J1.08 Atlantis

Annotations for Jerusalem by Alan Moore

Book 1 – The Boroughs
Atlantis

Dominic Allard (model for Benjamin Perrit) in Jan 2015
Dominic Allard (model for Benjamin Perrit) in Jan 2015

General: This chapter is from the point of view of Benedict Perrit, an aging poet, on May 28, 2006. It intersects with several other chapters set on that date. Perrit is closely based on a friend of Alan Moore’s, Dominic Allard. Like Moore/Warren, Allard was born in 1953.

Page 207 – titled Atlantis

  • The title is xxx

paragraph 1

  • Foul fanthoms five his farter lies, and office bones are cobbles made.” – This is a pastiche of a famous line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest (Act I, Scene 2, lines 397-398), in semi-Joyce-ean language:

397        Full fathom five thy father lies;
398        Of his bones are coral made;
399        Those are pearls that were his eyes:
400        Nothing of him that doth fade
401        But doth suffer a sea-change
402        Into something rich and strange.

    • “fanthoms” primarily evokes “phantoms”, but also “(comics) fan”, “thorns”, “(doubting) Thomas”.
    • “office bones” suggests someone working in a dreary office job.
    • The character in Shakespeare has become something “rich and strange” through natural processes of decay. The pastiche of it in this sentence could be taken to indicate that Perrit has decayed into something ludicrous and laughable. While he laughs at himself, the fact that the sentence starts with “Foul” betrays his suppressed negative feelings about his decline.
  • “drefting” – The semi-Joyce-ean language continues, evoking the shifting nature of dreams. This word evokes “drifting”, “resting”, and perhaps “drafting”.
  • “scrabble crabs” – The movement of crabs is sometimes called “scrabbling”. But there is also an allusion to Scrabble, the popular word game.
  • “mermering” – “murmuring”, crossed with “mermaids”.
  • “slowmile” – “mobile”.  This perhaps encodes the idea that while it is slow to travel a mile, a mobile phone can do it instantly.
  • “winkles” – More commonly these days called periwinkles, a kind of small shellfish.
  • tetras” – A kind of small fish. This second mention of a small fish may be meant to bring to mind the phrase “big fish in a small pond”. Perrit himself is more of a small fish in a small pond.
  • “tumbled busts” – Can be read as either “knocked-over statuary” or “post-coital mermaid breasts”.
  • “dead men’s chests” – Referring to a famous pirate song invented by Robert Louis Stevenson. The chorus goes:

    Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest—
    …Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
    Drink and the devil had done for the rest—
    …Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!

paragraph 2

  • “a bike smash more than forty years ago” – So, 1966 or earlier.
  • “His dad, old Jem, was dead.” – Jem Perrit’s ghost was seen briefly in the chapter Rough Sleepers, P102p3.
  • “in Tower Street, what had been the top of Scarletwell Street” – See map.

    Ben Perrit's House (Google Maps 2021)
    Ben Perrit’s House (Google Maps 2021)
  • fqqwe

Page 208

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

  • Dylan Thomas” – Welsh poet and writer (1914-1953). Given the Welsh element from the previous chapter, perhaps Moore intended at one point to suggest a connection between Northampton and Wales, similar to the connection with Lambeth.
  • H.E. Bates” – English writer (1905-1974). Born and raised in Northamptonshire.
  • John Clare” – Northampton poet (1793-1864). A major figure in Moore’s novels, he is central to the Voice of the Fire chapter The Sun Looks Pale Upon The Wall, and has significant appearances in the Jerusalem chapters Round the Bend and The Steps of All Saints.
  • Thomas Hardy” – English poet and writer (1840-1928).

paragraph 3

  • “Down in Freeschool Street” – South of Marefair.

    Camay soap
    Camay soap

paragraph 4

  • Camay” – A brand of soap, typically marketed to women.

paragraph 5-6

  • No notes.

Page 209

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • Old Spice” – An aftershave brand.
  • “It smelled like the ’Sixties” – Which is to say, when Perrit was a teenager.

paragraph 2 – 8

  • No notes.

Page 210

paragraph 1 (continued)

paragraph 2

  • “hedgehog-baking Gypsy” – Hedgehogs are a traditional Gypsy food.

paragraph 3

  • No notes.

paragraph 4

paragraph 5 – 7

  • No notes.

paragraph 8

paragraph 9

  • No notes.

paragraph 10

Page 211

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • No notes.

paragraph 2

A Northamptonshire Garland
A Northamptonshire Garland
  • A Northamptonshire Garland” – Published in 1989.

paragraph 3

Claremont Court seen from Tower Street (Google Street View Sep 2012)
Claremont Court seen from Tower Street (Google Street View Sep 2012)
  • “Claremont Court” – See image.
  • Fortean Times” – A magazine “fascinated with the strange and supernatural”. Moore is an avid reader, and has occasionally contributed to the magazine.

paragraph 4

  • “Kenny something” – Kenny Nolan, though more generally known as “Fat Kenny”. Previously mentioned in the chapter ASBOs of Desire, and appears as a major character in the chapter The Jolly Smokers.
  • “Calpol” – A pain relief medication. I found several articles concerned about small children getting overdoses, but none that seemed an exact match to what this text is talking about.

paragraph 5

Salvation Army building (Google Street View Apr 2009)
Salvation Army building (Google Street View Apr 2009)
  • “lino” – British slang for “linoleum“, a once-popular type of flooring.
  • macadam” – Road surfacing.
  • “the Salvation Army building” – See image.
  • “tambourines […] brass band” – The Salvation Army used to attract attention with marching bands.

Page 212

paragraph 1 (continued)

Salvation Army uniforms
Salvation Army uniforms
  • Brooke Bond” – An English tea brand.
  • “navy blue serge and big golden buttons” – Traditional Salvation Army uniform; see image.
  • I’m Not In Love” – A song by British pop group 10cc, released in 1975. The song has been covered several times, including one (by Olive) in 2000, which might well be the version heard now, in 2006.
  • “The short street ended as it met the footpath to the underpass, where a high wall reared up” – This is a bit confusingly worded, but the high wall (not that high) is at the end of Tower Street. The “underpass”is the entrance to the subway which Marla passed in the chapter ASBOs of Desire, P85p3; it’s about a block south of Tower Street, by which point the wall has shrunk to almost nothing.
  • “Patterned with a bar-code stripe of ochre, tangerine and umber” – This is referring to the walls of the underpass/subway entrance, and is sadly accurate; see image below. Perrit apparently can see the underpass from here, but he won’t actually reach it until P212p3.

    Footpath passing subway entrances (Google Street View 2009)
    Footpath passing subway entrances (Google Street View 2009)

paragraph 2

  • “the Jolly Smokers” – Significant throughout Jerusalem, particularly in the chapters Forbidden Worlds and (naturally) The Jolly Smokers. Its site was in fact very close to where Perrit is now; see map.

    Ben Perrit's walk, part 1 (Google Maps 2021)
    Ben Perrit’s walk, part 1 (Google Maps 2021)
  • “historian Henry Lee” – I have not yet been able to identify this person. Suggest??
  • “Richard the Second” – King of England 1377-1400. He confirmed the earlier royal charters (and added details of his own) in 1385.
  • “Caffè Nero” – A coffee shop at the corner of Abington Street and Dychurch Lane. Alma Warren will walk past it in the chapter A Cold and Frosty Morning. It’s a bit over a quarter mile east-southeast of where Perrit is now.
  • emetic” – vomit-inducing.

paragraph 3

  • “Parliament had placed Northampton under the control of an all-powerful mayor and council” – historyofparliamentonline.org says:

    In 1489, following ‘great divisions, dissensions and discords’ during the annual elections of the mayor and other officials, an Act (5 Hen. VII, c.31) provided that the mayor and his brethren (the former mayors, sometimes known as aldermen) should choose 48 of ‘the most wise, discreet and best disposed persons of the inhabitants … other than afore that time have been mayors or bailiffs’ to take part in the election of the mayor and the two bailiffs.

  • “tradition of electing a joke mayor” – I have so far been unable to document this tradition (in Northampton or Leicester). Suggest??

    Christopher Malpas wearing Northampton Mayoral chain of office in 2016 (Picture: John Roan)
    Christopher Malpas wearing Northampton Mayoral chain of office in 2016 (Picture: John Roan)
  • “chain of office” – Many UK Mayoral positions do come with an elaborate ceremonial “chain of office”.
  • half cut” – British slang “rather drunk”.
  • half sharp” – British slang “stupid”.
  • “his own paternal grandfather, Bill Perrit” – Presumably the father of Jem Perrit, whose ghost we saw in the chapter Rough Sleepers. Approximately based on the real-world Bill Allard (see picture below). From In Living Memory:
    The Sherriff outside the Mayorhold Mission (from In Living Memory)
    “The Sherriff” outside the Mayorhold Mission (from In Living Memory)

    Jim Allard: […] They’d call my father ‘The Sherriff’.
    Richard Foreman: Why?
    JA: Because he was so domineering. Wanted everything doing his way. He used to sit for hours on the Mayorhold, on a handtruck. […]
    Eileen Allard : His name (was) Bill Allard.

Page 213

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • Titchbourne Claimant” – A famous English legal case in the 1860s and 1870s, in which a man claimed to be the missing heir to a baronetcy. (There’s some typos here; the correct name is “Tichborne”.)
  • “Great Pretender” – The capital letters suggest that this may be a reference to the 1955 song.
  • Lambert Simnel” – A pretender to the throne of England in 1487.
  • Perkin Warbeck” – A pretender to the throne of England from 1490-1497. These two pretenders and their associated rebellions were arguably the last part of the Wars of the Roses.

paragraph 2

Ben Perrit's view (approximate) (Google Street View Apr 2009)
Ben Perrit’s view (approximate) (Google Street View Apr 2009)
  • “Even from this low vantage” – See image.
  • “the Spanish-omelette tiling” – Another colorful phrase for the unfortunate color scheme of the underpass.
  • “the dyke wall” – Possibly some sort of pun on dike/dyke? In the chapter Rough Sleepers (P92ff), we learned that some lesbians used to have fights in this neighborhood.
  • “Bedford Housing” – Possibly an invented name to avoid potential lawsuit. In the real world, the two buildings were sold to the Leicester Housing Association in 2004.
  • “there’d been calls to tear the barely-habitable monsters down, acknowledgements that they should never have been put up in the first place” – I haven’t found any more details on this yet. Suggest??
  • “for what was reputedly a penny each” – The actual price appears to have been one pound for the pair. If one considers that one pound divided up among the 140 apartments, that comes to less than one penny per apartment.
  • “Key Workers” – Key Worker housing was apparently a hot issue in 2004. A BBC article about the purchase stated:

    Over recent years the Spring Boroughs area has become notorious for crime and prostitution.
    The association will reserve 48 of the flats for occupation by key workers.
    It is hoped the blocks’ transformation will kickstart the regeneration of the area.

paragraph 3

  • “Roman Thompson” – Appeared briefly in the chapter ASBOs of Desire, and is the main character of the chapter Burning Gold.
  • “James Cockie” – Viewpoint character of the chapter Cornered. I have been unable to substantiate the implication of corruption here.

paragraph 4

  • No notes.

Page 214

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • “a head-and-shoulders sketch by Boz” – Presumably referring to Sketches by “Boz,” Illustrative of Every-day Life and Every-day People by Charles Dickens, originally illustrated by George Cruikshank. None of those illustrations, however, is “head-and-shoulders”. Possibly the “by Boz” is just Perrit free-associating.
  • “a previously forgotten dream” – We will see Cockie’s version of this in the chapter Cornered, Pxxx.

paragraph 2

  • “Spring Lane School” – The school both Perrit and Alma Warren attended, on the north side of Scarletwell Street.
  • “what still seemed like somebody else’s nightmare” – Which, for most practical purposes, it was.
  • “Silver Street” – This name is rather an anachronism. There used to be a Silver Street in roughly this location, but the area was rebuilt sometime between 1950 and 2009. The new street here is named Greyfriars, though it wouldn’t surprise me if older people (like Perrit) still referred to it as Silver Street. The fact that he mentions “Silver Street” meeting Sheep Street a few paragraphs on is what makes me sure this is not Silver Street, which never intersected Sheep Street, While Greyfriars does.

paragraph 3

  • "there rose the five-floor municipal car park" (Google Street View June 2018)
    “there rose the five-floor municipal car park” (Google Street View June 2018)

    there rose the five-floor municipal car park” – See image.

  • “Battenberg” – A type of British sponge cake with alternating red and yellow sections.
  • “Co-operative Society, Built 1919, Branch Number 11” – In Living Memory does have a (poor quality black & white) photo of a building with signage “NORTHAMPTON COOPERATIVE SOCIETY Ltd” “BRANCH No.11” “BUILT 1919”. While the only photo of this building I’ve found is in black and white, Other buildings owned by the Co-op, built in a similar style, did have a green and white color scheme.
  • “Georgie Bumble’s Office” – See the chapter Rough Sleepers, P103ff.
  • “Electric Light Working Men’s Club” – An odd name, perhaps dating from a time when electric lighting was a novelty. Working Men’s Clubs are something between a social club and a pub.
  • “Bearward Street” – This street no longer exists; the parking garage is atop most of its former length.

Page 215

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • “four-by-fours and Chavercrafts” – A “four-by-four” is a vehicle with four wheel drive.  Such a vehicle is almost by definition a statement of masculinity, as such power is certainly not necessary in Northampton’s gentle terrain and climate. “Chavercraft” is an original portmanteau of “chav” (a working-class young man with poor taste) and “hovercraft”.
  • “The backside of the old Fish Market stood upon his right” – While this is true, I don’t think it would have been visible from here; Perrit is just remembering it as a notable older building nearby. The Fish Market building was demolished sometime between 2012 and 2014, replaced by the North Gate Bus Station.
  • “erected on the synagogue” – Approximately true. http://www.jtrails.org.uk/ has considerably more detail about the exact position of the synagogue.

    A Ford Transit on Sheep Street (Google Street View Oct 2012)
    A Ford Transit on Sheep Street (Google Street View Oct 2012)
  • “Ford Transit Gloria Mundi.” – A pun combining “Ford Transit” and the classical Latin phrase “Sic transit gloria mundi”. Ford Transit is a brand of cargo van which Google Street View shows to often be present on Sheep Street. The Latin phrase means “Thus passes the glory of the world”. It is usually used as a reminder of mortality and transitoriness, important themes throughout Jerusalem.

paragraph 2

  • “the brick wall near the Chinese restaurant” – Presumably Oriental Garden, present from at least 2009-2021. Since he hasn’t yet turned into Sheep Street, this must refer to the brick wall to the north of the restaurant, so Perrit has wandered across the restaurant’s (then) parking lot, possibly to get a closer look at the flower mentioned just after this.

    Oriental Garden mural (Google Street View Nov 2020)
    Oriental Garden mural (Google Street View Nov 2020)
  • “in the face of a deflowered and drab MacCentury” – MacCentury parodies Apple corporation’s habit of product names such as “MacAirbook”. This meditation on drabness at this location would become more difficult to imagine sometime between 2019 and 2020, when a colorful mural was painted on the brick wall, and the parking lot was mostly replaced with grass and garden.
  • “The force that through the green fuse drives …” – The beginning of a famous 1933 poem by Dylan Thomas. It touches on the moral ambiguity of nature and the transitory nature of life.

    The Bear (Google Street View Apr 2009)
    The Bear (Google Street View Apr 2009)
  • “the Bear” – An old pub on Sheep Street, still there as of 2021. Part of its cellar was part of the old synagogue.

paragraph 3

  • “fruit machines” – British for “slot machines“.

    The Bear noisy interior Nov 2019 (Photo by Neil Freeman)
    The Bear noisy interior Nov 2019 (Photo by Neil Freeman)
  • “the squelch of crazy frogs” – Possibly a reference to the videogame Frogger, though the game would be a quarter-century old in 2006. As of 2021, there exist many many variations of a game sometimes called “Crazy Frog” which seems similar to Whac-a-Mole.
  • dominos” – A traditional pub game.

paragraph 4

Chris Gittins as Walter Gabriel, photographed in 1985. (BBC)
Chris Gittins as Walter Gabriel, photographed in 1985. (BBC)
  • “Hello, me old pal, me old beauty” – The catchphrase of Walter Gabriel (see below).
  • Archers” – The Archers is a popular BBC radio drama, running from 1951 to at least 2021, and still going!
  • “Walter Gabriel” – One of the original main characters of The Archers, played by Chris Gittins from 1951 to 1988, when he died. In 2006, he would have been dead for 18 years.

paragraph 5 – 8

  • No notes.

paragraph 9

  • “Dave Turvey” – Only mentioned in this chapter. I have been unable to positively identify any more information about him or a real-world analogue, though there is a Northampton activist named Dave Turvey who could possibly be the same person.

Page 216

paragraph 1 (continued)

  • Dodge City” – Famous frontier city of the American Old West.
  • “Bad Friday” – Presumably as opposed to the Christian holiday Good Friday.
  • John Smith’s” – A brewery in North Yorkshire.
  • “sepia Darwin” – The back of a ten-pound note in 2006 featured an image of Charles Darwin and a hummingbird. This design was retired in 2016.

    Ten Pound note (https://en.numista.com/)
    Ten Pound note (https://en.numista.com/)
  • Hypnoscope” – A (largely fictional) device to hypnotize someone. This refers to a hologram situated in the scientific instrument the hummingbird is looking at.
  • “Farewell […] I hardly knew ye” – An idiom derived from an Irish song of 1867, “Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye“.

paragraph 2

  • “slate-blue Elizth. Fry” – The five pound note in 2006 had a picture of Elizabeth Fry on the back. Fry (1780-1845) was a prison reformer.

    Five pound note (https://en.numista.com/)
    Five pound note (https://en.numista.com/)
  • “what looked like a nineteenth-century battered woman’s refuge” – The actual scene is of Fry reading to inmates of Newgate Prison.
  • “the disapproving spectre of John Lennon” – A humorous anachronism, as Lennon is very much a 20th century figure. John Lennon is famous for having worn round glasses with very thin rims, like the man at the far left of the image.
  • “Dads For Justice” – Probably referring to Fathers 4 Justice, a protest group in favor of fathers’ rights. Founded in 2001, they seem to have gone quiet after 2016. They were known for publicity stunts in outlandish costumes, hence Perrit’s reference to “fancy dress”.
  • shrapnel” – A surprisingly violent image for referring to loose change.
  • “the old money, all the farthings, half-crowns, florins, tanners” – The UK converted to decimal currency in 1971 (when Perrit was 18), leaving behind an extremely eccentric monetary system. A farthing was worth one-quarter of a penny. A half-crown was worth one-eighth of a pound. A florin was worth one-tenth of a pound. A tanner was worth six pennies. And these are just a few of the many coin denominations!

paragraph 3

  • “cheese and pickled onions” – Traditional ingredients of a Ploughman’s Lunch, which also included beer.
  • “Park Drive” – A UK brand of cigarettes. The “pink” designation refers to the packaging of the unfiltered cigarettes. (The filtered variant of Park Drive was sold in blue packaging.)
  • “the Black Lion” – Northampton has two “Black Lion” pubs; since Perrit doesn’t use the word “Old”, he probably means the Black Lion on St. Giles Street (see Pxxx below).
  • Precambrian” – The geological period between the formation of the Earth and roughly 541 million years ago.
  • “He put down the half-empty glass, trying to kid himself that it was still half full” – Riffing on the old saw that an optimist sees the glass as half-full, while a pessimist sees it as half-empty.

paragraph 4

Grimshaw, Thomas, 1823-1875; John Clare (1793-1864), Poet
Grimshaw, Thomas, 1823-1875; John Clare (1793-1864), Poet
  • “Thomas Grimshaw’s 1840s portrait of John Clare” – See image. John Clare, a Northampton poet of the nineteenth century, is an important figure to Moore, being the viewpoint character of the Voice of the Fire chapter The Sun Looks Pale Upon the Wall, and having significant appearances in Jerusalem in the chapters Round the Bend and The Steps of All Saints.
  • Humpty Dumpty” – A character that dates back at least to 1797. Probably most famous today via his appearance in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass.
  • “Andrew’s Hospital” – The asylum in which Clare spent the last 23 years of his life. See the chapter Round the Bend for more details.

Page 217

paragraph 1

  • “Helpston” – Helpston is a village in Northamptonshire where Clare was born, and where he spent his early life.
  • Glinton” –  A village in Cambridgeshire, where Mary Joyce (Clare’s first love) lived.
  • Stars In Their Eyes” –

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12 thoughts on “J1.08 Atlantis”

  1. I have been informed that in emails I use the word “haha” too often (and I know I’ve been doing that here too). Ben’s use of “Ah ha ha ha” in this chapter has made me really self conscious about that…haha(?).

    DATE = MAY 26, 2006

    • This is the same day as Ch3.

    P.O.V. CHARACTER = BENEDICT “BEN” PERRIT.

    • 52 years old, lives on Tower Street (formerly Scarletwell Street), and grew up on Freeschool Street.

    • His sister, Alison, died in a motorcycle “bike smash” over forty years ago.

    • He lives with his mother, Eileen.

    • His father, Jem, has passed away. (Is Jem the same guy who, in Ch4, his horse would carry home as he slept?)

    • He is noted to be attending Alma’s art show on the last page of Ch1.

    OBSERVATIONS AND QUESTIONS:

    • Page 211, par 4: This is Kenny, the dealer guy from Ch3 whom Marla kind of knows (he also shows up on page 245, par 2).

    • Page 212, par 3: Ben thinks his grandfather, Bill “the Sheriff” Perrit may have been one of the Mayorhold mock mayors.

    • Page 213, par 2: Roman Thompson appearance. This also mentions that politician James Cockie was on the Bedford Housing Board. Is this a real guy? And is he the dreamer in his underpants in Ch4?

    • Page 220, par 2, powerful line: “Rather than try to stop the rot, the council had allowed the town’s main veins to atrophy and wither.”

    • Page 220, par 3: “…the murder of hoodies flocked on Abington’s further edge…” A group of crows is called a “murder.”

    • Page 226, par 4: Is “Androgyne” an analog for Moore’s (I think) 1970s underground magazine “Embryo?”

    • Page 227, par 2: “Clare, who’d hobbled eighty miles from Essex back home to Northamptonshire, would probably have laughed at him.” Moore appeared in a film called By Ourselves that is about Clare taking this hobble. Here’s Moore talking about Clare and the film (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZELY_l6mFs).

    • Page 230, par 4: Ben finds himself “just down from what had once been the Boy’s Grammar School.” I live in the same small town I grew up in, and have many times walked across the parking lot that was once my and my sister’s preschool (there was a building there at the time, of course). I’ve been on board with Moore’s “psychogeography” concept since reading From Hell and interviews in which he has discussed the concept in the late 1990s (I believe the idea is inspired by or at least concurrent with Ian Sinclair’s ideas). It looks like Jerusalem will take this idea exponentially further (I know that’s not exactly a secret or anything, it’s just this quick line really got me!).

    • Page 232, par 1: David Daniels, noted here as being a childhood friend of Alma’s and Ben’s, a grade above them. He is noted at the end of Ch1 as attending Alma’s art show.

    • Page 235, last par: The stone brought to Northampton by the monk in Ch5 is mentioned.

    • Page 237, par 2: Tragic and thematic line: “That half-a-square mile continent had sunk under a deluge of bad social policy. First there had been a mounting Santorini awareness rumble of awareness that the Boroughs’ land would be more valuable without its people, then came bulldozers in a McAlpine tidal wave.”

    • Page 242, par 3: “This was where the traitors’ skulls were placed on spikes like trolls on pencils, as a decoration.” Heads on spikes are noticed by the monk in Ch5. Also, if this is a reference to the little troll doll heads that kids would put over their pencil erasers back in the day (or maybe that was just a U.S. thing, and probably not Ben’s generation), then that’s really funny.

    “EINSTEINIAN BLOCK UNIVERSE” MOMENT:

    • Page 224, par 4, at the end of Ben and Marla’s chat: “By mutual consent they seemed to both be disengaging from the conversation, starting to move slowly off, him uphill, Alma down. It was if they’d come to the predestined end of their encounter and must both now walk away, whether they’d finished talking yet or not. They had to hurry if they wanted to remain on schedule, occupying all the empty spaces in their futures they had yet to fill, all the proper predetermined times.”

    FUNNY ALMA WARREN DESCRIPTIONS:

    • Page 220, par 4: “Even back then, you’d never have confused her with a girl. Or with a boy, for that matter. She was too big, too single minded, too alarming to be anything but Alma, in a gender of her own.”

    • Page 221, par 1, Alma had: “…more rings underneath her eyes than on her ostentatiously embellished fingers.”

    • Page 222, par 4: “Alma’s voice wasn’t just deep brown, it was infra-brown.”

    THESE LINE MADE ME LAUGH:

    • Page 207, par 1: “…mermaids mermering…”

    • Page 231, par 2: “Anyone applying for their son to be accepted had to first compose a modest essay stating why, precisely, at the most profound ideological and moral level, they believed their child would benefit from being tutored in an atmosphere of strict gender apartheid.”

    • Page 232, par 2: “There’d be established foetal standards soon, so that you could feel pressurized and backwards if your fingers hadn’t separated fully by the third trimester. Academic stress-related pre-birth suicides would become commonplace, the depressed embryos hanging themselves with their umbilical chords, farewell notes scratched on to the placentia.”

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  2. 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
    • Benedict Perrit, *1953, POV, drunkard, unemployed poet with writers block
    • (Alison, Benedicts sister, died 40 years ago in motorcycle accident)
    • (Old Jam, Benedicts father)
    • (Lily, Bens wife, left him and took boys—how many—with her)
    • Eileen, Benedicts mother
    • Fat Kenny
    • (Bill Perrit ›The Sheriff‹, Benedicts paternal grandfather)
    • (Roman Thompson)
    • (James Cookie, former Labour councillor)
    • (Botteril, news agent)
    • (Butcher)
    • (Phyllis Malin, barber)
    • (Georgie Bumble)
    • barman of Bear pub
    • (Dave Turvey, Bendeicts friend with whom he can talk about literature)
    • (Pete Corr, ›Piet de Snapp‹, photographer who took Bens portrait, moved to Canada)
    • Alma Warren
    • (Miss Corrier, teacher at Spring Lane School)
    • (Pitt-Draffen, dance school owner)
    • (Tattooed couple, Benedicts neighbors after Lily left him)
    • (child, injured by young Benedicts attempt to fish)
    • (Davis Daniels)
    • (racist math teacher in grammar school)
    • (legendary monk who brought stone cross from Golgotha to St. Gregory Church = Peter from X Marks the Spot)
    • Marla (see chapter ASBOS Of Desire)
    • four or five drunk girls, boys
    • tow truck men at crash site
    • cherub like police officer at crash site
    • some bloke in late 30, driver of crashed car
    • (wife of accident driver)
    • (girl at St. Andrews Road who got raped and beaten = Marla?)
    • (boyfriend of Alison, died with her in accident)

    Index
    • ›Foul fanthoms five his farter lies, and office bones are cobbles made‹, play on ›Full fathom five thy father lies; of his bones are coral made‹, Ariel`s Song from The Tempest by William Shakespeare: 205
    • Dylan Thomas (1914-1953), Welsh poet: 206, 224
    • H. E. Bates (1905-1974), English writer and author: 206
    • John Clare (1793-1864), English poet: 206, 213, 223, 225, 227, 230, 232, 241
    • Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), English novelist and poet: 206
    • Old Spice, brand name for after shave: 207
    The Clitheroe Kid, BBC comedy radio show (1957-1972): 207
    • Benson & Hedges, cigarette brand: 208
    • Carlsberg, beer brand: 208
    A Northamptonshire Garland, anthology (1989) by Trevor Hold: 208, 213, 224
    • Trevor Hold (1939-2004), English composer and writer: 208
    Fortean Times, british monthly magazine about strange phenomena: 209
    • Calpol, pharma product for infants and children: 209
    • Brooke Bond, tea brand name: 209
    I`m Not In Love, song by 10CC (1975): 209
    • Lego: 209
    • Henry Lee ???: 209
    • Richard the Second (1367-1400), also theatre play by William Shakespeare: 209
    • Titchbourne Claimant, legal identity case in Victorian England concerning missing heir to Tichborne baronetcy: 210
    The Great Pretender, song by The Platters (1955), covered by Freddie Mercury (1992): 210
    • Lambert Simnel (1477-1525), pretender to the throne of England: 210
    • Perkin Warbeck (1474-1499), pretender to the throne of English: 210
    • ›Ford Transit Gloria Mundi‹, play on ›Sic transit gloria mundi‹ (Thus passes the glory of the world): 212
    The force that through the green fuse drives, poem (1933) by Dylan Thomas 212
    The Archers, BBC radio soap (1951-present): 212
    • Walter Gabriel, character in The Archers, performed by Robert Mawdesley and Chris Gittins 212
    • John Smith (money): 213
    • Darwin (money): 213, 235
    • Elizthe Fry (money): 213, 215, 235, 236
    • John Lennon (money): 213
    • Dads For Justice = ??? Fathers 4 Justice ???, fathers rights organization founded in 2002: 213
    • Thomas Grimshaw (1836-1893), English painter: 213, 214
    • Humpty Dumpty, character in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: 214
    • ›no one there to put him back together‹, see Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: 214
    Stars In Their Eyes, British talent TV show: 214
    • Matthew {Kelly}, presenter of Stars in Their Eyes from 1993-2004: 214
    • Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898), English illustrator and author: 214
    • Hank Janson, fictional thriller character & pseudonym of English pulp fiction author Stephen Daniel Frances (1917-1989): 214
    • Dennis Wheatley (1897-1977), English thriller and occult novel author: 214
    • {Georges} Simenon (1903-1989), Belgian writer, most famous for his Detective Maigret novels: 214
    • Alistair MacLean (1922-1987), Scottish novelist of thriller and adventure stories: 214
    Clock-a-Clay, poem John Clare: 214
    I Am, poem John Clare: 215
    • Olivia Newton John, English-Australian singer, songwriter and actress: 216
    • Tom Hall (1936), US country music songwriter, singer, novelist and short story writer: 216, 228, 230
    • Mars Bar: 216
    • Lothario, seducer of women in Don Quixote (1605-1615) by Miguel de Cervantes: 218
    Clearance Area, poem by Benedict: 218, 225
    The Independent, British newspaper: 219
    • Edward Elgar (money): 221, 224
    The Dream of Gerontius, work for voices and orchestra (1900) by Edward Elgar: 221
    Emmerdale, British TV soap (1972-present): 221
    • Charles Bradlaugh (1833-1891), English political activist and atheist: 221
    • {Otto Adolf} Eichmann (1906-1962): German Nazi SS-Lieutenant Colonel; major organizer of Holocaust: 222
    Androgyne, (fictional?) student art magazine: 222
    • Andy Warhol (1928-1987), American pop art artist: 223
    • Bridget Reily (1931), English Op art artist: 223
    Northampton Chronicle & Echo: 223
    • Sir Malcolm Arnold (1921-2006), English composer: 223, 228, 241
    Colonel Bogey March (1914) by F. J. Ricketts: 224
    Tim O`Shanter, nickname for Overture Op. 51a (1955) by Malcolm Arnold, based on poem by Robert Burns: 224
    Under Milkwood (1972), radio drama by Dylan Thomas: 224
    The Angler`s Song: 225
    • William Basse (1583-1653), English poet: 225
    • Phillip Doddridge (1702-1751), English Nonconformist: 225, 226
    Christ`s Message, poem by Doddridge: 225
    • Book of Luke, Bible: 225
    • ›He comes the broken heart to bind‹, poem by Doddridge: 226
    • Mildmay Fane of Apethorpe, 2nd Earl of Westmoreland (1602-1666): 226
    • Julian Henry Charles Fane, 11th Earl of Westnoreland (1827-1870): 226
    • John Betjeman, poet, writer, broadcaster (1906-1984): 226
    • ›The moss-grey mansion of my father stands‹, quote from Julian Fane. A Memoir (1871) by Robert Lytton, : 226
    • Tony Blair, English Prime Minister (1997-2007), Leader of Labour Party (1994-2007): 227
    • Queen Victoria: 228
    • J. K. Stephen (1859-1892), English poet and tutor to Prince Eddy: 228
    • Dusty Springfield (1939-1999), English pop singer and record producer: 228
    • Lucia Joyce (1907-1982), daughter of author James Joyce: 228
    Finnegans Wake (Work in Progress), avantgardist comical novel (1939) by James Joyce: 228
    I Just Don`t Know What To Do With Myself, song (1964) performed by Dusty Springfield; famously covered by Dionne Warwick (1966) and The White Stripes (2003): 228
    • Samuel Beckett (1906-1989), Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director and poet: 228, 229
    Wisden`s Almanac (= Wisdens Cricketers’ Almanac), cricket reference book, published annually since 1864: 229
    Duck Soup, movie (1933) starring the Marx Brothers: 229
    • Zeppo Marx (1901-1979), youngest of the five Marx Brothers: 229
    • Harpo Marx (1888-1964), the silent one with the harp: 229
    • John Speed (1552-1629), English cartographer: 229
    • flatland (as expression): 229
    • Elliot O`Donnell (1872-1965), English authority on ghosts and hunted places: 230
    • Archangel Michael (on Guildhall): 230
    • Ivalde, 11th century: 231
    • St. Ragener, anglo saxon saint http://www.fostp.org.uk/uploads/St%20Ragener%20%28M%29%20of%20Northampton.pdf : 231
    • Holy Spirit: 231
    • Atlantis: 232
    • ??? Santorini, small greek island or Italian physician and anatomist Giovanni Demenico Santorini (1681-1737): 232
    The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, long poem (1798) by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: 232
    • Ishmael, protagonist of Moby Dick (1851) by Herman Melville: 232
    • Plato: 232
    • Eden, garden of God, Genesis, Bible: 232
    • Undine, elemental being associated with water (Paracelsus); water nymph: 232
    • Lemuria, fabeld hyothetical continent in Indian Ocean; also: fictional location in Marvel Comics: 233
    • Doctor Marten`s, brand name of English shoes, popular with youth subculture: 233
    • Sheba, kingdom mentioned in Old Testament: 233
    • Maybelline, cosmetic brand: 233
    • Hugh Grant, English actor: 233
    • ??? O`Rourkes, Presleys, nightmare clans: 233
    • Ealing comedy, series of comedy movies produced by London-based Ealing studios between 1947-1957. Most famous may be The Ladykillers: 234
    • Mr. Pickwick, character in The Pickwick Papers (1836) by Charles Dickens: 234
    • John Falstaff, character in several plays by William Shakespeare: 234
    • Thomas Chatterton (1752-1770), English poet: 236
    • ›Whom the bell tolls‹, line by John Donne in Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1624): 237
    • John Donne (1573-1631), English poet and cleric: 237
    • Lucozade, brand name for energy and sport drinks: 238
    • Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999), US movie director: 239
    • Simon de Senlis (died 1111), norman knight: 239
    • William Blake (1757-1827), English poet, painter, draughtsman and visionary: 240

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  3. Beautiful chapter. I was literally weeping by the end. Very touching.
    In general I’m in awe for Moore’s ability to convey all the different voices and inner worlds of the characters.

    Like

  4. Ci sono anche dei riferimenti al precedente romanzo di Moore, “la voce del fuoco”, il capitolo 9, “partners in knitting” ed il capitolo 7 “confessions of a mask”

    Like

  5. No mention that this par —

    “St. Peter’s Church, just up ahead, there’d been a miracle in the eleventh century when angels had directed a young peasant lad named Ivalde to retrieve the lost bones of St. Ragener, concealed beneath the flagstones in the nave, unearthed in blinding light to an accompaniment of holy water sprinkled by the holy spirit who had manifested as a bird. A crippled beggar woman witnessing the incident had risen to her feet and walked, or so the story went.”

    — references the story related in “November Saints”, a chapter of Moore’s earlier novel Voice of the Fire? I know it’s based on an existing legend, but was the bird Moore’s invention? It doesn’t seem to be mentioned in what I’ve dug up with a slapdash bit of browsing. If so, is this a cute “crossover” with that novel?

    Like

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