Tuesday, 18 March 2008

F ~ is for Flooding

Faberge  ~  Georgie Pillson's bibelots were treasured precious objects inherited years ago and kept  in a glass-topped case and cleaned regularly and personally only by him. They included a gold Louis XVI snuff box, miniature by Karl Huth, silver toy porringer of the time of Queen Anne, a piece of Bow china and an enamelled cigarette- case by Faberge. It was generally understood that he had inherited them (though the inheritance had passed to him through the medium of curiosity shops) and there were several pieces of considerable value among them.   
The enamelled cigarette case originated in the house of Faberge which was founded in 1843 in St Petersburg in Russia by Gustav Faberge. He was succeeded by his son Peter Carl until the firm was nationalised by the Bolsheviks in 1918. The firm was famed for its high quality , intricate craftsmanship and particularly its jewelled eggs, supplied to the Imperial family. In 1924 the founder's grandson Alexander with his half- brother Eugene opened Faberge et Cie in Paris. We do not know the date or origin of Georgie's piece of Faberge, but he clearly took great pleasure from it and was mortified when it was filched by the Guru.   See Bibelots.     
Faculty  ~  when Lucia and Elizabeth Mapp returned suddenly to Tilling after several months away on  the Gallagher Banks, Georgie Pillson was most anxious to procure the removal odf the memorial cenotaph he had arranged to be erected in their memory in Tilling churchyard.   He consulted the stonemason, "But Mr Marble (such was his appropriate name) shook his head over this;  the cenotaph had been dedicated, and he felt sure that a faculty must be procured before it could be removed. That would never do: Georgie could not wait for a faculty, whatever that was, and he ordered that the inscription, anyhow, should be effaced without delay: surely no faculty was needed to destroy all traces of a lie."   
A faculty is an instrumnet or warrant in cannon law, often a judicial warrant from an ecclesiatical court or tribunal - in this case to remove a dedicated cenotaph from the consecrated ground of the churchyard in Tilling.      
Faraglione ~ the family name of the Count and Contessa di Faraglione whose home lay on the pretty and historic isle of Capri. Relatives of the Wyses of Whitchurch and notably Algernon and Susan Wyse, MBE of Tilling.  
Like Algernon and Susan Wyse, E.F.Benson visited Capri often.  His attachment to the island blossomed in the years before the First World War and Fred tried to spend some time there every summer. He leased Villa Cercola there.  His biographer, Brian Masters comments,  "Fred was a total hedonist in Capri, swimming, sunbathing, quaffing wine and gossiping. He always returned a deep russet tan which made his blue eyes look paler and more beguiling than ever. There was certainly the feeling that Fred, 'the Sphinx' who would tell nothing, may have disported himself on the island with that abandon which accompanies the certain knowledge that one will never be found out..."   See Somerset Maugham.  
Faradiddleony or Faradiddleone ~ the name mockingly ascribed to the Faragliones, soi-disant aristocratic Italian relations of Algernon and Susan Wyse in some sections of Tilling society inclined towards irony, notably Elizabeth Mapp-Flint and Diva Plaistow.  Whilst Elizabeth and Diva often jokingly referred to Contessa Amelia as "Faradiddleony," Lucia called her "Contessa Thingummy" and Major Benjy - when inebriated - referred to her as "old Camelia Faradiddleone."

Fanny's way, pretty ~ see Pretty Fanny's Way.    
Faust and Marguerite and Mephistophelese and Martha ~  Olga Bracely had invited Mrs Weston and Colonel Boucher to dine at "Old Place" with Georgie Pillson with the express intention of shepherding the elderly couple towards matrimony -  like their servants Elizabeth and Atkinson.  Olga had even tried to encourage Colonel Boucher by hinting  - not very subtly and somewhat implausibly - that Georgie was "in love with Mrs Weston" and was "so young."

Olga went on "And I must be  cad again. I'm going up to my bedroom - you may come too if you like -because it commands a view of Church Road. I shouldn't sleep a wink unless I knew if he had  gone in with her. It'll be precisely like Faust and Marguerite going into the house, and you and I are Mephistopheles and Martha. Come quick."

It appears that diva Olga Bracely was referring to Charles Gounod's grand opera in five acts "Faust," which made its debut in Paris in 1859, with a libretto by James Barber and Michel Carre, from Carre's play "Faust et Marguerite," which in turn was loosely based on Goethe's "Faust Part 1.

In a busy third Act, Faust sends Mephistopheles to find a gift for Marguerite and he brings a decorated box containing jewels and leaves it on her doorstep. Her neighbour, Martha suggests  the jewels are from an admirer and Marguerite tries on the jewels and is captivated by them.  Faust and Mephistopheles romance Marguerite and Martha in the garden and, after Faust kisses Marguerite, she asks him to go, but later sings at her window for his quick return.  Under what has been called "the watchful eye and malevolent laughter of Mephistopheles", it is clear that Faust's seduction of Marguerite will be successful.    
It is not clear in the slightest what actually transpired between Colonel Boucher and Mrs Weston after they were seen to enter her house that evening, other than it was followed virtually immediately by the announcement of their engagement to be married.

Fergus, Mr ~ dentist in Tilling.     
Fervent desire  ~  whilst attending the exhibition of  Herbert Alton's caricatures at the Rutland Gallery with Adele Brixton and Stephen Merriall, Lucia  was showing off by pretending to recognise all the subjects, which she had secretly viewed  earlier that morning. As an avid Luciaphil, Adele enjoyed this enormously and particularly hoped that Stephen Merriall had worked out that Lucia was pretending to the world (entirley falsely) that they were lovers.  Adele willed Stephen to understand; she projected a perfect torrent of suggstion towards his mind. He must, he should understand....
Fervent desire, so every psychist affirms, is never barren.  It conveys something of its yearning to the consciousness to which it is directed, and there began to break on the dull male mindwhat had been so onbvious to the finer feminine sense of Adele."  
"Psychists" such as Freud no doubt did affirm that fervent desire is never barren. Benson was at least as familiar however with the King James Bible and Luke 22:15 "Then He said to them,  'With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer." Chicken or egg?    
Festina lente ~ Lucia and Georgie were in Tilling Church discussing Lucia's donation of funding for refurbishment and upgrading of the church organ and the service of dedication and recital due to take place in a month or less. Lucia intended to open the recital herself with some little piece (inevitably the first movement of the Moonlight) and then make way for the organist.

Georgie offered to play the pedals. Lucia accepted, "I was going to suggest that, and help with the stops. I have progressed, I know, and I'm glad you like my touch, but I hardly think I could manage the whole complicated business alone yet. Festina lente. Let us practice in the dinner hour every day."      
This classical adage means "make haste slowly." It has been used in literature and as the motto of many including emperors, Augustus and Vespasian.     
Fibula  ~  when considering possible exhibits for the new museum in Riseholme, Daisy Quantock reviewed various possible sources. When "the Roman camp outside the village had been put under the plough..Riseholme had followed it like a bevy of rooks, and Georgie had got several trays full of fragments of iridescent glass, and Colonel Boucher  had collected bits of Samian ware, and Mrs Antrobus had found a bronze fibula or safety pin.."

A fibula is the leg bone on the lateral side of the tibia. In around 1670, it was used to describe a clasp or brooch. It derives from the Latin fibula, a clasp or brooch.   
"Fidelio"  ~  over lunch with Georgie,  a propos of the composition by Signor Cortese of his new opera "Lucretia" specifically for Olga Bracely, Lucia remarked  "Even in the divinest music of all, I am not blind to defects, if there are defects. 'The Moonlight Sonata'  for instance. You have often heard me say that the last two  movements do not approach the first in perfection of form. And,  if I am permitted to criticize Beethoven , I hope I may be allowed to suggest that Mr Cortese has not produced an opera which will render 'Fidelio' ridiculous.     

Ludwig van Beethoven's only opera, "Fidelio" (Op. 72)  is in two acts in which Leonore, disguised as Fidelio, a prison guard, rescues her husband Florestan from death in a political prison. It was first performed in its original three Act form in 1805.  The German libretto is by Joseph Sonnleithner from the French of Jean-Nicolas Bouilly, which had been used for the 1798 opera Léonore, ou L’Amour Conjugal by Pierre Gaveaux, and for the 1804 opera  Leonora by Ferdinando Paer.  See Beethoven, "Moonlight Sonata", Cortese and "Lucretia."  
"Fierce raged the tempest o'er the deep"  ~  the Padre felt that he must do his best to restore peace after the clash about to take place between the public lectures to be given by Lucia and Miss Mapp setting out their respective accounts of their ordeal amidst the Gallagher Banks and dashed off two notes to the protagonists. He indicated that a few friends (this was a lie, because he had thought of it himself) had suggested to him how suitable it would be that he should hold a short service of thanksgiving for their escape from the perils of the sea and of cod fisheries. He proposed therefore that this service should take place directly after baptisms on Sunday afternoon.  It would be quite short, a few prayers,the general thanksgiving, a hymn ("Fierce raged the tempest o'er the deep") and a few words from himself. He hoped the two ladies would sit together in the front pew which had been occupied at the memorial service by the chief mourners. Both were charmed  with the idea, for neither dared refuse for fear of putting herself in the wrong.

The words of the very apt hymn were written by Godfrey Thring in 1862 and music St Aelred was composed by John B Dykes:  
Fierce raged the tempest o’er the deep,

Watch did Thine anxious servants keep
But Thou wast wrapped in guileless sleep,
Calm and still.

“Save, Lord, we perish,” was their cry,
“O save us in our agony!”
Thy word above the storm rose high,
“Peace, be still.”

The wild winds hushed; the angry deep
Sank, like a little child, to sleep;
The sullen billows ceased to leap,
At Thy will.  
So, when our life is clouded o’er,
And storm winds drift us from the shore,
Say, lest we sink to rise no more,
“Peace, be still.”   
Fiftieth birthday ~ Lucia passed her fiftieth birthday having relocated to Tilling. After surviving being washed out to sea on an upturned kitchen table with Elizabeth Mapp, Lucia was now happily settled at "Grebe," just outside the town.

Her impending watershed anniversary near-death experience at sea appeared to prompt in Lucia a reassessment of her life and renewed her vigour. She thought "I must put up in large capital letters over my bed, 'I am fifty' and that will remind me every morning and evening that I've done nothing yet which will be remembered after I am gone. I've been very  busy (I will say that for myself) but beyond giving others a few hours of enchantment at the piano, and helping them to keep supple, I've done nothing for the world or indeed for Tilling. I must take myself in hand."   

Subsequently Lucia marked her half-century by successfully immersing herself in share dealing, following the example of her role-model and heroine, the late Dame Catherine Winterglass. The Jubilee was celebrated with Georgie and her new friends from Tilling and spiritedly marked with a cake with fifty-one candles - so as to prepare her for her next birthday. See Age.

Figgis ~ somewhat brusque yet lugubrious and monosyllabic butler of Algernon and Susan Wyse. Originally Mr Wyse's valet. Accidentally retained Diva Plaistow's dinner invitation in his overcoat pocket, but avoided dismissal.   
Finials  ~  despite working six or eight hours a day since dismissing her gardener Simkinson, Daisy Quantock had not found time to touch a stone of her proposed rockery, "and the fragments lying like a moraine on the path by the potting shed still rendered any approach to the latter a mountaineering feat.  They consisted of fragmments of medieval masonry,  from the site of the ancient abbey, finials and crockets and pieces of mullioned windows which had been turned up when a new siding of the railway had been made and everyone almost had got some, with the exception of Mrs Boucher, who called them rubbish. Then there were some fossils, ammonites and spar and curious flints with holes in them and bits of talc...."    
A finial is an architectural device typically carved in stone and used decoratively to emphasize an apex or gable or to ornament the top, end or corner of a structure.    
Fire pot ~ a saucepan of tar bubbling over a pot of red hot coals used to doctor telegraph posts. Whilst Lucia was in the early stage of learning to ride a bicycle and practising assiduously on a quiet lane outside Tilling, she went out of control and rode straight into the fire pot, upsetting the tar and scattering the coals.     
Lucia experienced this unfortunate compulsion to collide with the fire pot more than once and on each occasion apologised and tipped the operator half a crown. On the second collision the operator reminded Lucia that it was she and her pals cocked up on the Bench who fined me five bob last month, for not being half as unsteady as you.       
First call ~ by convention, the first call on a stranger in Riseholme was never supposed to last more than half an hour, however much you were enjoying it, and never less, however bored you might be. Thus, despite being enchanted by his new acquaintance, Georgie Pillson was obliged to drag himself away from Olga Bracely on their first meeting in Riseholme at the due time.

Fish shop, Other ~ Elizabeth Mapp and most of her circle patronised the fish shop of Mr Hopkins. Unfortunately Miss Mapp was acutely embarrassed by coming upon Mr Hopkins posing for Quaint Irene Coles in his "bathing drawers" and, for a time, obtained her piscine requirements from the other fish shop in Tilling.    
Unfortunately the prices at the other fish shop were as high as the quality was low. This prompted the pragmatic and thrifty Miss Mapp gradually to resume normal relations and she told herself that "there was nothing actually immoral in the human skin, however embarrassing it was." See Mr Hopkins.
Five o'clock Chit-Chat ~ society gossip column over the renowned signature of Hermione which often detailed many of Lucia's activities in London. See Hermione.

Flint ~ Major Benjamin, Benjy ~ see Benjamin Flint

Flooding ~ a regular phenomenon on the low-lying land between the town of Tilling and the sea. On one occasion Lucia and Elizabeth Mapp were swept out to sea on a stout kitchen table when the embanked sea defences were breached near to Grebe, but lived to tell the tale - often and at length.

On another, bungalows out beyond the town temporarily occupied in high season by the Mapp-Flints and vicar Kenneth and Evie Bartlett were flooded. Lucia found lodgings for her displaced neighbours at Mallards House until the waters had receded. The Mapp-Flints were particularly tarsome during their stay and were very reluctant to confine themselves to the sitting room allocated to them by Lucia; they much preferred the charming garden room - but then who wouldn't?

"Flotsam" and "Jetsam" ~ two thin volumes of poems by Philip Lucas printed in blunt hand- set type on thick yellowish paper by "Ye Signe of Ye Daffodile" on the village green in Riseholme. The titles were printed on the outside cover in black-letter type and the covers were further adorned with a sort of embossed seal and with antique-looking tapes, so that you could tie it up with two bows when you had finished with Mr Lucas's "Flotsam" for the time being and turned to "Jetsam."In form the odes in question were cast in the loose rhythm of Walt Whitman, but their smooth suavity bore no resemblance whatever to the production of he whom Benson, with tongue firmly in cheek or with uncharacteristic lack of charity, refers to as "that barbaric bard".  See Philip Lucas, Poetry, Walt Whitman, "Loneliness."

Fly ~  in the first paragraph of "Queen Lucia" a fly with luggage from the 12.26 train drew up at the door of "The Hurst" in Riseholme and nobody except the maid of Emmeline Lucas got out. This was simply because upon her return from London, Mrs Lucas had chosen to walk home from the station.

A fly is a light horse drawn vehicle on hire - such as would have plied its trade, as it were a taxi, from the station in Riseholme.    
Flying  ~  when approaching her half-century, Lucia became restless and looked for a new challenge. She "picked up the evening paper, to see if she could find any hints about a careeer for a woman of  fifty. Women seemed to be much to the fore: there was one flying backwards and forwards across the Atlantic, but Lucia felt it was a little late for her to take up flying: probably it required an immense amount of practice before you could with any degree of confidence start for New York alone, two or three thousand feet up in the air."   
It seems likely that Luica was thinking of American aviation pioneer Amelia Mary Earhart (1897- disappeared 1937) who took part in a flight from Newfoundland to Wales in 1928 and was the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic, for which she received the US Distinguished Flying Cross.  She set many records and wrote best-selling books. Amelia Earhart disappeared whilst attempting a  circumnavigational flight in1937.   

Foljambe, Doris (Miss) ~ very pretty parlour maid who also valeted for Georgie Pillson. A peerless servant - that paragon of all parlour maids - upon whom he relied completely to run his household - apart from dusting his precious bibelots. Foljambe made it very clear to her employer that she only approved of having to serve up to six at dinner, although he did go so far as eight for the Christmas dinner arranged at the instigation of Olga Bracely, daring to say that "she must lump it."  Foljambe expressed her disapproval of the number by being somewhat miserly in dispensing the champagne that evening.

Foljambe's talents included easily controlling Hermione and Ursula Pillson's unruly Irish terrier, Tiptree. Her life's work was Foljambizing to Georgie. Sometimes testy when shown insufficient respect or excessive familiarity - as when the Padre dared to call her "my lassie" when billeted with Georgie whilst his seaside bungalow was flooded.

By the time of Georgie's first visit to Tilling, the estimable Foljambe had been in his service for fifteen years. During that summer, accompanied her employer with Cadman on a short stay in an hotel in Folkstone, when Georgie went away and Lucia feigned influenza during the visit to Tilling of Amelia, Contessa di Faraglione. During the trip Georgie reported by letter to Lucia that Foljambe and Cadman had a row, "but I'm afraid they've made it up."    
When, on his permanent move to Tilling, Georgie moved his belongings into the newly-leased "Mallards Cottage," Isabel Poppit forgot to arrange for her belongings to be removed. In consequence they all had to be moved back inside, out of the rain, and Foljambe was caught upstairs by the rising tide of cupboards, tables, books , crockery and saucepans and could not come down.  The climax of intensity arrived when she let down a string from an upper window, and Georgie's cook attached a small basket of nourishing food to it.       
Foljambe sang in a high buzzing voice. The sound of this "rancid noise" filled Georgie with the liveliest satisfaction, for Foljambe seldom sang and when she did, it meant she was delighted with her lot in life and was planing all sorts of pleasures for his comfort.  

Married Cadman, Lucia's chauffeur, after Georgie and Lucia had moved to Tilling, but continued to serve Georgie and, like a famous actress, retained her maiden name. The disposition of Foljambe's time between days with Georgie and nights with Cadman worked to admiration - practically assisted by the provision of a char lady to relieve Foljambe's own domestic burdens.

When Lucia was missing at sea with Miss Mapp, Foljambe was exceptionally attentive to a distressed Georgie and waited on him at dinner with particular attention, constantly holding a pocket handkerchief to the end of her nose, by way of expressing her own grief.

Georgie was dependent upon Foljambe and signalled the most urgent need for her services by ringing his bell three times in succession. This was the signal to Foljambe that even if she was in her bath she must come at once.  

The three occasions on which this took place were the dramatic discovery of the theft of his beloved bibelots by the curry cook, once when a fish bone stuck in his throat and once again when a note had announced to him that Piggy was going to call and hoped to find him alone. See William and Mary.

Folkestone ~ nearby resort visited by Georgie Pillson during the visit to Tilling of Amelia di Faraglione -to avoid her becoming aware of the lack of fluency of Lucia and Georgie's Italian.

Food ~ as one would expect in the depiction of middle class society centred upon life in the home and those of one's friends at luncheons, bridge teas and dinner parties, food plays a prominent part in the Mapp and Lucia canon.

Pride of place must of course go to the legendary Lobster a la Riseholme which naturally has its own entry in this Glossary, as do Boon's delicious and intoxicating redcurrant fool and Diva Plaistow's savoury sardine tartlets.

Elsewhere, dishes consumed reflect the time and social echelon of the characters concerned. At luncheon at "The Hurst"  in Riseholme, Lucia and Pepino are served macaroni au gratin, first in July and later in December: obviously a favourite chez Lucas.  During Lucia's widowhood in Tilling, macaroni coninued to be served for lunch at "Grebe" - with quantities of tomato sauce (when Grosvenor eventually remembered to serve it.)

Macaroni, which Mr Wyse had brought back with him from a visit to his sister Amelia, Contessa di Faraglione in Capri, was also on the menu when he gave luncheon (or "breakfast" as he quaintly preferred to call it) to Elizabeth Mapp, Diva Plaistow and Susan Poppit. This was followed by quails and figs, also from Capri.

When visiting her brother Algernon in Tilling, the Contessa went marketing with the biggest basket she could find (since she aspired to be du monde with all the great ladies of the town)  and purchased a large crab for her brother and herself and a bloody steak for Figgis.   
Catering at Lucia's garden party at "The Hurst" included peaches and four sorts of sandwiches.  Later consumables delivered to "The Hurst" in time for the weekend stay of Lucia's fashionable guests from London included several pounds of salmon, literally dozens of eggs, two chickens and a leg of lamb, as well as countless other unidentified provisions.

On May Day, Lucia had roasted a leg of mutton on the Elizabethan spit at "The Hurst" whilst they all sat round in jerkins, stomachers and hose and all the perfumes of Arabia had hardly sufficed to quell the odour of roast meat which had pervaded the room for weeks afterwards.
Before her marriage to Algernon Wyse, Susan Poppit served him roast grouse. Before and after marriage Mr Wyse proclaimed his aristocratic Italian connections with the signature dish eggs a la Capri, alluding to its origins in the kitchens of brother-in- law Cecco, Cont di Faraglione on that sunlit and historic Mediterranean isle. The table at Starling Cottage often groaned with other Faraglione delicacies, such as honey, chestnuts, figs and wine and sophisticated dishes such as caviare from Odessa, roe deer from Perthshire quail and endive salad.   
Food was on occasion a tool in social intercourse in Tilling, as when Diva Plaistow invested the ruinous sum of four shillings in a large dressed crab of which the Padre was inordinately fond and with which she successfully enticed him to luncheon, so that she might extract from him first-hand an account of what transpired amidst the sand dunes in the duel-that-never-was between Major Flint and Captain Puffin. Dressed crab was also a particular favourite of  the barbophilic Duchess of Sheffield, whose diet consisted only of the delicious crustacean and black coffee.   
At the dinner party given by Susan and Algernon Wyse shortly after Lucia had moved into "Mallards House," guests were served soup, turbot, chicken, an oyster savoury, chestnut ice a la Capri with brandy and a compote of figs with honey.

Drinks included sherry, cocktails, wine, champagne and port. Excessive consumption certainly played a part in Major Benjy's injudicious behaviour that evening, culminating in being found by his wife alone with Lucia with his hand upon her knee. This had untold consequences on society in Tilling for several weeks hence, very nearly ruining its usual abandoned enjoyment of the summer strawberry season.

When sheltering the Mapp-Flints and Evie Bartlett at "Mallards House" when their summer lettings had been flooded, Lucia endeavoured to cater for their individual tastes. One day there was haggis for the Padre who was being particularly Scotch, and one day there were stewed prunes for Elizabeth, and fiery curry for Major Benjy in his more Indian moods, and parsnips for Evie who had a passion for that deplorable vegetable.   
Somewhat ungratefully during this stay, Elizabeth Mapp-Flint asked her husband Major Benjy, "Was your haddock at breakfast quite what it should be?" to which he replied "Perfectly delicious. It's a treat to get decent food again after that garbage we've been having." Elizabeth responded "Thank you dear."

Before the advent of the guru the Quantock's incompetent cook presented sad grey mutton and cod fish that damaged Robert's digestion and temper. Both improved markedly when the guru donned his curry cook hat and quickly whipped up a curry of mutton and rice and then a fish curry employing a pinch of pepper, a tomato, a little mutton fat, a sardine, a bit of cheese, a scraping of gentleman's relish and a little nutmeg. This prompted Robert to suggest unsuccessfully that the guru be offered the job of cook at forty pounds a year and beer money.

On arriving very late at their brother's house in Riseholme, his mischievous sisters Hermy and Ursy helped themselves to a midnight feast of ham, bread, marmalade, Stilton, buns and a bottle of champagne.

Some eighteen or nineteen bottles of champagne were reputedly served at Olga Bracely's informal romp at "Old Place" in Riseholme with dishes including ham, lobster salad and (according to Lucia) caviar sandwiches.  When Lucia and Georgie were week-ending with Olga at "Old Place" after her world tour, Olga served chicken for dinner.   
At dinner for Colonel Boucher, Mrs Weston served brill and whole partridges with a bottle of old Burgundy.
In Tilling, strawberries were served at tea when they were cheap and in season and staples ranged from Major Benjy's porridge to Diva Plaistows's nougat chocolates. Dressed crab was a particular favourite of the Padre and visiting aristocrat, Poppy Duchess of Sheffield.    
For breakfast, Major Benjy favoured porridge on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and grew irritable when it was burned.

Thrifty Elizabeth Mapp often served substantial chocolate cakes as a means of dulling her guests' appetites at bridge teas. Older hands such as Diva Plaistow however were aware of their consistency and instead nearly cleared a plate of jumbles, which the hostess had hoped would form a pleasant accompaniment to her dessert at her supper that evening.
Elizabeth Mapp often ate plainly - such as dab purchased from Mr Hopkins and cold apple tart. She also enjoyed pate de foie gras, as evidenced by Lucia's generous Christmas gift.

Lucia served Georgie what was initially described as stewed lobster for lunch during her letting of "Mallards"on the occasion of breaking the news of Foljambe's impending marriage to Cadman. This appeared possibly to have been a different dish from the acclaimed and legendary Lobster a la Riseholme, but Benson subsequently referred to Lucia having served Georgie the famous dish of lobster a la Riseholme a few weeks ago to act as a buffer to break the shock of Foljambe's engagement.  

As well as Lobster a la Riseholme, the recipe book of Lucia's cook at "Grebe" included oeufs a l'aurore and cheese straws.

Quaint Irene was known to enjoy lobster - as when her gigantic maid Lucy (who but for her sex might have been in the guards) was ill with scarlet fever and she said jokingly to Miss Mapp, "Come and have tiffin, qui hai, I've got to look after myself today."  The reader is not advised how the lobster was prepared and served at Taormina that day.
For dinner, Lucia's fare included nougat chocolates for Diva Plaistow and a fiery curry for Major Flint plus purple figs bought from the greengrocers but plucked from the tree outside the garden room.   

At their traditional dinner-lunch at "Mallards" on Christmas Day Elizabeth Mapp entertained Diva Plaistow to terrine of pate de foie gras (a gift from Lucia and Georgie) roast turkey and plum pudding. 

The informal supper party held by the Wyses at Starling Cottage on the first evening following the loss at sea of Lucia and Miss Mapp, began with the most delicious caviare and continued with cold turkey, fried slices of plum pudding, toasted cheese and figs stuffed with almonds sent by Contessa Amelia from Capri.
Forced to vacate "Mallards" at the shortest of notice on the sudden return from the Gallagher Bank of Elizabeth Mapp, Major Flint in his own house ate a solitary supper of a pork pie and a bottle of Burgundy.  
During her stay on the fishing trawler on the Gallagher Bank, Lucia and Miss Mapp had subsisted mainly upon fish. When Grosvenor put some fish before Lucia, she said, "Oh, take it away. Never let me see fish again, particulalrly cod, as long as I live.  Tell the cook."   
Georgie served pheasant to Lucia for lunch at "Mallards Cottage" - and grew rather irritated, since  Lucia was pontificating about rates and issues in the impending local election that she laid down her knife and fork let her pheasant get cold to his great annoyance. She subsequently resumed her duty towards the pheasant and wolfed it down.

More game appeared when Lucia and Georgie served partridge at a dinner party for the Mapp-Flints, Wyses and Bartletts. For dessert there was raspberry souffle. Next day Elizabeth Mapp-Flint reported musingly to Diva Plaistow, "Partridges a little tough. Old birds are cheaper, of course," and that Susan had worn Blue birdie as a breastplate: "it fell into the raspberry souffle. Plop!"

When the Mapp-Flints entertained their summer tenant of Grebe, Miss Leg, the novelist Rudolph da Vinci, to dinner at the Parsonage, they served tomato soup, middle cut of salmon sent over from Hornbridge, a brace of grouse from Rice's, Melba peaches, but only bottled with custard instead of cream, and tinned caviare. Diva Plaistow remarked "And Elizabeth called it pot luck. I never had such luck there, pot or unpot."
Food then  forms the backdrop for events in Tilling as much as bridge and seagulls.

Fool ~ see Redcurrant Fool.       
Football  ~  following her donation to fund the levelling of the pitch which served Tilling for both cricket and football, Lucia was made President of both Tilling's Cricket and Football clubs. Lucia noted "Tilling takesan immense interest in sport." Alone in her giardino segreto, Lucia assiduously practised kicking a football supplied to her by the club so as to be able  "kick off" a match on the pitch.    
Fourth round of the Inferno  ~  whilst Lucia had generously provided hospitality to the Mapp-Flints whose temporary bungalow outside Tilling had been flooded, she found the lack of gratitude of her guests somewhat wearisome. Lucia remarked dreamily to Georgie Pillson, "That wonderful  fourth round of the Inferno, Georgie. The guests who eat the salt of their host, and sputare it on the floor. Some very unpleasant fate awaited them: I think they were pickled in brine."    
Georgie responded,"I'm sure they deserved whatever it was."   
Lucia was referring to "Inferno" (Italian for "Hell"), the first part of Dante Aligheri's "Divine Comedy," which is followed by "Purgatorio" and "Paradiso."  Hell is nine circles of suffering located within the earth. Upper Hell  comprises the first five circles and is for self-indulgent sins.The fourth circle is reserved for greed and those whose attitude towards material goods inclined towards the avaricious or miserly, who hoarded possessions or the prodigal who squandered them. Particular reference  is made to the clergy of even the highest rank.  On this occasion however Lucia appears to be thinking of the Mapp-Flints rather than the Padre and Evie Bartlett.     See Dante.

Ford Place ~ a road or street inTilling. Elizabeth Map-Flint mentioned during dinner at "Mallards House" that there had been a fire there last week: the fire brigade were in attendance there in three minutes of the alarm benig given and had extinguished the fire in five minutes more.
Freud Sigmund Freud, Sigismund Schlomo Freud ~ Just before her Summer lease of "Mallards" in Tilling Lucia felt, " We must read some Freud, I think; I have read none at present." Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) was an Austrian Jewish neurologist who founded the psychoanalytical method of psychiatry. He is best known for his theories of the unconscious mind, the defence mechanism of repression and the identification of sexual desire as the primary motivational energy of human life. His therapeutic techniques included the use of free association, the theory of transference in the therapeutic relationship and the interpretation of dreams as a means of insight into unconscious desires.
Friendship's Border ~ When Susan Poppit who was casting aspersions (if not nasturtiums) on the quality of Elizabeth Mapp's rose bed at "Mallards" and adding injury to insult by offering to send her gardener - if she had one - a dozen vigorous bushes, Miss Mapp declined since "That rose bed is quite sacred." She added that not all the vigorous young bushes in the world would tempt her since"It's my Friendship's Border: some dear friend gave me each of my roses."   
This rebuttal prompted Mrs Poppit to think that some of the dear friends must be centenarians.    
"Full-orbed Soul of the World"  ~  when Lucia returned home to "The Hurst" in Riseholme from a visit to London, she took a turn in the garden before luncheon.  She looked at the stream in the meadow outside and thought of the Avon  stealing along past the church in Stratford where Shakespeare lay. Her husband Peppino had written a very moving little prose poem about it, for she had royally presented him wth the idea, and had suggested a beautiful analogy between the earthly dew that refreshed the flowers, and was drawn up by the the fire of the sun, and Thought, the spiritual dew, that refreshed the mind, and thereafter, rather vaguely, was drawn into the Full-orbed Soul of the World..."

One cannot help but think that Benson here was having fun, satirising the metaphysical posturing of some of his contemporaries. Perhaps Marie Corelli was in his sights again? His satire uses phraseology used by many writers. For example in  Book 5 of Paradise Lost, Milton refers to the "Full orbed moon, and with more pleasing light".

In the Fourteenth book of "The Prelude" William Wordsworth writes "In the clear presence of the full-orbed moon." In To Helen (Sarah Helen Whitman) Edgar Allen Poe wrote in 1848.
"I saw thee once - once only - years ago;
I must not sday how many - but not many. 
It was a July midnight;and from out
A full orbed moon, that, like thine own soul soaring
Sought a precipitate pathway up through heaven..."     
Benson seems mainly to be flagging up the resemblance between Peppino's self indulgent prose poems  and the work of his frequent target, that barberic bard, the American Walt Whitman. See Walt Whitman.

 "Funeral March of a Marionette" ~ at Olga Bracely's dinner party prior to her departure from Riseholme to 25 Brompton Square, Lucia surprised everyone by ruthlessly bowling over, like nine pins, every article of her own Riseholme creed, which saw Bolshevism in all modern art, inanity in crossword puzzles and Bridge and aimless vacuity in London. Immediately after, the fresh tune on the wireless (to which she was now devoted) began, and most unfortunately they came in for the funeral March of a Marionette. A spasm of pain crossed Lucia's face and Olga abruptly tuned off this sad reminder of unavailing woe (regarding the late lamented and demented Aunt Amy, rather than any specific perceived defect in the composition.)    

Compounding a musical reference with a literary one, the phrase "unavailing woe" seems to be quoted from Byron's poem "Child Harolde's Pilgrimage":     
 XCI. And thou, my friend! since unavailing woe
Bursts from my heart, and mingles with the strain -
Had the sword laid thee with the mighty low,
Pride might forbid e'en Friendship to complain:..
The slight but charming "Funeral March of a Marionette" was written by French composer Charles-Francois Gounod (1818-1893) originally as one of the movements of an uncompleted Suite Burlesque. The piece tells a story and apparently reflects upon the "briefness and weariness of life, even for marionettes."

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