Aftermath: Allusions and References

Passing allusions and references which maybe a little opaque to the present reader, decoded – as far as possible – here.

Washington, that is famously unhealthful, and died from the feverish miasmas: Washington in the early nineteenth century was considered a hardship posting in the Diplomatic Service due to its very unhealthy location.

a queen that said somewhat of the like that was she turned out of the realm in her petticoat she could go to any realm and still flourish: Elizabeth I said to a Parliamentary delegation in 1566 on her marriage ‘I thank God I am endowed with such qualities that if I were turned out of the realm in my petticoat I were able to live in any place in Christendom’.

cogging games: cheating, card-sharping.

the snapping up of certain unconsidered trifles: Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Scene 3 - Autolycus.

Hicks cries that sure in the Punjaub they had perforce been obliged to jolt about the wounded in bullock-carts: during the Sikh Wars: First Anglo-Sikh War, 1845 and Second Anglo-Sikh War, 1848-9.

entire superstition concerning going out on the tide: Dickens, in David Copperfield, was drawing on a very old tradition with the scene of Barkis ‘going out with the tide’.

the Hydrographic Survey: the survey work necessary to produce accurate marine charts for the Admiralty.

at the Ladies’ College in Bedford Square: the Ladies College in Bedford Square, opened in 1849, on a liberal and non-sectarian basis

that fought with Garibaldi: Giuseppe Garibaldi, heroic figure of the Italian Risorgimento, took an active if ultimately unsuccessful part in the struggles of 1848-9 against the Austrians and French.

obliged to flee the Two Sicilies after the troubles of ‘30: during the wider revolutionary upsurge of this year, revolutionary sentiment in favour of a unified Italy began to experience a resurgence. A series of unsuccessful insurrections nonetheless laid the groundwork for the creation of one nation along the Italian peninsula. A number of radical leaders were either arrested or went into exile.

had been playing tennis: real or royal tennis, played on an indoor court. The modern game of lawn tennis dates only from the later nineteenth century.

a fine gang of little dingers: pickpockets.

king of ken-crackers: house-breakers, burglars

being the bully of a string of whores in Soho: ponce, pimp.

confiding with the peelers: policemen - ‘peelers’ from Sir Robert Peel.

Malthusian devices: contraceptives.

Mr MacDonald’s pupils in Gower Street: at University College London, Bloomsbury

Indeed the stage is not the brand of shame it once was: actors and actresses were gradually attaining a certain degree of respectability, at least in the serious theatre.

this excellent work that is being done for ayahs and other servants brought to this land and abandoned by their employers: A number of Indians were brought to the metropolis as servants and then abandoned: particularly ayahs - maidservants and children’s nursemaids. A refuge for these unfortunate women was founded in Aldgate in 1825.

Reynaldo’s dangerous work for the underground railroad: network of clandestine routes and safe houses established in the United States during the early- to mid-19th century to enable enslaved African-Americans to escape to the free states and Canada, assisted by abolitionists and other sympathisers.

almost discreetly, advisedly, soberly: as the words of the Form of the Solemnization of Matrimony in the Book of Common Prayer

the Shrew’s speech that A woman moved is like a fountain troubled: The Taming of the Shrew Act V, Scene 2; Katherine rebukes the other wives.

The Family Shakspeare: the expurgated version of the works published by Thomas Bowdler in 1807 (but edited by his sister Henrietta Maria) meant to omit material unsuited for reading in mixed company and before children.

Her Majesty’s wicked uncles: the sons of George III were not noted for the morality of their personal lives, and the accession of the young Victoria, followed by her marriage conforming to, or setting, a model of Victorian familial domesticity, came as a considerable contrast.

you are troubled with many things!: The Gospel of Luke, 10:41, ’Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things’.

Tony Lumpkin: character in Goldsmith’s 1773 play She Stoops to Conquer, son of Mrs Hardcastle, who nevertheless prefers low company, low pursuits and practical jokes.

this Great Exhibition forthcoming: the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, also known as the Great Exhibition or the Crystal Palace Exhibition, held in Hyde Park, May-October 1851.

these fine steam packets: the British and North American Royal Mail Steamships service from Liverpool to Boston called at Halifax, cabin-passage with steward’s fee, £35. The voyage took around a fortnight and the service was noted for being safe and regular.

a number of black faces about the streets: Black Nova Scotians: while some Africans were brought to the British and French colonies in what is now Canada as enslaved persons during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, several thousand African-Americans who had fought for the British as Loyalists during the Revolutionary War were resettled in Nova Scotia, with further emigration during the War of 1812, and during the years preceding the American Civil War.

having read reports of a fire in Halifax: there was a large conflagration in Halifax in December 1850 destroying 2 streets (around 100 houses) and the barracks. Although they were gradually being replaced by stone and brick, a large proportion of the buildings were still constructed of wood.

The Bard’s sonnet – Being your slave, what should I do but tend/Upon the hours and times of your desire?: Sonnet 57.

who is in the trade of queer sparkles: counterfeit jewellery.

the springs at Carlsbad were give out most exceeding sanitive: Carlsbad (Karlovy Vary, a spa town in what is now the Czech Republic, then Bohemia, part of the Hapsburg Empire.

the modish à la Russe fashion: instead of all the dishes being laid out on the table at the beginning of the course, they were served from a sideboard to diners.

the very fine institute there was at Firlbrough – education and improvement of the workers &C: one of the institutions set up, some as top-down initiatives but also as grass-roots mutual improvement bodies, in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution, to provide adult education to the working classes, initially on technical subjects but expanding to include the sciences and arts; they provided lectures, libraries and even laboratories and museums.

her father had been an officer that died in the Peninsula: i.e. in Wellington’s Army fighting in the Napoleonic Wars.

her own dear Papa had been a Bombay civilian: employed in the Bombay Presidency of the East India Company in civil administration.

that creaking gate: ‘a creaking gate hangs longest’, proverb signifying that someone in poor health might outlive the apparently healthier.

come to grief in Epping Forest: an area of ancient woodland, designated a Royal Forest, lying between the eastern reaches of London and Essex, and by this period being encroached upon by urban expansion.

the poet Cowper keeping tame hares: while living at Olney following a mental breakdown, the poet William Cowper kept three tame hares, Puss, Bess and Tiney: he wrote of them in a letter published in The Gentleman’s Magazine in 1784, but also in private correspondence. They also featured in his poetry.

the progress of legislation concerning the well-being of the animal creation and putting down certain cruel sports: Richard Martin’s 1822 Act to Prevent the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle, and the 1835 Protection of Animals Act making bull, bear and badger baiting, as well as cock and dog fighting, illegal.

that wild nature-spirit, Herne the Hunter: a terrifying folkloric figure first recorded in Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor, associated with Windsor Great Park and Forest in Berkshire; said to have antlers growing from his head. Also featured in W Harrison Ainsworth’s 1843 novel Windsor Castle.

reminded himself that The String of Pearls was but a sensational tale: The String of Pearls; Or, The Barber of Fleet Street. A Domestic Romance, by Thomas Peckett Prest and James Malcolm Rymer, published as a penny dreadful serial, 1846=7. introduced the homicidal barber Sweeney Todd and the disposal of the evidence of his crimes by baking the corpses into pies by his neighbour Mrs Lovett.

educated at the colleges in Camden Town and Edinburgh: i.e. the Royal Veterinary College London founded in 1791 in Camden Town and the Highland Society’s Veterinary School, Edinburgh, founded by William Dick, now known as the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, which held its first formal courses in 1823.

that tale of the Golden Apple: this is something of a misremembering of the tale of Atalanta, in which she was distracted by golden apples dropped by her suitor so that he could win the race and her (and not be killed).

I discovered that daguerrotypy would not answer: Bella had been hoping that being able to take daguerrotypes of animal would be an attractive asset to offer Josh Ferraby: however the technique had still not developed to a stage suitable for taking images of animals that were not going to remain still for a significant period. Light conditions were also critical.

would you propose a jaunt to Cremorne in such masquerade?: Cremorne Gardens, by the Thames, in Chelsea providing various sources of entertainment and recreation, at a relatively low admittance fee. Possibly as a result of this, ‘it seemed to maintain a less desirable reputation than some of the other available venues’ and the character of the women frequenting the Gardens was considered suspect.

considers that such places are quite pestholes of noxious miasmas: at this period (a few years before Dr John Snow revealed the water-borne transmission of cholera) the miasmatic theory of the transmission of diseases was still prevalent.

spent some while at Hanwell: Hanwell Pauper and Lunatic Asylum, as the First Middlesex County Asylum the first purpose-built public asylum in England and Wales, and under John Conolly as Superintendant in 1839 the first large asylum to dispense with the use of mechanical restraints.

you do not recommend Malvern? I hear it much cried up: centre for the hydropathic ‘water cure’ based on that of Vincent Priessnitz of Gräfenberg, Silesia and many famous Victorians were treated there.

And consequences might be avoided: not only does Flora Ferraby preach the prudential use of Malthusian devices, her brothers Harry and Quintus and brother-in-law Sebastian Knowles have observed the latest developments in rubber technology and set up a business manufacturing Paphian Patent Protectives (‘rubber goods’).

some apprehension of where the Saythingport wealth came from: i.e. plantations in the Caribbean run on enslaved labour.

will serve The merchant to secure his treasure: ‘The merchant to secure his treasure, conveys it in a borrow’d name’: Matthew Prior (1664-1721), The merchant, to secure his treasure:

The merchant, to secure his treasure,
Conveys it in a borrow’d name:
Euphelia serves to grace my measure,
But Cloe is my real flame.

look on my works, ye mighty: Percy Bysshe Shelley, Ozymandias.

like some lady out of Richardson: the beleagured heroines of the novels of Samuel Richardson, Pamela and Clarissa Harlowe, through all their straits nonetheless find time and the necessary matter to write lengthy letters concerning their plight.

will be better prepared than a deal of the young ladies that come to the College: ‘Initially the professors were shocked by the generally low educational standards of the women entering the college, who in most cases had only home-based governess education’ leading to the foundation of an associated school to provide a better preparation.

would not wonder was it the China Seas or around those parts…. were there not considerable troubles with pirates about those shores: piracy is considered to be endemic in the South China Seas, though it had somewhat declined from its peak in the early nineteenth century.

at a church in Scarborough – by license: not in their usual parish of residence, by a common or ordinary license, which would obviate the need for the calling of banns.

fitting out the new public library: in 1850, the Government introduced a Public Libraries Act, enabling boroughs to raise a rate to found public libraries (in the hopes that providing reading matter would keep the working classes out of pubs).

was walking the wards as a medical student: i.e. following the physicians and surgeons as they attended cases in the hospitals to receive clinical instruction and gain experience.

the heyday in their blood was tame: Hamlet, Act III, Scene 4, Hamlet to Gertrude.

another Newgate novel: the Newgate novel employed sensational tropes and dealt with the lives of criminals but had a certain degree of literary respectability.

was a bounty-hunter became suspicious of him: someone who would pursue escaping slaves in order to capture them and return them for reward: identifying a member of the Underground Railroad would have been a very useful thing for this purpose.

a little polish at Harvard: although by this period there were other universities and colleges in the USA, including the University of Georgia, Harvard, f. 1636, had considerable cachet and conveyed significant social advantages.

I cast my bread upon the waters: Ecclesiastes 11:1: Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.

Prancey’s molly-house: i.e. a place of resort for men seeking homosexual companionship.

the days of the Old Mad King: George III (1738-1820).

might care for one of his Havanas: Cuban cigars were already celebrated and there was a flourishing export trade.

an interesting notion about poison-darts and blowpipes: as used by the indigenous peoples of the Amazon rainforest.

Friday 30th December 2022

L.A. Hall, FRHistS