Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Q ~ is for Quaint Irene and Quizes


Quai-Hai, sometimes Qui-Hi  ~ call of Hindustani origin, a relict of his service in the Raj, normally employed loudly and irritably by Major Benjamin Flint when summoning staff to bring breakfast porridge or other domestic necessaries. Unsurprisingly, its use was discouraged by his wife following marriage, sometimes with the acid phrase "There is a bell, darling".    
    
Quaint Irene Coles (Miss) ~ Resident of Taormina in West Street in Tilling. Free-spirited, free-speaking post-impressionist artist in the modern manner, Germanophil and socialist. Loathed by Miss Mapp who considered her "the Disgrace of Tilling and her sex" and tried in vain to poison minds against her. In contrast Irene was often merely amused by Miss Mapp and mockingly dismissive of her.   
    
She could on occasion be quite forceful, as when Miss Mapp had unkindly mimicked her adored Lucia with baby talk over the previously broken chain on the front door of  "Mallards", and she remarked, "That old witch will get what for". Often outspoken to the point of being dismally direct.  
  
When Diva Plaistow told her that Lucia had been flirting with Major Benjy at the Wyse's party, Irene tersely replied," You foul-minded old widow."To the irritation of Miss Mapp, some male Tillingites such as Captain Puffin and Major Flint liked Irene and found her fetching and killing.  
   
Produced daring life studies of Tilling fishmonger, Mr Hopkins au naturel and stinging caricatures, notably of Elizabeth Mapp. Lived in a very queer way with one gigantic maid called Lucy, who, but for her sex might have been in the Guards.
Sometimes Irene dressed in costume, such as a jockey, or sported an old wide-awake hat, tall collar and stock, large loose coat, knickerbockers and grey stockings. With a handsome boyish face, she often dressed boyishly with Eton crop, fisherman's jersey and breeches.  Paradoxically, Irene bowed to sartorial convention and wore a "civilised skirt" when, with many of her neighbours, she fruitlessly awaited the arrival of the Prince of Wales outside the station.       
       
Somewhat eccentric as reflected in her work and mad-cap antics, such as experimenting with living the day backwards, which was very advanced for Tilling.  Like Tilling's very own Yahoo, Isabel Poppit, Irene rode a motor cycle, with great elan but little discernible skill, and was seen "incessantly hooting..thundering along the High Street, with foul fumes pouring from the open exhaust."    
   
Passionate admirer with an enduring schwarm for Lucia and, with the passage of time, an increasingly outspoken adversary of Elizabeth Mapp, whom she terrified with her accurate mimicry and called just Mapp, even after her marriage. Elizabeth in turn recognised that no-one but Lucia had the smallest influence with that quaint and venemous young person. Demonstrated publicly in favour of Lucia and against Mapp when both were standing as candidates in the Tilling Council elections. Showed her devotion to Lucia in practical ways, such as lending her overalls in which to dig in the kitchen garden of the newly acquired "Mallards House."    
    
Irene was recognised as a clever and amusing mimic. Dressed as a sailor, she gave her most entertaining parody of "The boy stood on the burning deck" to the delight of those attending Lucia's fete in aid of Tilling hospital held in the garden of Mallards. At the request of the Padre, Irene also danced a hornpipe on the lawn in her sailor's clothes.        
     
Her uncontrolled and highly emotional temperament was shown at the informal supper at "Starling Cottage" on the first evening after Lucia and Miss Mapp had been swept out to sea. Having eaten nothing and made no contribution to the conversation, she suddenly burst into shrieks of hysterical laughter and sobs crying, "What rubbish you're all talking. How can you be so silly? I'm sure I beg your pardons, but there it is. I'll go home, please." She then fled from the room banging the front door so loudly that the house shook. Similarly, later when Irene heard that Lucia was engaged to be married to Georgie, she burst into tears.    
     
Irene's volatility meant that she was not always invited to every social  event in Tilling. All Tilling was bidden to Lucia's "Mallards-House-warming" lunch with the exception of Quaint Irene,  for she had another little disturbance with Elizabeth, and Lucia thought that their proximity was not a risk that should be taken on an occasion designed to be festive, for there was quite enough danger zones without that.      
     
When once playfully threatening to kiss Georgie, she reassured him with the illuminating words: "Don't be alarmed dear lamb, your sex protects you from any forwardness on my part"     
    
The Birth of Venus, Quaint Irene's satirical portrait of Elizabeth and Benjamin Mapp-Flint became Picture of the Year. It was exhibited at the Royal Academy to great acclaim and considerable national press coverage, including the Times, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mirror. Rather than being upset by the caricature Elizabeth Mapp-Flint relished the attendant fame and visited the exhibition three times in the hope of being recognised - and was not disappointed.       
    
The painting was subsequently exhibited in Tilling, although Elizabeth had to ask for Lucia to intervene with Irene when she had touched it up by rouging the cheeks and reddening the lips. Lucia, for once, envied Elizabeth's moment in the spotlight and commissioned Irene to paint her own portrait.     
   
Irene's portrait of Lucia showed her in Mayoral robes at the piano surrounded with various symbols, including her paints and bicycle. Lucia generously offered the portrait to the Council in Tilling and hoped it would be displayed behind her Mayoral chair during such times as it was not loaned out for exhibition after being appropriately insured.    
    
Typically ungenerously, her Mayoress and fellow councillor Elizabeth Mapp-Flint prevailed upon the relevant sub-committee unanimously to recommend the council to decline the offer and the portrait was rejected to the humiliation and irritation of Lucia. Following this, Lucia did nothing to prevent Quaint Irene from reinstating her finishing touches to the Birth of Venus before forwarding it to the Carlton Galleries        
    
Quaint Irene later offended Lucia by joining everyone else in Tilling and not believing that Poppy, the Duchess of Sheffield had dined and stayed overnight with her at Mallards House on the way to Olga Bracely's house party at Le Touquet. Irene was mortified when she discovered her error.     
     
Quaint Irene summed up her philosophy of life thus: I never think, I feel!   See Grebe, Art Club Exhibition, Picture of the Year , Diva's faulty flue,  "Equality, Fraternity, Nosality" and Disgrace of Tilling.      
   
Quaint Irene's studio ~ the new studio of Irene Coles in Tilling was in a converted coach house. It's decoration was even more appalling than Miss Mapp might have expected.    
   
There was a German stove in the corner made of pink porcelain (to warm her models, such as her maid Lucy or Mr Hopkins, the fishmonger, when posing au naturel).     
   
The rafters and roof were painted scarlet, the walls were of magenta distemper and the floor was blue.       
   
In the corner was a very large orange covered screen which more than catered for the limited modesty of her models and the walls were hung with specimens of Irene's art.   
    
Quaintnesses  ~  Lucia prided herself that her ultra-Elizabethan home, "The Hurst" in Riseholme was full of  "quaintnesses" - as she alleded to in her memorable essay read before the Riseholme Literary Society called "Humour in Furniture." These included a brass milk-can that served as a receptacle for sticks and umbrellas. Equally quaint intentional whimsicalities included a dish of highly realistic stone fruit that strood beside the pot pourri, a  furry Japanese spider in a silk web over the window, a china canary in a Chippendale cage and a set of bells that once decked the collar of the lead horse in a waggoner's team somewhere in Flanders which Lucia sometimes substitued for a dinner gong.   
   
Quantock, Robert ~ husband of Daisy Quantock. Resident of Riseholme. Reputedly, by far the most sarcastic person in Riseholme and described as "like a little round sarcastic beetle". Robert was not shy in directing his sarcasm towards his friends and neighbours, as when mocking Georgie's capacious Oxford trousers with remarks such as, "Home is the sailor, home from the sea..."    
  
Made considerable sums from skillful dealings in Roumanian Oils.  His wife estimated that from his dealings in Roumanian Oils, Robert had lately made twenty times what darling Lucia spent annually on entertaining.  His custom in perplexity was to rub the top of his head. When perplexed at what offer to make to Lady Ambermere  for the incinerated mittens of the late Queen Charlotte, Robert remarked, " I don't know of any standard of valuation for the old clothes of deceased queens" -  a conundrum that has vexed so many over the years.    

The reader was possibly  more surprised that Robert possesed silk pajamas, than that Daisy was obliged to send over to "The Hurst" for their return. The Guru  apparently thought incorrectly that Daisy had given them to him. Robert was not the man to allow what John Betjeman referred to as his "slumber-wear" to be given to itinerant Gurus, even if at that point they were still wrongly believed to be of utmost sanctity and highest caste.

 Robert enjoyed the curries expertly prepared by the Guru whilst staying in his home and would happily have engaged him as cook. A considerable trencherman; at dinner most Riseholme-ites left Robert alone, for if disturbed over that function, he was apt to behave like a dog with a bone and growl. If left alone he was in an extremely good temper afterwards. Robert suffered from a little rheumatism in his shoulder, for which Daisy gave him Coue treatment.    
     
Dynamic and energetic when required, as when he efficiently bought up all copies of Todds News in Riseholme and even stole Colonel Boucher's Daily Mirror and then promptly disposed of the evidence by burning. This was to conceal press reports of the conviction his wife's medium, Princess Popoffski whose real name was Marie Lowenstein. Generally stoic in coping with his wife's succession of enthusiasms, ranging from Christian Science to guru-ism and yoga to mediums and spiritualism.

Robert's musical tastes were surprisingly catholic. His reaction to Lucia's performance of a modernistic morsel of Stravinski must have raised the odd eyebrow: "Very pretty: I call that very pretty. Honk! I call that music." However, the precise meaning of the term "Honk!" is not entirely clear and he was reputedly eye-wateringly sarcastic by nature. On another occasion, whilst the rest of the company shared Lucia's discomfort on the playing on the wireless of "The Funeral March of a Marionette" so soon after Pepino's mad Aunt Amy had tragically shuffled off her mortal coil, drowsy and thoughtless Robert said, "Go on, I like that tune."  In typical Riseholme fashion, a hurried buzz of conversation covered this melancholy coincidence.        
     
A founding committee member and the largest subscriber to the Riseholme Museum. He arranged insurance cover for the building and contents and was by far the largest beneficiary from the insurance proceeds when his wife Daisy overfilled the oil heaters used to keep the building dry and it burned down.        
     
Quantock, Daisy~ see Daisy Quantock     
         
Queen Anne  ~ see Anne, Queen     
      
Queen Charlotte's Mittens ~ a pair of worsted mittens reputed to have been worn by Queen Charlotte was loaned (not presented) by Lady Cornelia Ambermere to Riseholme Museum: sadly burned in the ensuing conflagration and the subject of unfortunate subsequent disagreement over valuation for compensation purposes. Lady Ambermere demanded compensation of Fifty pounds and after consultation with Lucia the Committee settled the claim at ten shillings and sixpence. The Committee's valuation was supported by the recent sale at auction of a pair of riding gaiters in good condition of King George IV.   
  
When Princess Isabel was visiting Olga Bracely at "Old Place" in Riseholme, she was interested to view the mittens since Queen Charlotte was her great aunt. On her visit Lady Ambermere offered to have the display case opened for her, and let her try them on. She said most graciously, that it was not necessary.   See Princess Isabel  and Lady Ambermere.  
    
Queen Mary ~ Before playing a duet of Glazonov's "Bacchanal" on the piano in the garden room, Lucia had been expounding at length upon the possibility of establishing the Royal Fish Express to supply fish to the Court and Georgie had been proudly showing off his brand new red velvet dinner suit with synthetic-onyx buttons. On later retiring to bed, by touching transfer of emotions, Lucia had vivid dreams of heaving seas of ruby-coloured velvet, and Georgie of the new Cunard liner, Queen Mary, running aground on a monstrous shoal of whiting and lobsters.    
  
Ordered in April 1929, construction of RMS Queen Mary, then known only as "Hull number 534," began in December 1930 in the John Brown yard on the River Clyde. Worked halted in December 1931 due to the Depression and restarted with a government loan on the condition that Cunard merged with the White Star Line. The merger took place in April 1934 and the Queen Mary was launched on September 26 1934 with her maiden voyage in May 1936.      
   
Cunard traditionally gave its ships names sending in "ia" and were believed to have intended to name the new ship "Victoria." According to Felix Morley, editor of the Washington Post, he was told by Percy Bates, the Chairman of Cunard, that when the King was asked for permission to name the ship after Britain's "greatest Queen", he said his wife Queen Mary would be delighted: thus Cunard had no alternative but to follow the King's wish. Alternatively, and much less interestingly, it could simply have reflected a compromise between Cunard and White Star, which traditionally named its ships ending in "ic."            
     
Queen of Sheba  ~    when rehearsals for the Elizabethan Pageant in Riseholme were reaching a nadir under the incompetent direction of Daisy Quantock, Georgie was delegated to perusade her to abdicate in favour of Lucia as both Queen Elizabeth and director. "It was a gloomy queen that Georgie found, a queen of Sheba with no spirit left in her but only a calmness of despair."   
    
The Queen of Sheba ruled the ancient kingdom of Sheba which is believed to be in Ethiopia and Yemen and is referred to in the Bible, the Qur’an, Yoruba tradition and Josephus.     
    
According to the Hebrew bible, the Queen of  Sheba heard of the wisdom of King Solomon and travelled with gifts of spices, gold, jewels and wood,  tested him with questions, as recorded in Kings 10:1-13, and pronounced a blessing on Solomon's God. Solomon reciprocated with gifts and "everything she desired," following which she returned home. The Queen of Sheba is also commonly believed to be the Queen of the South referenced in Matthew12:42 and Luke11:31 in the New Testament.   See Calmness of despair.     
     
Quinine, ammoniated ~ remedy sometimes taken by the ladies of Tilling, as a precaution against chills, after any undue exposure to the inclement elements.

Quintus Curtius ~ after her acquisition of "Mallards House," just as its redecoration was completed, Lucia detected a questionable odour about the house. The foremen of the Gas Works and Town Surveyor, inordinately cheerful brothers Georgie and Per, were duly summoned to determine if the unpleasantness emanated from a gas pipe or main drain. In due course the two gay brothers, Gas and Drains, leaped like Quintus Curtius into the chasm and shovelled feverishly until their workmen returned in order that no time be lost in arriving at a solution and the settlement of their bet (as to who was responsible).    
   
This reference seems to be based on the ancient legend that a chasm one day opened in Rome and threatened the the whole people of the city. In great fear they consulted an oracle and he declared that the only way to save Rome was for the people to cast their most precious possession into the chasm. According to some Quintus Curtius at once leaped into the chasm since Rome possessed nothing of greater value than this citizen. The chasm was closed and the city was saved.
Interestingly, it seems Benson may have been in error in his reference since Quintus Curtius (Rufus), according to many recognised authorities, was actually the biographer of Alexander the Great and seems to have had nothing to do with the legend referred to in Chapter 6 in "Lucia's Progress."        
    
The identity of the correct "Curtius" is flagged up by J.J. Willett of Anniston, Alaska in a letter to the New York Times of 1 November 1897. He notes that this Quintus Curtius is recorded as a contemporary of Vespasian (AD 9 - 79). He goes on to confirm that it was Mettus Curtius (according to Anthon's Classical Dictionary and the Encyclopaedia Britannica) and Marcus Curtius (according to Appleton's American Cyclopaedia) who in the fourth century BC, according to the legend, arrayed himself in complete armour, and, mounting his war horse jumped into the abyss. Mr Willett remarked that none of the authorities he had ever seen ascribes this feat to Quintus Curtius.
 
Finally he noted that this legend is the subject of the painting of the celebrated English painter Benjamin Robert Haydon, known as "Curtius" and strangely enough in D. Appleton and Co's book on English painters a copy of this painting is given the name "Quintus Curtius" underneath. See Infelicities.    
             
Quixotism  ~  whilst Miss Mapp showed Lucia and Georgie around "Mallards" and sprayed upon her visitors a perpetual shower of flattering and agreeable trifles, she was wrestling with the decision of how much rent to charge. The price had not been mentioned in her advertisement in "The Times" and, although she had told the agent to name twelve guineas a week, Lucia was clearly more than delighted with what she had seen already, and it would be a senseless Quixotism to let her have the house for twelve, if she might all the time, be willing to pay fifteen.

The term "Quixotism" appeared after the publication of "El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha" in 1605 by Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, where the chivalrous romanticism and rash and extravagant idealism of the hero leads him to imaginary fights with windmills he regards as giants.  As you might imagine, Elizabeth Mapp was not prone to generously quixotic acts or to tilt at windmills. With her sensibly shod feet firmly on the ground - and having observed and drawn conclusions from, Lucia's Rolls Royce - Miss Mapp's only impulse was to obtain the maximum rental of fifteen guineas, excluding garden produce, to decline to disclose this windfall in connection with her own summer letting from Diva Plaistow and to refuse to pay any agent's commission.  
   
Quizes  ~  hopefully, it will be more convenient to move the Mapp and Lucia Quizes from previous years from the Introduction to here under "Q", the home of Quaint Irene. If this is not the case, please let me know. The suggested answers are still set out in the Epilogue - just click and hopefully  you will be transported there...the wonders of wireless...  
   
  • QUIZ ONE: As an esoteric tea-time treat, here is a copy of the Mapp and Lucia Reference Quiz I originally put on librarything. The twenty questions are based on the batch of entries from 2010 listed above and answers to all are in (almost) alphabetical order in the Glossary. For convenience, answers are also shown in abbreviated form as Appendix 1 in the Epilogue in this Glossary: to go there just click on Epilogue in the Archive on the left of this page. See how many you can answer over a cup of tea, jam puff and sardine tartlet:

  • Who was Miss Wethered?
  • What does "lobgesang" mean?
  • Who was Sir Sidney Lee?
  • What are the Vanderbilt Conventions?
  • What is a "schwarm"?
  • Who was Mr Montagu Norman?
  • Who said "Wait and see"? 
  • What is a Commination Service?
  • Who allegedly said "My lips are sealed"?
  • What is Culbertson?
  • What does "Sursum corda" mean?
  • What is "shikarri"?
  • What was "Pretty Fanny's way"?
  • What does "Wigs on the Green" mean?
  • What was The Chantrey Bequest?
  • Who was Quintus Curtius? 
  • Who was Coue?
  • What is samite?
  • Who said "I shall not pass this way again"?
  • What was the Carlisle Holbein?
  • QUIZ TWO : As a further tea-time diversion, here is the Mapp and Lucia New Year Reference Quiz 2012 with my seasonal compliments. The twenty questions are based on the batch of entries from 2012 to date listed above, covering only the first two and a half novels in the Mapp and Lucia canon. Answers to all are in (almost) alphabetical order in the Glossary. For convenience, answers are also shown in abbreviated form as Appendix 2 in the Epilogue in this Glossary: to go there just click on "EPILOGUE" in the Archive on the top left of this page:
  • What is an Elzevir?   
  • What does “Desipere in loco” mean?
  • What does “scalloped” mean?
  • What was unusual about the inhabitants of the dovecote at “The Hurst”?
  • What is a “burning ghaut”?
  • Who or what is a “Contadina”?
  • What is “stertorous”?
  • Who was Hermes?
  • Who was Gemaliel?
  • Who wrote “Sally in our Alley”?
  • Who was Madame Blavatski?
  • Where does the phrase "All the perfumes of Arabia" come from?
  • Who wrote "Sweet Thames, run softly till I end my song”?
  • Who wrote “The very pulse of the machine"?
  • What links Miss Mapp and Clement Scott?
  • What have Miss Mapp and King John in common?
  • What does Pepinos’ late Aunt Amy Lucas have in common with singer and writer Sandy Denny, actors Kenneth More and Daniel Massey, comedian Arthur Askey and J Bruce Ismay, MD of the White Star Line?
  • What does Fred have in common with Sir Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones?
  • Who was the “Infidel poet”?
  • When or where is “The voice that breath’d over Eden” usually sung?
  • QUIZ THREE:  To mark the completion of this winter's re-reading of the Mapp and Lucia novels and two hundred and seventy five new entries in the Glossary, here is the Mapp and Lucia Spring Reference Quiz 2012 with my vernal compliments.  There are a further twenty questions covering the final two and a half books in the series. Again the answers are set out in the Glossary in alphabetical order or in abbreviated form as Appendix 3 towards the end of the Epilogue in this Glossary: to go there just click on "EPILOGUE" in the Archive on the top left of this page. I do hope that the questions are not too facile for learned Bensonistas, but might help while away an afternoon whilst busy indoors or at tea:
  • What item did both Algernon Wyse and his sister Amelia, Contessa di Faraglione wear?
  • What motto is inscribed upon Lucia’s bench in Perdita’s garden?
  • What is an odontoglossum?
  • What is suttee?
  • What is “La ci darem?”
  • What is a palfrey?
  • What is Della Robbia?
  • What was the Neapolitan Narcissus?
  • Who was Duse?
  • What happened at Richborough?
  • When did the Churching of Women take place?
  • Whom did Lucia, as a child, see perform Lady Macbeth?
  • Who was President of the Browning Society?
  • Who enjoyed a “villegiatura” and what was it?
  • Who wrote “Home is the sailor, home from the sea”?
  • Where did Georgie, Lucia and Olga lunch after the gala opening of “Lucrezia”?
  • Where did Olga Bracely hold her villa party?
  • Where did Lucia hide and weather her replica of Major Benjy’s crop?
  • Who said “Peccavi”?
  • What was the Portland Club?
  • QUIZ FOUR: to mark the completion of this winter's re-reading of "Queen Lucia" the first in the Mapp and Lucia canon and of new entries in the Glossary on that novel, here is the Easy-Peasy-Lemon -Squeezy- "Queen Lucia"-Winter-Trivia Quiz 2013 with my late winter compliments. It is not yet warm enough to extend vernal ones. As previously, the answers are set out in this Glossary in alphabetical order and in Abbreviated form as Appendix 4 towards the end of the Epilogue in this Glossary: to go there please just click on "EPILOGUE" in the Archive on the top left of this page.

1. Where do the words “solemn gladness” come from?
2. Where is the quotation commencing “Much have I travelled…” carved and where does it originate?
3. Other than Lucia, who said “too ill-advised, too sudden”?
4. What does “troppo caldo” mean?
5. Who prefaced every remark by “Haw, hum”?
6. What is a stymie?
7. Other than being plays by William Shakespeare, what do “Othello”, “Hamlet” and “Midsummer Night’s Dream” have in common?
8. What is the origin of “terrible as an army with banners
9. Who said “Thy kingdom is divided
10. What does “Lingua Toscana in bocca Romana" mean?
11. What is a Margherita?
12. What are accidentals?
13. What did Olga Bracely mean by “the best sort of Claude”?
14. What kind of piano did Lucia play in Riseholme?
15. Name three authors whose works were set out in Elzevirs on display at “The Hurst
16. When is “Domani”?
17. Who was also married at the same time as Colonel Boucher and Mrs Jane Weston?
18. What is the name of Olga Bracely’s husband?
19. What is a “promesso
20. What is the origin of the phrase “a bow drawn at a venture”?


  • QUIZ FIVE:  To mark the completion of my re-reading of the delicious "Lucia in London," the second in the Mapp and Lucia canon and of new entries in the Glossary on that novel, there is set out below  QUIZ FIVE namely the "HE-WHO-IS-TIRED-OF "LUCIA IN LONDON"-IS-TIRED-OF-LIFE QUIZ 2013," with my spring compliments. Please see how many questions you can answer over your luncheon of macaroni au gratin or quails and figs from Capri. As with earlier quizes, the answers are near the end of the Epilogue - in Appendix Five.

    1. When Daisy Quantock asked Georgie Pillson, ”What do you do with slugs, Georgie?” what did he reply?
    2. What biblical incident did Fred say Daisy Quantock’s weeding most resembled?
    3. Lucia wore a little white cap to mourn the death of Pepino's Aunt Amy. On what occasion did she wear one before?
    4. Whom did Georgie Pillson say “sounded not like a she but a he”?
    5. What is a Kit-cat?
    6. Whom did Lucia’s smart friends from London say Daisy Quantock resembled, when she hurried by on the Green in Riseholme with averted face?
    7. Apart from the question of good manners, why was it wrong to make this analogy?
    8. What term was used for a “wireless” on its introduction to Riseholme?
    9. What was the origin of humble pie?
    10. What is a fibula?
    11. What are finials and crockets?
    12. What is moraine?
    13. Who was “SP”?
    14. Whom did Tony Limpsfield dismiss thus: “Simply nothing to say about him. He has trousers and a hat…”
    15. Where did Aggie Sandeman call a “foul spot”?
    16. Whom did Lucia describe as having “that little vein of coarseness”?
    17. Who said “I don’t know of any standard of valuation for the old clothes of deceased queens”?
    18. What did Daisy Quantock plant under her window in Riseholme?
    19. In what untoward activity was Mr Simkinson the gardener engaging in the potting shed to bring about his dismissal by Daisy Quantock?
    20. What did Lucia suggest was the cause of death of Lady Ambermere’s Pug?      

  • QUIZ SIX:  To mark the completion of this spring's re-reading of "Miss Mapp," the third in the Mapp and Lucia canon and of new entries in the Glossary on that novel, there is set out below, QUIZ SIX namely the "Miss Mapp"-Spring-Trivia Quiz 2013, with my vernal compliments. Please see how many questions you can answer over a steaming bowl of Mrs Gashly's delicious soup, but, unlike the late Captain Puffin, pray take care not to fall in. As with earlier quizes, the answers are at the end of the Epilogue - in Appendix Six .

    1. What is curveting?
    2. What was the traditional public greeting between friends on meeting in Riseholme and Tilling?
    3. What did the Padre give up for Lent?
    4. What is Tilling’s favourite “delicious malaprop?”
    5. Where did Miss Mapp first hear the delicious malaprop used?
    6. What piano did Susan Poppit own (a) a Bechstein (b) a Bluchner or (c) a Broadwood?
    7. What did Isabel Poppit collect: (a) Spoons (b) Spoonbills or (c) Spoonerisms?
    8. Name the three main ingredients of the Poppit family recipe for redcurrant fool
    9. What did Queen Mary say to Susan Poppit on her award of the MBE?
    10. Who owned the toy shop in Tilling?
    11. When modelling as Adam for artist Quaint Irene Coles, what did Mr Hopkins, the fishmonger, wear: (a) long johns (b) nothing – au naturel,  (c) little bathing drawers or (d) a snood and a splash of Old Spice?
    12. When she met Miss Mapp lounging outside the door of her new studio, smoking a cigarette, as what was Quaint Irene Coles dressed: (a) a lobster (b) a jockey (c) Mussolini or (d) a nun?
    13. When Diva found Miss Mapp was amply stocked with coal, she conjectured that she was also hoarding food. Fred remarked that luck attends the bold and constructive thinker: “the apple…fell far from the tree precisely when Newton's mind was groping after the law of gravity...." Was Newton (a) the star of the film “Treasure Island” (b) the seventeenth century physicist and mathematician, or (c) the town in Massachusetts after which they named the delicious Fig Newton biscuit?
    14. The Wyses originated in Whitchurch. Where did the Mapps come from: (a) Margate (b) Mumbai (c) Maidstone (d) Milwaukee?
    15. What was “snapdragon”?
    16. When Major Benjy and Captain Puffin were inebriated on the night of the famous challenge, what word could they not pronounce?
    17. Sitting in her crimson lake gown, depressed about the relationship between Mrs Poppit and Mr Wyse, Miss Mapp was “weary of earth.” Where does this phrase come from?
    18. In what soup did Captain Puffin drown after suffering a stroke: (a) petite marmite (b) oxtail (c) parsnip and coriander (d) mock turtle?
    19. When the Padre saw Major Benjy's snowdrop button hole, what did he remark?
    20. Whom did Fred say spoke of "the birthday of her life?"

  • QUIZ SEVEN:    To mark the completion of this spring's re-reading of the delicious "Mapp and Lucia" the fourth in the exquisite canon and of new entries in the Glossary on that novel, there is set out below, QUIZ SEVEN, namely the "Mapp and Lucia"Trivia Quiz 2013, with my vernal compliments. Please see how many questions you can answer over a luncheon of quail and figs from Capri. As with earlier quizes, the answers are at the end of the Epilogue - in Appendix Seven.

    1. Which ladies were the main rungs on the “ladder of lessors and lessees” in Tilling? (Pray remember, two rungs does not make the answer right)
    2. What does “Cattivo ragazzo!” mean?
    3. Where in 1588 did Queen Elizabeth address her troops from a white palfrey?
    4. Who owned the palfrey ridden in the pageant?
    5. What part in the pageant did Georgie Pillson say Daisy Quantock might just as well have offered Lucia as that of Drake’s wife?
    6. Which newspaper photographed Georgie Pillson in his costume as Drake?
    7. What did Fred call “the magic casement”?
    8. Where does the quotation “the calmness of despair” originate?
    9. When Lucia had again performed the “Moonlight Sonata” at an interminable po di mu at “Mallards” to what or whom did Major Benjy say he was “devoted”: (a) Beethoven (b) the Faeries, bless ‘em (c) Champagne (d) Shopping, or (e) Chopin?
    10. Who was “that baleful bilinguist”?
    11. With what word – in English - did Elizabeth Mapp test Georgie Pillson’s knowledge of Italian? For a million extra points, what was the word in Italian?
    12. What Latin phrase did Lucia apply to Georgie Pillson for obtaining the draft letter in Italian from Mrs Brocklebank?
    13. Where did Georgie Pillson holiday during the Contessa’s stay in Tilling and Lucia’s feigned influenza: (a) Florence (b) Formby (c) Foljambe (d) Frinton, or (e) Folkestone?
    14. What did Major Benjy say Georgie Pillson’s yachting cap was “only fit for”?
    15. During supper at “Starling Cottage” after Lucia and Elizabeth had been swept out to sea in the flood, what did Major Benjy exclaim (famously enough to be the subject of a question on “Mastermind”)?
    16. What did Lucia detest: (a) snow geese (b) Snow White (c) snowdrops, or (d) showgirls?
    17. Who found the Padre’s new umbrella lost in the flood on Boxing Day 1930?
    18. Which solicitor drew up Lucia’s will?
    19. What make or brand of pyjamas did Major Benjy wear?
    20. What “sad narcotic exercise” did Georgie Pillson enjoy?

  • QUIZ EIGHT   To mark the completion of this spring's re-reading of the scintillating"Lucia's Progress" the fifth in the exquisite canon and of new entries in the Glossary on that novel, there is set out below , QUIZ EIGHT, namely the "Lucia's Progress"Trivia Quiz 2013, with my compliments. Please see how many questions you can answer over whilst savouring a take-away from the Calcutta Restaurant in Bedford Street with extra poppadoms. As with earlier quizes, the answers are at the end of the EPILOGUE - in Appendix Eight.

    1. In what shares did Lucia first invest in her career in finance /speculation: (a) Syrian Army (b) Siriami (c) Sliced Salami, or (d) Slightly Barmy?
    2. In what career was Catherine Winterglass engaged before becoming an investor/speculator: (a) Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University (b) Top model (c) Governess, or (d) Welder?
    3. Whom did Lucia suggest Georgie Pillson resembled in his Van Dyk goatee: (a) Gelasius (b) Godfrey Wynn (c) General Haig, or (d) Geraldo?
    4. Where did Major and Mrs Mapp-Flint honeymoon: (a) Morecambe (b) Monaco (c) Margate, or (d) Monte Carlo?
    5. With what beverages did the Mapp-Flints celebrate their coup at the Casino: (a) Vermouth and Absinthe (b) Brown ale and Babycham (c) Lager top and a Snowball, or (d) Champagne and Port and lemon?
    6. Which of the following did Fred say Lucia unable to do: (a) knit (b) arm wrestle (c) play the banjolele or (d) swim?
    7. With what malady was Georgie Pillson afflicted: (a) Swine ‘flu (b) Shingles (c) Sciatica, or (d) Sinusitis?
    8. What did Lucia call Beethoven: (a) “deevy” (b) “deafy” (c) “dopey”, or (d) “Deidre”?
    9. How did Lucia describe Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony: (a) “A Walk in the Black Forest” (b) “Fate Knocking at the Door” (c) “Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” or (d) “Poptastic”
    10. What did Quaint Irene playfully call Georgie: (a) “Itsy-bitsy Casanova” (b) “Roguey-poguey Romeo” (c) “Rinky-dinky Tinkerbell” or (d) “Rootin’ – tootin’ – high–fallutin’ Don Juan”?
    11. Which of the following did Lucia not consider trying as she approached her fiftieth birthday: (a) flying (b) public exhibitions of physical drill (c) circus skills or (d) speculation in shares?
    12. How old was Elizabeth Mapp estimated to be shortly after she married Major Benjy: (a) 24 (b) 33 (c) 43 or (d) 76?
    13. On reading Lucia’s volume “Health in the Home” what did Georgie feel might cure Foljambe’s moroseness: (a) Camomile (b) Camembert (c) Calomel or (d) Cannabis?
    14. When Lucia spoke to Georgie of “my Attic day” was she speaking of: (a) promoting Greek culture (b) sorting out jumble for the Church sale (c) lagging her loft with insulation or (d) hiding in the rafters of “Mallards House” each Tuesday to avoid Elizabeth Mapp-Flint?
    15. Which of the following was not a member of the Pankhurst family: (a) Emmeline (b) Christabel (c) Sylvia or (d) Elizabeth?
    16. What was Elizabeth Mapp’s favourite colour: (a) Taupe (b) Apple green (c) Biscuit or (d) Puce?
    17. What was the birth-weight of the baby of Amelia, Contessa di Faraglione: (a) 6lbs (b) 8 lbs (c) 11 lbs or (d) 27 lbs?
    18. What term did Lucia use to describe Elizabeth Mapp’s feigned pregnancy: (a) window-dressing (b) wind egg (c) wind–up or (d) pickled egg?
    19. What word did the letters “APO” on glass found under the garden of “Mallards House” come from: (a) Apollo (b) Apology (c) Apollinaris or (d) Apoplexy?
    20. What did “Percy’s gay brother,” Georgie call the call the broken pipe for which they were searching at “Mallards House:” (a) fragrant and floral (b) noisy and noisesome (c) active and stinkful or (d) baleful and odoriferous?


  • QUIZ NINE:  To mark finishing the delectable “Trouble for Lucia,” the delicious last novel in the Mapp and Lucia canon and ultimate shrine on this year’s pilgrimage to Riseholme and Tilling, I respectfully submit a BUMPER entry-level, multi-choice QUIZ NINE  "THE Trouble for Luica Trivia Quiz 2013". Pray consider it an amuse bouche before you to toy with your vegetarian luncheon of Rosicrucian salad leaves served with Gnostic gnocchi and pesto with extra pine nuts, delivered from Daisy Quantock’s favourite Tsarkoe Selo. Bon appetit!


    1. What did Georgie Pillson call Lucia’s affectations as Mayor: (a) egalo-megalo-mayorolo mania (b) a sad, bad, power-mad fad (c) an insane, vain bane or (d) an unfair, hard-to-bear mayoral nightmare?
    2. What did Georgie suggest Lucia would allow him to do at her Mayoral Banquet (a) perform the cabaret (b) jump out of a cake (c) act as toastmaster or (d) hand the cheese?
    3. What did Lucia claim was traditionally used to deliver fish from Tilling to the Royal Court in London (a) pigs of Tilling (b) Shetland ponies (c) mules or (d) camels?
    4. Of which liner did Georgie dream: (a) Titanic (b) Lusitania (c) Queen Mary or (d) Love Boat?
    5. What did Quaint Irene call Botticelli’s Venus (a) “an anaemic flapper” (b) “a blowsy slapper” (c) “an urban rapper” or (d) “a sweetie wrapper”?
    6. What colour was Georgie’s new dinner suit: (a) apple green (b) ruby red (c) biscuit colour or (d) shocking pink?
    7. On what basis did Lucia open Diva’s tea shoppe: (a) incognita (b) in absentia (c) in flagrante delicto or (d) in mourning?
    8. What did Susan Wyse tell Lucia that “it’s when we get on in life we must be careful about”: (a) pills (b) wills (c) hills or (d) thrills?
    9. What did Lucia wish to establish between Tilling and London: (a) the Tilling Pottery Train (b) the Royal Fish Express (c) the Sussex Seafood Steamer or (d) the Cinque Ports Whelk and Winkle Wagon?
    10. Which of the following did Algernon Wyse not specify as the comforts of interests in the life of his wife Susan, MBE: (a) her fur coat (b) her Royce (c) her shopping (d) her bridge or (e) her enthusiastic solo performances of freestyle jazz tap?
    11. To what did Algernon Wyse attribute the faint smell in the vicinity of Blue Birdie’s shrine: (a) escaping gas (b) defective sewers (c) defective taxidermy, or (d) quail from Capri being “not quite what it should be”?
    12. What did Georgie mean when he said he was going to “tickle her up about the fire pot”: (a) tease Lucia about twice knocking over the workman’s brazier whilst riding her bicycle (b) playing a popular Edwardian parlour game (c) essaying preliminary connubialities or (d) reviving another ancient Tilling Mayoral tradition, as in beating the bounds or throwing hot pennies to urchins.
    13. What property of Elizabeth Mapp-flint was delivered in error to Lucia: (a) a pair of dentures (b) an item of ladies’ intimate apparel (c) a tin of emulsion in biscuit colour or (d) a leather riding crop?
    14. For what alleged offence was Lucia summonsed to appear before Tilling Magistrates: (a) insider dealing in shares (b) illegal gambling at Diva’s tea shoppe (c) noise pollution for playing the pianoforte after 10pm. or (d) dangerous riding upon her bicycle?
    15. When both ladies were “so pleased with their dialectic” and Elizabeth Mapp-Flint said she would “pop in for tea”, what did Diva say that would be: (a) “charming” (b) “alarming” (c) “calming” or (d) “disarming”?
    16. To what did Lucia say that Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony contained “the key”: (a) the Master’s Soul (b) The Master’s Piano (c) the Master’s Front Door or (d) the Master’s Shed?
    17. What did Georgie say was Lucia’s “real metier”: “to do a good deed every day” (b) “to render the trivialities of life intense for others” (c) “to Morris dance and play the harmonica” or (d) “to climb every mountain and ford every stream”?
    18. When introducing himself to the audience before his talk, Major Benjy described himself as a “plain old campaigner who had seen a good deal” of what in his time: (a) Chicago (b) Shakira (c) Shikarri or (d) Skegness?
    19. For what did Susan Wyse confuse Olga Bracely’s surname on her first visit to tilling: (a) Bracegirdle (d) Bracing (c) Bracelet or (d) Braemar?
    20. Whom did Lucia belatedly describe as “the first composer in Europe”: (a) Signor Cortese (b) Beethoven (c) Ivor Novello (d) dainty Scarlatti?


    Bona fortuna a tutti!

2 comments:

Deb said...

What was the song Irene sang at the fete Lucia hosted, and where can I find the lyrics?

Deryck Solomon said...

At the fete Quaint Irene recited a parody of "The Boy stood on the Burning Deck" dressed as a sailor and also later danced a hornpipe.

The poem she parodied was "Casabianca" by Felicia Dorothea Hemans first published in the "Monthly Magazine" for August 1826. There is a helpful article in Wikipedia if you search for the title.

I have added reference to the parody in Quaint Irene's entry in the Glossary.