called 'buck'. In our world antelope do not run wild in Britain - too damn cold.
p.37; excellent; various other plays have been fingered as being co-written by Shakespeare and John Fletcher (The Two Noble Kinsmen, for instance), but excellent is not a word often associated with them. Were we to find a real Cardenio, I fear we should be gravely disappointed. Fletcher's usual partner in crime was Francis Beaumont, another of that parcel of playwrights who I always feel (Marlowe apart) would have been entirely forgotten had they not been contemporaries of Bill Shaxper.
p.37; manuscript of Edward II; I cannot find any reference to such a manuscript being found.
p.38; Bentley; Bentley were first famous for making racing cars, in the 1920's, but were later taken over by Rolls Royce. Modern Bentleys are just Rolls Royces with a different badge on, which seems a bit pointless.
p.38; Yorrick Kaine; Hmm. I can't find a definite connection between 'Yorick' (he whom Hamlet does the gottle-of-geer routine with) and any sort of cane. Did Michael Caine ever play Hamlet? ("I only told you to blow the bloody arras off...."). Or is it just a ghastly pun on 'Hurricane', the Battle of Britain fighter plane?
p.38; Whig; The Whig party were the distant ancestors of the modern Liberal Democrats, originally being the party of the Hanovers (as opposed to the Stuarts). Whig, or Whiggamore, was a Scottish insult meaning 'one who drives a mare', which is a novel insult at least. (And Tory was a name for an Irish outlaw, so there).
p.38; whale shark; a whale shark is a fish - it's as fishy as a very fishy thing; it's just damn big one (and entirely harmless, unless you are plankton). None of the other things are in any way fish; silverfish are a loathly species of insect, which feed, among other things, on books.
p.39; South Cerney; village in Gloucestershire, near to Cirencester, 10 miles from Swindon. It's very nice, I understand, although I've never been there myself.
p.39; Skyrail; is, of course, fictional. The Nextian Skyrail may be a monorail, staple of all futuristic sci-fi things about forty years ago; they have proved to be impractical, largely because no-one can work out how to design points for them. That and they cost about three squillion pounds a foot. (The name Skyrail is often used for rail connections to or at airports).
p.39; wireless; Bowden uses the old fashioned term for radio, coined in the days when it was contrasted with the wire-bound telegraph.
p.41; Sir Edmund Godfrey; this story is absolutely true. The guilt of the three gentlemen is open to question, since it relies on the dubious testimony of one Miles Prance, who was originally accused of the murder and changed his story several times. The murder was supposedly part of a 'Popish Plot', a (fictitious) Catholic conspiracy.
p.42; crossed into Wessex; it appears from the evidence that Nextian Wessex can be equated with our Wiltshire; Thursday would be crossing from Gloucestershire (which is pronounced 'Glostershire', btw) into Wiltshire in our world. The real, Anglo-Saxon, Wessex covered a much larger area. The use of Wessex may be a nod to Thomas Hardy, who used it as the setting for his comic masterpieces.
p.42; Cricklade; is a very pretty little town in Wiltshire, on the River Thames, 6 miles north west of Swindon. There is no futuristic whizzo Skyrail linking it to Swindon, but there is a heritage steam railway - part of the way, at least..
p.42; poppycock; did you know this word derives from the Dutch pappekak, meaning 'soft crap'? Well, you do now.
p.43; Justice of the Peace; in England, an unpaid magistrate, authorised to try petty crimes in court. A friend of mine who was a J.P. said it was mostly car theft. (The cases, I mean, not the job).
p.43; Broad Blunsdon; village in Wiltshire, just outside Swindon; the Skyrail appears to follow the line of the A419.
p.43; Pekinese; just in case anyone doesn't know, this is a breed of small dog, squashed of face, long of coat and loud of yap. Originally from China, legend has it they used to live in mandarin's sleeves.
p.44; Irma Cohen, Kaylieu;; I didn't get this at first, and I'm not surprised. See note below.
JFf Note: Okay, puzzlesmiths, this gives you an idea of what to look for. Considering that every name refers to something in my books, it only takes 'Kaylieu' to be added to 'Irma Cohen' to give you 'Irma Cohen Kaylieu' or the vague holorime: 'I'm a gonna kill you' This is Aornis remember, and coincidences rule!
p.45; Wanborough junction; Wanborough is a south eastern suburb of Swindon; we have skirted Swindon to the east (still following the A419) and are now heading away from it, south west wards.
p.45; Diana Thuntress; Diana, Roman goddess, surnamed The Huntress, yes?
p.46; Preselli mountains; the Preselli mountains (Mynydd Preseli, in Welsh) are in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. They are famed as the source for the stones used to build Stonehenge with.
p.47; Shaw and Purton; small towns to the west of Swindon. We have described a big loop all round Swindon, and are now heading north again.
p.48; Dove soap; real brand. We've got some in our bathroom.
p.51; congress gaiters; a type of low ankle-boot, with elastic sides, popular with Southern belles in the US Civil War period.
p.51; Diatryma; properly called Gastornis, Diatryma was a large (6 feet/2 metres tall) flightless bird that lived c.50 million years ago. It is supposed to have been carnivorous, but the evidence is disputed. The 'real' urban legend referred to here is that hardy perennial one about big cats living wild in Britain, most famously the 'Surrey Puma'. No hard evidence has ever emerged for these stories, but it is surmised that some of them may relate to sightings of jungle cats, which can interbreed with domestic cats, and so be able to maintain a wild population. Entroposcopes at the ready; a cat found in Leintwardine, Herefordshire, near the Welsh border and close by Fforde country, was reckoned to be a jungle/domestic hybrid. Its name? Jasper.
p.51; New Forest; area of outstanding natural beauty in South Hampshire. It was 'new' when William the Conqueror established it.
p.51; Lambourn; town in Berkshire famous for racehorse stables. Has no Roswell connections that I know of.
p.51; Quantock Hills; a range of hills in Somerset.
p.51; Marlborough downs; a range of low hills in Wiltshire, not far from Swindon.
p.52; Emma Hamilton; further to my note about this lady in TEA, I now discover that Mrs. Next has even more cause to worry, since Emma used to be a prostitute (before Nelson met her).
p.57 Jaguar; very famous make of British sports and luxury cars. Damned expensive.
p.59; Fallon; I suppose this story is true, but I can't find any reference to it.
p.68; Mr. Perkup; Mr. Perkupp was Charles Pooter's boss in The Diary of a Nobody.
p.70; half nelson; wrestling move (real wrestling, not the WWF variety) involving twisting your opponent's arm up their back. So called because it renders your opponent 'armless, arf arf.
p.71; Tunguska event; top X-Files data here. At 0714 on the 30th of June 1908, something swept out of the sky and exploded high above the Tunguska river in Siberia. The explosion blasted trees down for 2,000 square km around, and the tremors were detected as far away as London. What with wars and revolutions, nobody investigated the site until 1930, but no impact crater was found. It is generally reckoned that a comet or meteorite was responsible, but, hey, guess what the alternative theory is.
p.72; DH-82; The De Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth biplane was built from 1931 to 1946, and it is reckoned that more people have learned to fly in a Tiger Moth than any other type of plane. I bet you can't guess who flies one.
p.72; tail-chasing; indeed, the only film ever taken of a thylacine shows it doing just this.
p.74; Lego; the trade name of a type of plastic brick, made in Denmark, which can be clipped to other such bricks to make fantastic models, should you have the necessary patience. I could never be bothered, myself.
p.76; matter is mainly empty space; this theory is no longer widely held by subatomic scientists. Apparently there isn't any empty space because the subatomic particles are never actually in one place at any given time. And anyway they are not discrete lumps of matter circling about one another like miniature planets, but 'shells' that fit over one another in some way. Search me.
p.76; Banoffee pie; that's banana-and-toffee flavour, for those of you who do not haunt cake shops.
p.79; Tiffany Lampe; a Tiffany lamp is a glass art-nouveau type of table lamp, originally designed by a chap with the wonderful name of Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of the well-known New York jeweller and breakfast provider.
p.84; Hopkins; Thursday's prosecutor is none other than Matthew Hopkins, the dreaded Witchfinder General of 17th century England. Hopkins was a lawyer and religious maniac who became obsessed with witchcraft, and got a government commission to find witches at 20 shillings a head. He toured East Anglia looking for witches, and surprise, surprise, always managed to find some, usually by extracting 'confessions' under torture. He had 60 women hung in one year in Essex alone. Satisfyingly, he was himself accused of witchcraft, and was subjected to one of his own 'tests'. He was flung in a moat, and floated, thereby proving his guilt. An appointment with a stake and some firelighters followed shortly after.
(NB: Whilst far more satisfactory, Jon's account of Matt's demise may be more wishful thinking. Modern research shows no evidence that this happened, and seems to suggest that Hopkins died as a result of tuberculosis after his witch-hunting days were over. My thanks to Kay Dekker for pointing this out. 25-1-2009)
p.85; Devizes; market town in Wiltshire. Yes, yes, it's near Swindon.
p.85; mammoth twitchers; in England, the kind of person (nearly always male) who goes bird-watching with the sole object of ticking off species of birds seen in his bird book is known as a 'twitcher'. Since a mammoth twitcher only has 249 beasts to spot, they're going to fill their books up pretty quick.
p.85; Druids; this is another breed of nutter. The ancient Britons had priest-shaman-bard types who were known as 'druids'. Let it be clearly understood that nothing whatever is known about Celtic religious practices, other than what can be gleaned from Roman anti-Celtic propaganda, which accuses them of human sacrifice. (Romans always accused their enemies of this, possibly because they had a guilty conscience on the subject). Anyway, 1900 years or so later a bunch of hippies decided to 'revive' Druidism as a sort of New Age religion. Of course they made it all up, especially the cod ceremonies at Midsummer at Stonehenge (which isn't even Celtic). If you meet a Druid, annoy them by asking when the next virgin is having her throat cut.
p.85; right to hunt; there is currently a rather contrived controversy about making fox-hunting illegal, leading to pro-hunting protests in the streets of London. It keeps left-wing MPs and huntin' types occupied, but truth to tell most people couldn't care less.
p.87; you wouldn't like me when I get vindictive; Incredible Hulk? Anybody? Oh, please yourselves.
p.89; Castle Doubting; there's a Doubting Castle in Pilgrim's Progress (home to Giant Despair), and there's a Castle Dangerous by Sir Walter Scott, but I can't find no Castle Doubting, not nohow.
p.89; Joe Martlet; a martlet is an archaic or heraldic term for a house-martin or a swift, and there is also the Grumman F4F Martlet, a type of fighter plane used by the US and Royal Navies in WW2. But just for once this is not an aircraft - see below;
JFf note: Amazingly, not an aircraft reference, this one. Correct answer wins an UltraWord T-shirt.
p.96; Dorothy Perkins; a British chain of women's fashion stores.
p.99; King and Nosmo; there are a suspiciously large number of people called Nosmo King. An obscure poet; a music hall comedian; and a Northern Soul artiste. I suspect at least one of these to be a pseudonym. Defense de fumer, mon braves.
p.100; When did you last see your father? The title of a well-known painting by the not well-known William Frederick Yeames (1835-1918). It depicts a very small Royalist being interrogated by Commonwealth soldiers as to the whereabouts of his Dad.
p.102; looped behind the Crunch; proponents of the Big Bang theory of creation sometimes speculate that one day all the energy created by the Bang will run down (entropy), gravity will take over, and all the matter expanding across the Universe will reverse direction, collapsing back onto itself in the Big Crunch. Which will then be followed by another Big Bang, and so on.
p.105; goldfishes to predict earthquakes; canaries down mines, yes, but has anyone heard of this peculiar practice, and if so, how does it work?
JFf note: In China, apparently. They get all jittery with the small pre-shocks that come before a major quake.
p.105; Tickia orologica; a plant only otherwise to be found in Edward Lear's Nonsense Botany; the name is cod Latin for 'ticking clock'.
p.106/107; Houson, Billden; OK, so you're playing Monopoly, and you've bought Park Lane. How do you increase the rental? That's right; you build a house on it.
p.109; Armitage Shanks; no, it isn't rude rhyming slang. Armitage Shanks are a very respectable firm of bathroom furniture makers. With special reference to lavatory equipment. Oh, all right, it's rude rhyming slang as well. Satisfied?
p.113; Veronica Golightly; Of course you've never heard of her. She was eradicated.
p.113; Victor Borge; Danish-born Borge did an act involving playing (or more usually not playing) classical music. It was alleged to be funny.
p.113; QT, CG; to do something on the QT is to do it on the quiet, without people knowing. CG stands for ChronoGuard, since you ask.
JFf Note: In an earlier draft of TN-1 there was a reference to Colonel Next winning the 'Quality Time' trophy for his work during the great Disraeli Fiasco; he is permitted to have the initials after his name.
p.114; Sommeworld; in an as-yet un-published story, Jasper created a theme park which gave visitors the authentic First World War experience. I'd hurry up and get it published before somebody nicks the idea and opens such a park. It can't be any worse than Disneyland.
p.115; Van Helsing's Gazette; Van Helsing was, in the original Dracula, the chief wielder of garlic and stakes.
p.117; amphibious aircraft; foreshadowing alert; see where Thursday is living at the end of the book.
p.119; Miles Hawke; yes, it's a type of aeroplane! The Miles Hawk was a twin seat high-performance monoplane made in the 1930's. I think I'm getting the hang of this.
p.122; Delphic Oracle; your actual ancient Greeks put much store in the enigmatic pronouncements of oracles, or people who were supposed to have a hotline to the Gods. The most renowned of these was at Delphi. The Oracle (whose mouthpiece was a priestess) would make obscure and ambiguous replies to questions, which the questioner would then interpret in whatever way suited them. This act was later pinched by every 'clairvoyant' you've ever heard of.
p.122; Ping-Pong; enthusiasts for the game insist that it be called table tennis, and they who speak of Ping-Pong shall be accursed, and cast without. See the Upgrade.
p.123; No ball; and whatever you call it, I'm sure you can't shout 'No ball' at any point; that's cricket, isn't it?
p.124; Faerie Queene; while Spenser was living in Ireland, part of the manuscript was destroyed when the natives burned down the castle he was staying in, an extreme but entirely justified form of literary criticism.
p.126; The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies; is a work by that esteemed writer and illustrator Miss Beatrix Potter (1866-1943), whose little books have sold by the million for a hundred years or more. Mrs. Tiggywinkle was my favourite.
p.126; Fusioncell; there was an advert some years ago in which a number of mechanical rabbits played drums. And they all ran down, except for the one that was powered by Duracell long life batteries, which carried on merrily drumming right the way to the end of the advert. (My wife remembered the brand name).
p.127; Darth Vader; to get this joke you have to know that Mr. McGregor killed Peter Rabbit's father. Darth Vader, on the other hand, never put Luke Skywalker's father in a pie.
p.131; Tunbridge Wells; is a spa town in Kent, generally rather posh, and legendarily the home of retired colonel types who write grumpy letters to the Times. They are generally disgusted and appalled about something (as is Colonel Prongg on p.132).
p.131; corporate manslaughter; in theory such a charge exists in the British legal system. In practice no-one has ever done any time for it.
p.132; Botchkamos Istochnik; istochnik is the Russian for 'source' or 'spring', which equates to 'Wells'. I cannot translate botchkamos but I presume it has some relevance to 'Tunbridge'. JFf: Yes it has; 'Barrel-bridge' in Russian as translated by my chum Sophie. A 'Tun' being an old English name for a barrel, usually containing beer - there are many pubs in Britain called 'The Three Tuns'.
p.132; Fetlar; one of the principal islands of the Shetlands, far to the north of Scotland.
p.132; Brighton; seaside resort city in Sussex, and the gay capital of the UK.
p.133; Cortes; Hernando Cortes was the Spanish conqueror of Mexico (1519); the Aztec city Tenochtitlan lay where Mexico City now is. Keats got it wrong, btw; it was not stout Cortes but Vasco de Balboa who first gazed on the Pacific.
p.133; Oldspot; the Gloucester Old Spot is a breed of pig.
p.135; pair of trousers; this is one of Defoe's most famous bloopers. Crusoe swims to the wreck naked, but when he gets there starts putting things in his trouser pockets. In defence of Defoe he was writing the book in some hurry.
p.135; Majorca; I'd go along with Landen's description, but note that the PC way to spell it is Mallorca. For the geographically challenged, Mallorca is a large Spanish Mediterranean island, much favoured as a holiday destination by Brits (and Germans).
p.136; Winchester; ancient and very pretty county town of Hampshire. It was never the capital of all England, despite what they tell you in the tourist office. If staying there (and why not?) I recommend the Wykeham Arms.
p.136; Darjeeling or Assam; areas of India notable for tea production.
p.136; Strawberry and quince; Thursday is specifying which jam to have on the scones that are an integral part of the English cream tea.
p.136; chip shop; chips are to Brits what French fries are to Americans, only fatter and greasier. 'Chip shop' is shorthand for 'fish and chip shop', the original fast food joint.
p.137; Morris 8; small car produced in the '50's. Thursday and her beau were either quite small or very athletic.
p.138; scone; the aforementioned scones are small cakes, of a bread-like consistency, eaten cut in half and smeared with cream or butter and jam. Pronunciation of 'scone' is a minefield of class warfare; posh people say 'sconn', but most people say 'scoan'. In Yorkshire we call a scone a scoan, and are proud of it.
p.140; leg-over; vulgar British slang for, you know, thingy.
p.140; K-Ration; aka 'compo'; dried emergency rations for use by the military.
Mount Pleasant; there are lots of places called this. I'll hazard a guess that it's not the one in Liverpool.
p.144; piccalilli; a kind of mild mustard pickle, very good on bacon sandwiches. One of those things that Brits moan they can't get abroad.
p.145; Durrell; Gerald Durrell was a famous British naturalist. His brother Lawrence wrote The Alexandria Quartet.
p.146; Saknussum; A slight attack of mispeling vyrus here. Arne Saknussemm was the 16th century scientist whose writings led Professor Lidenbrock to journey to the centre of the earth, in the Jules Verne novel of that name.
p.147; a nun or a knitting granny; we've all seen Airplane, haven't we?
p.148; Overmantle; multiple pun alert. The mantle is a layer of the Earth's crust, and obviously this mode of transport runs in the layer over it. An overmantel, meanwhile, is a shelf over a mantelpiece (which is the surround to a fireplace). Finally, in the books by Mary Norton, there was a family of Borrowers called Overmantel (because they lived behind one); other Borrowers regarded them as stuck up.
p.152; Carlisle; town at the very North of England, on the Scottish border. Given the current state of our railways I think a gravitube to Carlisle would be a very good idea.
p.152; she gets off; yeah, right. Catch Hardy writing a happy ending, gloomy old git.
p.153; Max de Winter's murder charge; in Rebecca de Winter is never charged with murder or anything else, though he should have been.
p.155; Nakijima; see the Upgrade for the Nakijima/Nakajima story.
p.156; Kanji; are one of the Japanese 'alphabets', in this case for representing syllables. The strange English words on jackets phenomenon is true; my favourite is 'Butter Up Big Girl Go Bounce', which sounds like fun. You will notice that both Jasper's examples are aircraft-related.
p.159; jackanoried; see entry for p.1, 'Jackanory'.
p.161; Turner; J.M.W. (Joseph Mallord William) of that ilk (1775-1851), famous painter. Very good with sunsets.
p.162; I don't think I'm in Osaka anymore; rather an unlikely thing for Thursday to say, seeing she is in the Library. Because the quote about not being in Kansas is only in the film of The Wizard of Oz, not the book.
JFf note: This half-joke belongs to the 'if only' family of better jokes-that-might-have-been. Sadly, I had already established Mrs Nakajima as coming from Osaka in TN1 - If I had thought more clearly I would have had her come from Kansai which is where the airport in Japan is now - hence the better line that wasn't: 'I don't think I'm in Kansai anymore' . Incidentally, Osaka is not a 'small provincial town' at all - it is a major city - and I knew this because I referred to it as having a 'population of one million' a few pages earlier. Why is there never a good holesmith when you need one? In the US edition (apart from a few other changes and the entire moving of Spike's second appearance) Osaka is a 'Large city'. The same US copyeditor alerted me to the Nakijima spelling farrago, too.)
p.164; Unitary Authority of Warrington Cat; Oh, dear. Right, pay attention. The counties of England first established by the Anglo-Saxons were confirmed and expanded by the Normans, and then remained pretty much unchanged for 800 odd years, until in 1974 they were all changed for the purposes of 'administrative convenience'. As a result, Warrington moved from Lancashire to Cheshire. But the bureaucrats still weren't happy, and in 1986 messed about with them all again, so that Warrington (like other large towns, including Swindon) wasn't in a county at all, but stood alone as a 'Unitary Authority'. How would you like it if they moved Washington into Maryland, or Melbourne to New South Wales? You wouldn't, would you? So think how we feel.
p.165; pig or fig; the same confusion occurs in Alice, which is why the Cat has to go and check.
p.167; lobster market; and why have crustaceans taken over the world a billion years hence? Because H. G. Wells said they did; see the final chapter of The Time Machine (a scene that didn't make it into the film). I don't understand what pun the Cat has made here, btw.
p.168; boojummed; if you've never read The Hunting of the Snark, by Lewis Carroll, this may mystify you. In this poem a bunch of disparate individuals, led by the Bellman, set off to hunt a Snark. But catching a Snark is fraught with peril, for if the Snark be a Boojum, you will softly and suddenly vanish away. Hence, to be boojummed.
p.168; Ambrose Bierce; (1842-?), satirist and adventurer, was born in Ohio and served in the US Army in the Civil War. He wrote a number of humorous works, including The Devil's Dictionary, and vanished in Mexico in 1914.
p.169; Moggilicious; it may not be well-known outside these shores that cats are familiarly known as Moggies (or just Mog). We had a cat that was called Moggy.
p.173; ketchup; aka catsup. Tomato sauce.
p.175; Pontefract cakes; sweets made of liquorice (or licorice, if you prefer). Liquorice was formerly grown near Pontefract in Yorkshire, which is now pronounced as spelt, but used to be called 'Pomfret'.
No notes for Chapter Eighteen! Next case!
p.190; statue of Brunel; Isambard Kingdom Brunel was an engineer, and the genius behind the Great Western Railway, without which Swindon would hardly exist at all. (Not one of his successes, that).
p.191; Bugatti; defunct French car make, notable for big 1920's racing cars.
p.198; Higham Special; very fast racing car. One called 'Babs' held the world land speed record in the 1920's. Another was called 'Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang'. Now where have we heard that name before?
p.201; A.J.P. Milliner; A.J.P. Taylor was a famous historian and TV personality.
p.202; Aubrey Jambe; and if it's not an aircraft, it'll be a ghastly pun like this one. Say it out loud. Faster. Now spread it on your scone.
p.207; Frankie Saveloy; more food related punnery; both FRANKfurters and saveloys are types of sausage.
p.209; scrum; in rugby, a part of the game where the opposing forwards lock horns like so many rutting stags, forming a large steaming mass. The formal phase of the scrum usually develops into the second phase, or 'punch-up'.
p.209; Duchamp2924; Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) was a French artist influential in the Cubist and Dada movements. He never stooped to onions, though.
p.210; shallots; young, or Spring, onions. (Tennyson for some reason renamed the Maid of Astolat as the Lady of Shallot).
p.211; Earl Grey; in case you thought Victor Analogy was guilty of some impropriety with an aristocrat, I ought to point out that Earl Grey is a type of tea.
p.213; sprogging time; 'sprog' is British slang for child or baby, but originally meant a new recruit in the military.
p.213; M16 and APC; an M16 is a machine gun, and an APC is an Armoured Personnel Carrier. These tend to have large engines, as a rule; perhaps Thursday means she can replace one if she had a crane handy.
p.213; Portsmouth; naval port in Hampshire. Nelson's flagship Victory can be seen there.
p.218; Blake Lamb; William Blake wrote a (perfectly execrable) poem called The Lamb. I'd quote from it, but vomit on a keyboard is so hard to clean off, don't you find?
p.220; installation; bullshitters of the Duchamp2924 ilk have taken to calling their pieces (unmade beds and the like) installations, which to my mind makes them sound like plumbers.
p.225; Humber Snipe; a model of car much used by the military during WW2.
p.225; Henley-on-Thames; small town in South Oxfordshire, about equidistant from Swindon and London. A famous rowing regatta is held there.
p.225; Kick the can; children's street game, for groups of 5 or more. One person, known as 'the guard', kicks a can in to the middle of a play area. The rest of the group run out while the guard closes their eyes and counts to 50. The guard has to spot people and touch them before anyone can 'Kick The Can'. Any person that is touched by the guard is out and cannot help others. Anyone who 'Kicks the Can' can help the others by distracting the guard.
p.226; Wehrmacht; German term meaning 'armed forces', i.e. army (Reichsheer), navy (Kriegsmarine) and air force (Luftwaffe) as a whole.
p.227; Kubelwagen; the military version of the Volkswagen; Kubelwagen was a nickname, meaning 'bucket car'; officially it was the KDF-Wagen Type 82.
p.228; Jekyll; Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) was a famous designer of gardens.
p.233; Nolan Sisters; indicative of a major taste lapse on the part of the Next family, the said sisters were an Irish girl group popular in the 1980's.
p.233; unlick'd bear-whelp; Henry VI part 3, Act 3, Scene 2.
p.234; Bunty; girl's comic of the 1950's and 60's, from the days when girl's comics were full of tales of plucky Maisie at St. Angela's and not the love lives of boy bands and sex tips for teenagers.
p.234; Bowdlerizers; Dr. Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) and his sister Henrietta set themselves the task of expurgating from Shakespeare's plays all suggestion of immorality or irreligiosity, to make them suitable for family reading. Legend has it that the Bowdlers were unsuccessful in their task, due to their unfamiliarity with Elizabethan obscenities.
p.234; Heathcliff; Heathcliff does indeed vanish from the action in Wuthering Heights, only to return mysteriously rich.
p.237; The incidents I am about to relate; the opening of the chapter is, I think, a parody of one of the stories by H.P. Lovecraft, who was very big on SEBs and other Things from Beyond rising up to trouble the world.
p.239; flame-thrower; the trapping of things between fences and then giving them the flame-thrower treatment reminds me of a similar scene in John Wyndham's The Day of the Triffids, only there it was walking plants, not servants of the Dark One.
p.239; private contractor; some years ago, at the height of privatisation mania, the business of transporting prisoners was given to a private firm, Securicor. And lo, some prisoners escaped, and there was much laughter in the land.
p.246; James; James Dyson is the inventor and developer of a vacuum cleaner that does pretty much what Spike's does, only bigger. We've got a Dyson. It's very good.
p.251; Browning automatic; well, of course SO-27 use Brownings. Sadly the Wordsworth-Keats air-cooled machine gun never actually got into production.
p.261; Marmite; yeast and vegetable extract, inexplicably popular for spreading on toast etc. Salty, smelly, brown goo. Known as Vegemite in Australia.
p.263; biplane; piloted, presumably, by Marianne Dashwood. There is possibly a reason for this apparently gratuitous aircraft.
p.264; white dog; the charger and dog belong to King Pellinore, of whom more anon. The dog is a brachet, or beagle. The Bugatti is Miss Havisham's, of course. Point of order; where has she driven from?
p.264; like a frog; the Frog Footman attends upon the Duchess in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
p.265; draw me a sheep; the intense child is none other than the Little Prince, from the story of that name by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. In the story, the Prince asks Saint-Exupery to draw him a sheep, but rejects all his efforts as being insufficiently sheeplike. Thursday is obviously better at sheep.
p.266; Crumbobbilous cutlet; An item of food from Edward Lear's Nonsense Cookery.
p.268; The Bellman; the leader of the expedition in The Hunting of the Snark.
p.269; Shelley's gone boating; Percy Bysshe, of course, died (in 1822) in a sailing accident off the Italian coast. Apparently he got caught in a sudden storm.
p.269; Catriona; by Robert Louis Stevenson, was the vastly inferior sequel to Kidnapped. It's the Gaelic for 'Catherine'; pronounce it 'catreena'. She can stay boojummed, for me.
p.269; Barchester; fictional setting for Anthony Trollope's political/clerical novels. (Never mind a way in, is there a way out again?)
p.269; Commander Bradshaw; One I can't track down. He is later named as Trafford Bradshaw, extremely short, pith helmet, whiskers. Anybody know him?
JFf Note: "Bradshaw's" was a genric hoover-like term for THE railway guide for many decades, as previously stated. BUT it's also an aviation term, now sadly underused. 'Bradshawing' or 'To Bradshaw it' describes using railways for navigation across the countryside; indeed, in the good old days when a compass was an optional extra, lost (ahem. 'unsure of position') pilots used to swoop down and read the signs on the platforms. I've never done it myself although I have heard of one or two helicopter pilots reading motorway signs which are, after all, a lot bigger. The joke (and I use the term sparingly) we use in aviation since Bradshaw's departed from the vocabulary is that you say you are flying somewhere 'IFR'. Not 'Instrument Flight Rules' which the big boys use, but 'I Follow Railways'.
Commander Bradshaw (the rank gives him a bit of Wodehousian class, I feel) also wrote the Jurisfiction booksploring guides before the ISBN navigation systems were brought in. A 'Bradshaw' in the Bookworld would look like a railway guide but actually be full of travel information about trans-book jumping.
Bradshaw also appears in a joke about a baboon and a lion described as an alternative joke for Bowden 'if the centipede goes flat' on page 211 (all of the jokes are real ones that I have heard).
Trafford is sort of like 'Stamford', the middle name of 'Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles' which is very grand and very english - and he founded Singapore.
For more Bradshaw Railway Guide Hi-jinkery, read 'The ABC Murders' by Agatha Christie.
p.270; Harris Tweed; tweed cloth made on the island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, off Scotland.
p.271; Fabien; Dammit, I can't identify him, either. Too common a name to yield results on a websearch, rot his hide.
p.272; Aga; a brand of cooking/heating stove, made originally in Sweden, pronounced 'ahga'. They have become popular with the middle classes of rural England, and romantic novels set in such a milieu (especially those of Joanna Trollope, who is indeed a relation of Anthony of that ilk) have become known as 'Aga sagas'.
p.272; Gomez; he is in fact a minor character in The Lost World.
p.273; Agent Libris; who is presumably in charge of the ex files.
p.273; only twenty-four stories; it's worse than that; Chaucer originally intended to have each pilgrim tell one story on the outbound journey, and another on the return, so there would have been a total of 62 stories.
p.273; The Miller's Tale; is indeed spectacularly bawdy.
p.273; Sir Topaz story; this tale is one told by the narrator (Chaucer), himself, and is so boring that the host (Harry Baily) stops him dead, and makes him tell another one.
p.274; futzed Bibles; there are a number of celebrated misprints in various editions of the Bible; the adultery glitch quoted by the Bellman is known as the Wicked Bible, and there are also the Vinegar Bible, the Printer's Bible, and the Breeches Bible (Bowdlerizers been at that one, I fear).
p.274; Ant & Bee; series of children's books by Angela Banner, featuring, um, an ant and a bee. They are basically alphabet or counting books for very small children.
p.274; feed the Morlock; the Morlocks were a degenerate, cannibalistic race of human descendants in Wells' The Time Machine. Since Morlocks feed on human flesh, it's no wonder Perkins (and who he, anyway?) groans.
p.274; let's be careful out there; you may recall a rather good police procedural TV series, current in the 1980's, called Hill Street Blues. The sergeant said this to the cops at the end of each morning briefing.
p.275; King Pellinore; the good king is a figure from Arthurian legend, first appearing in the Vulgate Merlin of c.1225. In later stories he is the pursuer of the Questing Beast, or Beast Glatisant. However, this Pellinore is very definitely the one from T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone, a very funny account of Arthur's boyhood. Which raises a question; what happens when the same characters, but written by different authors, meet?
p.275; Magwitch's irons; this is one of the most famous bloopholes in all literature. We must remember that Dickens was a journalist, and therefore rarely troubled by facts or consistency.
p.275; Wemmick; a kindly clerk in Great Expectations.
p.275; Cass; Dunstan Cass is the reprobate son of the squire of Raveloe. He steals Silas Marner's gold, and then promptly disappears, which is why Jurisfiction have an APB out on him.
p.277; The Squire of High Potternews; - who is equal to the sum of the squires on the other two sides.
p.279; Jabberwock; surely you all know this manxome beast, from the poem Jabberwocky in Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll? No? Well, outgrabe my raths.
p.280; It Was a Dark and Stormy Night; a children's book by Janet & Allen Ahlberg, in which the small boy hero Antonio does a Sheherazade act on his Brigand captors. (Also the first line of a famously bad opening paragraph by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, later used as the title of anthologies of similarly poor openings. Snoopy always started his novels with this line as well).
p.280; and our hearts; a crossed line indeed; this is from A Psalm of Life, a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)(the Hiawatha man); 'Art is long, and Time is fleeting,/And our hearts, though stout and brave,/Still, like muffled drums, are beating/Funeral marches to the grave'.
p.281; Mr. Jaggers; is the lawyer to whom Wemmick is clerk.
p.283; Charles Pickens; Mr. Pickens' oeuvre does not appear to exist in our world.
p.283; Toytown; Many, many years ago, before even Jasper and I were children, there was a children's serial on BBC radio called 'Larry the Lamb in Toytown', in which the hero would bleat 'please sir, I'm only a little laaaaamb'. This later became a comic strip, various books and at least two animated TV series.
p.283; Mrs. Hubbard; Mrs. 'Old Mother' Hubbard was prosecuted by the RSPCA for maltreatment of animals, in that she had failed to keep suitable food supplies available for her pet dog. Mrs. Hubbard stated in her defence that she had made every effort to obtain supplies, and had in fact provided the dog with such items as bread, beer, and wine, but the ungrateful hound repaid her by playing the flute, dancing a jig, riding a goat and pretending to be dead. The dog, called as witness, said; "Bow-wow." The case was adjourned pending psychiatric reports.
p.286; Riva; The Riva Aquarama was the millionaire playboys' speedboat of the 1950's. Seriously expensive - a model of one costs $420!
p.287; Wagon Wheel; Ah, this is more like it. A Wagon Wheel is a large biscuit, or cookie if you prefer - in fact two thin biscuits with marshmallow between them, covered in something that looks like, but isn't, chocolate. Jam and toffee options are also offered. Apparently, large supplies of Wagon Wheels were discovered in the headquarters of the KGB secret services when the Soviet Union was breaking up. Urban legend says they are smaller than they used to be, but it seems this isn't true - it's us that have got bigger. They were a staple of ye olde school tuck-shop, and I have recently discovered they are very good crushed up and eaten with ice-cream. I'm hungry now.
JFf Note: As Jon so rightly describes them - the difference between JB and me is that I hated them - and it was always the first thing I tried to trade when I got a packed lunch at school!
p.289; Tristram Shandy; The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, by the Rev. Laurence Sterne (1713-1768), is often cited as the first true novel. It is a wildly discursive and rambling work, full of asides and parodies, and addresses to the reader. Any 'post-modern' author going on about how the modern novel has rejected such bourgeois trappings as plot or characterisation can be brought down to earth by remarking that Sterne pulled all the avant-garde tricks in 1759.
p.293; ENSA; The Entertainments National Service Association, which provided varying quality of entertainment to wartime troops. Alleged also to stand for 'Every Night Something Awful'.
p.293; Gracie Fields; Lancashire singer, comedienne and, er, actress with a voice that could shatter plate glass at three miles. She sang sentimental songs and was very popular until she married an Italian and spent most of WW2 in the USA. Her real name was Grace Stansfield, and she came from Rochdale. (No relation to Lisa Stansfield, also a singer from Rochdale).
p.293; Wigan Pier; as George Orwell points out in his (rather patronising) book The Road To Wigan Pier, the Lancashire coal town of Wigan is not on the coast and does not have a pier. (A pier in this sense being a sort of one-ended bridge sticking out into the sea, usually with a theatre or similar amusements at the end, common in British seaside resorts). The name was given in jest to a coal-wharf on the canal. Needless to say, in 21st century Heritage Theme Park Britain, there now is a place called 'Wigan Pier', complete with a pub called 'The Orwell'.
p.293; Local Defence Volunteers; the original name of the Home Guard, nicknamed 'Dad's Army', raised in 1939 to provide a volunteer auxiliary force to combat invasion.
p.293; Hitler's order of 1944; actually, burning banjos and ukuleles isn't a bad idea, if you ask me.
p.293; 'Ee, turned out nice again!'; was indeed Formby's catchphrase (along with 'Oooh, Mother!'). 'Ee' is a Lancashire expression meaning, um, anything you want it to mean really. If you don't know what a Lancashire accent sounds like, well, you know that Daphne woman off Frasier? Well, it sounds nothing like her.
p.293; John Williams; the famous English classical guitarist is as far removed from the ukulele-strumming Formby as you can get - but 'tis not he; 'John Willie' was a character adopted by George Formby Senior in his music-hall comedy act. When the younger Formby first went on stage after GF Senior's death, he copied his Dad's act. Badly. He was actually billed as 'George Hoy' (his mother's maiden name). John Willie was also the name of the part played by Formby in one of his early films (Off the Dole).
p.294; Thursday; General Elections were traditionally held on Thursdays.
p.295; Lucozade; yellow fizzy glucose drink sold as a restorative tonic. 'Lucozade Aids Recovery' used to be the strapline; they don't make such bold claims these days.
p.307; Aldermaston; This village in Berkshire was for many years the home of the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, and therefore the terminus of many a Ban the Bomb march.
p.312; Pallas; is one of the names of the Greek goddess of Wisdom Athena (Roman Minerva).
p.313; Brik; a person of muscular build, especially if of stocky stature, is said vulgarly to be built like a brick shit-house.
p.317; Beowulf and Sneed; Beowulf is the warrior hero of an Anglo-Saxon poem; I know not of any Sneed.
p.317; Falstaff & Tiggywinkle; Falstaff you know from Shakespeare; Mrs, Tiggywinkle is a hedgehog washerwoman in the works of Beatrix Potter.
p.317; Voltaire & Flark; Voltaire was an 18th cent. French philosopher; I don't know a Flark, unless it's a type of bog in Finland.
p.324; Could I use that?; and indeed she does; Miss Havisham says this to Pip in Chapter 29 of Great Expectations.
p.327; pasty; a kind of meat-and-potato pie, shaped not unlike a lady's purse, originally from Cornwall.
p.328; Mellors; gamekeeper Oliver Mellors is the eponymous hero of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover (1928), a book I should keep away from your servants, if I were you.
p.330; Captain Grimes; in Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall (1928), Captain Grimes is a recurring character of dubious reputation, being (among other things) a bigamist. It's a very funny book, actually.
p.330; Raffles; the gentleman burglar and ace cricketer, was the creation of E.W. Hornung, first appearing in The Amateur Cracksman (1899).
p.332; The Questing Beast; The Pellinore we've met may be from T.H. White, but the Beast (a sort of hippogriff thing) isn't; White's Beast is a rather playful creature.
p.335; I kind of forgot myself!; Dirty Thursday, anyone?
p.335; OED; Oxford English Dictionary.
p.335; Biggles Flies East; The Biggles books (all 96 of them) by Captain W.E. Johns followed the aviatory exploits of Squadron-Leader James Bigglesworth. It is not true that one was called Biggles Flies Undone.
p.336; Punch magazines; allegedly humorous publication that flourished for over a hundred years. Its natural habitat was dentists' waiting rooms.
p.341; Bakewell tart; now, Bakewell is a rather pretty little town in Derbyshire, and a Bakewell tart is an inoffensive little cake with an almond flavour filling. But should you go to Bakewell and ask for such, they will give you black looks and sneer at you, for in Bakewell itself what they eat is a Bakewell pudding a very different (and superior) beast, though still based on almonds and jam.
p.341 kedgeree; a very odd breakfast dish, popular in the Victorian era and still to be met with in old-fashioned hotels, comprising flaked fish, eggs, and rice in a mild curry sauce. The word is of Hindi (Indian) origin.
p.341 Cilla Bubb: syllabub is an Elizabethan dish made of cream curdled with wine or cider; the thickened version is used as a dessert and a thinner version as a drink. Also a riff on the name of Cilla Black, Liverpool singer and game-show hostess, of whom the less said the better.
p.342; Shakespeare's old Stratford home; this would be New Place, Will's retirement home. Only a bit of wall and a couple of wells survive.
p.346; Seven Wonders of Swindon; our Swindon would be pushed to come up with two mildly interesting things, let alone seven wonders. (Note to Swindon Borough Council - spare me the e-mails; I've been there).
p.346; Dream Topping; ah, the dubious pleasures of artificial dessert. Dream Topping was an instant dessert whip made by Bird's (of Banbury in Oxfordshire). Bird's is now part of Kraft Foods, and Dream Topping has been replaced by Kraft's own Angel Delight.
p.349; Stratton; suburb of Swindon.
p.354; They're wrong, you know; what are they wrong about, exactly? I can't see what Aornis is referring to here.
p.357; Dr. Luciano Spagbog; Spagbog is jovial slang for Spaghetti Bolognese, a dish that by virtue of being easy to cook has become a staple part of the British diet. I mean, even I can cook it, which shows you how easy it is.
p.358; Escher; M.C. (Maurits Corneille) Escher (1898-1972), was the Dutch graphic artist responsible for those pictures where a staircase appears to go both up and down. Very metaphorical.
p.358; the Great Leap Forward; A campaign in China (1958-1960), launched by Chairman Mao, aimed at increasing industrial production. It didn't work.
p.361; Margot Metroland; nee Best-Chetwynde, first appeared in Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall, and then in most of Waugh's books thereafter. She was loosely based on socialite Nancy Cunard, but I don't think the latter was ever implicated in the white slave trade.
p.361; Brough Superior; classic British motorcycle made between 1919 and 1939. T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) was riding one when he died.
p.362; delicate and refined; a generous description of Emma Hamilton to say the least; she was more usually described as 'a blowsy old tart'.
p.368; The Fighting Temeraire; Turner's great painting (1838) depicts the Nelsonian wooden battleship being towed off to be broken up; also the subject of a less-than-great poem by Sir Henry Newbolt (1897).
p.368; the second-best there is; for details of the best catch there is, see Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.
p.370; Reading Academy of Dramatic Arts; in our world, RADA is the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, lovey. (Would you pronounce that 'Reading' as 'redding', the place, or as 'reeding', the verb?)
p.370; flying boat; um, not a boat with wings - more an aeroplane that can land on water; a bigger version of a seaplane. Flying boats were wonderful things, pioneering long-distance air travel in the 1930's and 1940's. There's no romance in flight anymore.
p.371; Short Sunderland; made by Shorts of Belfast, the four-engined Sunderland was the military version of the 1930's Empire flying boat. Sunderlands played a significant role in the Battle of the Atlantic during WW2. Very few still exist, and I believe only one is airworthy. Sunderlands are one of my all-time favourite aircraft (the first such Jasper has mentioned!) and I wish I still had my model of one. (I daresay my brother broke it. He broke most things).
p.371; Captain Nemo; Nemo (Latin for 'no-one') was skipper of the piratical submarine Nautilus in Jules Verne's Twenty-thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
end pages; Skomer; another uninhabited bird-sanctuary island off the Pembrokeshire Coast (see the annotation to Skokholm in the TEA notes).
Well, that's LIAGB knocked off. My thanks to Jasper Fforde for writing the books, allowing me to infest his website, and for helping me out with some things I didn't know and Google couldn't find. Thanks also to Leo Breebaart for a) inspiration and b) allowing me to pinch some of his annotations, and to my wife Claire for help and patience. Right, we'll just sit here and wait for Well of Lost Plots to turn up, shall we? Anybody got a Wagon Wheel they don't want?