J1.05 X Marks the Spot

Annotations for Jerusalem by Alan Moore

Book 1 – The Boroughs
X Marks the Spot

Page 122 – titled X Marks the Spot

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4 thoughts on “J1.05 X Marks the Spot”


    • p129, par1: Apparently the “Frith Borh,” as originally mentioned by Alma’s mom, Doreen, in Ch1 is a “tithing-man,” (like a medieval tax man?).

    • p129 bottom: The word “Sunt” in the context here sounds like it means “church.” But while looking it up I found two definitions:

    Wikipedia lists it as this: “Ubi sunt (literally “where are… [they]”) is a phrase taken from the Latin Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?, meaning “Where are those who were before us?” Ubi nunc…? (“Where now?”) is a common variant.”

    And the Urban Dictionary lists it as this: “sunt is a contraction of stupid and cunt…to call someone a stupid cunt in public without offending anyone too ignorant to put 2 and 2 together” haha

    • p131, par 2: “Were all of England’s tangling lines met here, he wondered, tied into a knot at Hamtun by some giant midwife as it were the country’s umbilicus?”

    Yep, Moore definitely sees Northampton as the center of England! This image maybe also calls to mind the structure the Third Borough and friends were building in Ch1?

    • p134, par 3: A “drover” is a person who drives sheep or cattle to the market.

    • 146, par 4: The dialogue spoken by the angel is in italics with no quotations marks, just like how the Third Borough spoke to Alma in Ch1 and how the ceiling angel spoke to Ernest in Ch2 (and, like in Ch2, speaking only a few words of the statement while the rest “unfolds and unpacks” in the mind of the listener).

    And speaking of “unfolding and unpacking,” this is a similar concept to what Peter is thinking about the clouds as he’s dying on p148, par 2: “He saw now what he had not seen before, that clouds were of a grotesque shape by reason that had been tucked in and had been cunningly compressed. He saw that were they but unfolded they should have a form at once more regular and yet more difficult to be encompassed by the gaze.”

    • Yeah Freddy from Ch4 is totally the ghost whom Peter encounters on p141! Further evidence: “…all his garments were an oddment as though cast away by others, yet what others Peter could not tell, the bits a pieces were so strange.” Peter is unknowingly describing how a homeless person would dress nowadays.

    Plus, Freddy walks past a monk in Ch4 when he’s visiting his friend in the public restroom spot.

    • p147, par 2: Describing the friars trying to shield Peter from the rain: “They crouched above him with their habits spread out as they thought to keep the rain off him, though it made them seem like crows and did not shield him much.”

    So at the end of Ch4 we learn that the angle-angels (who wear white and are glowing) playing billiards look like DOVES when they cheer, and the ghosts (who exist in black-and-white) look like PIGEONS when imitating the angle-angels. So now we’re told the friars (who I am assuming are wearing black robes) look like CROWS as they attempt to shield Peter from the rain.

    …man, this book is for the BIRDS! (Sorry, super outdated expression haha)


    In the recent London Hollywood interview with Moore he refers to it this way, so “Einteinian Block Universe” it is! (Opposed to my previously suggests (and appreciated – thanks Yenam!) term “spacetimey”)

    • p138, par 2: The entire paragraph, especially: “so that was called unto his mind an image that was like an endless row of him, his separate selves all passing by the same forsaken nook but many times repeated, all of them within that instant made aware of one another and the queer affair of their recurrence, of the world and times about them were recurring also.”

    • p143, the last paragraph, especially: “Rather, it seemed that events had been already set into their place and time, with all their joints and decorations long ordained.”


    • p128, par 1, describing Hamtun/Northapton: “It had always been there, he had the impression, though not very much there, and remarkable only in that it never was remarked upon.”

    • p133, par 4: “There was a different air about this quarter of the settlement that had a quality of harm and malice, and to which he thought those several severed heads set onto spikes above the gate may have contributed.”


    1. “Sunt Peter’s & Sunt Gregory’s” = “Saint Peter’s & Saint Gregory’s.” Both are contemporary Northampton churches; the former Anglican, the latter Roman Catholic.


      1. Thanks!

        I suppose consulting the Urban Dictionary for a word used in a story that takes place in the year 810 is a bit of a stretch haha.


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

    Dramatis Personae
    • Peter (= Aegburth; = Le Canal in France): POV, Benedictine monk with bag. Travelled from far away (Palestine) to Hamtun (= Northampton) to deliver something in bag to center of England
    • (Friend of Peter, = angel Michael, gave instruction for delivery)
    • Several boys at bridge over river Nenn
    • Old woman (witch): dream sepctre
    • Thin & gloomy-looking spear guard at southern gate of Hamtun
    • (Relic dealer)
    • Pox victims
    • mother with children
    • (Peters grandfather)
    • (Drover at Woolwych)
    • Woman (wife) with Thor-pendant at East Gate
    • (her mother)
    • Shepherd and their dogs
    • (Peters ›brother‹ Matthew): Illuminator
    • (Monk poisoned by red ochre made of mercury rust)
    • Laughing men, scolding women with babies at main square
    • Old men heaping dung on burning ground
    • Ugly, compressed man on drag with horse
    • young girl/maid, nearly caught by ugly man on drag
    • Queer dressed pilgrim (= Freddy Allen from Rough Sleepers. See p 100)
    • Sooty men working gold
    • Old men stooped over silver filigrees
    • Man/dwarf blowing glass
    • Smiling gem traders with spidery fingers
    • Idle man outside smith’s yard (could this be Charlie from Modern Times)
    • Man in white with white hair and rod (= Friend in Palestine = Mighty Mike)
    • Two young monks in graveyard of Saint George Church

    • Charlemagne (c 742-814), King of the Franks, 1st Holy Roman Emperor: 125
    • Spelhoe hundreds http://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/northants/vol4/pp63-64 : 125
    • John {the} Baptist (died c 31-36), Jewish preacher, New Testament, Bible: 129
    • King Offa of Mercia (died 796): 131
    • King Aethebald of Mercia (died 757): 131
    • ›one of Offers kin‹: 131
    • Thor, hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing and fertility: 132, 133
    • Hel, is a being in Norse mythology who rules over realm of the same name, where she recieves a portion of the dead: 134
    • Koran as ›bible of the Mohammedans‹: 135
    • Bible: 135
    • Beda Venerabilis (c 673-735), Northumbrian monk: 135
    Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, as ›Bede’s history‹: 135
    • Christus (Jesus): 135, 137
    • Saint John the Divine, author of Book of Revelation, New Testament, Bible: 137


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