J1.01 Work in Progress

Annotations for Jerusalem by Alan Moore

Prelude – Work in Progressl

General: Alma Warren has a dream of meeting workmen as a six-year-old (c.1959). In 2005, Mick Warren tells Alma about a vision he had, inspiring her to do a series of paintings. A year later (2006), Mick travels to see the completed exhibition.

Dedication

  • Audrey Vernon is a cousin of Alan Moore’s father. She plays a significant role in this novel under the name Audrey Vernall. See Hark! The Glad Sound! for more about her.

Illustration

  • The four drawings are mentioned in the chapter Rough Sleepers on page 117 describing the table where angels play billiard “Set in the heavy varnished woodwork of the table just above each pocket was a separate symbol. These were roughly carved into the centre of the wooden disks that decorated the four corners of the table, gouged in a crude style that looked tramp-marks, yet inlaid with gold.” The four directions are:
    – southwest “a castle-turret”
    – northwest “a big prick”
    – northeast “a skull”
    – southeast “a wonky cross”
    There are other potential readings of these symbols, see notes to Rough Sleepers.
  • “Based on a “true story”” reflects that Jerusalem is a fictionalized account of the lives of Alan Moore, his family including his ancestors, and the history of Northampton’s Boroughs neighborhood.
    • Placing “true story” in quotes places the claim of truth in some doubt. Moore was famously quoted by Dave Sim as saying “All stories are true”. Equally, however, perhaps we should doubt all things which claim to be true stories…

Map – see Northampton maps page

Page 1 – titled Prelude

Page 2 – blank

Page 3 – titled Work in Progress

  • The title “Work in Progress” is the name of a painting by Alma Warren – see P23 paragraph 2 below.
    • Work in Progress was also the working title of a novel by James Joyce, eventually published as Finnegans Wake. For much more on this, see Round the Bend.

paragraph 1

  • Alma Warren” is a fictionalized stand in for Alan Moore.
  • “Five years old” puts the date at 1958-59, given Moore was born in 1953. This is confirmed to be February 1959 – see Page 15 paragraph 3 below.
  • First mention of Mike Warren also called Mick, brother of Alma Warren. Moore has an actual younger brother Mike.
  • First mention of Doreen (Warren?), mother of Alma Warren. Moore’s mother’s name is Sylvia Doreen.
  • Woolworths was the name of a popular retail chain store that operated in the UK between 1909 and 2009.
  • Abington Street, c.1950
    Abington Street, c.1950

    Gold Street is southwest of Abington Street, but only about half a mile distant. This shows how ubiquitous Woolworths was.

  • Abington Street – see map excerpt, right. This is just off of the Jerusalem map, to the southeast, near Market Square. (Market Square is indicated by the “10” label on the map excerpt.)

paragraph 2

  • “Kendall’s rainwear shop” – Presumably a branch of Kendall & Sons (1870-1982). The logo described cannot be easily located online, but a somewhat similar one can be seen here.
  • Fish Street is visible on the map excerpt above, just under the “G” of Abington.

paragraph 3

  • British: A “mackintosh” or “mac” is a raincoat.

Page 4

paragraph 1 (continuing)

  • Osborn’s – Possibly the millinery referred to here as being “in Merchant’s Row”.
  • “the Drapery” – A street name, see far left of map excerpt above, bottom center of map excerpt at right.

    Silver Street c.1950
    Silver Street c.1950
  • Although not noted in the text, the Fish Market was located on the north side of Bradshaw Street. Though the street name is not legible on this map, the black bar above it indicates the location of the Fish Market.
  • Silver Street – See map excerpt at right.
  • the Mayorhold – See top left of map excerpt at right.

paragraph 2

Emporium Arcade in the 1950s
Emporium Arcade in the 1950s
  • The Emporium Arcade, located at the north side of Market Square, is described by a local librarian: “It opened in 1901, and contained 150 shops, or rooms. It was demolished in the early 1970s – lots of people had opinions about whether it should be saved or not. That’s perhaps not for me to comment!”
  • Lipton’s – A chain of small grocery market stores founded in 1871, lasting until 1986. The Lipton brand of tea remains popular to this day.

    Market Square stalls c.1960s
    Market Square stalls c.1960s
  • “stalls” – see picture.

paragraph 3

Market Square Fountain, late 19th century
Market Square Fountain, late 19th century
  • “iron monument” – The Market Square Fountain, erected 1863, demolished 1962. The picture here is rather old, because at some point the “copper globe, much like some prehistoric monster flower” referred to in the text was replaced by a more prosaic lamp.

paragraph 4

  • The Gaumont was a movie theater on the northwest corner of Market Square in the Corn Exhange Building, a few buildings west of the Emporium Arcade. Originally named The Exchange Cinema, it became The Gaumont in 1950, then became The Odeon in 1964. There don’t seem to be any pictures online of The Gaumont specifically, but both the earlier and later incarnations had traditional theater marquees, which presumably where the source of the “white electric rays” that Alma expects.

Page 5

paragraph 1 (continuing)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

  • British: A “pushchair” or “pram” is a baby carriage.
  • “If things were no longer going on the way they should be, didn’t that mean anything could happen?” – This resonates with some things Moore said in a 1997 interview with Dave Sim:
    When I was six years old […] I remember […] realising in a vague and dreamy way that it would, technically speaking, be physically possible for me to pick up the carving knife and stab my mother through the back of the neck. Now, please bear in mind that I did not want to do this, indeed had not the slightest intention of doing it. It was just that the idea had entered my head, out of nowhere.
    Upon closer examination, at the kernel of the idea was this: I knew that I was not going to kill my own mother. The idea was unthinkable. I knew that this was definitely not going to happen, in the same way that you and I both know that I am not going to move to Hollywood tomorrow. These things, while theoretically possible, are not in the script. Therefore… and this is the nearest my adult mind can get to paraphrasing what was going on in my six-year-old mind… if I did stab and kill my own mother, right there and then, then I would have gone outside the script. Done something that wasn’t destined to happen. Ad-libbed. I’d have broken through the fake scenery. I’d force the director to come out and give me a talking to. I’d wake from the dream, bust my way out of the relentless single corridor of predetermination into… whatever.
    Of course, while given to unusual thoughts, I am not actually insane. Consequently. I didn’t stab my mother: I just felt creepy and horrible for ever having had the thought at all. After a while, the incident was put to the back of my mind as just one of the many mental aberrations that mark our childhoods.

paragraph 3

  • Drum Lane is too small to appear on Google Maps, but appears to join Mercer’s Row with the southwest corner of Market Square. No records have been found about a paper-shop there.
  • “The’yar. Aur’s wun blessid place as ent shut up, ay?” is “There. Here’s one blessed place that ain’t shut up, eh?”

    Pears Soap ad featuring "Bubbles"
    Pears Soap ad featuring “Bubbles”

paragraph 4

  • Bubbles is an 1886 painting by John Everett Millais that became famous when it was used over many generations in advertisements for Pears soap.

paragraph 5

  • No notes.

Page 6

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • “Alma understood who he must be” – The strong implication here is that the overseer is God, and the four carpenters are the archangels.

paragraph 2

  • No notes.

paragraph 3

  • “Well, I’ll goo ter ayr ace. Look ‘ere, you two, it’s Frit Bur un ‘iz angles.” is “Well, I’ll go to our place. Look here, you two, it’s Frith Borh [Third Borough – see below] and his angles [angels].”
  • This is the first time the word “angles” is used in place of “angels”, a practice that will continue through most of Jerusalem.

paragraph 4

  • Carpenters are frequently used as symbols of divinity in Christianity, due to Jesus having been one.

paragraph 5

  • “Ooh, yer a sample, you are. ‘E’s the Frith Borh. The Third Burrer. All the times you’ve ‘eard me gooin’ on abayt ‘im, un yuh look ut me gone ayt.” is “Oh, you’re an example [of ignorance?]. He’s the Frith Borh. The Third Borough. All the times you have heard me going on about him, and you look at me gone out.”
    • Frith” is an Old English word meaning “peace; protection; safety, security”. “Borh” is Old English for “pledge”. “Frith-borh” is thus a phrase meaning, literally, “peace-pledge”. It seems to have been used to describe an early system of low-level political organization. How this gets morphed into a proper noun belonging to a God-like figure remains unclear.
      • Commenter msmyth suggests that this specifically refers to Christ: “Frith Borh is a pledge or promise to pay a debt. If human sins are a debt to God, Christ is the promise to pay that debt.”
    • “Third Burrer/Third Borough” – See next paragraph.
    • “look at me gone out” – An article on Leicester slang (not far from Northampton) includes “she looked at me gone out – she looked at me in an odd way”.

paragraph 6

  • Webster’s dictionary defines “third-borough” as “(O. Eng. Law) An under constable.”
  • “when they wanted to avoid his other name” – In many religious systems, the explicit name of God is taboo, so various pseudonyms must be used instead.
  • “something like a rent-man” – The frith-borh system, mentioned above, involved low-level chiefs called “tithing-men”, though the use of “tithing” at that time was more collected to legal fines than to rent as we now think of it.
  • “the Red Earl, Earl Spencer” – John Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer, known as the Red Earl because of his distinctive long red beard. There was a Northampton pub named after him on the corner of Spring Lane and Lower Harding Street, though there is little information available.
  • “earnest graft” – In Britain, “graft” can mean “work”.

paragraph 7

  • No notes.

Page 7

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • “One of the men with flowing locks, this one with hair so fair that it was white” – xxx

paragraph 2

  • “Gor, you are a soppy date, ayr Alma. ‘E ent gunner urcha, un ‘e dun’t see people very orften. Goo on in un say ‘ello or else ‘e’ll think we’re rude.” is “[God/Gosh?] you are a soppy date, our Alma. He ain’t going to hurt you, and he don’t see people very often. Go on in and say hello or else he’ll think we’re rude.”
    • Gor” – Exclamation of surprise.
    • soppy date” – “Foolish or silly person”.

      St. Andrew's Road (south)
      St. Andrew’s Road (south)

paragraph 3

  • Andrew’s Road – Location of Warren’s (and Moore’s) childhood home (in between Spring Lane and Scarletwell St). Properly “St. Andrew’s Road”.
  • disused stable – xxx

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

paragraph 5

  • The dream described here may be an actual childhood dream of Moore’s. While not detailed in other sources as such, there is a suggestive line in his autobiographical work The Birth Caul from the point of view of toddler-Moore: “God is handsome. He moves chairs across his living room up in the rain and pigeons know him.”

paragraph 6

  • Drum Lane – See above.
  • “the shop’s inside seemed bigger than she’d thought it would be” – Possibly a reference to Doctor Who’s TARDIS, which is famously “bigger on the inside”?

Page 8

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

  • “the chewed straps of his harness” – Again from The Birth Caul: “and chew our leather straps like meat”.
  • “With a profile like the Fairy Soap child” is a reference to Fairy brand British soap, possibly the profile in this ad, or this unfortunately racist ad.
  • “lantern-slide” refers to “magic lanterns“, an early form of projected visual entertainment consisting of colored images painted on glass slides.

paragraph 3

  • “This wun in the pram’s ayr Michael, un that’s Alma. She’s ut school now, ent yer, up Spring Lane? You come un say ‘ello t’ the Third Burrer.” is “This one in the pram is our Michael, and that’s Alma. She’s at school now, ain’t you, up Spring Lane? You come and say hello to the Third Borough.”

paragraph 4

  • “White as chapel marble” hints at their identity as angels, albeit in a somewhat racist fashion.
  • “From somewhere… like Palestine” suggests his identity with Jesus (though this is more God-the-Father).
  • “Quinquereme of Nineveh and distant Ophir…” is the beginning of English writer John Masefield‘s poem Cargoes. Palestine is mentioned in line 2.
    • A quinquireme is a type of large rowed warship.
    • Nineveh is the name of an ancient Assyrian city.
    • Ophir is a wealthy trading port mentioned in the Bible (actual location disputed).
  • “Places and words that sounded lovely, sad, and gone now.” One of the major themes of Jerusalem is how the buildings and language of The Boroughs of the past are “lovely, sad, and gone now”.

paragraph 5

  • No notes.

Page 9

paragraph 1 (cont.)

paragraph 2

  • “The first verse of ‘All things bright and beautiful’” concludes “The Lord God made them all.” (One might argue that that is technically the refrain, and the first verse is actually the following lines, beginning “Each little flower that opens,“which is no doubt what makes Alma “think of daisies”.)
  • A budgerigar is a type of small parrot, often kept as pets.

paragraph 3

  • “one had a large mole in the centre of his forehead, while another one was crew-cut, dark and a bit foreign-looking” – xxx
  • The word Alma is trying to recall is probably “samite“, a luxurious silk fabric from the Middle Ages. “Mighty”, of course, also recalls “Mighty Mike”, a nickname of the Archangel Michael throughout Jerusalem.

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

Page 10

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

  • “Porthimoth di Norhan” is the name of an obscure early Northampton court. A Northampton history website states “In one early 13th century deed the court in which the plea of land had been held is called the porthimoth’ de Norhant‘. No other instance of the use of this term at Northampton has been found; at Leicester and Ipswich the court at which transfers of land took place was called the portmannmot.” Thanks commenter Molosovsky.
  • “A rough stone cross” alludes to the stone cross which forms a central part of the chapter X Marks the Spot.

paragraph 3

  • No notes.
Bearward Street 1960s
Bearward Street 1960s

paragraph 4

  • Bearward Street was a small street just north of Silver Street (see map above). The street no longer exists.

Page 11

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “Some of the pubs, her dad once told her, had been here since Jacobean times”. We haven’t been able to find a founding date, but the Green Dragon Pub, mentioned several times by name in the rest of Jerusalem, was on the corner of Bearward Street until 1969.

paragraph 2

  • “the same song” – See page 8. The second verse of “Cargoes” begins “Stately Spanish galleon coming from the Isthmus”.

paragraph 3

  • “Vernall’s Inquest” is the title of the third book of Jerusalem.
  • “Assize” has several meaning, most of which are variants of “court session”. Here, unusually, it seems to refer more to a sort of court building.
  • First mentions of:
    – May Vernall (later May Warren), Alma’s paternal grandmother (Moore’s actual relation was named Minnie).
    Tom Warren, Alma’s paternal grandfather
    Joe Swan, Alma’s maternal grandfather
    Clara (Swan?), Alma’s maternal grandmother
  • TB – Tuberculosis, a disease which was common (and usually fatal) among the urban poor through the early twentieth century. A vaccine was not widely available until after WWII.
  • “a bleaching oval photograph hung in the living room” – These old photographs feature in some of Moore’s earliest experiences of the idea he would later come to identify as Eternalism. Here’s a version from a 2016 interview:

    I was looking up at some of the old, bleaching photographs […] of bygone family members, people that I’d never met, that used to hang on the living room wall […] I would wonder if they knew that they were dead, which is the sort of stupid thing that sort of seven-year-old boys wonder I suppose, an’ it came to me that they probably didn’t know that they were dead, an’ then it came to me that somewhere in the future there was somebody looking at a photograph of me, and wondering the same thing. Um, that is a muddy thought, but that was probably the beginning of thinking the future is already happening somewhere; that we are already being looked back upon as the people in the past…

Page 12

paragraph 1 (cont.)

Green Street c.1950
Green Street c.1950
  • “Her house at the bottom of the green behind St. Peter’s Church” – Probably actually on Green Street, though on a section of that street which appears to now be part of the A4500 motorway.

paragraph 2

  • Whelks” are edible sea snails.
  • Fish Market – See note/map at page 3.
  • A “deathmonger” (described in the next sentence) is a sort of historic medical/mortuary worker somewhat analogous to a midwife. Deathmongers are discussed at more length in the chapter The Breeze That Plucks Her Apron.
    • In a 2016 interview, Moore describes deathmongers:

      Deathmongers I believe only existed at least by that name within the boroughs of Northampton; only within that little area that I was born in, about half a square mile, and what a deathmonger was, was, in a poor neighbourhood where you couldn’t afford midwives and you couldn’t afford undertakers, the deathmonger was the woman, it was always a woman, who lived down the end of the road or in the next street, who, for sixpence, a shilling, would come ’round and take care of all that. I think that the name ‘deathmonger’ may’ve arisen… I’m not sure when it first came into currency. I suspect that it probably would’ve occurred when it was no longer safe to refer to people as witches.

  • Lambeth Walk is a street in the Lambeth district of London. May’s birth is depicted in the chapter Do As You Darn Well Pleasey.
    • Throughout Jerusalem, Lambeth is considered as a sort of sister-neighborhood to The Boroughs, an idea which is made explicit in the chapter An Asmodeus Flight.
  • Green Street – See map above.

paragraph 3

  • First mentions of:
    Snowy Vernall, Alma’s great-grandfather (based on Moore’s actual great grandfather Ginger Vernon). He is the focal character of the chapter Eating Flowers.
    Ernest “Ern” Vernall, Alma’s great-great-grandfather (Snowy’s father.) Ern’s “madness” while at St. Paul’s Cathedral is the subject of the second chapter, A Host of Angles.
    Thursa Vernall, Alma’s great grand-aunt. While no chapter focuses completely on her, she features significantly in Do as You Darn Well Pleasey and Hark! The Glad Sound!
    Audrey Vernall, daughter of Johnny. She is an important character throughout Jerusalem, notably in the chapters Hark! The Glad Sound!, The Trees Don’t Need to Know, and Round The Bend.
    Johnny Vernall, Alma’s father’s cousin. A significant character in The Trees Don’t Need to Know and The Steps of All Saints.

    Vernall family tree. Up until chapter »Hark That Glad Sound«
    Vernall family tree, sketched by commenter molosovsky. Note one error: it is Louisa Vernall, not Anne, whose father was landlord of the Blue Anchor.
  • Moore, in a 2016 interview at International Times, mentions: “The strain of madness that was in the Vernon side of the family, with my Great grandfather Ginger Vernon, who turns up in the novel as Snowy Vernall and my father’s cousin, Audrey Vernon who the novel is dedicated to and who turns up as Audrey Vernall…”
  • “the madhouse round the turn at Berry Wood” – Saint Crispin’s Hospital.

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

Page 13

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “Instead of going forward, down or sideways they went somewhere else, in a direction that you couldn’t draw or even think about” – Alma seems to be intuiting the nature of higher dimensional thinking.
  • “In a maze you couldn’t see” is a description of the short story “In the walls of Eryx” by H.P. Lovecraft with Kenneth Sterling Love. Moore references this story in Providence #5, which includes an almost identical line “It’s like a maze you can’t see” on P17,p3.

paragraph 2

  • No notes.

paragraph 3

  • First mention of Tommy Warren, Alma’s father. He is the viewpoint character of the chapter Hark! The Glad Sound!
  • First mention of Janet Cooper, 5-year-old Alma’s best friend, though this may be just an example to explain the definition of cooper as barrel-maker. She is mentioned briefly in the chapter A Cold and Frosty Morning.
  • “Perhaps […] tending borderlines and corners was a Vernall’s duty?” – In the chapter Do as You Darn Well Pleasey, the word Vernall is connected to verger: “both in the old sense of one who tended verges and of one who bore the verge, or rod of office, as in the ecclesiastical tradition.” This connection is reiterated in An Asmodeus Flight.

    Spencer Bridge c.1950
    Spencer Bridge c.1950

paragraph 4

  • “the scruffy little meadow over Andrew’s Road near Spencer Bridge” – See map at right. This would have been just a few blocks north of Alma’s home.
  • Green Street – See map near the bottom of this paragraph.
  • “The back of Peter’s Church, beside the rear gate of the Black Lion’s yard” – Below is a Google Street View image of the described location in 2015. Green Street used to extend to the south of this.

    Google Street View, August 2015
    Google Street View, August 2015
  • Google Street View, August 2015
    Google Street View, August 2015

    “The grassy slope” – Another Google Street View from August 2015, right, shows the view looking north from the former Green Street (now part of the A4500). The rear of the Black Lion is just visible near the left, though St. Peter’s Church is obscured by trees. The exact location of “Gran’s House” is not clear.

Page 14

paragraph 1 (cont.)

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land

  • Narrow Tow Lane is located to the right of the picture above. It runs south from St. Peter’s Street, and may have gone as far as Green Street at the time of this scene. It can be seen in the map below, though it was too small to be labeled.
  • Green Street c.1950
    Green Street c.1950

    Gotch’s sweetshop is no longer in existence. It is briefly mentioned in the chapter The Breeze That Plucks Her Apron.

paragraph 2

  • “Working with wood had been his family’s business since time immemorial” is another hint that these “angles” are angels; it refers to Jesus’ profession as a carpenter. It may also be a reference to the trees in the Garden of Eden.

paragraph 3

  • “The Porthimoth di Norhan would be built, was in a sense already good as done” hints at Moore’s theories of time as an unchanging solid.
    • This is related to something Moore said in an interview about the lengthy period of work on Lost Girls: “Look, Lost Girls, it exists in the future in a perfect form. All we’ve gotta do is somehow get from here to there to the point where it already exists […] it was already completed in a way.”
  • “one day when she and Michael were both old they’d probably sit on a wall together somewhere and have a good laugh about all this.” This of course does take place in the final chapter, Chain of Office.

paragraph 4

  • “an unknown colour that was worse than black” may be referring to Moore’s oft-mentioned appreciation for a line from a Lovecraft story: “It’s like when he describes The Colour Out of Space as ‘only a colour by analogy.’ What’s that supposed to mean?”

    "The walk home"
    “The walk home”
  • “the vague, muffled dread she sometimes felt in Bath Street” – See map at right for location of Bath Street. The feeling of dread is due to the Destructor, still a lingering psychic presence, if no longer a physical one. See the chapter The Destructor for more.

Page 15

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • A “jitty” (or gitty) is narrow passage between rows of terraced houses or a fenced or hedged path.

    The jitty
    The jitty
  • “the jitty […] ran along behind their row of terraced houses down between Spring Lane and Scarletwell Street” – While not indicated in the c.1950 map above, this alleyway is visible on an 1899 map, see detail at right. It no longer exists.

paragraph 2

  • Gabardine” is a type of wool fabric, also slang for a raincoat made of gabardine fabric.

paragraph 3

paragraph 4

  • “A little under ten years after [1995]” – Later references place this scene at March, 2005. [Page 25, paragraph 2: “Fourteen months later on a cold Spring Saturday in 2006”, plus multiple references to the day before the exhibit being May 26th, 2006.]

Page 16

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

  • First mention of Cath or Cathy, wife of Mike Warren.

paragraph 3

Golden Lion
Golden Lion
  • “Mike Hucknall” is indeed the singer-songrwriter of the British pop band “Simply Red.”
  • “Radio Rental” was a British company that rented TV sets, and is Cockney rhyming slang for “mental”, or “crazy”.
  • “The Golden Lion on Castle Street” was on the corner of Castle and Phoenix. Ironically, though described here as “one of the few surviving pubs”, it has since been demolished (in 2016?).

    Castle Street
    Castle Street (Google Maps 2020)

paragraph 4

  • “ASBO” stands for “Anti-social Behavior Order.”
  • “Black, Alma had recently explained to Mick, was the new iPod.” Riffing on the perennial way of describing the latest fad as being “the new black“.
  • Strongbow is a brand of dry cider. While they produce beer mats / coasters to this day, most of them are square with rounded edges; round ones seem to have gone out of fashion decades ago.

paragraph 5

  • No notes.

Page 17

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “What was she, fifty-one now? Fifty?” – Alma (like Alan) was born on November 18, 1953, so would have been 52 at the time of this scene.
  • “She was five-eleven” (five feet, eleven inches = 180 cm) clarifies that Alma is tall; so is Alan Moore (6’4″, 193 cm). According to a 2010 article, average height in Britain for males is 5’9″, females 5’3″.
  • “bombsite creeper” – referring to creeping vines that grow in the craters left by German bombs in WWII (it took decades to clean these all up; they would have remained common in Moore’s childhood). Also, of course, there is a secondary meaning of “a creepy person“.
Transformer album cover - via Wikipedia
Transformer album cover – via Wikipedia

paragraph 2

  • “Lou Reed on the cover of Transformer” refers to the 1972 album (right.)
    • Solarized” – A now-dated term for over-exposing a photograph, which was done for the Transformer cover.
    • “Glam” – Per Wiktionary, “A style of rock music, glam rock, associated with an androgynous yet masculine look and a driving, pounding bluesy form of psychedelic rock; the fashion and culture associated with this genre.” Transformer was considered glam rock.
    • “Frankenstein” – Referring to the famous monster created by Mary Shelley. Perhaps unfair to Lou Reed, but Alma (and Alan) are known for their gleeful self-mockery.
  • “Miss Pears” was a marketing campaign for Pears soap where, per Wikipedia, parents entered their children into the high-profile hunt for a young brand ambassador to be used on packaging and in consumer promotions.
  • A “bon mot” is a witty remark.

paragraph 3

  • Grand Guignol” was a French theater specializing in horror shows. Its name is often used as a general term for graphic, amoral horror entertainment.

paragraph 4

  • First mention of nickname “Warry” (rhymes with “starry”) defined (see paragraph 3 next page) as “a ridiculing term” derived from their mutual last name “Warren”. Moore and his brother have a similar mutual nickname of “Moorey” (pronounced closer to Murray). [xxx cite]

Page 18

paragraph 1-2

  • No notes.

paragraph 3

  • See previous page, paragraph 4.
  • The joke about “unable to afford” multiple names has been widely used. The earliest example we have yet found is the claim that “BBC comedy The Burkiss Way [1976-1980] once featured a group of servants who were all called Rose, male and female alike, since they could only afford one name between them.”

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

paragraph 5

  • The “Iliad” is Homer’s epic poem about Troy.

paragraph 6

  • No notes.

paragraph 7

  • Dog rough” – “Very rowdy, disorderly, and dangerous.”

Page 19

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

  • Fag” is slang for cigarette.

paragraph 3

  • “Cathy or the lads” – Mick’s wife and children.

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

paragraph 5

paragraph 6

  • No notes.

paragraph 7

Grafton Street c.1950
Grafton Street c.1950
  • First mention of Doug. He appears in the chapter Choking on a Tune.
  • “Up Grafton Street over the Mounts” – See map. “The Mounts” is the name of the major intersection at the east end o Grafton Street. See notes to Choking on a Tune for more details of that trip.
  • Lorry” is the British word for “truck.”

paragraph 8

  • No notes.

paragraph 9

Cheyne Walk c.1950
Cheyne Walk c.1950
  • Cheyne Walk – See map. The distance from the Warren/Moore home to the hospital is about 3/4 of a mile as the crow flies. Almost certainly over a mile across busy city streets.

paragraph 10

  • No notes.

paragraph 11

  • While there have been recorded cases of people surviving up to 30 minutes without air, these are quite rare. After 10 minutes, death or irreversible brain damage would normally be expected.

paragraph 12-14

  • No notes.

paragraph 15

  • “In the ceiling […] eating fairies” – See Book Two.

Page 20

paragraph 1 (cont.)-2

  • No notes.

paragraph 3

  • Bounty Bar – Probably in reference to a UK brand of candy bar.
  • East Park Parade – About a mile NE of the Boroughs, just east of the Racecourse.
  • “The absences of all the missing customers…” – At first seeming like a mere poetic image, it transpires that this is meant as a literal reference to ghosts. See the chapter Rough Sleepers.

paragraph 4

Castle Street to Fitzroy Place
Castle Street to Fitzroy Place (Google Maps 2020)
  • “Down Castle Street to Fitzroy Street” – Technically, Fitzroy is currently a “Place”, though it was a “Street” earlier – see map.
  • “Ghost-neighbourhood” – Double meaning here, referring to both the way in which the formerly vibrant neighborhood has vanished, and to the way that the area is literally a neighborhood for ghosts.
  • “New run of paintings” – These correspond, of course, to Jerusalem itself.

paragraph 5

  • Carious” – Decayed (usually used of teeth).

Page 21

paragraph 1 (cont).

Bath Street flats (Google Maps Oct 2018)
Bath Street flats (Google Maps Oct 2018)
  • “The rear of Bath Street flats” – See image, though it seems to have been repainted since this scene as it no longer appears to have “scab-textured brick”. Alternately, that phrase may just refer to the foundation area, visible in the image below.
  • “Saint Peter’s house” – From context, this may be the official name of the “Bath Street Flats”? They are not at all close to St. Peter’s Street or Church.

    Bath Street flats stairway
    Bath Street flats stairway (Google Maps Sep 2014)
  • “Triangular stone stairways shaped like ziggurats, steps dropping from the apex to the base at either side” – See image.
  • Bauhaus – An early 20th century German art school which had a strong influence on, among other fields, architecture. (The name also refers to an English Gothic rock band with roots in Northampton – see chapter The Rood in the Wall.
  • “Radiophonic workshop” The BBC Radiophonic Workshop is a sound effects unit of the BBC founded in 1958, that did a lot of groundbreaking work with synthesizers.
  • St. James’s End, west of the river” – A neighborhood of Northampton, west of the river Nene, a bit under a mile away from the current scene. (Moore also wrote a short film set here titled after the area’s nickname, Jimmy’s End.)

paragraph 2

  • “That thing over there” is the Destructor, physically long gone, but its influence remaining.

paragraph 3-5

  • No notes.

paragraph 6

  • “The bottom of the rough trapezium of hunched-up ground called Castle Hill” – The exact location indicated is rather unclear. There is a street named Castle Hill, just south of Castle Street, but that’s not a “rough trapezium of ground”. “Castle Hill” is also the name of a neighborhood which might be called a trapezium if you squinted. The Warren siblings seem to be close to its western edge which might be considered its “bottom” as the land slopes down towards the river.
    • A “trapezium” is a quadrilateral with no parallel sides.
  • “What was left of Fitzroy Street” – Fitzroy Street used to extend all the way to St. Andrews Road. Now (renamed “Fitzroy Place”), it has about two-thirds of its former length.

    "shoebox stack of ’Sixties housing" (Google Maps Sep 2014)
    “shoebox stack of ’Sixties housing” (Google Maps Sep 2014)
  • “Shoebox stack of ’Sixties housing” – see image.
  • “Moat Street, Fort Street” – The original streets are gone, though there are a “Moat Place” and a “Fort Place” in their approximate locations.
  • “Claustrophobic dead-end car park, block accommodation closing in on two sides while the black untidy hedges, representing a last desperate stand of Boroughs wilderness, spilled over on a third.” Google Maps last photographed this spot in April 2009. The hedges seem to have been severely trimmed back and tamed, but the rest of the description holds.
"a last desperate stand of Boroughs wilderness"
“a last desperate stand of Boroughs wilderness”

paragraph 7

  • Dogging” is British slang for “The practice of having sexual intercourse in public places, especially parks, deliberately taking the chance of being watched.”

Page 22

Rail tracks (Google Maps 2020)
Rail tracks (Google Maps 2020)

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “The criss-cross self-harm scars of the rail tracks” – There is a major railroad switching yard in the area described. See map.

paragraph 2

  • No notes.

paragraph 3

  • NME” (stands for New Musical Express) is a British pop music magazine. They have referred to Moore as a genius in 2019. Sadly, their online archives don’t go far enough back to find a quote that would match the c.2004 of this scene.

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

paragraph 5

  • Narnia” is a fictional magic realm created by C.S. Lewis.
  • “The cardboard jungle” – Another term for a “Hooverville“, a ramshackle homeless encampment.

    Castle Hill walk (Google Maps 2020)
    Castle Hill walk (Google Maps 2020)

Page 23

paragraph 1

  • “Castle Hill, towards the wall of Doddridge Church, heading for Chalk Lane, Marefair and […] Andrew’s Road” – See map. Doddridge Church is currently operating as Castle Hill URC, marked on map.
    • Note that while Google Maps – and many other maps, including the one included in Jerusalem – uses the name “Mare Fair”, the text of Jerusalem consistently spells it as a single word, “Marefair”.

paragraph 2

Stanley Spencer, Workmen in the House 1935
Stanley Spencer, Workmen in the House 1935
  • Stanley Spencer” (1891-1959) British painter. His artwork often featured working men.
  • This “Work in Progress” gives this chapter its title.

paragraph 3

  • “The eighteenth-century Nonconformist church that they were passing” – See image below.

    Doddridge Church (Google Street View Oct 2018)
    Doddridge Church (Google Street View Oct 2018)
  • “Angel-door” – Though it’s probably a coincidence, second-story doors that lead nowhere and are called “angel doors” are apparently a feature of architecture in Utah.

paragraph 4

paragraph 5

  • “Turfed-over wasteland up beyond another car park, on Chalk Lane” – Presumably to the north or west of what is marked on the map above as Chalk Lane Car Park.

paragraph 6

paragraph 7

"Its surveillance camera babysitter" (Google Street View Jun 2018)
“Its surveillance camera babysitter” (Google Street View Jun 2018)
  • “Car-crèche” – Crèche has several meanings, none of which are literally true, but are applied here metaphorically. The most likely one is “day nursery”.
  • “Its surveillance camera babysitter monitoring her charges from a litter-pocket corner” – See image.
  • “The nearby station” – Northampton train station is across St. Andrew’s Road from Chalk Lane.
  • “Pantomime dame crust” – Pantomime, in Britain, refers to a kind of comic children’s play, usually performed around Christmas. This phrase evokes a thick (deceptive) “crust” of makeup on the surface.
  • Dual carriageway” is the British term for “divided highway”. Several Northampton streets were converted to dual carriageways during Moore’s lifetime.
  • “Constant as clouds” – An interesting phrase. Clouds (and trees) are “constant” in the sense that they appear to always be present and to always have been present and forever to come to be present (though the chapter Eating Flowers provides a larger perspective). However, specific clouds (and trees) are quite inconstant, changing steadily, and often vanishing from the landscape.

paragraph 8

St Mary's Street (Google Maps 2020)
St Mary’s Street (Google Maps 2020)
  • “St. Mary’s Street” – See map at right. At least as of 2020, Chalk Lane experiences an odd sort of bifurcation near St. Mary’s Street, with St. Mary’s Street continuing on from a spur of Chalk Lane. It’s unclear how this jibes with “the top of Chalk Lane”.
  • “The great fire” – See chapter Malignant, Refractory Spirits.

Page 24

Horse Market (Google Maps 2020)
Horse Market (Google Maps 2020)

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “Horsemarket, running uphill to […] where the Mayorhold used to be.” – See map at right. The Mayorhold was a major market square of Northampton for centuries. Demolished in the 1970s, the site now is a large parking garage.
  • “Chalk Lane dipped through darkness, south and down to Marefair” – See map below.
  • “Devil-decorated eaves of Peter’s Church” – See image.
  • devil-decorated eaves of Peter’s Church
    devil-decorated eaves of Peter’s Church

    “An ibis hotel and attendant entertainment complex” – See map, below. [The lower- case “I” in “ibis” is not a typo, but how the chain spells the word.]

    "an ibis hotel and attendant entertainment complex"
    “an ibis hotel and attendant entertainment complex”
  • Fabergé – A Russian jewelry firm, famed for their fantastic jewelry eggs.
  • Barclaycard is a British credit card company. They had a headquarters in the stated site from at least 1998-2000, though we haven’t yet found precise dates.

    Pike Lane c.late Victorian
    Pike Lane c.late Victorian
  • “Pike Lane, Quart Pot Lane, Doddridge Street” – See map at right. Doddridge Street still exists. While there is a label for “Quart Pot Lane” on this map, it is not clear exactly what it refers to.
  • “A royal residence” – This is puzzling. While Kingsthorpe, a suburb just north of Northampton, was a residence of King Offa, we haven’t (yet) found any references to a royal residence on this site. It can’t be a reference to the Castle, which was west of here.
  • Mercia was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom between 527–918.

paragraph 2

  • “The whole listing quarter right from Peter’s Way to Regent Square, from Andrew’s Road to Sheep Street and Saint Sepulchre’s” – St. Peter’s Way (now part of the A4500) essentially forms the south border of the Boroughs, though it continues on to the southeast beyond that. Regent Square is the northernmost point of the Boroughs (historically, it’s now more of a major street intersection than a square) at the intersection of Grafton Street and Broad Street. Saint Andrew’s Road (aka the A5095) forms the western boundary of the Boroughs, though it continues to the north. Saint Sepulchre’s church is, arguably, the easternmost point of the Boroughs, and also the subject of chapter 6 of Voice of the Fire, Limping to Jerusalem.
  • “Tower-block arrows” refers to Beaumont Court and Claremont Court. See Page 30, paragraphs 2-3 for more details.
  • crackling” – In this context, “The crispy rind of roast pork.”
  • “Campaigners” refers to people campaigning for the legalization of cannabis, aka marijuana, hashish, etc.

paragraph 3

Black Lion Hill
Black Lion Hill (Google Maps 2020)
  • “Black Lion Hill […] at the arse-end of Marefair” – Though technically part of Mare Fair today, the stretch of road south of St. Andrews and North of the Black Lion pub was traditionally known as Black Lion Hill. See map at right.
  • “four hundred years of public house” – The original Black Lion pub burned down in the Great Fire of 1675. The current building, the “Old Black Lion” was erected in 1720.
  • “By the alley-mouth” – Exact location unclear. Possibly the alley leading west from “Castle Brewery” on the 1899 map (see detail at right).

    Black Lion Hill c.1899
    Black Lion Hill c.1899
  • “Comics […] shipped here from America as ballast” – This was largely how American comics made their way to the UK from the 1940s through the mid 80s – as incidental ballast for ships.
  • Journey into Mystery” was the Marvel comic where Thor first appeared.
  • Forbidden Worlds” was a fantasy comic published by American Comics Group. It is discussed in more detail in the chapter A Cold and Frosty Morning.
  • My Greatest Adventure” was the DC comic where the Doom Patrol first appeared.

    Black Lion Hill c.1940s?
    Black Lion Hill c.1940s?
  • “A melancholy guesthouse” – Not clearly identified, but the neighborhood used to have many small hotels, due to proximity to the train station. The image at right (with the Black Lion at far right) seems to show “a screen of elder[ tree]s” a few doors down, which may be the location meant.
  • “A mill-like structure dominated by a lantern cupola that previously ruled the corner” – Possibly the “Castle Brewery” indicated on the 1899 map (see detail above).
  • “A short row of faceless 1960s houses perched there now […] until the area was one day gentrified” – It is unclear if the gentrification happened, but a Google Street View from June 2018 shows no “1960s houses”, and construction going on in the area.
  • Northampton’s “Cultural Mile” is explained somewhat in this governmental document.
  • “A local councillor had occupied one of the buildings once” – Possibly Jim Cockie, subject of the chapter Cornered.

    Castle Station (Google Maps 2020)
    Castle Station (Google Maps 2020)
  • “Crossed St. Andrew’s Road, continuing to the approach of Castle Station.” – See map at right, though the station is technically named “Northampton”.

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

Page 25

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “Prostitute away-teams hot from Milton Keynes or Rugby”:
    • The last chapter of Voice of the Fire makes brief reference to “a sexual tourist fresh from Milton Keynes” being killed in Northampton.
    • A decade later, it wasn’t seekers of sex-work that Moore noted, but providers. In a 2006 interview (when Moore would have been starting work on Jerusalem) describes the area of the Castle as: “now it’s the station where the sex workers arrive from Milton Keynes and Rugby – there’s an overnight truck park at the other end of Andrews Road, rich pickings for the vice girls. So you’ve got these crack-head prostitutes in the area”
    • Milton Keynes” is a town about 20 miles south of Northampton.
      • Moore worked on the construction of Milton Keynes as a young man. Decades later, he would joke about being “worshipped as a God by the primitive and superstitious people of Milton Keynes.”
    • Rugby” is a town about 20 miles northeast of Northampton.
  • Silverlink” was a train operating company that ran trains between London and Northampton from 1997 to 2007. Milton Keynes and Rugby were each two stops away (in opposite directions).

    All-night truck stop (Google Maps 2020)
    All-night truck stop (Google Maps 2020)
  • “All-night truck stop on its northwest corner, where the hump of Spencer Bridge met Crane Hill at the foot of Grafton Street, the area’s northern boundary” – See map at right.
    • The truck stop is located to the south and west of “The Super Sausage”, roughly on the NW corner of the Boroughs (it is almost due north of the train station).
    • Spencer Bridge is where Spencer Bridge Rd crosses the Nene River.
    • A “late Victorian” map identifies what is now the west end of the A428 as “Crane Street”, presumably corresponding to “Crane Hill”.
    • Grafton Street is now only part of the A428, though the c.1950 map has it reaching all the way to Spencer Bridge Rd, and forming the “northern boundary” of the Boroughs.
  • “Shakespeare’s King John” is a play. The setting of the first scene is the Northampton Castle, which was later demolished by Charles II (see chapter Sleepless Swords). Later still, its last remaining ruins were demolished to make way for the Northampton Railway Station. Location is labeled “site of castle” on Jerusalem map.
  • “World’s first parliament during the thirteenth century” refers to Henry I’s initial parliament meeting in Northampton, which one website places in 1131 (which should be the twelfth century, so “thirteenth” is an error). This parliament (and date) are also referenced in the chapter An Asmodeus Flight.
  • “And raised the poll tax” – Almost certainly referring to the Parliament of November-December 1380, which met at Northampton and did raise a poll tax.
  • Wat Tyler‘s uprising of 1381″ is known as The Peasants’ Revolt. It had no direct connection to Northampton other than the Parliament location noted above.
  • “Various Crusades were planned” – Alan Moore has said, “I believe that Richard the Lionheart raised the First Crusade at Northampton Castle”, though we have found no documentation of this as yet. Northampton castle was built by Simon de Senlis, who participated in the First Crusade (see Voice of the Fire chapter Limping to Jerusalem). In 1238, various barons met at Northampton to swear to bring their forces to Palestine. In June 1268 “700 persons took the cross for a holy crusade” at a Northampton parliament.
  • “[Thomas] Becket” (1119-1170) was the archbishop of Canterbury. Becket was summoned to a trial at Northampton Castle in October 1164; Becket was convicted, but fled into exile. Becket appears as a character in the chapter The Steps of All Saints.

    "hackney cabs unwinding round the station’s yard" (Google Street View Nov 2012)
    “hackney cabs unwinding round the station’s yard” (Google Street View Nov 2012)
  • “The soot-blasted road where Mick and Alma had grown up” – Reminder, St. Andrew’s Road is shown on the map above as the A5095.
  • “Hackney cabs unwinding round the station’s yard” – See image.

paragraph 2

  • “Fourteen months later on a cold Spring Saturday in 2006” – From numerous other references, this is May 27.
    Whitehills to Regent Square (Google Maps 2020)
    Whitehills to Regent Square (Google Maps 2020)
    • From various interviews, this appears to be how about how long Moore thought it was going to take to finish Jerusalem. In actual fact, it took closer to ten years, with the book being released in 2016 rather than 2006.
  • Whitehills is a Northampton neighborhood about 2.5 miles north of the Boroughs.
  • Kingsthorpe is a neighborhood about halfway between Whitehills and the Boroughs.
  • Barrack Road is also known as A508.

paragraph 3

Site of former "playgroup" (Google Maps 2020)
Site of former “playgroup” (Google Maps 2020)
  • Pitt-Draffen’s dance school” is still in existence in Northampton, but has moved out of the Boroughs. In a 2016 interview, Moore identified the site as “the Christ Disciples Faith Ministry. Back in 2006, before some remodelling, this was the day-care nursery where Alma decided to stage her exhibition”.
  • “Chain of Office” is the name of the final chapter of Jerusalem.

paragraph 4

"something out of Village of the Damned"
“something out of Village of the Damned”
  • Village of the Damned” is a 1960 British horror film. The film features possessed monster-children whose eyes glow. On page 17,paragraph 1 Alma’s eyes are described similarly as “spooky and massive… warm slate irises against which an extraterrestrial citrus yellow flared around the pupil like a full eclipse.” Overall, this description of Alma’s eyes may refer to Alan Moore’s penetrating eyes.

Page 26

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

Grafton Street (A428) (Google Maps 2020)
Grafton Street (A428) (Google Maps 2020)
  • The plunge of Grafton Street” – See map at right.
  • “An anaconda laminate of molten tyre…” – This refers to events in the chapter Go See Now This Cursed Woman.
  • Netto Fabulous” is a skateboard shop in Manchester.
  • Burberry” is a brand of British luxury fashion.
  • “Jimmy’s End” is a nickname for the St. James End area of Northampton. It is also the name of short film by Moore and Mitch Jenkins (part of the series Show Pieces.)
  • Grand Theft Auto San Andreas” is a video game which features (among many other things) reckless driving and car crashes.
  • Horse tranquilliser“, aka ketamine, is often abused recreationally by humans.

paragraph 3

Sunlight building (Google Street View May 2017)
Sunlight building (Google Street View May 2017)
  • “The Sunlight building […] an oily car-repair shop still, with the incongruous solar trademark of the previous establishment raised in relief from its white Art Deco façade” – See image, right, and map, above.
  • “The dismal shell of the old Labour Exchange” – Probably the Regent’s Gate building. (See map, above.)

paragraph 4

  • St. Andrew’s Church was built in 1842. See image, right.

    Old photo of St. Andrew's Church
    Old photo of St. Andrew’s Church
  • “Itself built on the site of the St. Andrew’s Priory” – This seems to be an error, or at best an exaggeration. Examination of period maps clearly show that the Priory was north of Grafton Street, approximately near what are now the suggestively-named Lower Priory Street and Upper Priory Street. St. Andrews Street (and, formerly, Church) is to the south of Grafton Street.
  • “The great preponderance of phantom Cluniac monks amongst the district’s roster of reported ghosts.” – While there are several ghostly monks associated with Northampton, most of these are explicitly associated with other abbeys and monasteries. The one “unaffiliated” (and thus possibly Cluniac) ghost we have found reference to is the one purported to have haunted the Old Jolly Smokers pub. This pub is frequently referenced throughout Jerusalem, and is visited in the chapters Forbidden Worlds, The Jolly Smokers (of course), and Go See Now This Cursed Woman.
    • Cluniac monks” refers to a monastic order founded in 910 in Cluny.
  • “The half-a-square-mile’s multitude of pubs – what was it, eighty-something?” – A map of Boroughs pubs lists 82, though not all of them would have been open at the same time. There exists a website devoted to reports of haunted pubs in Northampton.
  • Snug” in this sense is a British term for a small back room in a pub.
  • Lavvy” is slang for lavatory, bathroom.

Page 27

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • Fag end” is British for “cigarette butt”.
  • King’s Heath is a Northampton neighborhood, about 1.5 miles northwest of the Boroughs.
  • Abington is a Northampton neighborhood about a mile northeast of the Boroughs.
  • The Dead Issue” is a play on The Big Issue, a UK magazine sold by homeless people.

paragraph 2

Bill Badger and Rupert Bear
Bill Badger and Rupert Bear
  • First mention of Albert “Bill” Badger, a barber. He is mentioned again in the final chapter, Chain of Office.
  • Rupert Bear” is a British newspaper comic strip. One of his friends is indeed named “Bill Badger”.
  • Bay Rum” is a type of cologne/aftershave.
  • Styptic pencils” are medicine to stop bleeding.
  • “Last year there’d been a young, mentally ill Somali […]” – While we have been unable to track down this incident, it is probably relevant to note the presence of a community of Somali war refugees in Northampton, many of whom suffer from PTSD.
  • “She’d been “doing his head in”, so he claimed.” – While we have been unable to track down this case, another British man did a similar crime in 2018 and used the exact same phrase to ‘explain’ himself.

paragraph 3

  • Hoarding” is British for “billboard”.
  • The “[Northampton] Chronicle & Echo” is a newspaper. The events reported are depicted in the chapter Go See Now This Cursed Woman.
  • “Miss Starmer who had run the post office” is Lucy Starmer, who was much interviewed for the book In Living Memory: Life in ‘The Boroughs’, a major source for Moore. Here is the original version of her anecdote, showing that Moore has quoted the last three sentences verbatim:

    There was a row of houses in Grafton Street. Mr Jarman’s was about the middle. He used to talk to my mother when he came for his pension. He told my mother one day, he said his wife stood out on the step – you know, they used to come out and fold their arms and look up and down Grafton Street – and a woman came up to her, put a baby in her arms and went. They never did find her. They brought this boy up. Oh, he did turn out a lovely boy. He was a real gentleman. He went into the army in the First World War and the army found out who he was. You can tell what a lovely family they were to have brought him up. But they were in the Boroughs. That was the kind of families we had in the Boroughs.

Page 28

Lower Harding Street walk (google Maps 2020)
Lower Harding Street walk (google Maps 2020)

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • No notes

paragraph 2

  • “Left from Grafton Street and into Lower Harding Street, a long straight track that would deliver him to Alma’s exhibition” – See map, right.
  • First mention of Roman Thompson, Alma’s gay lefty activist friend. Roman forms much of the subject of the chapter Burning Gold. Based on real-life Norman Adams.
  • “Thompson the Leveller” apparently refers to the Levellers, a seventeenth-century political movement.
  • “UCS” stands for Upper Clyde Shipbuilders. The “strike” is probably the 1971 “work-in” campaign (not actually a strike, per se).
  • “A National Front march through Brick Lane” – Brick Lane is a street in the East End of London. By 1970, the area had become predominantly settled by Bangladeshi immigrants. The “National Front” is a racist, right-wing party. On 4 May, 1978, Altab Ali was killed by racists. This led to local Bangladeshis marching in protest, which might possibly be the event alluded to here (though rather unclearly, if so). While we have found no records of specifically National Front marches in the area, in September 1978, the NF moved their headquarters to Great Eastern Street, a few minutes’ walk from Brick Lane, making it likely that they held anti-Bengali marches in the area.

    Defend Council Housing (benefit poster)
    Defend Council Housing (benefit poster)
  • “Terrible revenge” – See the chapter Burning Gold for details.
  • “Campaigning to prevent the sale and demolition of the area’s few remaining council dwellings.” – In 2006, around the time Alan Moore was working on this chapter, he was also lending support to Northampton Defend Council Housing, with both a video address and, in a very Alma-like move, creating a piece of art that was sold as a poster and t-shirt (see image at right).

paragraph 3

  • “Over a narrow road the yard of a car salesroom had replaced […]‘The Bricks’” – This would be about at the intersection of Lower Harding and Compton Street. There doesn’t seem to be a car dealer there in Google’s data from 2018/2020. For more on The Bricks, see chapters Rabbits and The Scarlet Well.
  • “Business premises formerly owned by Cleaver’s Glass” – We have found no information on Cleaver’s Glass. The building referenced may be the current Northampton Business Centre.
  • “Refused a co-director’s job” – For (slightly) more context, see the chapter The Breeze That Plucks Her Apron.
  • “Green Street” – See notes for Page 11, paragraph 3.
  • “Eating flowers” – At the risk of stating the obvious, for more details see the chapter Eating Flowers.

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

Page 29

Spring Lane (Google Maps 2020)
Spring Lane (Google Maps 2020)

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “Spring Lane went trickling down to Andrew’s Road past the rear side of Spring Lane School” – See map at right.
  • “Caretaker’s house” – Possibly the building which in Google Street View from October 2018 had a sign reading “The Annex Community Centre“.

    Spring Lane School grounds (Google Street View Oct 2012)
    Spring Lane School grounds (Google Street View Oct 2012)
  • “A baffling and precarious spike of brick” – No such structure is visible in Google Street View of the area from October 2018, nor on any maps we have. The building on the north side of Spring Lane, between Monks Pond Street and St Andrews Road (A5095) seems to be relatively new, and may perhaps have replaced it.
  • “Its fenced top edge” – See image, right. Most of these buildings date from 1970.

    Spring Lane School old buildings
    Spring Lane School old buildings

paragraph 2

  • “The bull’s-eye windows keeping watch from underneath a sharply angled ridge” – See image, right. These buildings date from the school’s founding in 1874.

paragraph 3

Alan Moore on the site of his childhood home in 1993
Alan Moore on the site of his childhood home in 1993
  • “The strip of grass on Andrew’s Road where Mick and Alma’s house had been” – Google Street View from June 2018 shows that some apartment buildings have now been erected there, though nothing like so dense as the housing that was there formerly. In 1993, Moore appeared in a short film called Don’t Let Me Die in Black and White, in which one scene is set on this “strip of grass”, see image, right.
  • “Verge” – See notes to Page 13, paragraph 3.
  • “The size and sturdiness of [the trees] always surprised Mick, but then […] they’d been growing there for over thirty years now.” – This suggests that the houses were torn down circa 1970. In the photo above, the trees are 13 years younger.

    The house on the corner of Scarletwell Street (Google Street View Jun 2018)
    The house on the corner of Scarletwell Street (Google Street View Jun 2018)

paragraph 4

  • “Two houses from the Warren’s block still stood unharmed, knocked into one and facing onto Scarletwell Street” – This house is significant, and will feature as a location in several different chapters. Its rear is visible behind Alan Moore in the image above, and was still standing as of June 2018, see image, right.
  • “Taken back eight hundred years to featureless green Priory pasture” – We don’t have maps for circa 1200. Our oldest map is from 1614. On that map, the land in question was a block south of the Priory’s border. It’s certainly conceivable that the Priory might have had more land 400 years earlier.
  • “Used as sheltered housing, possibly by those in care of the community” – Sheltered Housing is ” a term covering a wide range of rented housing for older and/or disabled or other vulnerable people.” Care of (or in) the Community is “the British policy of deinstitutionalisation, treating and caring for physically and mentally disabled people in their homes rather than in an institution.”
    • “He’d heard […] but didn’t know if this was true.” – We have been able to find no evidence of this. It may be completely an invention of Moore’s, for the convenience of his plot.

Page 30

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “Halfway houses” – “A halfway house is an institute for people with criminal backgrounds or abusive drug use tendencies to learn (or relearn) the necessary skills to re-integrate into society and better support and care for themselves.” There is a double-meaning here, though, suggesting a house that is only halfway in this world/dimension.

paragraph 2

Beaumont Court and Claremont Court (Google Street View Oct 2012)
Beaumont Court and Claremont Court (Google Street View Oct 2012)
  • “Lower Harding Street had turned to Crispin Street just past its juncture with Spring Lane.” – True since at least 1899 (possibly much earlier). Still true in 2020.
  • “The tall Kray-brother forms of Beaumont Court and Claremont Court” – The Kray Twins were notorious British criminals in the 1950s and 1960s. The two buildings were completed in 1962.
  • Badinage” is witty conversation.

paragraph 3

  • “Stack-a-prole” – Verbal play on “whac-a-mole“. A “prole” is a member of the proletariat, an ordinary or lower-class person.
  • Crack dens” are places where people go to buy and/or use crack cocaine.
  • Knocking shop” is British slang for a brothel.
  • “The council had instead decided on the option of offloading the dual eyesores to a private housing firm” – All information we could find on the web suggests that these buildings are still public housing administered by the Council. Perhaps this deal “had come to nothing”, as suggested a few sentences on.
  • “Bedford Housing” is presumably Peter Bedford Housing Association.
  • Myrmidons” – In classical mythology,a group of soldiers led by Achilles. In modern practice, the word is often used to mean “soldiers”; here it refers to police, suggesting that they are more like an occupying army than a social service.

Page 31

paragraph 1

  • “Viagra-fuelled atrocities” – The phrasing suggests crimes committed while under the influence of mind-altering drugs. Here, however, the drug is Viagra, a drug for treating erectile dysfunction developed in the late 1990s. The suggestion seems to be that sex-obsessed politicians created these phallic upthrusting buildings as an expression of their manliness.
  • “A gangling, panic-stricken figure”- First appearance of Den (Dennis [Last name? xxx]), who will be the viewpoint character of the chapter Jolly Smokers. This encounter will be seen again in that chapter, from Den’s viewpoint.
  • “FCUK” is French Connection brand clothing.

paragraph 2-3

  • No notes.

paragraph 4

  • “A bag lady of physiognomy, trying to wear all its expressions at the same time” – Referring to the habit of some homeless people of wearing all the clothing they possess at all times, leading to a strangely layered, overlapping appearance.
  • “tripped for England” – The phrasing suggests treating the taking of psychoactive drugs as a sport with international prestige. And, further, that Alma’s skill and constant practice of this sport fitted her for represnting her country.
  • “Acid” – Common name for LSD.
  • “Magic mushrooms” – Common name for the psilocybin mushroom.

Page 32

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “Nagging shadow of familiarity” – Mick encountered Den in the chapter Forbidden Worlds, though in a rather altered state.

paragraph 2

Upper Cross Street (Google Maps 2020)
Upper Cross Street (Google Maps 2020)
  • “Up the pub” is British dialect for [being] at or [going] to a pub. As seen in the chapter Jolly Smokers, however, the pub Den went to was literally “up”.

paragraph 3

  • “Upper Cross Street” is essentially a continuation of Crispin Street, which is a continuation of Lower Harding Street. See map at right. The mention of “maisonettes” means that Mick is now south of Scarletwell Street.

paragraph 4

  • “Lock-in” – Per Wiktionary, “An illegal but widely-tolerated invitation-only gathering in a British pub, after the end of licensing hours, to allow regular customers the opportunity to enjoy further drinking time.”

paragraph 5

  • “There’d been no pubs on the Mayorhold for some decades now.” – According to a historical Pub Map, however, there used to be at least 4, including “The Old Jolly Smokers”.

paragraph 6-7

  • No notes.

Page 33

paragraph 1

  • “People in the corners” – See chapter Upstairs.

paragraph 2-3

  • No notes.

paragraph 4

  • Fags” is British slang for cigarettes.
  • “On the way down Barrack Road” – Page 25, paragraph 2.
  • “Cork-Busbied” is a rather opaque phrase. “Cork” refers to the cigarette filters (formerly made of cork, and often still patterned to look like cork). “Busbied” may be an allusion to Busby Berkeley, an American film choreographer known for overhead shots of groups of tightly organized dancers.
  • Zippo” is a brand of cigarette lighter.

paragraph 5-6

  • No notes.

paragraph 7

  • “A nice bit of grass with trees for shade.” That is, the location where Mick’s childhood home once stood. A younger Mick (in the chapter The Scarlet Well) finds this patch of grass existentially terrifying, but he has achieved a different perspective now.

paragraph 8-9

  • No notes.

    Upper Cross Street (Google Maps 2020)
    Upper Cross Street (Google Maps 2020)

paragraph 10

  • “Scarletwell Street corner, where it joined with Crispin Street and Upper Cross Street” – See map at right.
  • “The chain-link fence of Spring Lane School”, at some point between 2006 and 2018, was replaced by green upright post fencing.

Page 34

paragraph 1 (cont.)-3

  • No notes.

paragraph 4

  • Arthur Koestler” – Hungarian-British author.
    • “Wife-beating […] rapist” – Both these allegations became widely known in a 1988 biography of Koestler.
    • “Bipolar” – We have found allegations that Koestler may have been bipolar, but no details. It is odd that Alma (Alan) would view this particular mental illness so negatively, given how sympathetic the bulk of Jerusalem is about mental illnesses.
  • “These unconnected wrigglers were all part of the same unimaginable entity” – Suggestive of how some people have suggested higher-dimensional beings might appear to human senses. (Dating back to at least Abbott’s Flatland).
  • “Bath Street” – See map above. Notably, this is the approximate location of The Destructor.

paragraph 5

  • No notes.

Page 35

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • No notes.

    Bath Street flats (Google Street View Jun 2018)
    Bath Street flats (Google Street View Jun 2018)

paragraph 2

  • “Bath Street flats, their front” – See image.
  • “A year ago with Alma”- Page 21, paragraph 1
  • “A bunch of fives” – Refers on a literal level to the five fingers bunched in a fist. Suggestive also of other readings. Readers of the Illuminatus! trilogy (a major influence on Moore) will recall that 5 is a number associated with synchronicity.

    Little Cross Street (Google Maps 2020)
    Little Cross Street (Google Maps 2020)

paragraph 3

  • “Little Cross Street, which would take him […] into Castle Street” – See map, right. The spot now marked “Christ Disciples Faith Ministries” is the site of Alma’s exhibition.
  • First mention (by name) of Joseph (or Joe), Mick’s youngest child, 12 years old.

paragraph 4

  • “Dreadful stench of burning garbage” is a manifestation of the Destructor.

Page 36

Bath Street flats ramp (Google Street View Oct 2018)
Bath Street flats ramp (Google Street View Oct 2018)

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • “Wheelchair-friendly ramp” – See image, right.

paragraph 2

  • First appearance of the dog turd. You might not expect such a thing to be a recurring character, but it is.
  • “Faux-Bauhaus half-moon windows” – See image below. Bauhaus – See notes to Page 21, paragraph 1.

    Half-moon windows (Google Street View Oct 2018)
    Half-moon windows (Google Street View Oct 2018)
  • “Young trees” – Visible in the images here, 12 and a half years older.

paragraph 3

  • “Beamed up to” – An allusion to Star Trek’s transporter beam, which can move people from the surface of a planet “up” into the heavens.

Page 37

paragraph 1 (cont.)-2

  • No notes.

paragraph 3

  • “The Boroughs” – The book In Living Memory: Life in ‘The Boroughs’ (a major source for Moore) has the following comments about the name:
    • Why it was called ‘Boroughs’ I’ll never know. I would imagine it may have had something to do with so many villains like rats scuffling about in burrows… I’ve often asked. The first thing the sergeant told you when he sent you – “You’re down the Boroughs tonight, boy,” “What do you call it the Boroughs for, sergeant?” “Get on you, don’t ask silly questions.” He didn’t know! (Ex-Detective Chief Inspector George Harding)

    • The reason the area was called the Burrows was because so many houses, shops and public houses were built so tightly close to each other in such a small area of the Borough Town Centre. Also, in the same area was the Borough’s main Refuse Depot where the town’s rubbish was collected and burnt in large furnaces causing plenty of black smoke. This meant continuous hard work in many ways for the people living in the area to keep everything clean. There were no such things as mechanical (cleaning) devices at this time of the century. […] (Reg Caiger)

    • John Stevens: I’ve always been a little bit intrigued by this name ‘The Boroughs’. Some people think it was because they bred rather rapidly like rabbits, but I don’t think that’s true. This business of large families was just as true of every other part of every other town because in that time there was no such thing as family planning. I think it’s to do with the original Borough. […] I’m sure that’s where the name really came from. The fact that they’ve associated it with rabbits – it’s a thing the better-off have thought of. The Borough Yard ran along Little Cross Street, along the bottom with the old, big destructor chimney. A terrific chimney. But that’s why, in my opinion, we got the name: ‘The Borough Boys’. It was nothing to do with living in rabbit burrows. I think we got it from the fact that the Borough Yard was in Bath Street. So they called us: ‘The Borough Boys’ who lived in the vicinity of the Borough Yard, which I say now is Scarletwell Street, Castle Street, Bath Street, any little intersecting streets and the Mayorhold. That was the Boroughs, what we called the Boroughs.

paragraph 4

  • “The sudden on/off light-switch change” – This extremely localized effect of the Destructor will be repeated several times throughout Jerusalem.

paragraph 5

  • No notes.
Castle Hill turf (Google Street View Oct 2018)
Castle Hill turf (Google Street View Oct 2018)

paragraph 6

  • “Castle Hill, the rectangle of turf there on its corner” – See image, right.
  • “That man and woman had once tried to drag his sister into their black car when she was seven” – Apparently true; Moore has said in an interview that he “suffered an attempted abduction at the age of six or so”. The incident is recounted in more detail in the chapter A Cold and Frosty Morning.

Page 38

paragraph 1 (cont.)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

Castle Hill (Google Maps 2020)
Castle Hill (Google Maps 2020)
    • “Rounding the bend of Castle Hill to Fitzroy Street” – See map, right. Presumably the circle at upper left is “Castle Hill”. “Fitzroy Street” is now technically Fitzroy Place. The narrative geography is slightly compressed here; from Fitzroy, Mick could see the back and side of the (then-)nursery but not its front door as described.
    • First mentions of several of Alma’s friends. All of these characters will appear in the final chapter, Chain of Office:
      Dean, Roman Thompson’s boyfriend (mentioned without naming above on P28,p2). Presumably based on the “Neil” mentioned in the acknowledgments along with Thompson’s real-life analog.
      Benedict Perrit, a poet. He is the viewpoint character of the chapter Atlantis. Based upon real life Northampton poet Dominic Allard.
      Dave Daniels, a science fiction enthusiast. He is a major character in the chapter The Rafters and the Beams. Judging by the similarities in name, he is probably based upon Donald Davies, mentioned in the Acknowledgments.
      Bert Reagan, a 1960s co-conspirator. He plays a major role throughout Book Two, though this only becomes clear in the chapter Forbidden Worlds. Based on a real person, Stephen “Fred” Ryan, whom Moore eulogized upon his death in 2016.
      Bert’s mother, not yet named, who will turn out to be a significant character in Book Two. Based on Phyllis Ryan.
      Two old women (never named), who also appear (rather younger) in the chapter Malignant, Refractory Spirits.

paragraph 3

  • No notes.

>Go to Jerusalem Annotations Index
>Go to Chapter 2 – A Host of Angles

25 thoughts on “J1.01 Work in Progress”

  1. I’m currently two chapters deep into this tomb, and have been posting thoughts and observations on Reddit. But now that I see you have this site up and running, breaking everything down by page (and paragraph!), I’m excited to continue the conversation over here!

    The following is what I have previously posted on Reddit about chapter 1. Please feel free to add anything from it to your annotations above.

    • Alma is most certainly Moore, which I believe he has pretty much confirmed in an interview (although I can’t find it right now). Plus, in real life Moore has a little brother named Michael who almost choked to death on a cough drop when they were kids. On top of that, this sentence from p18 hammers it home for anyone who’s heard Moore speak:

    “Alma’s voice vas smoke-cured to an ominous bass organ chord reverberating in a Gothic church, at time even a little deeper than Mick’s own.”

    Also, Vernall (as in Vernall’s Inquest; Audrey Vernall) is a riff on Vernon (as in Audrey Vernon, a relative whom Moore dedicates the book to).

    • The “joke” Alma tells to the Third Borough in her dream: she sang the first verse of “All things bright and beautiful” after he asks her (seemingly telepathically) if she knows who he is. And he does get the joke! Anyone understand this and/or also get the joke?

    • Does the term “going cornery” exist outside of this book? Google doesn’t seem to think so as far as I can see. It’s discussed and explained early on, and then Mick fears for a minute that he is “going cornery” later on p16. Either way, great term!

    • I think it’s worth noting that within Alma’s dream she remembers another dream (about her mom and the pigeons) on p7. Then later on p20 she mentions the dream-within-a-dream to Michael when talking about the initial dream.

    • Despite the brevity of his inclusion, I’m already really digging the character Roman Thompson, who “had broken through police lines to punch out one of the leaders in a National Front march through Brick Lane” (p28).

    • This quote made me laugh: “…an authority on having not just lost the plot but having wilfully flushed entire script down the shitter” (p16).

    Like

    1. • The “joke” Alma tells to the Third Borough in her dream: she sang the first verse of “All things bright and beautiful” after he asks her (seemingly telepathically) if she knows who he is. And he does get the joke! Anyone understand this and/or also get the joke?

      I am not nearly as far along as you are and I could be off here but I think the “joke” is that he is Christ/God and she recognizes it but doesn’t want to speak his name. He asks “Do you know who I am?” and she replies by singing a few bars of the hymn.

      I posted this yesterday but I think it is relevant.

      The Third Borough in Alma’s dream is most certainly Christ. Based on her description of him (dark complexion and she thinks he is from somewhere far away like Palestine), the fact that they’re carpenters and the hymn that comes to Alma’s mind is evidence enough I think but Frith Borh hints at it as well.

      Frith Borh (the term Doreen uses for the Third Borough) is “peace-pledge” or Frankpledge. It was “a system of joint suretyship common in England throughout the Early Middle Ages.”

      Basically it appears it was an agreement among people (usually kin) to share responsibility for each other’s debts or actions. If one is part of a clan and can’t pay a debt the rest of the clan assumes responsibility for the debtor. Similarly, if a clansman commits a crime, the clan is responsible for producing him so justice can be served. Alternatively, if they cannot or don’t produce him, they must swear they’ve taken no part in his escape and possibly pay the price for his offense. [Source: good old wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankpledge%5D

      Frith Borh is a pledge or promise to pay a debt. If human sins are a debt to God, Christ is the promise to pay that debt.

      Like I said, I could be way off. Perhaps the joke and identity of the Third Borough will be revealed later but my gut tells me Chirst / God.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So I went down the rabbit hole of Youtube recently watching Stewart Lee standup (of which there is a lot of really funny stuff!), and it turns out he has a bit on the hymn “All Things Bright and Beautiful” (what Alma starts singing to the Third Borough in her dream):

    It’s not necessarily relevant to Alma’s dream here per se, but it’s a damn hilarious deconstruction of the hymn!

    Like

  3. I’ll put my Dramatis Personae and Index lists here.
    NOTES:
    Page referrers are for 3 volume paperback edition by Knockabout.
    Dramatis personae-characters in brackets are only mentioned but not in scene.

    Dramatis Personae
    • Alma Warren: artist, painter, POV at beginning of chapter
    • Michael ›Mick‹ Warren: Almas younger brother,, POV from p. 24
    • Doreen Warren: mother of Alma and Michael (died 1995, approx. 10 years after Mick ›died‹, had vision and resurrected)
    • Third Borough and (3 or 4) collegues. 1. with white hair; 2. with large mole; 3. bit foreign-looking.
    (• May Warren: mother of Almas father)
    (• Tom Warren: Mays husband)
    (• Joe Swan: Doreens father)
    (• Clara: Doreens mother)
    (• Tommy Warren: Almas father, died 1990)
    (• Snowy Varnell: Mays father; went cornery, died between mirrors eating flowers)
    (• Ernest Varnell: Snowys father)
    (• Thursa Varnell: Snowys sister)
    (• Johnny Varnell: Snowys son)
    (• Audrey Varnell: Johnnys daughter; great accordion player)
    (• Janet Cooper: Almas best friend when she was 5)
    (• Doug: neighbor who drove Mick with vegetable lorry to hospital)
    • Cathy: Michaels wife
    • (Pitt-Draffen: dance school)
    • (Bill Badger: barber)
    • (Miss Starmer: post office)
    • Roman Thompson ›Thompson the Leveller‹: lefty activist; good friend of Alma
    (• Jack Warren: Michaels son)
    (• Joseph Warren: Michaels son)
    • Male teenager with FCUK-Shirt
    • gnome-like woman with headscarf
    • Dean: Romans boyfriend
    • Benedict Perrit: poet; same class as Alma in Spring Lane School
    • Dave Daniels (black): ex-boyfriend of Alma; shares her enthusiasm for SF and comics
    • Bret Regan: 1960 co-conspirator of Alma
    • Mother or aunt of Bret at Almas exhibition
    • two older woman at Almas exhibition

    Index
    • Earl Spencer = John Poyntz Spencer, 5th Earl Spencer (1835-1910), called ›The Red Earl‹ because of his long red beard: 16
    Quinquereme of Nineweh, poem (1902) by John Masefield: 18
    All things bright and beautiful, poem in »Hymns for Children« (1848): 18
    • Jesus: 23
    • Mick Hucknall (*1960), English pop singer, frontman of Simply Red: 25
    • Lou Reed (1942-2013), American musician, singer, songwriter; memeber of Velvet Underground: 25
    • Transformer (1972), music record by Lou Reed: 25
    The Iliad, epic poem by Homer: 27
    • NME, probably New Music Express, magazin: 30
    • Narnia, secondary fantasy world by C. S. Lewis: 30
    • Stanley Spencer (1891-1959), English painter: 31
    Journey Into Mystery, US comic: 32
    Forbidden Worlds, US comic: 32
    My Greatest Adventure, US comic: 32
    • William Shakespeare (baptised 1564-1616), English poet, playwright, actor: 32
    The Life and Death of King John, theatre play by Shakespeare: 32
    • Wat Tyler, leader of Peasants’ Revolt of 1381: 32
    • Thomas Becket (1119-1170), Catholic saint, Lord Chancellor, Archbishop of Canterbury: 32
    Village of the Damned, UK movie (1960) based on novel by John Wyndham: 33
    Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, video game (2004) by Rockstar Studios: 34
    • Rupert Bear, English cartoon character by Mary Tourtel, published in The Daily Express: 34
    Northampton Chronicle & Echo, newspaper: 35
    • The Levellers, English proto democratic movement during English Civil War 1642-49: 35
    • USC (Upper Clyde Shipbuilders), Scottish ship building conglomerat: 35
    • National Front, right wing party in England: 35
    • FCUK, motiv of fashion lable French Connection: 38
    • Arthur Koestler (1905-1983), Austrian-Hungarian author and journalist: 41

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Frith Borh is “peace-pledge” or Frankpledge. It was “a system of joint suretyship common in England throughout the Early Middle Ages.”

    Basically it appears it was an agreement among people (usually kin) to share responsibility for each other’s debts or actions. If one is part of a clan and can’t pay a debt the rest of the clan assumes responsibility for the debtor. Similarly, if a clansman commits a crime, the clan is responsible for producing him so justice can be served. Alternatively, if they cannot or don’t produce him, they must swear they’ve taken no part in his escape and possibly pay the price for his offense. [Source: good old wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankpledge%5D

    The Third Borough in Alma’s dream is most certainly Christ. Based on his description, the fact that they’re carpenters and the hymn that comes to Alma’s mind is evidence enough I think but Frith Borh hints at it as well. Frith Borh is a pledge or promise to pay a debt. If human sins are a debt to God, Christ is the promise to pay that debt.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. According to ancestry.com Varnell is an English variant of Farnell belonging to southwestern England, where the change from f to v arose from the voicing of f that was characteristic of this area in Middle English.

    Farnell is a habitational name from any of the many places, such as Farnell (Kent, Wiltshire), Farnhill (West Yorkshire), and Fernhill (Cheshire), named from Old English fearn ‘fern’ + hyll ‘hill’.

    Like

    1. We need a basic family tree for this! We don’t have one yet. (Sorry – the three folks who got this going got busy with other stuff… and we’re hoping to pick it back up in the next couple months.)

      Like

  6. I’ve started one. If you’re interested I’ll share it. It’s not perfect and incomplete. But I’ll share the login and password if we can collectively fill it in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for laying this foundation! In addition to being useful as you left it, I’m finding it a good structure to keep track of biographical data as I make my own notes.

      Like

  7. On Page 9, paragraph 1, when Alma has a “muddy recollection” of a word or brand that could be the one that identifies the material, or fabric, of the angles’ robes, she thinks: “Was it ‘Might’, or ‘Mighty’? Something like that, anyway”. There’s a reference here that I don’t get. Can someone help?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Have you finished *Jerusalem*?

        It’s kind of a spoiler if you haven’t. This character will appear again later in the novel and all will be made clear.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Almost done with read-through number 2 🙂

        The *identity* of the character is made quite clear. But the business about the name of the robe’s material isn’t (unless I’m forgetting something; easily possible).

        Liked by 1 person

      3. It could be! I’ve finished Jerusalem, but currently I’m on my first rereading in order to revisit and rethink some segments that seemed obscure to me. The “identity” of that character is crystal clear since minute one, but I was asking about the name of the fabric. A name that must present some kind of resemblance –or rhyme, or pun– to the words “Might” or “Mighty”. “Samite” seems quite appropriate, but I keep wondering if there’s some kind of hermetic brand of English material used in anglican robes or something. Moore is capable of everything!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I apologize Alexx, I totally misunderstood the question. I thought OP was looking for character identity. I completely missed the bit about the material of his robe.

    Like

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