End Notes - Dissipation & Despair by A.J. Hall
The rhetorician would deceive his neighbours, The sentimentalist himself; while art Is but a vision of reality. What portion in the world can the artist have Who has awakened from the common dream But dissipation and despair?
William Butler Yeats : Ego Dominus Tuus
Important Note: 1
The Diocese of Salisbury is, indeed, a real diocese of the Church of England, and the parish of Malfoy Intrinsica, given where I have located it, would indeed fall within it. However, no-one from the Bishop down described in this story can be presumed to have any connection at all with their counterparts in the real world, and should be taken as the wraith-like figments of an overheated imagination.
Important Note: 2
On genealogy and settled land in the wizarding world.
[Being a note of academic interest prepared by Rhadamanthus Solon, formerly Senior Partner of Ellenborough Jeffries Rich who, following certain pungent though, of course, purely obiter not to mention intemperate and ill-considered observations by the presiding judge of the Wizengamot regarding the opacity of the prospectus documentation drafted by Solon which he had been forced to consider during the trial of Ministry v. DeVries and Others, concluded that the time had come to leave the hurly-burly of daily practice to the younger generation, and to retire to the country to devote himself to his long cherished interest in Comparative Legal History]
Before the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy of 1692 finally put paid to the cross-fertilisation which the wizard and Muggle legal systems had enjoyed (albeit discreetly) for many centuries before that, the basic principles upon which the great pure-blood families (and those lesser families who tried to ape their betters in this as in other things) held their land were not dissimilar to the principles recognised by their Muggle counterparts. Granted, in the absence of a supreme Head of State, there was no formal feudal structure in the Wizard world, though wizarding folk did from time to time reap the benefits of their superiority by obtaining (in many case extensive) grants of land and money from the Muggle lords of their day, often for services rendered (albeit not usually too closely particularised), and, in such circumstances, might have to submit to the formal indignity of holding such lands nominally under a Muggle feudal overlord. The records show, however, that wisely no Muggle lord be he ever so jealous of the rights of his station, would be fool enough to call upon such a tenant for the feudal rights nominally accruing by virtue of the position, and such land grants have now for all practical purposes been absorbed within ordinary wizarding land owning structures, and only the most careful student of legal history can tell which they once were.
Settling of land on one’s heirs to prevent its being alienated from the Family was common to both Wizard and Muggle systems. Unlike the Muggle system, however, the normal form of wizarding entail is the tail général pur et magique. Few, even of our greatest wizards, could withstand the wrath of their female descendants were they to seek to impose on their lands the unnatural strait-jacket of the Muggle-preferred tail male.
Further, over recent centuries a practice has grown up in the Muggle world of resettling the land on a rolling, generational basis, with landowner and heir colluding, on the heir’s maturity, to terminate the previous entail and resettle the land on the heir’s own issue, to the exclusion of those of side descent.
While such an arrangement is indeed possible and far from unknown in the wizard world (and, without a successful petition to the Wizengamot, which is unlikely to be granted except in unusual circumstances, such collusion between tenant and heir of mature years is the only practicable way of severing a Wizarding entail) it does not enjoy the popularity which it does among the Muggles. The evils that it seeks to avoid - the devolution of land upon those of distant and collateral descent from those who have occupied the estate perhaps for generations - are outweighed by the low birth-rate among pureblood families which has been a point of concern for many generations now. Adopting the Muggle practice would merely, in such circumstances, risk the vast majority of entails failing in short order.
As a result, many of our oldest estates continue to be transmitted down from generation to generation on the terms of the same settlements that applied back before the Statute of Secrecy, and that, given the complex web of alliances and family ties linking all our greatest families, may mean that finding the rightful heir should some pureblood Head of Family die unexpectedly childless is a remarkably difficult and delicate task.
England! With all thy faults I love thee still. William Cowper; The Task. Also used by Byron, Italy versus England
wrinkles deep as ditches in her brown face. Arthur Ransome; Swallowdale, describing “the Obeah woman”, an African witch who performs a curse of the traditional sort, involving a wax image being slowly melted. The first of numerous references to Muggle children’s literature in D&D; only direct quotes will be cited, allusions are regarded as part of the fun of the fair. Neville seems to have read a lot of it; as he explains to Hermione later in the chapter, his childhood influences - at least, the positive ones - were more Muggle than pureblood. As the references are often to works which would have been popular at least a generation before Neville’s, one explanation may be that Martin lent him his own old children’s books.
Tae-Mo-Shan; the highest mountain in Hong Kong (now spelled “Tai Mo Shan”). At the relevant era, may have also referred to the whole area surrounding the mountain. Before the development of Hong Kong by the British and the consequent heavy concentrations of naval vessels the islands of Hong Kong were a notorious haunt of pirates.
“Although the world stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.” Berthold Brecht: The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui.
red-topped Daily Constellation ; “red-top” for non-UK readers, indicates the down-market and probably sensationalist nature of this (wizarding) newspaper.
thought them out with both hands for a fortnight; Dorothy L. Sayers; Busman’s Honeymoon. The full Sayers’ quote reads “To do her justice, I can’t see that she [Helen, Duchess of Denver, Lord Peter Wimsey’s unsympathetic sister-in-law] could have found anything nastier to say if she’d thought it out with both hands for a fortnight.” The first of numerous references to classic detective stories in D&D; once again, only direct quotes will be cited.
Phylloxera: disease of grape vines which devastated Europe in the 1800s. There is also a site relevant to grape growing in the Languedoc. The wines of the Languedoc, because of the soil type, tend to be thin and acidic, very unlike the full-bodied clarets which are drunk elsewhere in the book.
GK Chesterton: The Salad of Colonel Cray included in The Wisdom of Father Brown: “‘You want what no madman ever wants.’” “‘And what is that?’” “‘You want to be proved wrong,’” said Brown.”
“Honestly, thoughtless bastards like that don’t bloody well deserve the Right to Roam - call themselves the heirs of the Mass Trespass, do they?” The period of this book spans the first part of the Foot-and-Mouth (Hoof-and-Mouth) epidemic of 2001, during which the Government’s response came under severe criticism. Footpaths were closed to prevent the spread of infection and mass slaughterings of beasts which had come into contact with infection were mandated. The Right to Roam - an election pledge about opening up access to the countryside to hikers - was a highly unpopular proposal among farmers and other landowners, who feared (rightly in some instances) the irresponsibility of town-bred walkers towards stock and towards the countryside. The Mass Trespass of April 1932 on Kinder Scout was an act of civil disobedience which opened up the whole debate about the degree to which large landlords could restrict access to their land to those who merely wished to walk across it. It inspired, among others the song Manchester Rambler by Ewan McColl (who was present on the day). Neville finds his sympathies as a walker and Northerner in conflict with his duties as guardian of the Estate in Draco’s absence.
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness…nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday; Psalm 91, v. 6 KJV.
Mockingtosh; disparaging term for a style aping the distinctive features developed by architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He designed, inter alia, the Glasgow School of Art, which, we subsequently learn, was where the designer of the “Armitage Bequest” chalice and paten studied.
“We’ve packed them off to Cerne Abbas in a coach to “soak up the local mystical atmosphere” at the feet of the Giant.” Anyone who has not seen a picture of the Cerne Abbas Giant will have problems visualizing the next section.
la petite égorgeuse: the little throat-slitter.
MAFF: Ministry for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Replaced on 2 May 2001 by:
DEFRA: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. Both were widely vilified for their handling of the Foot and Mouth crisis.
RP: received pronunciation.
tamasha. Anglo-Indian term for a celebration, festival.
ABH: Actual Bodily Harm. The lesser form of assault and battery resulting in injury (the more severe being “grievous bodily harm”). The length of the sentence suggests no real “previous”, despite Peter’s use of “last conviction”.
Child Ballad No. 39
“Child” refers to Francis Child’s The English and Scottish Popular Ballads , the earliest and most influential selection of “traditional” ballads.
Haldanes and Rutherfords : references to the families of JBS Haldane (the geneticist) and of Ernest Rutherford (the physicist); outside the confines of the book, there is no evidence that these families were related.
the boys in Millbank; headquarters of MI5.
if Gordon Banks had played in 1970; in the 1970 World Cup quarter-final Gordon Banks, the England goal-keeper (England being the defending champions) missed a crucial game against West Germany owing to illness. This web site suggests that this was a major contributory factor to the defeat of the sitting Labour Government in the General Election occurring three days later, and that had Labour hung on for another term Edward Heath would have lost the leadership of the Conservative Party to Enoch Powell, a charismatic Right-wing politician with an overtly anti-immigration platform, who might well have won the next election in 1974-5. Richard is displaying his age, since no-one except Caitlin at the dinner party might be supposed to get the reference; Peter would have been three in 1970, and none of the other three would have been born for the next decade.
Teddy Hall; St Edmund Hall, Oxford. An unusual choice, for Peter, since it is more famous for its sporting achievements than its scholarship.
St Thomas’s; St Thomas’s Hospital, Westminster. Now merged with Guy’s.
Roedean; The UK’s most famous girls’ boarding school, located near Brighton; the female equivalent of Eton.
sheela na gigs; explicit and unexplained carvings, of a Celtic tendency, tending to be found in Churches (though possibly originally located elsewhere) showing female figures with pronounced and explicit genitalia displayed in the carving.
Come unto Him, all ye that labour, Come unto him that are heavy laden, and He will give you rest. Matthew 11 v. 28
Let her who is without sin : based on John 8 v. 7 (the Woman taken in Adultery).
“that Cheltenham train that crashed at Paddington”: shortly after 8 in the morning on 5 October 1999 31 people died when a commuter train passed through a red light and collided with the 06.03 Cheltenham to Paddington express at Ladbroke Grove, West London, just outside Paddington station.
“swept and garnished house” : Luke 11 v.25
” A time to mourn, a time to rejoice / And a time for every purpose under heaven.” Turn, Turn, Turn, the Byrds, based on Ecclesiastes 3 vv1-8
Beechinged: In 1963 the Beeching Report (The Re-Shaping of British Railways by Dr Richard Beeching) recommended a hugely controversial closure of branch lines, local stations and over 5000 miles of track. Many of the proposals were put into effect, arguably leading to significant isolation and lack of mobility among the rural poor.
Earl Godwin: father of King Harold and hugely influential Saxon lord; alleged to have died of choking after stating “And if I be forsworn, may this bread I bite choke me”.
quae cum ita essent ; since these things were so.
Primum non nocere: first do no harm. Hippocrates, Epidemics Book 1, Section X1, translated into Latin by Galen.
Crippen: Dr Hawley Harvey Crippen, murdered his wife 1910
Buck Ruxton: Dr Buck Ruxton, murdered his wife 1936.
“that other doctor from Lancashire”; Dr Harold Shipman. Convicted of the murder of 15 of his elderly patients in January, the man considered Britain’s most prolific serial killer was found by a subsequent public enquiry to have been probably responsible for at least 215 murders over a 23 year period.
peine fort et dur; archaic punishment reserved to those who refused to plead either guilty or not guilty, involved crushing the victim to death by piling heavy weights on the ribcages.
M.R. James; clergyman, schoolteacher and celebrated author of ghost stories.
Sir John Reith: founding Director-General of the BBC (1922-1938) (finally Baron Reith of Stonehaven). A man of very strict principles and strong views on the role of public service broadcasting.
Pliny the Elder; observed the explosion of Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii at first hand, and died in the process.
“Let them fire on that”: Arthur Ransome, Missee Lee.
“Svjatitse Bogoroditse, spasi nash”: Serbian invocation of the Virgin Mary.
Mark 16. Verse 17: And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues (KJV)
“Still breathing. Good, isn’t it?” See Robert Bolt: A Man For All Seasons Act 2, Scene 8
Mens sibi conscia recti; Virgil “A mind conscious of its own rectitude.”
“I dare not shut his chapel/ On such as care to attend”; Rudyard Kipling, Eddi’s Service.
“Therefore if any of you be a blasphemer of God, an hinderer or slanderer of his Word, an adulterer, or be in malice, or envy, or in any other grievous crime, repent you of your sins, or else come not to that holy Table; lest, after the taking of that holy Sacrament, the devil enter into you, as he entered into Judas, and fill you full of all iniquities, and bring you to destruction both of body and soul.” Book of Common Prayer, 1662.
“There’s a great text in Galatians / Once you slip on it entails / 29 distinct damnations / One sure if another fails”; Robert Browning, Soliloquy From A Spanish Cloister.
For those who want to know what happened to the rest of the course participants.
Naturally, they all were memory charmed so had no recollection of the vampiric elements of the course (though plague, poisoning and the death of a course participant made the rest of the holiday quite memorable enough for most of them).
Áine became a decent writer of non-derivative fantasy, and a fair player of the bodhran and participant in folk festivals from Brittany to the Orkneys (regularly seen in the Radway at Sidmouth), and collector of folk tales which she wove with increasing skill into her own writings.
Lucy and Jacqueline continued to correspond and meet occasionally (though arguing like fury every second meeting at least), Lucy encouraging Jacqueline to get back into the full-time practice of medicine and Jacqueline encouraging Lucy not to regard hard SF as a boy’s club she could never break into.
Alan, eighteen months later, was much surprised to receive an invitation to lecture at the “Alternative Being College” on “Fantastic Literature and Real-Life Congruences” and eventually became a regular on the new EP circuit, Mrs Longbottom observing sagely, “Like a canary, that one. If we’re trying to weed out trouble, look and see where he’s going to and sharpen your stake in advance”.
Cathy recovered fully, but never managed to produce her second novel, became briefly a paper millionaire during the dot-com revolution, and is believed currently to be network manager for an insurance company.
The Crown Prosecution Service looked at Kivren’s file and baulked, en masse, at its complexities. As a result, after a short and unpleasant period on remand, and a nasty period of uncertainty on bail, they dropped all charges and she returned to an academic career, alternately adored by the more New Age students as a genuine martyr to her Wiccan faith and by the Collegiate Christian Union as a malignant influence. Three years later she fell desperately in love with a member of the Territorial Army who starred as Nanki-Poo in the local operatic performance of the Mikado, and they now live in Sheffield.
Julian woke up with a pain in his neck (which might be thought of as only poetic justice) and a profound conviction that Creative Writing courses were a waste of time. He returned to the Morgana Ascendant cycle and added another eight books to it over the course of the next decade.
Nicci briefly tried veganism, Jainism, fructarianism and yoga, before attaching herself to an ashram in Central Milton Keynes.