Tuesday, 18 March 2008

W ~ is for Wyses of Whitchurch


Wagner, Wilhelm Richard ~ German composer, conductor, theatre director and essayist (1813 - 1883) known for his operas, for which he composed both music and libretto. Built and managed his own opera house at Bayreuth. His philosophy of Gesamtkunstwerk (total artwork) synthesised the poetic, visual ,musical and dramatic arts and was epitomised by his four-opera cycle of 1876, Der Ring des Nibelungen. See "Die Meistersinger von Nurnburg", "The Valkyrie", Wotan, Erda and Apophthegms.

"Wait and see" ~ when Georgie anxiously asked what he should do when quizzed by guests at an impending dinner party about her intentions regarding the appointment of her Mayoress, Lucia replied, "My dear, they'll all ask you for a few private words to-morrow night. There's the Padre running poor little Evie. There's Mr Wyse running Susan. They'll all want to know whom I'm likely to choose, and to secure your influence with me. Be like Mr Baldwin and say your lips are sealed, or like some other Prime Minister, wasn't it? who said "Wait and See."          
            
The Prime Minister in question was Herbert H Asquith who in 1910 so often said it to the Opposition regarding an impending Bill that he became kown as "Old Wait and See."

Walter Raleigh  ~ see Raleigh, Walter.

Wars of the Roses  ~  the early morning after Major Benjy's drunken challenge to Captain Puffin to a duel had seen the flight of both terrified potential duellists and their sheepish and hung-over rapprochement in the waiting room at Tilling station. On returning home, they proposed to continue with their daily game of golf as if nothing had happened, oblivious to the fact that the rest of Tilling expected them to duel on the fringe of the golf-links. Accordingly, the same delightful prospect at the end of the High Street, over the marsh, which had witnessed not so long ago the final encounter of the Wars of the Roses and the subsequent armistice, was of course, found to be peculiarly attractive that morning to those who knew (and who did not?)that the combatants had left by the 11.20 steam tram to fight among the sand dunes, and that the intrepid Padre had rushed after them in a taxi (at ruinous expense.)

A stranger to Tilling might assume here that Benson was referring to the civil war that lasted from 1455 to 1487 over the struggle to claim the throne between the Yorkist faction descended from Edward III and the Lancastrian family of Henry IV. The final encounter of the War of the Roses is generally regarded as being the Battle of Stoke Field at a small village near Newark - certainly not Tilling, or even Rye.

The actual Wars of the Roses cited here took place when Diva Plaistow had devised the ingenious plan of adorning an outfit with chintz roses cut out from old curtains. Becoming aware of this, Elizabeth Mapp sought to dethrone her (sartorially) by decorating  her own costume with cut-out poppies and wearing it first in public. The bitter conflict was complicated when Diva Plaistow usurped  Miss Mapp's crown by sending out her parlour maid Janet in the outfit bedecked with poppies, thus devaluing it entirely. This led to a dreadful scene in Tilling High Street between Diva and Elizabeth. After a general retreat both parties came to their senses and reached an armistice by which each might wear their own floral creation and Janet was promised a new frock at Christmas.

Washout  ~  when Major Flint and Captain Puffin returned, entirely unscathed, from their much-anticipated, so-called "duel" amongst the sand dunes, there was a sense of disagreeable anti-climax to so many hopes and fears among the ladies of Tilling. There was not even a bandaged arm.  There was still room for the more hardened optimist to hope that something of some sort had occurred, or that something of some sort had been averted, and that the whole affair was not in the delicious new slang phrase of the Padre's, which was spreading like wildfire through Tilling, a "washout."      
     
The term soon became generally current in Tilling, as when shortly after the unfortunate drunken confrontation with Miss Mapp in the foggy street late at night, Captain Puffin remarked to Major Flint, "We're no worse off that we were before we got a reputation for being such fire eaters. Being a fire eater is a washout, that's all. Pleasant while it lasted, and now we're as we were."    
     
Wasters ~ residence in Tilling of Diva Plaistow. The front parlour became a successful tea shop where Lucia's circle often met for a shilling or eighteen pence tea and a convivial rubber of bridge.

Watercolours ~ painting in watercolours was a popular pastime in both Riseholme and Tilling.

Georgie's artistic tastes extended to charming little watercolour sketches, many of which he framed at this own expense and gave to friends. They tended to have sentimental titles neatly printed in gilt letters on the mount, such as Golden Autumn Wonderland, Bleak December, Yellow Daffodils and Roses of Summer.

He undertook portraits in watercolours, including memorably the prima donna Olga Bracely and also in pastels. He specialised in old ladies in lace caps and pearls and boys in cricket shirts with their sleeves rolled up. He was not good at eyes and his sitters tended to be downcast. He did excel at smiles so paradoxically the old ladies smiled patiently and sweetly and the boys gaily. He also essayed studies of interiors such as the garden room of Mallards and many views of picturesque and historic Tilling and its surrounds.

Lucia was also a skillful water-colourist. Elizabeth Mapp produced a quantity of work of variable quality. She was not a particularly capable draughts-person and would covertly rely upon tracing if difficult perspectives were required. Her forte was chiefly more impressionistic studies at dawn and dusk which conveniently called for less precision. Other members of la creme de Tilling also exercised artistic skills particularly of local views and buildings. Still lives included a very realistic sardine tartlet by local tea shop proprietor, Diva Plaistow. Their work was often displayed at Tilling's summer or winter Art Exhibition.

Waterloo Bridge ~ when attending a private view of the Post-Cubists with Sophie Alingsby, Lucia was specially enthusiastic over a picture of Waterloo Bridge, but she had mistaken the number in the catalogue, and it proved to be a portrait of the artist's wife. Luckily, she had not actually read out to Sophie that it was Waterloo bridge, though she had said something about the river, but this was easily covered up in appreciation.

Watson, Alf ~ famous prize fighter and flautist often present at society functions during Lucia's London season. Described as a slim young gentleman with a soft voice who turned out to be the bloodiest pugilist of the century. Lucia referred to him as "that sweet little Alf" and learned from him phrases such as "Where are the dibs to come from for our Riviera?" This meant "Where shall we find the funds for our French holiday?"

Way, the  ~  when the Guru came to Riseholme he preached his form of eastern philosophy, involving yoga, meditation and sundry platitudes that together came to be referred to as "the Way". When the Guru made Robert Quantock a "little curry" he explained "those who sought after the Way did not indulge in hot sharp foods" and so Robert "had gobbled it up to the very last morsel." As with many of the Guru's pronouncements, it seems  surpising that adherents of the Guru's philosphy shied away from curry: one would have expected the the opposite to apply.

"We shall not pass this way again" ~ see Kingsley, Charles     
    
"Weary of Earth"  ~  Elizabeth Mapp was not feeling at her best during the embarrassing eveing in which she had appeared  wearing the same tea gown in crimson lake as Diva Plaistow. This was compounded by her apprehensions regaring the developing relationship between Algernon Wyse and Susan Poppit, "on this awful evening of crimson lake,  it seemed only prudent to face the prospect of his falling into the nets which were spread for him....Susan the sister in law of a Contessa. Susan the wife of  a man whose urbanity made all Tilling polite to each other, Susan a Wyse of Whitchurch! It all made Miss Mapp feel positively weary of earth....."      
 
Here Fred is quoting a well known hymn with words written by Samuel Stone in 1866 and music by James Langran in 1862, which begins:


Weary of earth, and laden with my sin,
I look at Heav’n and long to enter in,
But there no evil thing may find a home:
And yet I hear a voice that bids me “Come.”
So vile I am, how dare I hope to stand
In the pure glory of that holy land?
Before the whiteness of that throne appear?
Yet there are hands stretched out to draw me near.    
     
Weedj ~ noun or verb employed in Riseholme to convey participation in psychical processes, whether ouija or planchette - as in "Let's weedj instead," "I'm just popping over to Mrs Quantock's for to weedj," or "I'm off for a weedj".   For a time this was the principal diversion in Riseholme and was certainly more popular than yoga or gardening, as reflected in the remark, "Weeding, after all, was unimportant compared with weedjing."      
      
Weekly books  ~   in Tilling much social intercourse, and indeed the transmission of information, revolved around the shops in the centre of the ancient town, which were visited by most townsfolk on a daily basis. Many residents operated accounts with each establishment and recorded their transactions in a weekly book which, no doubt, listed goods or services received and payments made or outstanding, which could be settled at convenient intervals.     
   
Miss Mapp would go marketing with her basket  carrying with her weekly books, which she would leave with payment but not without argument, at the trades-men's shops. Thus, in a single morning, stimulating disputes could be entered into over a  questionable item of suet at the butcher's, an alleged monstrous overcharge for eggs at the dairy and missing unmentionables at the laundry. 
    
"Weidmung"  ~  or Widmung. See Schumann.       
      
Weight  ~ Fred is not often specific about the weight of his characters in  avoir dupois, but did let slip that, when staying at "Mallards House" whilst flooded out of her summer bungalow, Elizabeth Mapp-Flint weighed eleven stone twelve.       
      
 Weimar ~ enthusing to her husband Pepino on the refined joys of Riseholme following her trip to London, Lucia was commenting upon her plans for the time before luncheon.  I still have time for an hour's reading, so that when you come to tell me lunch is ready , you will find that I have been wandering through Venetian churches, or sitting in that little dark room at Weimar, or was it Leipzig?  

The German city of Weimar lies on the River Ilm in the federal state of Thuringia and dates from 899AD.  Recognised as the focal point of the German enlightenment and home of the writers Goethe and Schiller, leaders of Weimar Classicism. Later further artistic and political fame came with the birth in the city of the Bauhaus movement in 1919 by Walter Gropius and the work of artists such as Kandinsky, Klee, Schlemmer and Feininger, who taught in Weimar's Bauhaus School and the foundation of the Weimar Republic. One suspects however that Lucia's prime attachment to Weimar stems from its connection with Goethe, who ranked partcularly highly in her pantheon of literary greatness. See Leipzig and Goethe

Weston, Mrs. Jane (later Mrs Boucher or Mrs Colonel) ~ resident of Riseholme and member of Lucia's circle. She had a very high-coloured handsome face and an extremely impressive manner, as if she was imparting information of the very highest importance. She naturally spoke in a loud clear voice, so that she had not got to raise it much even when she addressed the rather deaf Mrs Antrobus.

Known to live in nightly terror of burglary and in consequence caused bells to be put on her shutters by way of alarm.

In a wheelchair - often pushed around the Green in it at great speed by her employee Henry / Tommy Luton (whose mother had been an esteemed supplier of fresh fish, whose death necessitated the inconvenience of recourse to a fishmonger in Brinton).  She was once pushed around very fast by her nrew neighbour Olga Bracely.   Lately married Colonel Jacob Boucher, partly due to the match-making of  Olga Bracely. After her marriage liked to be called "Mrs Colonel." Olga grew very fond of Mrs Weston/Boucher and called nher "Aunt Jane." 
    
Jane Weston could be almost savagely sarcastic, as when during the visit of Princess Popoffski,  Lucia was rudely pointed with her over her enthusiasm for the Palmists Manual.  This was not quite wise for no one destested irony more than Mrs Weston, or was sharper to detect it. Lucia should never have been ironical just then, nor, indeed should she have dropped into Italian.

In "taking Lucia down a peg or two" with a memorable though brief tirade on expertise in la bella lingua as demonstrated by those other than Lucia at Olga's dinner party with Signor Cortese,  Mrs Weston's amiable face was crimson with suppressed emotion, of which these few words were only the most insignificant leakage, and a very awkward pause succeeded.  

A superb reporter, her wealth of discursive detail was absolutely unrivalled and she was quite the best observer in Riseholme. Brilliant at deductive reasoning - as when working out that Georgie and Olga Bracely had been lunching prior to their late arrival at Lucia's garden party at The Hurst. On another occasion, over a dinner of brill and partridge with Colonel Boucher she accurately surmised that Olga had taken Old Place with Mr Georgie acting as her local agent and arranging for remedial works, decoration and furnishing.

Miss Wethered ~ Daisy Quantock had been playing clock-golf and plotting improvement of her putting prior to learning to drive and approach and niblick and that sort of thing. Ambitiously, she remarked to herself "and then they would see". Daisy went on to wonder "how good Miss Wethered really was."

This may have been over-ambitious since Joyce Wethered (1901-1997) was a golfer widely regarded as the greatest British woman player of all time. She won the British Ladies' Amateur Golf Championship four times (1922, 1924, 1925, and 1929) and was English Ladies' Champion for five consecutive years (1920–24). She married Sir John Heathcoat Amory Bt in 1924, and became Lady Heathcoat Amory. Her play was admired by Bobby Jones, the great American champion, who generously considered her to be the best golfer, man or woman he had ever seen: “In my time, no golfer has stood out so far ahead of his or her contemporaries as Lady Heathcoat Amory. I do not think a golf ball has ever been hit, except by Harry Vardon, with such a straight flight by any other person”.    
    
"What is true will prevail"  ~  when Miss Mapp was speaking privately to Susan Poppit, she sought to stem the rumour that the duel threatened between Major Flint and Captain Puffin (which, ironically, she herself had instigated and still wished to gain credence)  had been "over her." She feigned tears and exclaimed, "I will not say a word to defend or justify myself. What is true will prevail. It comes in the Bible."    

The Bible is indeed extremely well blessed with inferences that "truth will prevail," just as it generally takes a dim view of sin and prefers goodness, godliness, cleanliness and sundry other virtues over most kinds of depravity. Strangely, however, it is difficult to find Miss Mapp's precise words quoted in the Bible, and perhaps that is Benson's little joke. Samuel Johnson opined that "Reason and truth will prevail at last," but my personal favourite apercu on the topic must be that of Mark Twain, "Truth is mighty and will prevail. There is nothing the matter with this , except it ain't so."    
   
Whistler ~ one night Tilling artist Quaint Irene Coles dined on a pot of strawberry jam and half a pint of very potent cocktails, because she wanted her eye for colour to be at its keenest round about eleven o clock when the moon would rise over the marsh. She hoped then to put the lid forever on Whistler's naive old fashioned attempts to paint moonlight. James Abbott Mc Neill Whistler (1834 - 1903) was a combative and influential American-born artist based in Britain. He was a leading proponent of the credo "art for art's sake" and opposed sentimentality and moral allusion in painting.

Whitchurch ~ place of origin of the family of Algernon Wyse.   
    
When conversation turned to the innocent county of Hampshire, it turned out that Algernon Wyse knew the county well, being one of the Wyses of Whitchurch.  See Maidstone.    
      
Whitby, Marcia, Duchess of Whitby ~ well known hostess and member of high society and friend of Lucia during her season in London.

Marcia was no true Luciaphil and instead of feeling entranced pleasure at Lucia's successes and failures, her schemes, attainments an ambitions, she grew to take a high severe line about her. Pointedly did not invite Lucia to her ball towards the end of the season until Lucia had announced in The Times, Morning Post, Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail that Mr and Mrs Philip Lucas had left London for two or three days' complete rest.

On receiving her belated invitation Lucia dropped everything and notwithstanding two punctures returned to London to change and appear shortly after midnight just in time to curtsy to the assembled royalty no less than seven times in rapid succession.

Marcia later commented to Adele Brixton, "She stopped to the very end. She was positively the last to go. I shall never do a kind thing again."

Often irritated by Lucia - as when she inquired why - unlike Aggie Sandeman - she had not been invited to meet the cinema artist, Marcel Periscope at Lucia's house. Typically, Lucia responded to this with a quick little smile, as at some sweet child's interruption: "Darling Marcia, why didn't you propose yourself? Surely you know me well enough to do that."

During her weekend at Adele Brixton's country house Marcia decided that she too would pretend to flirt violently with Lucia's pretend lover, Stephen Merriall, in the vain hope that it would produce some show of emotion on Lucia's part. This took place on a solitary walk in the kitchen garden to eat gooseberries before luncheon and the earth, it appeared, did not move to any extent for either party.   

"White soul" ~ description applied by the guru to Daisy Quantock and others in Riseholme: "I see many white souls here . It is happy place, when there are white souls, for to those I am sent."

Whitman, Walt ~ Philip (Peppino/Pepino) Lucas, husband of Emmeline/Lucia made a delectable contribution to the cultural life of Riseholme, chiefly by means of "little prose poems."  In form these odes were cast in the loose rhythms of Walt Whitman. But the smooth suavity of Pepino's prose-poems bore no resemblance whatever to the productions of what Riseholme, in its wisdom, considered to be a barbaric bard and a crude, rude American.

Influential American poet, essayist and journalist,  Walter "Walt" Whitman (1819 - 1892) was often called the father of free verse. A humanist, his work reflected the transition between transcendentalism and realism. He also produced an early temperance novel and was a volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. He was concerned with politics and in his work presented an egalitarian view of the races. Often controversial, his poetry included "Leaves of Grass" (self-published in 1855) which some considered obscene, due to its overt sexuality. Whitman's sexuality has given rise to much debate.  The prose poems and domestic arrangements in Riseholme of retired barrister Philip Lucas occasioned no such conjecture.

Widow of a Baronet ~ one August, Elizabeth Mapp-Flint again secured a tenant for Grebe through her own advertisement in The Times - and thus saved those monstrous fees of house agents. Her new tenant was judged most desirable since she was the widow of a Baronet.

Her interesting new tenant had forty-seven canaries, each in its own cage and the noise of their pretty chirping could be heard, if the wind was favourable, a full quarter of a mile from the house. She personally cleaned out all their cages every morning, which accounted for her not being seen in Tilling till after lunch.

She then rode into town on a tricycle and bought rape seed and ground seed in prodigious quantities. She had no dealings with the butcher and was probably a vegetarian. Diva Plaistow saw her clad in a burnous kneeling on a carpet in the garden and prostrating herself in an eastwards position, from which it was generally inferred that she was a Mohammedan as well.

When the tenant refused to open the door to Diva but shouted from an upstairs window "Not at home. Ever," it was concluded that she was a lunatic. Lucia did not fare much better when she called. Although there was no reply, groundsel rained down upon her from the same window.  
    
When the insane widow of the Baronet left...she removed herself and forty-seven canaries in two gipsy-vans.    
      
Wigs on the green ~ when Georgie heard that Quaint Irene Coles' controversial satirical portrait of the Mapp-Flints in Victorian garb had been accepted for the Summer Exhibition of the Royal Academy, he remarked in great excitement, "There'll be wigs on the green if it's exhibited here."            
            
The expression "wigs on the green" has fallen out of very common use. It is a warning that an altercation or difference of opinion, possibly ending in a fracas, brawl or fisticuffs is likely to occur. The phrase appears to have originated in Ireland in the eighteenth century. At that time, normally the first thing to happen in a fight was that the protagonists' wigs would be knocked off. The green in question might even be the Green in Dublin on which stood the Irish Parliament House, which featured the odd riot when it was said "wigs would strew the roadway".              
              
Nancy Mitford entitled her novel lampooning the Fascist movement which was published in 1935, "Wigs on the Green."            
           
William III  ~  describing the contents of the house 25 Brompton Square, which Pepino had inherited on the tragic death of  his Aunt Amy, Lucia mentioned a William III whatnot.

As indicated in the next entry, in the Glorious Revolution in 1688, William (1650 - 1702)  invaded England,  deposed King James II and assumed the crowns of England, Scotland and Ireland. He ruled jointly with his wife Mary until her death in 1694.  Derived from the French etagere, a whatnot was usually a convenient piece of drawing room furniture, comprising slender uprights supporting shelves for the display of sundry ornaments - hence its "elusive name."   See Willliam  and Mary

William and Mary ~ when Georgie and Lucia were discussing practical issues to be resolved in order for their union to proceed, one of their prime concerns was to secure the approval of their loyal servants, Grosvenor and Foljambe. They wished to put in place mutually acceptable arrangements ensuring ongoing harmony once the Lucas and Pillson households were united.   

Neither could conceive of either Grosvenor or Foljambe consenting to be bossed. Lucia agreed with Georgie's suggestion "Could there be some sort of equality? Something like King William III and Queen Mary?"         
        
The phrase "William and Mary" usually refers to the co-regency of King William III and Queen Mary II from February 1689, when they replaced James II and VII,who was deemed to have fled after the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Their rule saw the Bill of Rights. After Mary died in 1694, William ruled alone until his death in 1702.  See William III. 
      
Wills  ~  When Lucia had sold "The Hurst" in Riseholme and bought "Grebe" outside Tilling, she told Georgie Pillson, "..and so I've made a new will . I've left Grebe and all it contains to you, and also, well, a little sum of money. I should like you to know that."   
   
It emerged when Lucia and Elizabeth Mapp were thought to have been lost at sea, that Miss Mapp had made Major Benjy the main beneficiary under her will - although this was rapidly changed upon her safe return.  
   
We  are also told that Georgie Pillson left a legacy under his will to his peerless parlour-maid Foljambe, although he briefly considered revoking it when he feared he would lose her services upon her marriage to Lucia's chauffeur Cadman.    
   
Winchester Cathedral ~ see Esmondi

Wind egg ~ a phrase of Greek origin suggested by Lucia to describe the fanciful phantom pregnancy enjoyed by Mrs Mapp-Flint following her marriage.

After her house-warming luncheon at "Mallards House," when it had become apparent that Elizabeth Mapp-Flint was not in a delicate condition, Lucia sat with eyes half-closed and eyebrows drawn together as if trying to recollect something, and then took down a volume from her bookshelves of classical literature and rapidly turned over the pages. She appeared to find what she wanted ,for she read on in silence a moment and then replaced the book with a far-away sigh.

Lucia remarked "I was saying to Georgie the other day how marvellously modern Aristophanes was. I seemed to remember a scene in one of his plays - the "Thesmophoriazusae" - where a somewhat similar situation occurred. A woman, a dear, kind creature really, of middle age or a little more, had persuaded her friends that she was going to have a baby. Such Attic wit -there is nothing in English like it. I won't quote the Greek to you, but the conclusion was that it was only a "wind egg."Delicious phrase, really untranslatable, but that is what it comes to. Shan't we all leave it at that? Poor dear Elizabeth! Just a wind-egg. So concise."           
         
Coincidentally, Lucia's "quotation" in this case has parallels with her learned reference to the same play, whilst it seems she probably meant to refer to Aristophanes' "Lysistrata." Most authorities seem to consider that the prime reference to a "wind egg" occurred in Aristophanes' satirical comedy "The Birds": "and in the boundless recesses of Erebus, black-winged Night, first of all beings, brought forth a wind-egg, from which, as the seasons came round, there sprang Eros the much desired, his back sparkling with golden wings, resembling the swift whirlings of wind."           
       
"The Birds" was first produced in Athens in c 414BC and the chorus of birds thus proudly proclaims that Eros, creator of the immortals, was hatched from a wind-egg (693-702). Apparently, the "joke" is thought to parody Orphic doctrine.

As yet, the provenance of Lucia's version of the term has eluded me (and the word checker on my computer) in the text of the "Thesmophoriazusae" and it remains to be seen if the reference reflects classicist Benson's superior scholastic insight, a joke against Lucia or his readers or, least likely of all, another classical infelicity. See Aristophanes and Commination service.

Winterglass, Dame Catherine ~ formerly the spinster governess of the children of a Balham solicitor. She had been dismissed at 45 to make way for someone younger.  

With capital of £500 she embarked upon a career of operations of the Stock Exchange which were spectacularly successful, making a vast fortune.  
   
At the time of her death at the age of 55, she had a house in Grosvenor Square where she entertained royalty, an estate in Mocomb Regis in Norfolk for partridge shooting, a deer forest in Scotland and a sumptuous yacht for sailing in the Mediterranean.   
     
At all times Dame Catherine was in touch with the market. She devoted money to hospitals, girl guides, dogs' homes, indigent parsons and many other good causes. It was believed that notwithstanding her considerable benevolent largesse, she continued to expand her fortune until the time of her death.   
   
Lucia used Dame Catherine as a model for her own stock market operations being roughly of the same age at the outset. A framed photograph of Dame Catherine stood in Lucia's office -with the rubber matting outside so as not to be disturbed - by way of tribute and motivation.   

As an adult, Benson was known to be an enthusiastic player on the Stock Market, even occasionally engaging in what might be considered reckless speculation. Not unlike Lucia, Fred apparently gave up speculation in shares because it demanded too much of his attention - and perhaps also from sheer good sense.

"Winter's Tale, The"  ~  bidding Georgie Pillson farewell prior to her departure from"The Hurst" to 25 Brompton Square, Lucia asked disingenuously "Will sweet Perdita forgive me for leaving all her lovely flowers and running away to London? After all, Georgie, Shakespeare wrote "The Winter's Tale" in London did he not?  
   
It seems the Bard of Avon probably did - and Georgie had no particular reason to contradict Lucia's assertion. Regarded by most editors as a "comedy" and by some as a "late romance", "The Winter's Tale" by William Shakespeare was originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Most, though not all, critics believe the play is one of Shakespeare's later works, written in 1610 or 1611 and tying in with an apparent connection with Ben Jonson's "Masque of Oberon" performed at Court in January 1611, which also has a dance of 10 or 12 satyrs.

Witch of Endor ~ the stained glass of a south window in Tilling Church featured next to Elijah, Saul and Samuel, the witch of Endor. She was wrapt in an eau de nil mantle, which when streamed onto by the bright May sunshine, made the auburn beard of Georgie practising pedalling upon the new organ beneath look livid.
The Witch of Endor (sometimes the Medium of Endor) called up the ghost of the recently deceased prophet Samuel as requested by King Saul in the First Book of Samuel, Chapter28: 3-25. See Elijah, Saul and Samuel.

Withers, Ethel (Miss) ~ Miss Mapp's servant at Mallards and subsequently Grebe. Walking out with Tilling fishmonger and painter's model, Mr Hopkins.         
      
Women Wrestlers ~ painting by Quaint Irene Coles submitted for display at the annual
exhibition of Tilling Art Society from which its then President, Elizabeth Mapp hurriedly averted her eyes. A proper regard for decency alone made her resolve to oppose, tooth and nail, the exhibition of these shameless athletes. When no one bought the striking picture at the September Art Exhibition , Quaint Irene turned the women wrestlers into men.

Wood, Sir Henry ~ when Lucia was planning the improving lectures to be given at Tilling's Literary Institute, she intended to ask some distinguished expert on the subject to come down and stay the night after each lecture: Sir Henry Wood when we have our Beethoven night. Unfortunately, Sir Henry was unable to accept this invitation to visit Tilling.

Hugely influential English conductor, Sir Henry Joseph Wood CH (1869 - 1944) conducted the Proms for fifty years and played an enormous part in improving popular access to classical music, raising standards of orchestral performance and expanding the repertoire. After his death, the Proms became known as the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts. See Desmond McCarthy, Noel Coward and John Gielgud.

"Woof-dog" ~ pet name for Lord Middlesex, Babs Shyton's alleged lover in the controversial divorce case, closely followed by Lucia and other members of London society.

Babs had certainly written to Woof-dog to say that she was in bed and very sleepy and cross, but wished that Woof-dog was thumping his tail on the hearthrug. Woof-dog came across to the court as a strong silent Englishman and when he was asked if he had ever kissed Babs he said "That' a lie" in such a fierce voice that you felt the jury had better believe him unless they all wanted to be knocked down. 

Woolgar and Pipstow ~ estate agents in Tilling sometimes involved in procuring summer lets of properties such as Mallards. Clients such as Miss Mapp were most anxious to avoid paying fees wherever it could be argued that they had procured the letting themselves -as when Lucia replied to Miss Mapp's advertisement in The Times. Regularly mis-described by Lucia as Woggles & Pickstick and Woggle and Pipsqueak

Wootten, Mr ~ Miss Mapp's coal merchant whose premises were adjacent to the Railway Station in Tilling.

Worcestershire Herald ~ newspaper local to Riseholme.    
       
Wordsworth, William  ~   Lucia was attending a private view of the Post-Cubists with Mrs. Sophy Alingsby. Lucia enthused over a picture of Waterloo Bridge, but she had mistaken the number in the catalogue, and it proved to be a portrait of the artist's wife. Luckily, she had not actually read out to Sophy that it was Waterloo Bridge, though she said something about the river, but this was easily covered up in appreciation.

"Too wonderful," Lucia said, "How they get to the very soul of things! What is it Wordsworth says? 'The very pulse of the machine' Pulsating is it not?"   
  
Romantic poet, William Wordsworth (1770 - 1850) was Poet Laureate for seven years from 1843. Launched the Romantic Age in English literature with his joint publiction with Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798 of "The Lyrical Ballads." Other works included his semi autobiographical "The Prelude."  See "The very pulse of the machine" and Sophy Alingsby.   
   
Mr.Worthington ~ butcher and game merchant in Tilling

Worship ~ Lucia's title as Mayor. Used with a hint of sarcasm by certain friends in Tilling, notably Mrs Elizabeth Mapp-Flint.

On one occasion, Algernon Wyse, whilst alone with Lucia, began a sentence ," Now adorabile signora."     
       
In response. Lucia cried, slightly startled, " Oh, Mr Wyse," which prompted him to explain post haste, "Dear Lady, I only meant Your Worship."             
      
Wotan ~ when Lucia was immersed in her excavations in the garden of her newly-acquired "Mallards House," Georgie appeared to help. "Lucia was standing in the trench with half of her figure below ground level like Erda in Wagner's justly famous opera. If only Georgie had not dyed his beard , he might have been Wotan." Wotan (High German variant of Woden and the Norse, Odin) is the god appearing in Richard Wagner's opera cycle, Der Ring des Nibelungen. Not to be confused with Tilling coal merchant, Mr Wootten. See Erda, Wilhelm Richard Wagner and Wootten

Wyse, Algernon ~ see Algernon Wyse

Wyse, Susan, MBE , Mrs ~ see Susan Wyse MBE formerly Poppit

Wyses of Whitchurch, the ~ see Whitchurch

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