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A Glossary of Names, Allusions, and Technical Terms in T. H. White's The Once and Future King and The Book of Merlyn

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Alcohol Animals, Mythical and Real Archery
Arms and Armor Arthurian References Astronomy
Birds Castles (Geographical) Castles (Technical)
Clothing Cricket Flora
French Geography Hawking
Heraldry and Flags Historical and Legendary Persons History
Holidays Hunting Indian References
Latin Literary References and Books Media
Religion Shakespearean References Songs and Music
Sword and Spear Fighting Terms and Expressions

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Citation Information

1. The edition of the text. We have used the Ace Books editions (published by arrangement with G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1987) for both The Once and Future King and The Book of Merlyn. All entries refer to pages from these editions.

2. The page numbers that appear with the entries. For the majority of entries, the page numbers we list with each reference are for the first occurrence of a word or phrase in the text. All entries refer to OAFK unless marked as being from The Book of Merlyn with the following: (M).

3. The citation and sources. Entries from books, encyclopedias, and dictionaries are cited with MLA-style parenthetical notation; all Internet sources are cited with hyperlinks. When multiple, slightly varying definitions were readily available, we have opted for the fullest and clearest definition.

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This glossary is (and always will be) a work in progress. We welcome comments, corrections, additional references, and other feedback. Please feel free to contact John William Sutton, the webmaster of this site, or Alan Lupack, the webmaster of The Camelot Project.


Finally, we would like to give special thanks to Rosemary Paprocki and Alan Lupack, who did us the immeasurable service of tracking down many of the most obscure references.






ale, p.425 - "a beverage made from an infusion of malt made by fermentation, flavored with hops, or other bitters." (OED)

beer, p.425 - "an alcoholic liquor obtained by fermentation of malt, flavored with hops or other bitters. Formerly distinguished from ale by being hopped; but now generic, including ale and porter." (OED)

bumper, p.374 - "a brimming cup or glass." (

burgundy, p.138 - "wine made in Burgundy, generally understood to apply to the red wines of that province, unless otherwise stated." (OED)

canary, p.182 - "a light sweet wine from the Canary islands." (OED)

claree, p.425 - "a name of yellowish or light red wines, as distinguished from "red" and "white" wines; used, about 1600, for red wines generally. Now applied to the red wines imported from Bordeaux." (OED)

dry sherry, p.425 - See "sherry."

hippocras, p.425 - "a cordial drink made of wine flavored with spices." (OED)

hock, p.425 - "The wine called in German Hochheimer, produced at Hochheim on the Main; hence, any German white wine." (OED)

malmsey wine, p.138 - "a strong sweet wine, originally the product of the neighborhood of Monemvasia in the Morea; but now obtained from Spain, the Azores, and the islands of Madeira and the Canaries, as well as from Greece." (OED)

mead, p.138 - "an alcoholic liquor made by fermenting a mixture of honey and water; also called methgelin." (OED)

Metheglyn, p.10 - "a spiced mediated variety of mead, originally peculiar to Wales." (OED)

mountain dew, p.236 - Scotch whiskey. (OED)

perry, p.425 - "a beverage resembling cider made from the juice of pears." (OED)

piment, p.374 - "a drink composed of wine sweetened with honey and flavored with spices." (OED)

port, p.10 - "a well-known strong dark-red wine of Portugal, having a sweet and slightly astringent taste." (OED)

sherry, p.138 - "in modern use,...a class of Spanish fortified white wines of similar character and. . . wines made elsewhere in imitation of Spanish sherry. Also a wine of this kind." (OED)

usquebaugh, p.237 - "Irish and Sc. Gaelic uisge beatha 'water of life', = whiskey." (OED)

whisky, p.425 - "A spirituous liquor distilled originally in Ireland and Scotland, and in the British Islands still chiefly, from malted barley, US chiefly from maize or rye." (OED)





Animals, Mythical and Real

adders, (M), p.134 - "A small venomous serpent or snake; a viper." (OED)

Antalop, p.254 - "an animal of incomparable celerity, so much so that no hunter can ever get near it. It has long horns shaped like a saw, with the result that it can even cut down very big trees and fell them to the ground." (White 18)

Aspidocelones, p.254 - "An ocean monster. It is also called a WHALE because of the frightfulness of its body and because it was this animal which swallowed Jonah, and its belly was so great that people took it to be Hell." (White 197)

axolotls, (M), p.134 - "A batrachian reptile (Siredon pisciforme, family Proteidæ) found in Mexican lakes, resembling the salamander in appearance, but, like all the Proteidæ, retaining throughout life the gills of its young state." (OED)

bevies of roes, p.142 - a group of small deer.

Bonnacons, p.254 - "He has a bullish head and from then on the rest of his body like a horse's mane. The horns are curled round upon themselves with such a multiple convolution that if anybody bumps against them he does not get hurt. . . he drives away his pursuers with noxious excrement" i.e. the Bison. (White 33)

Bothriomyrmex, p.127 - "Any member of the approximately 8000 species of the insect family Formicidae (order Hymenoptera)." (

brachet, p.24 - "A kind of hound that hunts by scent; in later Eng. use always fem." (OED)

cameleopard, p.31 - a giraffe.

cetes of badgers, p.142 - a company of badgers.

Chaladrii, p.254 - See Birds

Chaladrius, p.255 - See Birds

Cinomulgi, p.254 - See Birds.

Cocodrills, p.254 - "It breeds in the River Nile: an animal with four feet, amphibious, generally about thirty feet long, armed with horrible teeth and claws. So great is the hardness of its skin that no blow can hurt a crocodile, not even if hefty stones are bounced upon its back." (White 49)

conies, p.15 - rabbits.

corkindrill, p.30 - most likely an early variant spelling for crocodile (see OED under "crocodile").

corvidae, p.155 - raven family.

Dragons, p.254 - "a mythical beast. . .commonly conceived of as a kind of large serpent of hostile disposition." (Murphy 290)

emmets, p.129 - ants.

ermines, p.170 - weasels.

falco, (M), p.20 - Latin for falcon.

Falco leonis serpentis, p.109 - faux scientific name for the Griffin, a mythical creature with the front parts of an eagle and the hind parts of a lion.

ferae naturae, (M), p.7 - wild animals.

Foraminifera, (M), p.42 - organisms that are foraminifers: "any of an order (Foraminifera) of large chiefly marine rhizopod protozoans usually having calcareous shells that often are perforated with minute holes for protrusion of slender pseudopodia and form the bulk of chalk and nummulitic limestone." (

grampus, p.282 - one of various delphinois cetaceans, having a high falcate dorsal fin and a blunt rounded head, and remarkable for their spouting and blowing. (OED)

Griffins, p.254 - "a mythological monster. . .fabled to be the offspring of the lion and the eagle." (Murphy 429)

hart, p.23 - "The male of the deer; spec. a male deer after its fifth year." (OED)

Ibex, p.255 - a species of wild goat inhabiting the Alps or Apennines. (OED)

leveret, p.556 - a young hare, especially one in its first year. (OED)

libbard, p.23 - an archaic form of "leopard."

lob-worm, p.50 - "a large earthworm used as bait by anglers." (OED)

Manticores, p.254 - "It has a threefold row of teeth meeting alternately: the face of a man, with gleaming, blood-red eyes: a lion's body: a tail like the sting of a scorpion, and a shrill voice which is so sibilant that it resembles the notes of a flute." (White 51)

Messor barbarus, p.125 - species of ant.

ovis ammon , p.178 - a kind of large wild sheep.

Pegasus, p.174 - "in classical mythology, the winged horse of the Muses." (Murphy 786)

pinemarten, p.84 - "an animal or any one of certain species of Mustela, yielding a valuable fir." (OED)

pismires, p.31 - ants.

porpentine, p.186 - porcupine.

Purple Emperors, p.264 - Apatura iris, a kind of butterfly. (

puss-moth, p.31 - a large European bombycid moth. (OED)

richesses of martens, p.142 - wealth/opulence of an animal or any one of a certain species of Mustela, yielding a valuable fur. (OED)

roach, p.48 - a small freshwater fish of the Carp family. (OED)

routs of wolves, p.142 - packs of wolves.

sea weasels, p.468 - "an old name of the lamprey." (Smyth 605)

Sirens, p.254 - A Siren is "a mythical monster, half woman and half bird. Sirens were said by Greek poets to entice seamen by the sweetness of their song to such a degree that listeners forgot everything and died of hunger." (Murphy 952)

sticklebacks, p.50 - a small spiny-finned fish. (OED)

stoat, p.40 - European ermine (weasel). (OED)

Tapinoma, p.127 - See "Bothriomyrmex."

tench, p.46 - a thick-bodied freshwater fish. (OED)

T. natrix, (M), p.26 - a water snake.

tunny, (M), p.134 - a scromboid fish of the genus Orcynus. (OED)

unicorns, p.134 - "A fabulous animal, represented by medieval writers as having the legs of a buck, the tail of a lion, the head and body of a horse, and a single horn - white at the base, black in the middle, and red at the tip; its body is white; head, red; and eyes, blue. The earliest author to describe it is Ctesias (400 BC)." (Murphy 1061)

warrantable beast, p.23 - See Hunting.

Yale, p.255 - a fabulous beast with horns and tusks. (OED)






cock feather, p.20 - of the three feathers which comprise an arrow, the cock-feather is the one that when viewed from the nock-end of the arrow protrudes to the left when the arrow is on the string. (Hodgkin 114)

leather bracer, p.95 - "The object of the bracer or armguard is to protect the left arm from the blow of the string, in the event of this striking upon it when loosed. (Ford 40)

pecock arwes, p.245 - In the General Prologue of the Canterbury Tales (l.104), Chaucer refers to the arrows in the Yeoman's arsenal as "pecok arwes."

plucking on his loose, instead of leaving it to the bow, p.53 - When shooting, the archer draws back the string of the bow rather than the arrow itself. Kay is doing the opposite.

tight-feathered, clean-nocked, p.55 - Of the practice of attaching the feathers to the shaft of the arrow, Hodgkin writes, "Of one thing I am sure: bind as tight as you can, and bind closely." The tighter a feather is bound, the straighter the arrow will fly. Of the nock, he says, "This is 3/8 in. deep, and of such a width that the whole arrow will just hang on your particular bowstring without falling off." (Hodgkin 120, 110)





Arms and Armor

arquebus, p.238 - Also harquebus. "The early type of portable gun, varying in size, and, when used in the field, supported upon a tripod, trestle, or other 'carriage', or upon a forked rest. The name in German meant literally, 'hook-gun', from the hook, cast along with it, by which it was attached to the carriage; but the meaning was forgotten, and the name became generic for portable fire-arms in the 16th c." (OED)

bodkin, p.83 - "A short pointed weapon; a dagger, lancet, etc." (OED)

bordure, p.471 - "A bearing that goes all round and parallel to the boundary of a shield, always a fifth part of the field in breadth." (OED)

brigandine nails, p.320 - nails for use with "Body armor composed of iron rings or plates, sewed upon, and covered with, canvas, linen, or leather; at first worn in two halves." (OED)

buckler, p.321 - See Sword and Spear Fighting.

cannon, p.538 - First used in Western Europe in the early fourteenth century; this is another mark of White's decision to set OAFK in a late medieval context.

cross-bows, p.213 - "The arbalest or cross-bow was known apparently as early as the fourth century, and is mentioned in manuscripts of the tenth; it appears, however, to have been chiefly used for sport at that time. It was not before the close of the twelfth century that it was recognized as a military weapon." (Ashdown 126)

cuir-bouille, p.590 - hardened leather. (Nicolle 556)

cuisses, p.243 - armor "covering the back of the leg as well as the front." (Ashdown 284)

escutcheon, p.483 - See Heraldry and Flags.

Excalibur, p.221 - Arthur's sword, given to him by the Lady of the Lake. Had magical properties, and Arthur performed great deeds with it. It was returned to the lake by Bedivere following the last battle.

falchion, p.150 - a broad sword more or less curved with the edge on the convex side, later; a sword of any kind. (OED)

gambesons, p.320 - "a body-covering stuffed with wool, padded as a rule in vertical parallel lines of needlework, and worn over the plastron-de-fer and hauberk." (Ashdown 141)

greaves, p.38 - armor for the leg below the knee. (OED)

Greek Fire, p.501 - "true Greek fire. . .is supposed to have contained more ingredients than the three which constitute gunpowder proper, viz. resin and naphtha, the latter being in excess, and this mixture appears to have been so inflammable and so difficult to extinguish that the terror excited by its use was out of all proportion to the destruction that it wrought." (Ashdown 360)

guige on your shield, p.324 - "an extra strap, forming an additional support for the shield." (OED)

habergeons, p.319 - "smaller mail hauberk without manticle; also possibly scale hauberk, or soft armor worn under mail hauberk, 12th-13th centuries." (Nicolle 563)

Joyeux, p.336 - Lancelot's sword. See French.

jupon, p.498 - "a sleeveless outer garment reaching from the neck to midway between the hips and the knees." (Ashdown 167)

mangonels, p.421 - a type of stone-throwing siege engine.

misericordes, p.324 - "a dagger of mercy, used for despatching a fallen foe whose wounds were beyond all surgical aid. . .or as a last resort when all other weapons had failed." (Ashdown 182)

morion, p.317 - "A kind of helmet, without beaver or visor, worn in the 16th and 17th c." (OED)

pauldrons, p.419 - a large piece of armor covering the shoulder and upper portion of the arm.

perrieres, p.421 - "a general name for a stone-projecting machines." (Ashdown 345)

petard, p.558 - "A small engine of war used to blow in a door or gate, or to make a breach in a wall, etc." (OED)

sabathons, p.243 - A piece of armor for the foot, closed toed, and rounded. (Ashdown 232)

shillelagh, p.252 - "An Irish cudgel of blackthorn or oak." (OED)

truncheon, p.33 - "a short thick staff; a club, a cudgel." (OED)

vambrace, p.320 - "Defensive armor for the (fore-) arm." (OED)





Arthurian References

Arthur had two illegitimate children, p.472 - presumably White refers to Borre and Mordred. Arthur sires Borre on Lionore.

Balin and Balan, p.77 - Balin or The Knight with the Two Swords, from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 62-79)

beginning of the Quest for the Grail, p.436 - from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 432)

Bleise, p.285 - In Malory, following the battle of Bedegraine Forest, Merlin tells the story to "Bloyse", who chronicles all the deeds of the Round Table. (Spisak and Mathews 51-52).

Bodmin in Cornwall, (M), p.192 - Legendary pool where Bedivere is said to have returned Excalibur following the last battle.

Carbonek, p.452 - See Castles (Geographical).

charming little lady, p.371 - description of Elaine; from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 400)

Corbin tournament, p.489 - from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 517-20)

daughter of the Earl of Cornwall, p.102 - Gorlois had two daughters by Igraine before his death, Morgan and Morgause. White provides a third, Elaine.

Tristram had finally been murdered, p.497 - mentioned only in passing in Malory, Tristram was murdered by his uncle Mark as he sat harping to la Belle Isoud. (Spisak and Mathews 336)

description of the tourney, p.349 - from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 142-43)

Dictator is the very word which Malory uses, p.337 - from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 121)

Florence and Lovel, p.596 - mentioned as two of Gawain's sons in Malory. Part of the party that traps Lancelot in Guenivere's room, and slain by Lancelot as he escapes.

Gawaine can always fight better in the mornings, p.607 - ancient Celtic motif relating Gawain to a sort of Sun god. Gawain is associated with the sun in Chretien's Yvain and the reference is made in Malory (Spisak and Mathews 109). Gawain's strength is said to have increased until the hour of noon at which time it began to decrease.

he [Gawaine] even killed women, p.275 - Malory - p.85 (Spisak and Mathews) On his first quest as a knight of the Round Table, Gawain inadvertently slays a lady who is trying to protect her lord.

knight in the cart, p.500 - Chretien's Lancelot, ou le chevalier de la charrette. Lancelot, in his haste to rescue Guenivere from Meliagrance, loses his horse, and commandeers a horse cart to carry him the rest of the way.

Lancelot looked at the gentlewoman and at the tree, p.356 - from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 154-55)

lily maid of Astolat, p.494 - Elaine of Astolat dies for her love of Lancelot. This is the basis for Tennyson's idyll, "Lancelot and Elaine."

Lionore, p.305 - In Malory, Arthur has a child named Borre with a woman named Lyonors. (Spisak and Mathews 52)

locked up in this wretched tumulus, p.222 - Niniane (White calls her Nimue) traps Merlin by learning his spells and then using them against him to imprison him eternally.

Lothian, p.216 - See Geography.

Lucius, p.337 - Alliterative Morte Arthure (AMA), the source for Malory's treatment of the war in Rome. Arthur refuses to pay tribute to Rome, and conquers Lucius along with the remnants of the Roman Empire. In the AMA Arthur is significantly more tyrannical following his coronation as Emperor. In Malory, he returns home as a hero.

magic horn, p.478 - Robert Biquet was "author of the 580-line Lai du cor (The Lai of the Horn), composed sometime during the second half of the twelfth century. The lai is an early setting of the Arthurian chastity test, involving a drinking horn, made by a fay, which will spill its contents on cuckolds." (Lacy 38)

Malory's notation, p.317 - White sets the Once and Future King in a clearly medieval setting, while Malory set the Morte Darthur in the more traditional fifth century.

manuscript sources have got mixed up, p.325 - The manuscript from which Caxton drew his Morte Darthur is unknown. In Malory, three bear the name Elaine; the first is Elaine of Corbenic, the mother of Galahad. The second is Elaine of Astolat. The third is not a woman, however. Bors' son is named Elayne as well.

Morgan le Fay, p.100 - Evil enchantress of Arthurian legend, traditionally the half sister of Arthur, Igraine's daughter with Gorlois of Cornwall. In Geoffrey she is called Anna. In Marion Zimmer Bradley, Morgan, not Morgause, is the mother of Mordred.

My father was a demon, p. 232 - Merlin is traditionally born of a liaison between his chaste mother and an incubus demon. In Geoffrey, the blood of a fatherless boy must be used to prevent Vortigern's tower from collapsing. Vortigern sends out his men to find such a boy, and they bring back Merlin. Merlin, through his powers, demonstrates that Vortigern's tower is built on top of two fighting dragons whose battle repeatedly causes the tower to fall. Merlin saves his life, while at the same time prophesying the victory of the Britons over the Saxons.

Pellinore...killed King Lot, p.330 - from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 71) During a tournament, Pellinore kills King Lot, thus touching off the feud between their two houses that will ultimately result in the death of Lamorak.

Percy make[s]...friends with a lion, p.453 - Chretien's Le Chevalier au Lion.

robe trimmed with the beards of fourteen kings, p.221 - In Malory, King Ryons of Irelond sends a messenger to demand Arthur's beard in tribute. (Spisak and Mathews 60)

bodies...instead of tribute, p.338 - from the Alliterative Morte Arthure. Arthur answers Lucius' request for tribute by sending ahead of him the bodies of the Romans he has killed.

Sir Urre, p.512 - from Malory (Spisak and Mathews 549-53)

this pedigree is a vital part of the tragedy of King Arthur, p.312 - Malory paints the tragedy with different strokes than White does. White focuses on the Orkney/Cornwall feud, while in Malory, the emphasis is on the Pellinor/Lot feud.

"they made either to other their complaints of many diverse things", p.503 - from Malory. (Spisak and Mathews 544)






Alderbaran, p.160 - i.e., Aldebaran, "a red star of the first magnitude that is seen in the eye of Taurus and is the brightest star in the Hyades." (

astrolabe, p.9 - "An instrument formerly used to take altitudes, and to solve other problems in astronomy." (OED)

Betelgeuse, p.160 - "A star in the constellation Orion, easily distinguished by its reddish colour." (

Little Bear, p.184 - Ursa Minor, a constellation of the northern sky.

Milky Way, p.161 - Name of our galaxy.

North Star, p.184 - Polaris. Used by mariners to chart their position due to its "fixed" place in the heavens.

Orion, p.150 - "In astronomy, major constellation lying about 5 hours 30 minutes right ascension and zero declination." (

Sirius, p.160 - Alpha Canis Majoris, or the Dog Star, it's the brightest star in the night sky. (






American wood-pigeons, (M), p.141 - any species of the pigeon that lives in the woods. (OED)

Anser albifrons, p.168 - white-fronted goose: "A gray-brown wild goose (Anser albifrons) of northern regions of Eurasia and North America, having yellow legs and a white area around the bill." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

anseriformes, p.169 - the order consisting of what are commonly known as waterfowl: ducks, geese, etc. (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

barnacle geese, p.173 - a species of wild goose found in the arctic seas, and visiting the British coast in the winter. (OED)

capons, p.137 - "a castrated cock." (OED)

chaffinch, p.157 - "A small European songbird (Fringilla coelebs), the male of which has predominantly reddish-brown plumage." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

Chaladrii, p.254 - "a completely white bird without a speck of black. Its dung is good for eye trouble." (White 115)

Chaladrius, p.255 - See "Challadrii."

choughs, p.468 - a bird of the crow family; applied to any of the smaller chattering species. (OED)

Cinomulgi, p.254 - "Arabian bird. . . [so] called this because he builds his nests in the very highest trees, making them out of Cinnamon . . . thought to be the same bird as the Phoenix." (White 130)

coelebs, p.157 - the chaffinch: "A small European songbird (Fringilla coelebs), the male of which has predominantly reddish-brown plumage." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

corbies, p.237 - ravens.

cormorant, p.468 - a large and voracious sea-bird, about 3 feet in length, and black in color, widely diffused over the northern hemisphere. (OED)

cranes, p.468 - a large grallatorial bird characterized by very long legs, neck, and bill. (OED)

dunlin, p.167 - the red-backed sandpiper. (OED)

eagle-owl, p.517 - a nocturnal bird of prey, the largest European owl. (OED)

gore-crow, p.18 - the carrion crow. (OED)

goshawk, p.14 - a large short-winged hawk. (OED)

herons, p.15 - a large natural group of long-necked long-legged wading birds. (OED)

guillemots, p.175 - a species of sea birds. (OED)

jerfalcons, p.333 - (gerfalcon) orig. a large falcon, esp. one used to fly at herons. (OED)

kestrel, p.15 - a species of small hawk. (OED)

kingfishers, p.30 - a small European bird with a long cleft beak and brilliant plumage, feeding on fish. (OED)

kittiwakes, p.638- any sea-gull of the genus Rissa.

mallards, p.158 - the male of the wild duck. (OED)

maggotpies, p.30, p.510 - magpies. (OED)

merlins, p.15 - a small European falcon. (OED)

musket, p.333 - the male of the sparrowhawk. (OED)

night-jar, p.159 - a name for the Goatsucker, from the peculiar whirring noise which the male makes during the period of incubation. (OED)

nightengale, p.160 - a small reddish-brown or tawny migratory bird. (OED)

peregrine, p.15 - a typical species of falcon, formerly esteemed for hunting. (OED)

Phillip Sparrow, p.117 - See Terms and Expressions.

phoenix, p.30 - "fabulous bird that periodically regenerated itself, used in literature as a symbol of death and resurrection. According to legend, the phoenix lived in Arabia; when it reached the end of its life (500 years), it burned itself on a pyre of flames, and from the ashes a new phoenix arose. As a sacred symbol in Egyptian religion, the phoenix represented the sun, which dies each night and rises again each morning. According to Herodotus the bird was red and golden and resembled an eagle." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

pipits, p.308 - any bird of the genus Anthus. (OED)

plover, p.163 - the common name of several gregarious grallatorial, or long-legged wading birds, of the family Charadriidae. (OED)

popinjays, p.30 - parrots. (OED)

puffins, p.175 - a sea-bird found on the coasts of the North Atlantic, having a very large furrowed and parti-colored bill. (OED)

razorbills, p.638 - the red-breasted Merganser. (OED)

redshanks, p.167 - a wading bird of the snipe family. (OED)

rooks, p.19 - a black raucous-voiced European and Asiatic bird. (OED)

shrikes, p.158 - the majority are insectivorous, but several species prey upon mice and small birds. (OED)

spar-hawk, p.15 - a sparrowhawk.

starlings, p.108 - a kind of pigeon. (OED)

swifts, p.163 - a bird outwardly resembling swallows, and noted for their swiftness of flight. (OED)

Tereu, p.160 - a feigned note of the nightengale. (OED)

thrushes, p.158 - a name of two British and general European birds, distinctively Song-thrush and the Mistletoe-thrush. (OED)

tiercels, p.15 - "The male of any variety of hawk." (Wood and Fyfe 627)

wheatears, p.308 - a small passerine bird having a bluish-grey back, white belly, rump, and upper tail-coverts, and blackish wings. (OED)

widgeon, p.167 - "Either of two wild, freshwater ducks (Anas americana of North America or A. penelope of Europe) having a grayish or brownish back and a white belly and wing coverts. The European widgeon has a reddish-brown head and creamy crown, and the American widgeon has a shiny white crown." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)





Castles (Geographical)

Bedegraine, p.245 - See Geography.

Benwick, p.315 - "Identified by Malory with Bayen or Beaume, possibly Bayonne or Beaune." (Spisak and Mathews 816) See Geography.

Bliaunt, p.397 - In Malory, "given to Lancelot by Pelles which he renames Ioyous Ile." (Spisak and Mathews 817)

Carbonek, p.452 - Also "Corbenic." The name of both a city and Grail Castle. (Ackerman 64)

Carlisle, p.604 - "Several authors suggest Carlisle as Arthur's capital, or as one of his courts. Malory locates two pivotal events in the city: the healing of Urry and the rescue of Guinevere from the stake." (Bruce 105)

Case, p.375 - "Where Galahad is begotten." (Spisak and Mathews 819)

Castle Blanc, p.525 - In Malory, "belonging to Selyuaunt (who praises Lancelot, unknown, for saving his brother), where Lancelot resided during the two year period of his madness." (Spisak and Mathews 817, 843)

Castle Chariot, p 102, p.343 - "Morgan le Fay's castle to which Lancelot is conveyed." (Spisak and Mathews 820)

Castle of the Forest Sauvage, p.40 - In White, the castle of Sir Ector, and the childhood home of Arthur. Not found in Malory.

Castle of Maidens, p.439 - "Site of one of the great tournaments, the evil customs of which Galahad is ordered to do away with." (Spisak and Mathews 835)

Corbin, p.369 - The Grail castle, sometimes called Castell Aduenturous, or Carboneck.

Dolorous Towers, p.496 - "Mentioned as the place where Lancelot killed Carados." (Spisak and Mathews 822)

Gaillard, p.532 - Its name comes from a French word meaning "lively."

Goothe, p.452 - "A castle in which Sir Perceval lodged during the Grail Quest." (Bruce 228)

Joyous Gard, p.532 - Lancelot's castle, used by Tristram and Isode.

Meliagrance Castle, p.502 - Fortress of Meliagrance, and site of Guinevere's captivity in White.

Terrabil, p.215 - Terrabil, along with Tintagel, was one of two castles of Gorlois that were besieged by Uther Pendragon in his effort to win Igraine. Gorlois locked Igraine in Tintagel, while choosing to defend Terrabil himself.

Tintagil, p.215 - "In Cornwall, originally associated with the duke, Igrayne and Uther, but later with King Mark." (Spisak and Mathews 845)

Tower of London, p.203 - Guinevere's sanctuary from Mordred in White and Malory. Construction of the Tower was begun by William the Conqueror in the late 11th century as a means of strengthening his hold on the city of London.

Vagon, p.437 - "City, castle, and lord, visited by Lancelot and his fellowship when they leave Camelot on the Quest for the Holy Grail." (Spisak and Mathews 846)

Walmer Castle, p.561 - One of the castles of the Duke of Wellington, and the site of his death in 1852.





Castles (Technical)

barbican, p.41 - "An outer extension to a gateway, increasing the number of barriers which a besieger had to force his way through. The commonest type of barbican is a walled passage projecting from the front of the gatehouse proper." (Pettifer 312)

bartizans of the gatehouse, p.41 - "a small turret corbelled out at parapet level, usually at the corners of a tower." (Pettifer 312)

bosses, p.41 - "A round prominence in hammered or carved work." (OED)

curtain wall, p.41 - "these high walls blanketed the keep." (Braun 57) Susceptible to being undermined.

futile castles, p.500 - Perhaps a reference to ancient Celtic ring-forts.

garret, (M), p.52 - "A turret; a watch-tower." (OED)

machicolations, p.226 - features designed to strengthen an "embattled parapet [which] projects out from the wall face on corbels, and in the gap between each corbel is a hole through which objects could be dropped down onto the enemy." (Pettifer 321)

mullions, p.136 - "a vertical bar dividing the lights in a window." (OED)

pele tower, p.272 - "a small tower house most common in the Scottish Border countries . . . simple oblong structures." (Pettifer, 322)

portcullis, p.41 - a metal tipped wooden gate for defensive purposes. Raised and lowered by means of a "windlass located in the chamber above the gate passage." (Pettifer 323)

side flues, p.42 - ducts used for conducting heat. (OED)

solar, p.14 - a room of the castle, usually in a tower, designed to be well-lit.

souterrain, p.273 - "an underground chamber or passage." (OED)

tracery, p.41 - "stone ornamental open-work found in castle windows." (Moran 27)






baldrick, p.149 - "a belt or girdle, usually of leather and richly ornamented . . . used to support the wearer's sword, bugle, etc." (OED)

fur tippets, p.28 - "A long narrow slip of cloth or hanging part of dress, formerly worn, either attached to and forming part of the hood, head-dress, or sleeve, or loose, as a scarf or the like." (OED)

jerkins, p.13 - "a close fitting jacket, jersey, or short coat, often made of leather" (OED)

plaids, p.213 - "A long piece of twilled woolen cloth, usually having a chequered or tartan pattern, forming the outer article of the Highland costume." (OED)

puttee, p.139 - "a long strip of cloth wound spirally round the leg from the ankle to the knee, worn as a protection and support to the leg." (OED)

scapulars, p.236 - "A short cloak covering the shoulders; adopted by certain religious orders as a part of their ordinary costume." (OED)

slittered, p.478 - (a garment) cut with ornamental slits. (OED)

toques, p.173 - "a kind of small cap or bonnet worn by men and women in various countries." (OED)






batsman, p.318 - "One who handles the bat at cricket." (OED)

bowler, p.318 - "The player who bowls or 'delivers' the ball at the wicket." (OED)

Bradman, top of the batting averages, p.318 - an Australian batsman between World Wars. "Four names immediately arise as being pre-eminent beyond dispute, Grace, Trumper, Hobbs, and Bradman" (Ian Peebles, "The Cricketer Assessed" in Lee)

Hobbs, p.491 - (Sir John Berry) (1882-1963) "English athlete who was the world's greatest cricket batsman of his time. In 1953 he became the first professional English cricketer to be knighted." (

inswinger, p.318 - "A ball bowled with a swerve or swing from the off to leg in its flight; also, the bowler of such a ball." (OED)

leg-glide, p.318 - A defensive play made by the batter to turn aside a pitch.

Woolley, p.318 - (Frank Edward) (1887-1978) "Canadian cricketer, one of the greatest of all time, remembered especially for his graceful left-handed swing." (

yorker, p.318 - "A delivery that pitches behind the popping crease." (Melville 145)






angelica, p.179 - "An aromatic umbelliferous plant, used in cookery and medicine." (OED)

aniseed, p.179 - "The seed of the anise." (OED)

attar of roses, p.470 - "A fragrant, volatile, essential oil obtained from the petals of the rose." (OED)

Barley sugar, p.14 - "a confection made from sugar, formerly by boiling in a decoction of barley." (OED)

basil, p.179 - "Popular name of a genus of aromatic shrubby plants, including the culinary herbs Common or Sweet Basil and Bush or Lesser Basil." (OED)

bindweed, p.94 - "Name for the species of the N. O. Convolvulus; as C. sepium, C. arvenis, etc." (OED)

camomile, p.179 - "A Composite plant Anthemis nobilis, a creeping herb, with downy leaves, and flowers white in the ray and yellow in the disc. The flowers are used in Medicine for their bitter and tonic properties." (OED)

Cardamum, p.14 - "A spice consisting of the seed-capsules of species Amomum and Ellettaria." (OED)

convolvus, p.94 - as convolvulus, "A large genus of plants, having slender, twisting stems and trumpet-shaped flowers." (OED)

fennel, p.179 - "A fragrant perennial unbellifer having yellow flowers, made use of in sauces, etc." (OED)

fetherfew, p.203 - a corruption of "feverfew": the plant Pyrethrum parthenium. (OED)

fritillaries, p.94 - "Any plant of the genus Fritillaria, esp. F. meleagris." (OED)

fuchsias, p.422 - "A genus of ornamental shrubs." (OED)

Ginger, p.14 - "The rhizome of the tropical plant Zingiber officinale, characterized by its hot spicy taste; used in cookery and medicine, and as a sweetmeat." (OED)

gorse bush, p.153 - a prickly or rough bush.

hysop, p.179 - "A small bushy aromatic herb of the genus Hyssopus." (OED)

kale, p.111 - "a generic name for various edible plants of the genus Brassica; cole, colewort, cabbage." (OED)

lavender, p.179 - "The plant Lavandula vera, a small shrub with small pale bluish flowers, and narrow oblong or lanceolate leaves; cultivated extensively for its perfume." (OED)

Mandragora, p.31 - "The plant Mandrake. Now only Hist." (OED)

Mandrake, p.31 - "The mandrake is poisonous, having emetic and narcotic properties. Its forked root was thought to resemble the human form, and was fabled to shriek when plucked up fro, the ground." (OED)

Old Man's Beard, p.31 - "a name of the epiphytic plant Tillandsia usneoides." (OED)

oleander, p.31 - an evergreen poisonous herb. (OED)

Peridexions, p.254 - or Perindeus. "A tree in India. Its fruit is very sweet and exceedingly agreeable. Doves delight in the produce of this tree, and live in it, feeding on its fruits." (White 159)

saffron, p.179 - "the deep orange aromatic pungent dried stigmas of a purple-flowered crocus (Crocus sativus) used to color and flavor foods and formerly as a dyestuff and in medicine." (

sward, p.67 - "The surface of soil covered with grass and other herbage." (OED)

sweet briar, p.203 - "a species of wild rose (R. rubiginosa) with fragrant leaves and shoots." (OED)

tarragon, p.179 - "A composite plant, Artemisia dracunculus, of the wormwood genus, a native of Southern Russia and Eastern Europe, the aromatic leaves of which are used to flavour salads, soups, etc." (OED)

Tamarisk tree, p.254 - "A plant of the genus Tamarix, a graceful evergreen shrub or small tree, with slender feathery branches and minute scale-like leaves, growing in sandy places in S. Europe and W. Asia, and now much planted by the sea-shore in the south of England." (OED)

teazles, p. 94 - variant form of teasel, "A plant of the genus Dipsacus, comprising herbs with prickly leaves and flower-heads; esp. fullers' teasel, D. fullonum, the heads of which have hooked prickles between the flowers, and are used for teasing cloth...and wild teasel, D. sylvestris, held by some to be the original type, but having straight instead of hooked prickles." (OED)

tussocks, p.168 - "A tuft, clump, or matted growth, forming a small hillock." (OED)

whins, p.227 - "The common furze or gorse" (OED); i.e., a kind of shrub.

Zostera marina, (M), p.137 - eelgrass: "a submerged long-leaved monocotyledonous marine plant (Zostera marina) of the eelgrass family that is abundant along the Atlantic coast and has stems used especially in woven products (as mats and hats)." (






Beaumains, p.426 - pretty hands.

Beaute, Plaisance, or Malvoisin, p.532 - beauty; pleasure; bad neighbor (a nickname given to large siege catapults).

a bouche, p.324 - to the mouth.

bourgeois, p.518 - middle-class.

cap-a-pie, p.320 - head to foot.

champleve, p.533 - "An Enamelry technique: a design hollowed out of the background metal, then filled with colored glass pastes, smoothed, fired, and polished, flush with the metal surface." (Cosman 48)

The Chevalier Mal Fet, p.317 - The Ill-Made Knight.

chevaux de frise, p.273 - "Pointed wooden stakes or sharp obstacles for defense of a prehistoric encampment or fort." (Cosman 50)

en ciel un dieu, par terre une deesse, p. 529 - one sky one god, for the earth one goddess.

coup de grace, p.507 - the deathblow.

denoument, p.216 - the outcome or conclusion.

Doublez! Dedoublez! Degagez! Un! Deux!, p.324 - fencing moves, a doublez is a circular motion of attacker's blade around the defender's. Dedoublez is a second doublez on top of the first to evade a double parry. Degagez is a disengage, the change from one line of attack, which is closed, to another, which is open. Un = one, deux = two.

droit de seigneur, p.439 - right of lordship.

elan, p.352 - momentum, surge, or burst.

Force Majeur, p.355 - literally, "greatest strength," White uses it to refer to the institution of Might.

Fort Mayne, p.316 - "strong hands" Like Force Majeur, a term for the use of force by the strong against the weak.

grand melee, p.495 - a huge free-for-all.

Jeu d'Echecs Moralise, p.424 - See Literary References and Writers.

joie de vivre, p.166 - joy of life.

Joyeux, p.336 - cheerful, merry, or joyous.

Dulac, p.344 - du lac = of the lake.

Laissez les aller, p.422 - Let them go.

mal engine, p.573 - bad design.

maugre thy head, p.573 - against your wishes.

mon amy. Oyez a Beaumont the valiant. Swef, le douce Beaumont, swef, swef, p.150 - My friend. Listen, gentle Beaumont, be calm, be calm.

nouveaux riches de la Poles, p.534 - the newly wealthy de la Poles. (The English Monarchs website notes that "the de la Pole family rose from lowly origins as wool merchants of Hull to the highest echelons of fifteenth century society.")

parvenu, (M), p.33 - upstart.

pastels surfins, (M), p.29 - superfine pastel, i.e., paint.

pied-de-grue, p.312 - (literally) crane's foot; became modern English "pedigree."

pourquoi nous laisser faire dommage?/Nous sommes hommes coome ils sont, p.531 - Why are we making sorrow? We are men like they are.

preux chevalier, p.521 - a valiant or gallant knight.

Quelques Fleurs, (M), p.59 - a famous fragrance from French perfumer Houbigant.

Le roy s'advisera, p.628 - The King opposes it.

Le roy le veult, p.628 - The King desires it.

Sangreal, p.469 - the Holy Grail.

savoir-vivre, p.477 - to know (how) to live.

vivandieres, p.264 - "In the French or other continental armies: a person who supplies victuals to troops in the field." (OED)






Abisko, p.175 - "a well-known winter-sports resort in Lappland." (

Affrike, p.337 - (Africa) "Whenever Chaucer mentions Africa, he is refering to the northern coast of that continent, and specifically to Numidia (what is now eastern Algeria) and the ancient city-state of Carthage." (Rossignol 6) It is reasonable to assume White uses it in the same manner.

Alisandrie, p.337 - Alexandria, a "seaport in Egypt, on the Mediterranean at the western end of the Nile delta. It was founded by, and took its name from, the renowned Greek military commander Alexander the Great, and became a center of Hellenistic culture." (Rossignol 11)

Amesbury, (M), p.184 - "A city in Wiltshire, on the edge of Salisbury Plain. Merlin set up the Giant's Dance -which he brought from Ireland- here, at the site that became known as Stonehenge. According to several sources, Guinevere retired to a nunnery in Amesbury after Arthur's death." (Bruce 20)

Arabie, p.337 - (Arabia) "Peninsula in Southwest Asia, between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf." (Rossignol 20)

Arthur's Seat, (M), p.190 - (Chair) "Refers to four locations in Britain: a rock formation at Tintagel, the saddle between the two highest peaks at Brecon Beacons in Wales, an extinct volcano east of Edinburgh, and a sandstone formation near Hadrian's Wall in Northumberland." (Bruce 46)

Avilion, p.287, (M) p.189 as Vale of Affalach - Avalon is the enchanted island where Arthur is reputed to be awaiting his return to the world.

Bannockburn, p.638 - "In 1314 on the moor, a 10,000-man Scots army led by Robert Bruce routed 23,000 Englishmen under Edward II, thus climaxing Robert's struggle for Scottish independence and establishing him as king of the Scots." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Barham Down, p. 628 - "In the Stanzaic Morte Arthur, and in Malory, the site of the second battle between Arthur and Mordred, in which many good knights were slain. This followed the battle of Dover and preceded the final battle at Salisbury." (Bruce 58)

Bedegraine, p.245 - "A castle, city, meadow, and forest in Britain where Arthur decisively defeated the kings who rebelled against him at the beginning of his reign. Malory equates it with Sherwood Forest." (Bruce 61)

Benwick, p.315 - "Lancelot's homeland in France. It was ruled by his father, Ban and later by Lancelot himself." (Bruce 66) See Castles (Geographical).

Bermoothes, p.90 - Bermuda.

Bicester, p.10 - A town in Oxfordshire. (Mills 34)

Bodmin in Cornwall, (M), p.192 - See Arthurian References.

Calabre, p.337 - Calabria: "district of ancient Italy comprising area forming heel of the Italian Peninsula; now the S part of Puglia." (

Camelot, p.56 (1st mention in White) - The traditional site of Arthur's court, with multiple possible locations including Cadbury, Caerleon, Winchester, and Carlisle.

Capadoce, p.337 - Cappadocia: "ancient district E Asia Minor chiefly in valley of the upper Kizil Irmak in modern Turkey." (

Carbonek, p.452 - See Castles (Geographical).

Cardoyle, p.117 - "One of the locations frequently given as Arthur's capital, particularly in continental literature. It is almost certainly a variation of Carlisle in Cumberland." (Bruce 104)

Carlion, p.244 - "The city of the Legion." A ancient Roman legion town in southern Wales. Also "Caerleon."

Carlisle, p.454 - "A city in northwest England. Several authors suggest Carlisle as Arthur's capital, or as one of his courts." (Bruce 105)

Chorasmian Waste, p.383 - "Belonging to the Chorasmii, a tribe of Sogdiana. Chorasmian waste (poet.), the desert land south of the Sea of Aral and about the lower course of the Oxus; also allusively." (OED)

Collibe Sea, p.454 - a sea mentioned in passing in Malory's grail quest.

Cornwall, p.229 - A name for the southwest peninsula of England.

Cranford, (M), p.96 - "A former village in Middlesex district of London, England." (

Crecy, p. 56 - In France, the site of a battle during the Hundred Years War between Edward III of England and Philip VI of France in 1346. The English won a decisive victory.

Cuba, (M), p.117 - "Island state of the West Indies, consisting of one large island and numerous smaller islands, islets, and cays, and situated in the Atlantic Ocean, 90 miles (145 km) south of the tip of Florida, U.S." (

Cyprus, p.337 - "Island (and former kingdom) at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, south of Anatolia (modern Turkey)." (Rossignol 104)

Damaske, p.337 - Damascus: ancient city on the Ghuta oasis; principal administrative and economic power of central Syria during the early Islamic and Crusading eras. (Strayer vol. 4, 80-85)

Damiete, p.337 - Damietta: "An important city of ancient Egypt...It declined with the development of Alexandria (after 322 BC). In AD 638 it fell to Arab invaders, who made it a commercial centre famous for its textiles." (

East and West Camel, (M), p.191 - "A river in Cornwall. It begins in Bodmin Moor and empties into the sea near the town of Padstow. It is given by Geoffrey of Monmouth as the actual location of Camlann, where Arthur fought his final battle against Mordred." (Bruce 98)

Eriu, p.274 - Ireland.

Euphrates, p.337 - "River in the ancient land of Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq). It flows from east-central Turkey through Syria and Iraq to join the Tigris." (Rossignol 133)

fen country, p.359 - Cambridgeshire.

Flanders, p.249 - "A country encompassing what is now parts of France and Belgium, across the sea from Britain." (Bruce 185)

Flodden, p.638 - "within two hours on September 9th. 1513 an army of 40,000 Scots was vanquished by 24,000 English. Beneath the grass of Flodden Field lie the bones of 12,000 men -- 10,000 of them Scots, including King James IV, the Archbishop of St. Andrews and many nobles -- and 1,000 horses." (

Galacie, p.337 - Galicia was the name of a province in northwestern Spain that was part of the kingdom of Castille. It is both remote and mountainous; nevertheless, during the medieval period, thousands of pilgrims came each year to visit the famous shrine of Saint James at Compostella." (Rossignol 148)

Garloth, p.221 - "A kingdom, castle, or city in northern Britain, near Clarence. The Vulgate Merlin mentions both Uriens and Nentres as its rulers." (Bruce 208)

Gore, p.221 - "A wild northern kingdom first featured in Chretien de Troyes's Lancelot. In the tales, it borders on North Wales or Scotland, and is surrounded by water." (Bruce 229) Also "Gorre."

Gramarye, p.131 - A term used to denote Arthur's England. White may be the first to use it in this context.

Hungary, p.170 - "In Malory, it is listed as the home of Sir Urry, the knight healed by Lancelot. Hungary did not exist as a country until the late tenth century, when Stephen I became its first king." (Bruce 270)

Hy Brazil, p.227 - "Name originally applied to one of the larger islands of the Azores; subsequently and chiefly to a legendary island located off the west coast of Ireland." (OED)

Iceland, p.170 - "It was the ninth century before Iceland was settled by Norse explorers. It had not been discovered during the Arthurian period." (Bruce 212)

Inde, p.337 - (India) "It always carries connotations of the exotic and mystical." (Rossignol 182)

Ireland, p.229 - "Ireland is often named as a kingdom subject to Arthur. Historically, Ireland was divided into a number of Celtic kingdoms during the Roman and Arthurian periods. The Romans never conquered Ireland, and Celtic culture continued to flourish in Ireland after the Saxons invaded Britain." (Bruce 275)

Kennaquhair, (M), p.183 - Fictional Scottish monastery (based on Melrose Abbey) that is the setting of Sir Walter Scott's The Monastery (1820). (Drabble 657)

Lambeth, p.501 - "A town in England, across the Thames River from London. Malory names it as the location of Sir Meleagant's castle, which in other legends is in Gorre." (Bruce 304)

Lapland, p.170 - "The most northerly portion of the Scandinavian peninsula." (OED)

Lincolnshire, p.171 - Eastern coast of England, north of Cambridgeshire. "It contains the region known as Lindsey, which may be the actual site of Linnus, the location of Arthur's battles against the Saxons mentioned by Nennius." (Bruce 318)

Lothian, p.216 - "A kingdom in southeast Scotland. In most Arthurian texts, it is ruled by King Lot." (Bruce 328)

Macedone, p.337 - (Macedonia) "An ancient kingdom in southeastern Europe, in the southern Balkan Peninsula. It is now a region divided among Greece, Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria." (Rossignol 224)

Malainn Vig, p.252 - "Malainn Bhig." A place in Donegal, Ireland.

Marches, p.42 - "the portions of England bordering respectively on Scotland and on Wales." (OED)

Micklegarth, (M), p.117 - Constantinople.

Mixbury Plantation, p.10 - in Oxfordshire. The name "Mixbury" is from Old English and means "dunghill burg." (Ekwall 313)

Montfaucon, p.422 - "Montfaucon is an eminence near Paris, once used as the Tyburn or place of execution. At one time it was crowded with gibbets, but at the Revolution they were destroyed, and it became the dustbin of the city." (

Moor Park in Hertfordshire, p.97 - a famous mansion and garden, now a golf course.

Mortoise, p.466 - a passing reference from Malory, mentioned as the place where Launcelot boards the ship and meets his son Galahad.

Mount Etna, (M), p.189 - "active volcano on the east coast of Sicily. The name comes from the Greek Aitne, from aitho, "I burn." Etna is the highest active volcano in Europe, its topmost elevation being more than 10,000 ft (3,200 m)." (

Newbold Revell, p.635 - An area of Monks Kirby, Warwickshire, it is said to be the home of Sir Thomas Malory, author of the Morte D'Arthur.

New Forest, p.560 - "District, county of Hampshire, England, comprising the New Forest and its urbanized coastal fringe flanking Southampton Water and The Solent, together with rural areas around Ringwood and Fordingbridge in the west of the county." (

Northgalis, p.344 - Another name for North Wales.

North Humberland, p.229 - "A kingdom in the north of Britain, just south of Scotland." (Bruce 380)

North Wales, p.229 - "The northern part of Wales is given its own kingdom in a large number of Arthurian romances." (Bruce 380)

Norway, p.235 - "In Welsh legend, Norway is subject to Arthur, and the Norweigian warriors are led by Mark, Arthur's first cousin. In actuality, the kingdom of Norway did not exist until the late ninth century, being a collection of tribes prior to this time." (Bruce 381)

Notre Dame, p.540 - "A cathedral church in Paris, France. It is the most famous of the Gothic cathedrals of the Middle Ages and is distinguished for its size, antiquity, and architectural interest." (

Orkney, p.217 - "A group of islands north of the island of Great Britain, just off the coast of Scotland." (Bruce 387)

Our Lady of Walsingham, p.424 - "Walsingham, in north Norfolk, England (United Kingdom) has been a place of pilgrimage since medieval times, when travel to Rome and Compostella was virtually impossible. The original Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham, founded in 1061, was destroyed at the Reformation. Many barren years passed until the Slipper Chapel, a 14th century wayside pilgrim chapel, was restored and pilgrimage to Walsingham began once more." (

Oven of Arthur, (M), p.191 - "Priests from Laon were supposedly shown a rock formation called "Arthur's Oven" in 1113 in Dumnonia. There is no modern locality with this name, though King's Oven on Dartmoor is a possibility." (Bruce 46)

Pavia, p.338 - "A town in northwest Italy, on the Ticino River, that was home to Sir Callyburne. When Arthur captured Rome, Pavia was one of the many lands to surrender to him and pay tribute." (Bruce 394)

Petersaint, p.338 - "One of the many Italian cities to surrender and send tribute to King Arthur after he had captured the city of Rome." (Bruce 404)

St. Piquier, p.533 - may be a reference to the library at St. Riquier, a Carolingian-era abbey church. (Strayer vol. 10, 94)

Pleasance, p.338 - "One of the many Italian cities to surrender to Arthur after he conquered Rome." (Bruce 408)

Portingale, p.337 - (Portugal) "Country on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe; it lies between Spain and the Atlantice Ocean." (Rossignol 296)

Salerno, (M), p.188 - "A seasport in southern Italy, on an inlet of the Tyrrhenian Sea. It was famous in the Middle Ages for its medical school founded in AD 850." (Bruce 436)

Salisbury, p.459 - "In the chronicles, Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire serves as the location of a battle between King Vortigern and Hengist's Saxons. In the Vulgate Mort Artu, the Post-Vulgate Cycle, the Stanzaic Morte Arthur, and Malory, Salisbury Plain is named as the site of the final battle between Arthur and Mordred." (Bruce 436)

Sandwich, p.339 - "A seaport in Kent, on the southeast coast of England." (Bruce 437)

Sargasso Sea, p.304 - "A region in the North Atlantic, south of the 35th parallel, where masses of sargasso are found." (OED)

Sarras in Babylon, p.458 - "A legendary city and kingdom in Arabia, bordering the country of Egypt. Sarras was ruled in the grail histories by King Evalach, whom Joseph of Arimathea converted to Christianity. Its main temple, the Spiritual Palace served as Galahad's and Perceval's burial place." (Bruce 439)

Scotland, p.221 - "The northern half of the island of Great Britain, called Albany before the Scots arrived from Ireland in the fifth century and established territories there." (Bruce 442)

Sherwood, p.264 - "A forest in Nottinghamshire, identified by Malory with the forest of Bedegraine." (Bruce 447)

Siberia, p.170 - "Vast region of Russia and northern Kazakstan constituting all of northern Asia." (

Skellig Michael, (M), p.98 - A ruined monastery on the southwestern coast of Ireland. (

Sorhaute, p.296 - "A British city belonging to Galehaut in the Vulgate Lancelot and Urien in the Vulgate Merlin. In the latter it was the capital of Gorre, and served as a base of operations for the northern kings in their battles against the Saxons." (Bruce 451)

South Cadbury, p.191 - "In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, writers began to associate Camelot with a Roman hill fort near Cadbury, Somerset, possibly because of a local river called the Camel." (Bruce 92)

Spitzbergen, p.359 - Also Spitsbergen. "[G]roup of islands in Arctic Ocean N of Norway; belongs to Norway." (

Stranggore, p.229 - The Strange Land, "in some passages . . . refers to the land of Gorre." (Bruce 454)

Surrie, p.337 - (Syria) "In ancient times, the term Syria denoted a region at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, bordered by Egypt and Arabia to the south and west, and by Mesopotamia to the north." (Rossignol 344)

Tara of the Kings, p.237 - "A site in Meath, Ireland. There the king, the clergy, the princes, and the bards used to assemble in a large hall to consult on matters of public importance." (Murphy 1007)

Troyes, p.424 - "One of the major commercial cities of Capetian France, Troyes (Aube) developed from the Roman castrum of Augustobona. Sited on a loop of the Seine in northeastern France, it was located near the intersection of major roads that linked it with Flanders to the north, Lyon and Italy to the south." (Kibler 933)

Turkey, p.337 - In the Middle Ages, "Turkey comprised the present-day part of Turkey that is in Asia Minor, an area that mostly fell under the rule of Ottoman and Seljuk Turks." (Rossignol 374)

Walsingham, p.424 - See "Our Lady of Walsingham."

Warrington (where lived the best armorers), p.57 - Buckinghamshire. (Mills 347)

Weedon Bushes, p.10 - in Berkshire. The name "Weedon" is from Old English and means "hill with a temple." (Ekwall 479)

Wicken Wood, p.10 - in Cambridgeshire. "Wicken" is from Old English wic, meaning "dairy-farm." (Ekwall 492)

Winchester, p.31 - city in Hampshire (Mills 362) "In Malory, the city is identified with Camelot itself." (Bruce 496)

Windsor, p.134 - "A city in Berkshire, England, near London, on the Thames River." (Bruce 496)






austringers, p.15 - "one who flies short-winged hawks; from the French au(s)tour." (Wood and Fyfe 623)

cranes, p.356 - See creances.

creances, p.332 - "fine cord or line attachable to the hawk's leash when she is first lured." (Wood and Fyfe 617)

crest, p.16 - "A comb, a tuft of feathers, or the like, upon an animal's head." (OED)

hacking, p.15 - "the liberty allowed young hawks before their regular training is begun." (Wood and Fyfe 619)

hoods, p.14 - "Leather hood-covering for blinding the hawk, first introduced from the Orient into Europe by Frederick II." (Wood and Fyfe 620)

Indian bells, p.14 - also known as campanella, or nola. Attached to the feet. (Wood and Fyfe, 615)

jesses, p.14 - "narrow straps of leather attached to a hawk's legs, by which she is held." (Wood and Fyfe 621)

leashes, p.14 - "a long leather thong attached to the jesses and perch; it may also be wrapped around the hand to hold fast a captive bird." (Wood and Fyfe 621)

lures, p.15 - "a weighted, leather device to which are attached a couple of pigeon or other wings. Garnished with additional feathers and meat, it serves, when swung about the falconer's head, to attract the free-flying hawk and to lure her back to his fist." (Wood and Fyfe 22)

moult, p.15 - The shedding of feathers each year in order to produce new plumage (Wood and Fyfe 622). To be deep in moult is to be far along in the regeneration process.

mutes, p.15 - bird excrement.

passager, p.19, p.524 - "a peregrine falcon captured during migration." (Wood and Fyfe 623)

roused, p.16 - "when the hawk raises and shakes herself" (Wood and Fyfe 625)

rufter hoods, p.15 - "A temporary, easy-fitting leather cover for the recently captured hawk, with a wide opening behind." (Wood and Fyfe 625)

shoulder coverts, p.16 - "Feathers that cover the bases of the wing and the tail feathers of a bird." (OED)

swivels, p.14 - "device for preventing twisting or entanglement of the hawk's jesses and leashes." (Wood and Fyfe 627)

tack, p.14 - (tackle) A general term for harnesses and other gear. (OED)

varvels, p.14 - "Small flat rings through which the leash was passed, used instead of a swivel." (Wood and Fyfe 628)

Wrangle, p.14 - Also "rangle." See Terms and Expressions.

yarak, p.17 - "Oriental term describing a hawk in all respects fit and eager to hunt." (Wood and Fyfe 629)





Heraldry and Flags

argent, a bend gules distinguished with some sort of label of cadency, p.351 - argent = silver or white, a diagonal red stripe with a mark to distinguish the arms of junior members of a family. (Woodcock and Robinson 198)

azure sarsenet, p.419 - blue; "a very fine and soft silk material." (OED)

baize, p.15 - "a coarse woolen stuff, having a long nap." (OED)

banderolls, p.195 - "a small ornamental streamer, e.g. that attached to the lance of a knight." (OED)

banners, p.195 - "a banner was not just a pretty armorial flag, but denoted a commander of some seniority." (Dennys 7).

bends, p.351 - the fourth Honourable Ordinary; a diagonal stripe drawn across the shield from the dexter chief to the sinister base. (Woodcock and Robinson 197)

canton, p.352 - Canton: "a square portion of the shield, smaller than the quarter, in the dexter chief." (Brooke-Little 59)

cognizances, p.195 - "a device or mark by which a person is known or distinguished." (OED)

Cross Potent, p.328 - "This was an ancient name for a crutch. Thus the cross potent has crutched ends." (Brooke-Little 168)

eagles displayed, p.351 - "the bird that occurs with the greatest frequency in early heraldry." Displayed- "Used of birds with outstretched wings." (Woodcock and Robinson 199).

escutcheon, p.483 - "The shield or shield-shaped surface on which a coat of arms is depicted; also in wider sense, the shield with the armorial bearings; a sculptured or painted representation of this." (OED)

fleur-de-lis, p.419 - "stylized flower based on lily or iris, seen in the French Royal Arms, and borne in those of England till 1801." (Woodcock and Robinson 201).

France Ancient, p.319 - "The arms formerly borne by a country or family, now out of date or obsolete." (Woodcock and Robinson 197)

guidons, p.195 - "a flag or pennant, broad at the end next the staff and forked or pointed at the other." (OED)

lioncels passant regardant, p.471 - lioncel is "diminutive of lion, occasionally used if several on shield" (Woodcock and Robinson 203). Passant, regardant - right foreleg raised as if walking, beast looking back over the shoulder. (Woodcock and Robinson 205).

lions passant guardant, p.351 - a lion with the right paw upraised and looking out at the spectator, rather than seen in profile. (Woodcock and Robinson 201, 205)

luces hauriant, p.351 - a pike (a fish), shown vertically. (Brooke-Little 135)

merles, p.351 - used for merlin. (OED)

or, a chevron gules, between three thistles vert, p.341 - a golden or yellow shield with a red chevron (the seventh Honourable Ordinary, representing two rafters of a house meeting at the top like an upturned V) (Woodcock and Robinson 198) between three green thistles.

or, a dragon rampant gules, p.330 - a golden or yellow shield with a red dragon standing on one hind leg.

pennons, p.195 - "a small, triangular, pennon-shaped lance-flag, and became the distinctive flag of the ordinary knight or knight bachelor." (Dennys 7) Also know as pennoncells.

standards, p.195 - "standards are long flags, narrowing towards the fly and terminating in a rounded end or a double rounded end." (Dennys 7)

streamers, p.195 - a long and narrow flag or pennon. (OED)

vergescu, p.349 - the white shield carried by unfledged knights.





Historical and Legendary Persons

Adam of Domerham, (M), p.189 - Historian of Glastonbury Abbey; carried on the history of William of Malmesbury from roughly 1100-1300. (Stokes 7)

Adrian IV, p.534 - "d. 1159, pope (1154-59), an Englishman (the only English pope), b. Nicholas Breakspear at Langley, near St. Albans. He was successor of Anastasius IV." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Aethelmaer, p.534 - "brother of Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury (d.1072)." (

Albert the Great, p.534 - See Albertus Magnus.

Albertus Magnus, p.534 - (c.1200-1280) "Dominican bishop and philosopher best known as a teacher of St. Thomas Aquinas and as a proponent of Aristotelianism at the University of Paris." (

Aldrovandus, (M), p.28 - Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1607). Bolognese naturalist, writer, and university professor. (Encyclopedia Britannica vol. I)

Alexander, p.383 - (356-323 BC) "The son of Philip of Macedon, and conqueror of the civilized world. Founded the city of Alexandria in 331 BC." (Murphy 23)

d'Alton, (M), p.28 - (Edward Alfred) Author of History of Ireland (1911), a book White owned and may have been influenced by. (Brewer 229)

Archimedes, p.32 - (c287-212 BC) "Syracusan mathematician, astronomer, and inventor . . . discovered the principle of displacement of water." (Murphy, 46)

Aristotle, p. 39 - (384-322 BC) A Greek philosopher who studied at Plato's academy in Athens. He tutored Alexander the Great. Among the works that have come down to us are the Politics, the Poetics, Rhetoric, and De anima. (Murphy 49-50)

an Austrian who invented a new way of life, p.266 - Adolf Hitler (1889-1945) - Furher of Germany and leader of the Nazi party. Believed in the superiority of the Aryan race. One of the main individuals responsible for World War II, and for the deaths of millions of people, mostly Jews, in Nazi concentration camps.

Friar Bacon, p.534 - (c1220-1292) (Roger Bacon) "English Franciscan philosopher and educational reformer who was a major medieval proponent of experimental science. Bacon studied mathematics, astronomy, optics, alchemy, and languages. He was the first European to describe in detail the process of making gunpowder, and he proposed flying machines and motorized ships and carriages. Bacon...displayed a prodigious energy and zeal in the pursuit of experimental science; indeed, his studies were talked about everywhere and eventually won him a place in popular literature as a kind of wonder worker." (

Lord Baden-Powell, p.145 - (1857-1941) "British army officer who became a national hero for his 217-day defense of Mefeking in the South African War of 1899-1902; he later became famous as the founder of the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides." (

Baptista Porta, p.534 - "Giambattista della (John Baptist) Porta (1535-1615), was a Neapolitan scholar of notable ability who had devoted great attention to the study of natural and physical science. Porta visited most of his known world to gather and perfect the knowledge utilized in his writings." (

Barnabas Visconti, p.536 - (1323-1385) Italian count. (

Bartholomeus Anglicus, p.408 - (fl. c.1220-1240) "Franciscan encyclopaedist who was long famous for his encyclopaedia, De proprietatibus rerum." (

Aubrey Beardsley, (M), p.5 - (1872-1898) "English artist. Beardsley is known for his black and white drawings on fantastic and erotic subjects, representative of an English aesthetic movement in the 1890s." (Murphy, 85) He illustrated Malory's Morte d'Arthur.

de Beer, (M), p.28 - Sir Gavin de Beer (1899-1972) was an "English zoologist and morphologist known for his contributions to experimental embryology, anatomy, and evolution." (

Duke of Berry, p.531 - (1340-1416) (John) Son of King John II (the Good) of France, brother of King Charles V. Despite his renown as one of the greatest patrons in the history of art, John was unpopular and often incompetent as a government officer. (Kibler 497-98)

blind poet, (M), p.5 - a reference to John Milton; the work White is alluding to is Milton's epic Paradise Lost.

Colonel Bogey, p.495 - A mythical British golfer who, while consistent, was never overly brilliant. (

Sir Thomas Browne, (M), p.12 - (1605-1682) "English author and physician, b. London, educated at Oxford and abroad, knighted (1671) by Charles II." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Lord Burleigh, p.456 - "Burghley also spelled Burleigh, also called (1551-71) Sir William Cecil principal adviser to England's Queen Elizabeth I through most of her reign. Cecil was a master of Renaissance statecraft, whose talents as a diplomat, politician, and administrator won him high office and a peerage." (

Burton, (M), p.12 - (1577-1640) (Robert) "English churchman and prose writer. He was a passionate scholar with a consuming curiosity about every phase of learning: medicine, history, literature, science, and theology. Except for a few minor pieces, he left only one work, The Anatomy of Melancholy, into which he poured a lifetime of classical and heterodox learning." (Murphy 154)

Castor and Pollux, p. 90 - The twins of Leda and Zeus in Greek mythology. "They are the patron gods of mariners, appearing in St. Elmo's fire. In late myth they were identified with the constellation Gemini." (Murphy 177)

Miss Edith Cavell, p.123 - (1865-1915) "English nurse who became a popular heroine of World War I and was executed for assisting Allied soldiers to escape from German occupied Belgium." (

Charles the Fifth, p.533 - King of France. (r. 1364-1380)

Chaucer, p.245 - (1343?-1400) (Geoffrey) Often called the father of English poetry. Wrote a vast body of works, including the Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, and the Legend of Good Women. He translated the Romance of the Rose and Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, among others.

Children of Lir, p.169 - A late medieval romance known in Irish as the Oidheadh Chlainne Lir. (MacKillop 311).

Cinderella, p.179 - A well-known children's story that is the product of a lengthy folkloristic tradition. See Murphy (204) for a detailed description of Cinderella motif.

Circe, p.103 - A sorceress in Greek mythology. She turned Odysseus's companions into swine, but failed to do the same to him. She was the aunt of Medea. (Murphy 205)

Clausewitz, (M), p.28 - (1789-1831) (Carl Philipp Gottlieb von) "Prussian general whose writings, especially On War, advocated the concept of total war, in which an enemy's territory, property, and citizens are attacked." (

Friar Clynn, (M), p.175 - (c.1300-c.1349) (John) "Irish Franciscan and annalist...his celebrity rests on his "Annals of Ireland", from the birth of Christ to the year 1349. Latin, the entries are at first meagre and uninteresting; but from 1315 Clynn deals with what he himself saw, and, though such things as the building of a choir and the consecration of an altar would interest only his own order and time, other entries throw much light on the general history of the country." (

Cleopatra, (M), p.13 - (Cleopatra VII, 69-30 BC) "Last Macedonian queen of Egypt. She was driven from the throne by her brother but reinstated by Julius Caesar in 48." (Murphy 210) After Caesar's assassination, she supported the triumvirate, and became involved with Mark Antony. After his death, she committed suicide to avoid falling into the hands of Octavius.

Coeur de Lion, p.297 - (1157-1199) King Richard I of England. Spent most of his reign fighting in the Crusades.

Conan, p.239 - "a name found with differing associations in three Celtic lands." (MacKillop 87) For the various associations, consult MacKillop.

Confucius, (M), p.172 - (551?-479 BC) "Chinese political and ethical philosopher, educator, and would-be reformer. Failing to achieve personal ambition and success, Confucius taught a large number of disciples who carried on, developed, and at times altered his teachings. By the second century BC, Confucianism was the dominant philosophy in China. Confucius advocated a this-worldly, rational philosophy, which emphasizes humanity (jen), propriety (li), reverence for the ancient sages, and government by personal virtue." (Murphy 222)

Conor Mac Nessa, p.237 - Conchobar, legendary King of Ulster, whose seat was the legendary Emain Macha. Figures prominently in the Ulster Cycle tales of Cuchulainn, Deirdre, and others.

A.B. Cook, (M), p.28 - See "Zeus" in Literary References and Books.

Cressida, p.611 - See Literary References and Books.

Cromwell, p.39 - (1599-1658) (Oliver) Leader of the English Puritan revolt against Charles I. After the king's death, Cromwell assumed the title of Lord Protector of the Realm. He ruled until his death in 1658. (Murphy 239)

Cuchullain, p.627 - "The greatest hero in early Irish literature and the principle hero of the Ulster Cycle. Learned 19th-century commentators routinely compared him to Hercules and Siegfried for feats of valour and supremacy over all contenders." (Mackillop 102)

Curie, p.628 - (1867-1934) (Marie) "Polish scientist. [Marie] Curie is best known for her discovery, with her husband, Pierre Curie, of radium. . . they were awarded the Nobel Prize in physics (1903) for this discovery. She again won the Nobel Prize in 1911, this time in chemistry. (Murphy 243)

Darwin, (M), p.39 - (1809-1882) (Charles Robert) "English naturalist. . . an original expounder of the theory of evolution by natural selection, since known as Darwinism." (Murphy 253)

Sir David had fought...Lord Welles, p.605 - A famous tournament fought at London Bridge in May 1390, in which Sir David Lindsay defeated Lord Welles. (

Drayton, (M), p.191 (1563-1631) (Michael) "English poet. Born in the same county (Warwickshire) as Shakespeare, Drayton matched the master in the range, if not the quality, of his poetic achievement." (Murphy 290)

Duruy, p.423 - (1811-1894) "French scholar and public official who, as national minister of education (1863-69), initiated extensive and controversial reforms." ( Author of History of France, a book White owned and may have been influenced by. (Brewer 229)

Albert Einstein, p.124 - (1879-1955) German-born, Swiss-educated American physicist. He is famous for his general theory of relativity. He was instrumental in pioneering quantum theory, and was among the first to suggest that the energy split of atoms could be used in bombs. Generally regarded as one of the greatest minds in history. (Murphy 308)

Elliott-Smith, (M), p.28 - (1871-1937) (Sir G. Elliott) Author of The Evolution of Man: Essays (London: H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1924).

Eltringham, (M), p.28 - (Harry) Author of Senses of Insects (London: Methuen, 1933).

Enguerrand de Marigny, p.537 - (1260-1315) "Powerful chamberlain to the French King Philip IV the Fair, who depended heavily on Marigny's advice on foreign policy and on relations between king and church. Marigny was described as the man who knew all the king's secrets and who encouraged Philip to make a drastic departure from his father's foreign policy." (

Erasmus, p.87 - (1466-1536) Dutch scholar and philosopher, noted for his satire Moriae encomium (The Praise of Folly, 1509). (Murphy 326)

Jessie L. Eston, (M), p.190 - Probably a reference to Jessie L. Weston (1850-1928), scholar of Arthurian literature.

Dr. Sebastian Evans, (M), p.190 - See "The High History of the Holy Grail" in Literary References and Books.

Guy Fawkes, p.421 - (1570-1606) Conspirator in the Gunpowder plot against King James I. Captured, convicted, and hanged for his part in the conspiracy. (Stephen and Lee, Drant-Finan, 1129-33)

Fianna, p.239 - The band of legendary Irish heroes led by Finn MacCoul. (Murphy 351)

Finn MacCoul, p.257 - Legendary Irish hero of the Fenian Cycle. Educated by a poet, and made wise by eating the salmon of knowledge. He is the doer of many great and marvelous deeds. (Murphy 351)

Flavius Arrianus, p.43 - (d. AD 180) "Greek historian and philosopher who was the author of a work describing the campaigns of Alexander the Great." (

Frazer, (M), p.28 - (1854-1941) (Sir James George) Wrote The Golden Bough, "a comprehensive work on comparative religion and mythology. The title refers to the branch broken from a sacred tree by Aeneas before his descent into the underworld." (Murphy 409)

French Mary, p.476 - Presumably Marie de France, daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine and patron of the arts.

Galand, p.366 - Possibly corruption of Wayland, "a wonderful and invisible smith of English legend." (Murphy 1100)

the Galeotto one which Dante mentions, p.604 - See Literary References and Books.

Ganymede, (M), p.27 - "In Greek mythology, the cup-bearer of Zeus, successor to Hebe, and a type of youthful male beauty. The son of Tros, and early king of Troy, he was carried off by Zeus on the back of an eagle because of his unusual beauty." (Murphy 383)

David Garnett, (M), p.151 - "1892-1981, novelist, won acclaim for the imaginativeness of such works as Lady into Fox (1923) and A Man in the Zoo (1924)." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Geoffrey of Monmouth, (M), p.4 - (c1100-1155) "Medieval English historian. A canon at Oxford, he wrote the important Latin prose History of the Kings of Britain (Historia regum Britanniae), one of the sources of the Arthurian legend and of considerable literary influence." (Murphy 392-3)

St. George, p.138 - The patron saint of England, who, according to tradition, was a dragon-slayer. He is one of the heroes in Edmund Spencer's Faerie Queene.

Gerald the Welshman, (M), p.5 - (c.1146-c.1223) "Archdeacon of Brecknock, Brecknockshire, and historian, whose accounts of life in the late 12th century stand as a valuable historical source." (

Gervase of Tilbury, (M), p.191 - "fl. 1200, medieval author, b. England. He became marshal of the kingdom of Arles under Emperor Otto IV and wrote the Otia imperiala, a miscellany of legend, history, and politics." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Gibbon, (M), p.27 - (1737-1794) (Edward) "English historian, noted for his masterpiece The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." (Murphy 397)

Giles de Retz, p.531 - Also written as Gilles de Raiz (1404-40), a comrade of Joan of Arc who was notorious for his callous murdering of infants. (Lewis 1)

Giraldus Cambrensis, (M), p.28 - See Gerald the Welshman.

Pope Gregory VII, p.534 - (r. 1073-1085) Spent his papacy trying to define and solidify the Pope's power over spiritual matters. Came into conflict with Henry IV of France, who subsequently invaded Rome and forced Gregory to flee the city. (Peters 218-20)

Gregory of Tours, p.424 - (538/539-594-595) "Bishop and write whose History of the Franks is a major source for knowledge of the 6th-century Franco-Roman kingdom." (

Gulliver, (M), p.113 - See Literary References and Books.

Haile Selassie, p.338 - (1892-1975) "Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974 who sought to modernize his country and who steered it into the mainstream of post-World War II African politics." (

Hecate, p.39 - "One of the Titans of Greek Mythology. [She] became a deity of the lower world after taking part in the search for Persephone. She taught witchcraft and sorcery and was a goddess of the dead." (Murphy 456)

Henry the First, p.336 - (1067/8-1135) King of England, youngest son of William the Conqueror.

Henry the Third, p.336 - (1207-1272) King of England following his father John.

Herodotus, (M), p.28 - (c480-c425 BC) "A Greek historian, often called the Father of History. Heredotus was the first to carry on research into the events of the past and to treat them in a rational rather than a mythical manner." (Murphy 469)

Hippocrates, (M), p.12 - (406?-?377 BC) "A Greek physician born on the island of Cos; known as the Father of Medicine. According to tradition, he devised a code of moral ethics that imposed on his disciples the oath still administered to those about to enter medical practice and known as the Hippocratic oath. Eighty-seven treatises are attributed to him." (Murphy 474)

W.H. Hudson, p.176 - (1841-1922) English naturalist and novelist.

Hughes the Elizabethan, (M), p.5 - (fl. 1587) (Thomas) Elizabethan playwright; author of The Misfortunes of Arthur, a play performed for Elizabeth I in 1588.

hunchback of Arras, p.476 - (c1250-c1306) (Adam de le Halle) "[P]oet, musician, and innovator of the earliest French secular theatre." (

Hus, p.531 - (1370-1415) (Jan) A popular reformist preacher in Eastern Europe, condemned for heresy and burned at the stake in 1415.

Ingulf of Croyland, p.530 - (d. 1109) Abbot of Croyland, Lincolnshire. Secretary to William the Conqueror. (

James the First, p.333 - (1566-1625, r.1603-1625) First Stuart King of England.

Jerome, p.531 - a follower of Jan Hus, he was executed for heresy the year after Hus suffered the same fate.

Jocasta, p. 611 - See Literary References and Books.

John, p.336 - (1167-1216) King of England. Compelled to sign Magna Carta in 1215, a document that empowered the English barons. (Murphy 531)

John Ball, p.519 - (d. 1381) "priest, fomented the insurrection of Wat Tyler. His doctrines were in great part those of Wycliffe." (Stephen and Lee, abbadie-beadon, 993)

John of Salisbury, p.423 - (1115/20-1180) "One of the best Latinists of his age, . . .was secretary to Theobald and Thomas Becket, archbishops of Canterbury, and who became bishop of Chartres." (

John Scotus Erigena, p.367 - (d. c877-79) An Irish teacher in the palace of Charles the Bald. He commented on the arts, wrote poetry, engaged in theological controversy, translated important works of Greek theological speculation into Latin. . . and in Periphyseon produced one of the most important and original works of the early Middle Ages. (Strayer vol.7, 141)

de Joinville, p.435 - (c.1224-1317) "Author of the famous Histoire de Saint-Louis, a chronicle in French prose providing a supreme account of the Seventh Crusade (1248-1254)." (

Joseph of Arimathea, p.369 - In Christian legend, the bringer of the Holy grail to England. Said to have founded the abbey at Glastonbury. (Murphy 538)

Abbess Juliana Berners, p.333 - author of the earliest English treatise on fly fishing, written in 1496.

Jung, (M), p.12 - (1875-1961) (Carl) Swiss analytical psychologist.

Juserand, (M), p.28 - (Jean Jules Jusserand) Author of English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages (1939), a book White owned and may have been influenced by. (Brewer 229)

Anna Karenina, p.388 - See Literary References and Books.

Kipling, (M), p.6 - (1865-1936) (Rudyard) "English short-story writer, poet, and novelist. In 1907 Kipling became the first English writer to be awarded the Nobel prize." (Murphy 559-60)

Lars Porsenna, p.337 - "In the 6th century BC, king of Clusium in Etruria. Porsenna led an expedition against Rome, but was stopped from entering the city by the bravery of Horatius Cocles." (Murphy 821)br>
Lawrence, (M), p.164 - (1888-1935) (Thomas Edward) "English soldier, archaeologist, and author. [Thomas Edward (called Lawrence of Arabia)] Lawrence is famous for his activities in arousing and directing a successful rebellion of the Arabs against the Turks during World War I." (Murphy 585)

Layamon, (M), p.5 - See "Brut" in Literary References and Books.

Linnaeus, p.157 - (1707-1778) - Swedish botanist who established a classification system for plants. (Murphy 603)

Llewellyn ap Griffith, p.529 - (d.1282) Prince of Wales, Llywelyn ab Iorwerth was his grandfather. Led a Welsh uprising against Henry III. Concluded a treaty with Henry granting him the principality of Wales. Upon Henry's death, his successor Edward I resumed hostilities with Llewellyn, and Llewellyn was killed trying to fight his way out of the Snowdonia region in Wales. (Lee, vol. XII, 13-21)

St. Louis, p.383 - (1214-1270) King Louis IX of France. Led a Crusade in 1248, and was taken prisoner in 1250. "He personified the highest ideals of a medieval, chivalric Christian ruler." (Attwater 226-27)

Louis the Eleventh, p.531 - (r. 1461-1483) King of France.

MacAllister, (M), p.28 - Probably R.A.S. Macalister, author of Ireland in Pre-Celtic Times, a book White owned and may have been influenced by.

Maccabee, (M), p.164 - "The Hebrew patriot who gained decisive victories against the Syrians. In 165 BC, Judas Maccabaeus entered Jerusalem and reconsecrated the Temple; Hanukkah, the Jewish feast of dedication, commemorates this event." (Murphy 541).

Queen Maeve, p.237 - "Medb, warrior-queen of Connacht, leading figure in the Ulster Cycle, and the most vibrant female personality in all of Celtic mythology. (MacKillop 288)

Mandeville, p.635 - See Literary References and Books.

Karl Marx, (M), p.87 - (1818-1883) German socialist who, with Frederich Engels, formulated the principles of Dialectical Materialism, or economic determinism." (Murphy 659). With Engels, wrote the Communist Manifesto.

Matthew Paris, p.605 - (c1200-1259) "English historian, most famous of the chroniclers at the Benedictine monastery of St. Albans." (Murphy 776)

Dean Millman, (M), p.28 - Probably a reference to Dean Henry Hart Milman (1791-1868), a professor, dean, poet, and historian. (Drabble 674)

Milton, (M), p.190 - (1608-1674) (John) "English poet and prose writer, one of the best-known and most respected figures in English literature." His principle work, Paradise Lost, is considered to be the greatest epic ever written in English. (Murphy 686)

Naussica, p.406 - See Literary References and Books.

Nennius, (M), p.4 - (c800) "An early medieval Welsh historian. Nennius is important in connection with the origins of Arthurian literature. He specifically mentions an Arthur, crediting him with a part in twelve victories over invading Anglo-Saxons and with killing 960 by himself." (Murphy 723)

Nietzsche, (M), p.164 - (1844-1900) (Fredrich) - "German philosopher, classical scholar, and poet. Long misunderstood and even reviled as a result of misuses of his work, most notably by the Nazis, Nietzsche has become probably the most influential philosopher of the late 20th century." (Murphy 731)

Mr. Nutt, (M), p.190 - Probably Alfred Nutt (1856-1910), scholar of folklore and medieval Celtic literature.

O'Connell, p.345 - (1775-1847) (Daniel) Irish nationalist, statesman, and orator. Opposed the Act of Union (1801), and was a strong proponent of Irish independence. (Murphy 745)

Parkman, (M), p.28 - (1823-1893) (Francis) American historian. (Murphy 777)

Pasteur, p.628 - (1822-1895) (Louis) "French chemist. [Louis] Pasteur is famous for his discoveries in applied bacteriology. His most sensational work concerned the development of a curative treatment for hydrophobia (rabies). Popularly, his name is associated with the process called pasteurization, which he developed, which causes the destruction of pathogenic organisms in milk and other liquids." (Murphy 781)

Philip Augustus of France...Bovines, p.341 - (1180-1223) The Battle of Bouvines, in which Phillip Augustus defeated the German King Otto IV, took place in 1214.

Pinnow, (M), p.27 - (1884-?) (Hermann) - German historian.

Edgar Allen Poe, p.517 - (1809-1849) "American poet, critic, and short-story writer." (Murphy 813)

Prescott, (M), p.28 - (1796-1859) American historian. (Murphy 827)

Proserpine, p.160 - Known as Persephone in Greek, she was the daughter of Demeter who was abducted by Hades. Forced to spend half the year in the underworld and half in the overworld, her comings and goings were thought to correspond to the changing seasons. (Murphy 793)

Purcell, (M), p.5 - (c1659-1695) (Henry) "Outstanding English Baroque composer. [Henry] Purcell's early work consisted largely of sacred music, hymns and anthems. After 1689, when he wrote his exquisite opera Dido and Aeneas, he concentrated almost exclusively on music for the stage." He wrote the music for the John Dryden's libretto King Arthur (1691). (Murphy 841)

Don Quixote, (M), p.189 - See Literary References and Books.

Raymond Lully, p.534 - (ca. 1232-1316) Christian thinker who displayed a great interest in Islam. (Strayer vol.7, 685-86)

Richard III, p.431 - (1452-1485) King of England, brother of Edward IV. Presumably murdered the young Edward V in order to gain the throne for himself. Defeated and killed at the battle of Bosworth Field by Henry Tudor (later Henry VII). (Murphy 869)

Duke Robert, p.531 - (d.1035) "Younger son of Richard II of Normandy, and the father, by his mistress Arlette, of William the Conqueror of England." (

Robert of Thornton, (M) p.188 - "A frugal Yorkshire gentleman, copied two large compilations of religious texts, medical tracts, and romances." (Rosenthal, Szarmach, and Tavormina 578).

Roland, (M), p.164 - See Literary References and Books.

Sancho Panza, (M), p.51 - See Literary References and Books.

Siegfried, (M), p.5 - The quintessential Germanic hero; also known as Sigurd the Dragon-Slayer, from the Icelandic Volsung Saga.

Silenus, p.294 - "The foster-father of Bacchus, and leader of the satyrs." (OED)

Silvester the Second, p.533 - (r. 2 Apr.999-12 May 1003) "showed himself an intransigent champion of the traditional rights of the papacy." (Kelly 136-37)

Sinbad, (M), p.97 - See Literary References and Books.

Smith, (M), p.28 - Probably Grafton Elliot Smith, author of The Evolution of Man (1927), a book White owned and may have been influenced by.

Dr. Sommer, (M), p.190 - (1861-?) (Heinrich Oskar) Scholar of medieval and Arthurian literature.

Spenser, (M), p.190 - (1552?-1599) (Edmund) "One of the greatest English poets, and the first major English writer to arise after Chaucer." His greatest work, "The Faerie Queene is simultaneously a nationalistic paean to the greatness of Elizabeth and her England, an imaginative romance, and a moral allegory of the soul in quest of salvation." (Murphy 972)

Swan of Avon, (M), p.165 - See Shakespeare.

Tacitus, (M), p.28 - (AD 55?-117) (Cornelius) "Roman historian. Tacitus's most ambitious works were the Historiae, a history of his own times, from AD 69 to 96, and the Annales, a detailed account of events from the death of Augustus to the year 69." (Murphy 1002)

Tennyson, (M), p.190 - (1809-1892) (Alfred, Lord Tennyson) "English poet. . . considered highly representative of the Victorian age in England." (Murphy 1013). Arguably his greatest work is the Idylls of the King, a retelling of Malory.

Thierry, (M), p.27 - (1795-1856) (Augustin) "French historian. His vivid literary style, romantic treatment of events, and use of contemporary documents helped to create interest in historical studies in the early 19th cent. His two most famous works, Histoire de la conquête de l'Angleterre par les Normands (3 vol., 1825; tr. History of the Conquest of England by the Normans, 3 vol., 1825) and Récits des temps mérovingiens (2 vol., 1840; tr. Narratives of the Merovingian Era, 1845), were great popular successes; however, they lacked exact scholarship and advanced conclusions based on dubious premises. (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Thomas of Hutton Coniers, (M), p.5 - reference to Sir Thomas Malory, once believed by some to be the same man as a certain Thomas Malory of Hutton. (Strayer vol. 8, 61)

Trevelyan, (M), p.28 - (1876-1962) (George Macaulay) "English historian, son of the distinguished historian Sir George Otto Trevelyan. Professor of modern history at Cambridge from 1927-1951, Trevelyan believed that history should be written as literature, that is, to be read, and that historical evidence should be measured with a humanistic eye, as well as with a scientist's calculation." (Murphy 1041)

Ulrich von Zatzikhoven, (M), p.190 - Swiss cleric who composed the Middle High German Lanzelet sometime in the late twelfth century. (Lacy 481)

Uther the Conqueror, 1066 to 1216, p.195 - a substitution of Uther for William I, who reigned from 1066 until 1087. 1216 marks the death of King John.

Villars de Honnecourt, p.532 - (c.1225-c.1250) (as Villard de Honnecourt) "French architect remembered primarily for the sketch book complied while he traveled in search of work as a master mason." (

Sir Rowland Ward, p.117 - nineteenth-century publisher of books on hunting and wildlife. (

Dr. Wechssler, (M), p.190 - (b.1869) (Eduard) German Arthurian writer.

Duke of Wellington, p.561 - (1769-1852) Defeated Napolean at the battle of Waterloo. Prime Minister of England, 1828-30. (Murphy 1104)

William of Malmesbury, p.534 - (c1090?-c1143) "English historian, librarian at the monastery of Malmesbury. Wrote a Latin history of England, the famous Gest regum Anglorum (Chronicle of the Kings of England, c1220-28), and continued it to 1142 in the sequel Historia movella (Modern History)." (Murphy 1116)

William Rufus, p.228 - Son of William I. Second king of England (c. 1056-1100).

Wolfram von Eschenbach, (M), p.190 - (c1170-c1220) "German minnesinger, or lyric poet. Wolfram is known for three verse epics, Parzival, Willehalm, and Titurel, as well as a collection of love lyrics." (Murphy 1124)

Wordsworth, (M), p.190 - (1770-1850) (William) "English poet. Wordsworth is known for his worship of nature, his humanitarianism, his early sympathy with democratic liberalism, and is interest in the lives, the daily pursuits, and the common speech of common people. With his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge, he was one of the early leaders of English Romanticism." (Murphy 1127)

Duke of York, killed at Agincourt, p.43 - Edward, Second Duke of York was slain in the battle with the French (1415).






Bannockburn, p.638 - See Geography.

Black Death, p.531 - the bubonic plague was introduced to Europe in 1347, and by 1400, nearly one third of the people had died of it. The population did not begin to rise again until the latter half of the sixteenth century. (Tierney and Painter 491-92)

Boer War, p.234 - "1899-1902 war between Great Britain and the joint forces of the Transvaal Republic and the Orange Free State." (Murphy 119)

Bull called Laudabiliter, p.310 - Supposedly issued by Pope Adrian IV in 1156, it reputedly gave possession of Ireland to King Henry II of England. Adrian IV, a Saxon peasant born Nicolas Breakspear, was the only Englishman ever to be crowned pope. The Bull was challenged, and subsequently refuted.

Crecy, p.56 - See Geography.

duel between Earl of Salisbury and Bishop of Salisbury under Edward III, p.536 - a duel in 1355 resulting from a quarrel over the ownership of a castle; the duel was called off when the bishop's champion was disqualified for having prohibited charms and prayers in his coat. (Lea 139)

Flodden, p.638 - See Geography.

Great Pyramid, p.369 - "The Great Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops (begun c.2680 B.C.) was designated one of the Seven Wonders of the World and is the largest pyramid ever built. A solid mass of limestone blocks covering 13 acres (5.3 hectares), it was originally 756 ft (230 m) along each side of its base and 482 ft (147 m) high. It has several passages, two large chambers in addition to one beneath the ground level, and two small air chambers for ventilation." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Mafeking Night, p.234 - "English celebration of the lifting of the siege of Mafeking, So. Africa, May 17, 1900." (

Scandinavian conquest, p.273 - Vikings began raiding Britain in the mid 800s, and had established permanent settlements by 878. This part of England was known as the Danelaw. (Peters 163)

Uther Pendragon's conquest of the Saxons, p.104 - here Uther takes the place of William of Normandy, called the Conqueror, who became King William I of England in 1066.

Wild West, p.582 - a reference to the American West during the latter half of the 19th century.






Boxing Day, p.133 - "The first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday, on which Christmas-boxes are given." (OED)

Derby Day, p.264 - "Name of an annual horse-race, founded in 1780 by the twelfth Earl of Derby, and run at the Epsom races, usually on the Wednesday before, or the second Wednesday after, Whitsunday." Derby Day is then the day on which the race is run. (OED)

Michaelmas, p.22 - September 29th, the feast of St. Michael.

Pentecost, p.266 - late spring, a feast commemorating the appearance of the Holy Ghost to the Apostles. It occurs forty days after Easter.

Whitsun, p.296 - another name for Pentecost.






alaunts, p.145 - "allans or allauntes, a large hound." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 282)

beagling, p.148 - "hare hunting when the field follows on foot." (OED)

coverts, p.133 - A covert in this context is a "place which gives shelter to wild animals or game; esp. a thicket." (OED)

croteys, p.142 - excrements.

cy sa avaunt, p.148 - "a hunting cry, forward." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 283)

fewmets, p.23 - "the droppings of the beast pursued."

fiants, p.142 - "excrements of the wild boar." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 187)

gorgeaunts, p.133 - "wild boar in his second year." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 288)

gralloch, p.260 - "The viscera of a dead deer." (OED)

grease, p.142 - "the fat of certain animals." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 288)

harborer, p.23 - To harbor - "to trace the deer to its lair." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 9)

hogsteers, p.133 - "hoggaster, wild boar is his third year, App." (Baillie-Grohman ad Baillie-Grohman 289)

huske of hares, p.143 - "a number of hares, App." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 289)

lesses, p.146 - "excrements of boars and wolves." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 290)

mark to ground, p.11 - "Hounds indicate that a fox has gone to ground by giving tongue and digging (worrying) at an earth." (

mask, p.149 - "Hunting. [T]he head-skin of any 'game'." (OED)

meet, p.134 - The hunt.

menee, p.143 - "note sounded on a horn; also the baying of a hound hunting." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 291)

M.F.H., p.43 - The Master of Fox Hounds, the person in charge of the hounds in a fox hunt. (

mort, p.9 - a horn-note signaling that the quarry is killed. (Moran 24)

os, p.142 - The dew-claws of the stag and hind. (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 292)

prise, p.152 - "A horn signal . . . in England for the hart and buck after the kill." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 293)

recheats, p.140 - a. "The act of calling together the hounds to begin or continue the chase of a stag." b. "The series of notes sounded on the horn for . . . these purposes." (OED)

sounders (of boars), p.18 - "What men call a trip of tame swine is called of wild swine a sounder, that is to say if there be passed five or six together." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 53)

suet, p.142 - "The fat of the red-deer and the fallow-deer." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 296)

swef, p.148 - "a hunting cry, meaning gently or softly." (Baillie-Grohman and Baillie-Grohman 296)

undoing, p.9 - "the flaying and butchering of the animal." (also the unmaking or breaking) (Cummins 41)

venery, p.134 - "derived in one sense from the Latin venari, 'to hunt'." (Cummins 81)

warrantable, p.23 - "Applied to a stag which is of an age to be hunted." (OED)





Indian References

In the OAKF and the BofM, White makes nine separate mentions of the Indian, referring to Native Americans. The Native American is often referred to negatively, for instance, as "base" (OAFK 28), "destructive" (OAFK 157), and "savage" (M 163). All of White's Native American references are given below, with page numbers.

base Indian, p. 28

destructive Indian, p.157

Indian Bells, p.14

Indian file, p.151

Indian file of Bewick Swans, p.175

Indians, p.582

Indian Summer, p.509

howl like an Iroquois, p.295

savage, (M), p.163






Adeste Fideles, p.138 - See Songs and Music.

Alleluia Dulce Carmen, p.424 - See Songs and Music.

Amo, amas, p.10 - first person and second person singular conjugations of the verb amare, to love.

Barbara Celarent Darii Ferioque Prioris, p.119 - One of many such medieval mnemonic devices for valid syllogisms in the field of logic. (

Cabricias arci thuram, catalamus, singulariter, nominativa, haec musa ... Bonus, Bona, Bonum ... Deus Sanctus, est-ne oratio Latinas? Etiam, oui, quare, Pourquoi? Quai substantivo et adjectivum concordat in generi, numerum et casus, p. 61 - Merlyn's magical incantation. As Brewer explains, "[f]ragments of Latin from the schoolroom mixed up with French as well as assorted bits of mumbo-jumbo are deployed in his spells." (142)

canibus nostris porkericis, p.132 - with our boar-hounds.

corpus striatum, (M), p.29 - striated body. "[E]ither of a pair of masses of nervous tissue within the brain that contain two large nuclei of gray matter separated by sheets of white matter." (

ex officio, p.535 - by service.

ferae naturae, (M), p.7 - See Animals, Mythical and Real.

fieri facias, p.510 - you should cause it to be done. "A writ of execution authorizing a sheriff to lay a claim to and seize the goods and chattels of a debtor to fulfill a judgment against the debtor." (

Future Simple of Utor, p.10 - utabor, utaberis, utabitur, utamur, utamini, utuntur

genitive plurals, p.309 - the part of speech indicating plural possession.

Hic, Haec, Hoc, p.11 - demonstrative meaning this or these: masculine, feminine, and neuter forms of the nominative singular.

Hic jacet Arthurus Rex quondam Rexque futurus, p.287 - Here lies Arthur, the once and future king.

Homo ferox/sapiens, p.629 - ferocious man and intelligent man.

Hunc, p.11 - masculine accusative singular demonstrative meaning "this, these."

impoliticus, (M), p.50 - unpolitical (homo impoliticus = unpolitical man).

jus primae noctis, p.510 - the right to the first night; or, in the Middle Ages, the lord's right to sleep with the bride of a serf on the wedding night.

lignum crucis, signum ducis, sequitur exercitus, p.435 - wood of the cross, sign of the leader, the multitude was followed.

lignum vitae, p.29 - the wood of life.

magnum opus, p.277 - great work.

neopallium, (M), p.29 - "The phylogenetically youngest portion of the pallium of the brain, which appears first among the more advanced reptiles and which among the mammals has become the largest part of the brain. Cf. NEOCORTEX." (OED)

Nunc Dimittis, p.248 - See Religion.

nuncio, p.597 - See Religion.

Pax, p.69 - peace (Pax Non = no peace).

Per Splendorum Dei, p.336 - through the splendor of God.

Pons Asinorum, p.389 - Latin, meaning "bridge of fools"; see Terms and Expressions.

pro et contra, p.510 - for and against.

questio quid juris, p.510 - I ask what (point) of the law (applies).

quod caudam in posteriori parte oblitus fuerat adaptare, p.534 - because he forgot to adjust the tail in the rear part.

Requim aeternum dona ei, Domine, p.537 - Eternal rest granted unto him, O Lord.

sic et non, p.510 - yes and no.

sinister side, p.329 - the left side; sinister, sinistra, sinistrum.

status quo, p.631 - the state in which; i.e., the existing state of things.

stultus, (M), p.48 - stupid (homo stultus = stupid man).

Summae Logicales, p.9 - highest logic.

suspendatur, p.628 - was suspended.

Timor Mortis Conturbat Me, p.82 - fear of death upsets me.

Timor Mortis Exultat Me, p.83 - fear of death exults me.

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, p.564 - See Songs and Music.





Literary References and Books

Alice in Wonderland, p.597 - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) "A whimsical story by Lewis Carroll. The little girl Alice falls down a well into a strange country where everything happens with fantastical illogicality." (Murphy 26)

Ars Magna of the magician Lully, p.424 - The system of logic devised by Ramon Lull (ca. 1232-1316) - a philosopher, theologian, and university professor - that was intended to display the validity of Christian doctrine and the falsity of Islam. (Strayer vol. 7, 685-87)

Bestiary by Physiologus, (M), p.28 - "The numerous manuscripts of medieval bestiaries ultimately are derived from the Greek Physiologus, a text complied by an unknown author before the middle of the 2nd century AD." (

Brut, (M), p.5 - (c1205) "A Middle English verse rendition by the English priest Layamon (fl.1198-1207) of Wace's Norman French Roman De Brut. A mixture of alliteration and rhyme, it is the first long poem in Middle English with any claim to literary quality, marking the first appearance of the story of King Arthur in English." (Murphy 143)

Comic History of England, (M), p.28 - Humorous retelling of English history by Gilbert A. A'Beckett (1811-1856).

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, (M), p.39 - (1889) "A novel by Mark Twain. A blow on the head conveys the superintendent of a Hartford arms factory back to the days of King Arthur. As the Yankee's ingenuity and know-how encounter the world of medieval superstition, Twain takes the opportunity to satirize the Old World, Chivalry, kings, and the church." (Murphy 223)

Cressida, p.611 - "The beloved of Troilus in Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde. Criseyde is more complicated than her prototype in Boccaccio's Il Filostrato; although a practical opportunist, she is genuinely affectionate, not the heartlessly fickle girl she becomes in Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida." (Murphy 238)

Essays on the Evolution of Man, (M), p.28 - See "Elliott-Smith" in Historical and Legendary Persons.

Four Masters, (M), p.28 - The Annals of the Four Masters is a history of the world, compiled in Ireland between 1632 and 1636. (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

the Galeotto one which Dante mentions, p.604 - "The Italian name of Gallehault, one of the forms of Galahad, which has attached to itself quite a divergent meaning. Its modern connotations come from a passage in Dante's Inferno telling how Paolo and Francesca read of a guilty kiss between Launcelot and Guinevere and yielded to the suggestion. Gallehault was the knight who had brought Launcelot and the queen together, and he performed the same office for Paolo and Francesca. Hence, though far from the character of Galahad, Galeotto has become a term for a panderer in Italy and Spain." (Murphy 380)

Gulliver, (M), p.113 - Protagonist of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Gulliver journeys to four different lands, Lilliput, Brobdingnag, Laputa, and Houyhnhmland. "Swift's bitterest work, Gulliver's Travels satirizes man's abuse of human reason as reflected in his political, social, and academic institutions; at best, man is foolish; at worst, he is nothing more than an ape." (Murphy 435)

The High History of the Holy Grail, (M), p.190 - I.e., The High History of the Holy Graal, or Perlesvaus. Translated from Old French by Sebastian Evans.

Jeu d'Echecs Moralise, p.424 - French version of the Liber de ludo scacchorum, by Jacobus de Cessolis, a treatise on chess. (

Jocasta, p. 611 - Mother and later wife of Oedipus, she committed suicide upon learning the truth about her long-lost son.

Jorrocks, p.296 - Created by Robert Smith Surtees (1803-1864), "one of the great comic characters of English literature, a Cockney grocer who is as blunt as John Bull and entirely given over to fox hunting." (

Anna Karenina, p.388 - The heroine of a novel by the same name by Leo Tolstoy, "Anna meets and falls in love wit Aleksei Vronski, a handsome young officer. She abandons her child and husband in order to be with Vronski. When she thinks Vronski has tired of her, she kills herself by leaping under a train." (Murphy 38-39)

Kim, p.459 - (1901) "A novel of Indian life by Rudyard Kipling. The hero, Kimball O'Hara, in an Irish orphan raised as an Indian in Lahore. The book abounds in brilliant descriptions of Indian scenes and deeply sympathetic portraits of her people." (Murphy 557)

Lamb's letter to Southey, (M), p.46 - Charles Lamb and Robert Southey were contemporaries of Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Legenda Aurea, p.424 - (The Golden Legend) "Hagiographic collection of Jacobus de Voragine in the 13th century." (

Libellus Merlini, (M), p.170 - "White is referring to Seven Strange Prophesies...some whereof are accomplished in this year 1643 by an unknown author." (Brewer 148)

Lutterell Psalter, p.535 - A 14th-century manuscript with famous marginal scenes depicting medieval work and play.

Mac and the Shepherds, p.310 - a reference to a medieval mystery play known as The Second Shepherds' Play (by the "Wakefield Master"), or some version of it. Mac is the main character of The Second Shepherds' Play.

Mandeville, p.635 - Sir John Mandeville of St. Albans, narrator of The Travels of Sir John Mandeville, a fictional account of the title character's wondrous adventures in the East, written in French in the late fourteenth century. (Strayer vol. 8, 81-82)

motion play, p.310 - i.e., a puppet show.

Naussica, p.406 - In Homer's Odyssey, the daughter of Alcinous, king of the Phaecians. Naussica conducts Odysseus to the court of her father when he is shipwrecked on the coast." (Murphy 721)

Pre-Raphaelites, p.320 - "A group of artists and poets formed in London in 1848. . . their endorsement of the detailed and idealized depiction of nature in early Italian painting led them to adopt the title of Pre-Raphaelites, and to stress their rejection of academicism, which they traced to Raphael and the High Renaissance." (Murphy 827)

pricking...o'er the plain, p.61 - an allusion to the first appearance of the Redcrosse Knight in Book One of Edmund Spenser's Faerie Queene.

Quasimodo, p.368 - In the Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo, "a deformed bellringer, whose devotion saves Esmerelda for a time when she seeks protection from the mob in the belfry of the cathedral." (Murphy 493)

Don Quixote, (M), p.189 - The hero of Miguel Cervantes's novel of the same name, he is "a gaunt country gentleman, kindly and dignified. . . his mind is so crazed by reading romances of chivalry that he believed himself called upon to redress the wrongs of the whole world." (Murphy 283)

Roland, (M), p.164 - "The most famous of Charlemagne's paladins in medieval romances. Roland's story grew up around the name of Hruotland of Brittany, historical leader of Charlemagne's rear guard in the defeat at Roncevalles. Tradition makes Roland the nephew of Charlemagne. He is the most perfect type of the devotedly loyal and courageous knight who sacrifices himself in service to his king." (Murphy 880-81)

Said he was a wolf, only the difference was a wolf's skin on the outside, p.83 - Paraphrasing a speech on lycanthropy in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, V.ii.

Sancho Panza, (M), p.51 - "The squire of Don Quixote in Cervantes's novel. Panza is a short pot-bellied rustic, full of common sense, but without a grain of 'spirituality.' He is famous for his proverbs; Panza, in Spanish, means paunch." (Murphy 775)

Saxon Chronicle, (M), p.28 - "Chronological account of events in Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, a composition of seven surviving interrelated manuscript records that is the primary source for the history of England." (

Senses of Insects, (M), p.28 - See "Eltringham" in Historical and Legendary Persons.

she gathered her rose-buds while she might, p.472 - Robert Herrick, "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time."

Sinbad, (M), p.97 - "A well-known story in the Arabian Nights. Sinbad is a Baghdad merchant who acquires great wealth by going on seven voyages. He describes these to a poor discontented porter, Hindbad, to show him that wealth can only be obtained by enterprise and personal exertion." (Murphy 950)

Speculum Majus, p.424 - By Vincent of Beauvais (1190-1264). "French scholar and encyclopaedist whose Speculum Majus was probably the greatest European encyclopaedia up to the 18th century." (

Thebaiad, (M), p.98 - an epic, in the style of Virgil, by the Roman poet Statius. It deals with the Greek legend of the "Seven against Thebes." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Vertebrate Zoology, (M), p.28 - See "de Beer" in Historical and Legendary Persons.

The Vision of Mac Conglinne, p.110 - Aislinge Meic Con Glinne, "An Irish anti-clerical satire composed in the 12th century." (MacKillop 10)

Vulgar Errors, (M), p.28 - Common name for the Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646), a treatise by Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682). (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

War and Peace, (M), p.28 - (1864-1869) "A novel by Count Leo Tolstoy. Regarded as the author's masterwork, the story covers roughly the years between 1805 and 1820, centering on the invasion of Russia by Napoleon's army in 1812 and the Russian resistance to the invader." (Murphy 1094)

Wol, p. 36 - In A.A. Milne's children's book Winnie-the-Pooh, one of the characters, Owl, misspells his name this way.

Zeus, (M), p.28 - Zeus: A Study in Ancient Religion (1914), by Arthur Bernard Cook, explores the themes and motifs pertaining to the Greek god Zeus.






With the exception of the Times, the following newspapers are invented by White for the purpose of his work:

Humberland Newsman

Cardoile Advertiser

Morning Post

Illustrated Missals

The Times - "daily newspaper published in London, one of Britain's oldest and most influential newspapers. It is generally accounted, with The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, one of Britain's "big three" and has long been recognized as one of the world's greatest newspapers." (






alb, p.598 - "A tunic of white cloth, reaching to the feet, and enveloping the person; worn by priests in religious ceremonies." (OED)

Cain and Abel, p.231 - Gen. 4: 8 - The sons of Adam and Eve. Cain slew Abel after God preferred Abel's sacrifice over Cain's.

cencers, p.582 - "a vessel in which incense is burnt." (OED)

Cistercian, p.535 - "member of a Roman Catholic monastic order that was founded in 1098 and named after the original establishment at Cîteaux (Latin: Cistercium), a locality in Burgundy, near Dijon. The order's founding fathers, led by St. Robert of Molesme, were a group of Benedictine monks from the abbey of Molesme who were dissatisfied with the relaxed observance of their abbey and desired to live a solitary life under the guidance of the strictest interpretation of the Rule of St. Benedict." (

compline, p.108 - "In Catholic ritual, the last service of the day, completing the services of the canonical hours." (OED)

copes, p.309 - "a vestment resembling a long cloak made of a semicircular piece of cloth, worn by ecclesiastics in processions." (OED)

crosier, p.582 - a bishop's staff or crook. (OED)

David and Bathsheba, p. 552 - See Uriah.

Delilah, p.611 - "A Philistine woman in the Old Testament who was mistress of Samson and betrayed him. When she discovered that Samson's strength lay in his hair, she allowed it to be shaved off so that he could be captured by the Philistines (Judg. 16) Her name has come to be associated with any fascinating and deceitful woman." (Murphy 262)

Elijah and the rabbi Jachanan, p. 88-89 - "In this tale, Elijah the prophet, traveling with Rabbi Jochanan, was treated kindly by a poor man whose cow subsequently died and abused by a rich man whose wall he mended. The prophet explained to the perplexed Rabbi that the mended wall concealed a treasure and that the poor man's son, not his cow, was originally destined to die." (Kellman 108)

Franciscan, p.309 - "Any member of a Christian religious order founded in the early 13th century by St. Francis of Assisi." (

heresies of tonsure and Easter, p.240 - Celtic Rite Christianity of the early Middle Ages calculated the date for Easter differently from the orthodox Roman method, and also employed a different style of tonsure for monks. (

Holy Shroud, p.435 - "Called the Shroud of Turin, a length of linen that for centuries was purported to be the burial garment of Jesus Christ; it has been preserved since 1578 in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in Turin, Italy." (

Jacob's struggle with the angel, p.17 - Genesis 32: 22-33. Jacob wrestled all night with an angel, refusing to let him go until he had been blessed. To reward him for his strength, the angel renamed Jacob Israel.

malediction, p.536 - "the condition of being reviled or slandered." (OED)

mitres, p.309 - "A bishop's tall cap, deeply cleft at the top, the outline of the front and back having the shape of a pointed arch." (OED)

Nunc Dimittis, p.248 - "the Song of Simeon in the New Testament, a brief hymn of praise sung by the aged Simeon, who had been promised by the Holy Spirit that he would not die until he had seen the Messiah." (

nuncio, p.309 - "A Vatican representative accredited as an ambassador to a civil government that maintains official diplomatic relations with the Holy See. He promotes good relations between the government and the Holy See and observes and reports to the pope on the conditions of the Roman Catholic church in the region. A full nuncio is named only to those countries that adhere to a decision of the Congress of Vienna (1815) that the papal representative automatically becomes dean of the diplomatic corps there." (

Odour of Sanctity, (M), p.187 - In Christian legend, the pleasant odor associated with the body of a deceased saint.

Patrick's Purgatory, p.461 - "This celebrated sanctuary in Donegal, in the Diocese of Clogher, dates from the days of St. Patrick, but it is also known as the Lough Derg pilgrimage." (

Peace of God, p.631 - See "Truce of God." "An assembly of bishops pronounced a solemn condemnation, over relics, of anyone who attacked a cleric or robbed the poor." (Peters 198). Over time, this list grew longer and longer, and came to include women and children.

Pelagian heresy of Celestius, p.237 - "a 5th-century Christian heresy taught by Pelagius and his followers that stressed the essential goodness of human nature and the freedom of the human will. Pelagius was concerned about the slack moral standards among Christians, and he hoped to improve their conduct by his teachings. Rejecting the arguments of those who claimed that they sinned because of human weakness, he insisted that God made human beings free to choose between good and evil and that sin is a voluntary act committed by a person against God's law. Celestius, a disciple of Pelagius, denied the church's doctrine of original sin and the necessity of infant Baptism." (

scriptoria of the abbeys, p.509 - the room in an abbey reserved for the copying of manuscripts. (OED)

Susannah and the Elders, p.552 - "The Story of Susanna, one of the books of the Old Testament Apocrypha, tells how Susanna was accused of adultery by certain Jewish elders who had unsuccessfully attempted her chastity, how her innocence was proved by Daniel, and the Elders put to death." (Murphy 997)

tonsure, p.535 - "the part of the priest's or monk's head left bare by shaving the hair." (OED)

Truce of God, p.539 - This decree from the Council of Charroux in the late 10th century, regulated the times during which one was allowed to kill. "At first the periods of Easter, Lent, and Advent and later the period every week from sundown Wednesday to sunrise Monday were declared to be free of violence." (Peters 198)

True Cross, p.435 - "Christian relic, reputedly the wood of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Legend relates that the True Cross was found by St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land about 326." (

Uriah, p.573-74 - Bathsheba's husband- 2nd Samuel 11: 1-27 - King David saw Bathsheeba, and desired her, and so he slept with her, and then sent her husband, Uriah to the front lines of the battle, where he was killed. After Uriah's death, David married Bathsheeba.

vespers, p.41 - "The sixth of the canonical hours of the breviary, said or sung towards evening." (OED)





Shakespearean References

Ah, for quietus, with a bare bodkin, p.83 - Paraphrasing from Hamlet's famous "To be or not to be" soliloquoy in Hamlet III.i.

Antony, p.611 - (c83-30 BC) Hero of Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra. Marc Antony (Marcus Antonius) was a Roman politician and soldier whose affair with the Egyptian ruler Cleopatra inspired Shakespeare's tragedy. (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

Cressida, p.611 - See Literary References and Books.

Desdemona, p.611 - "The innocent, artless and lovely heroine of Shakespeare's Othello. Desdemona is the daughter of Brabantio." (Murphy 267)

Gertrude, p.611 - In Shakespeare's Hamlet, she is the mother of Hamlet and the wife of Hamlet's father, and later, his uncle, Claudius. Her faithlessness to Hamlet's father precipitates Hamlet's drive for revenge. She dies upon drinking a goblet of poison meant for Hamlet.

Is this a damned dagger..., p. 78 - Throughout this scene, Cully takes lines from MacBeth. Most prominently, Lady MacBeth's "Out, damned spot! out, I say!", V.i., and MacBeth's famous question, "Is this a dagger I see before me?" II.i.

Jessica, p.611 - "The daughter of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Jessica chooses a Christian husband and her consequent rejection of her Jewish father and faith place her in contrast to Portia, who is subservient to the wishes of her now-dead father." (

Juliet, p.611 - Heroine of Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Her plan to fake her death backfires when the messenger that is supposed to inform Romeo of the plot does not reach him in time. Romeo, finding what he assumes to be Juliet's corpse, kills himself. Upon awakening from her drug-induced sleep, Juliet, seeing the body of her lover, kills herself.

the kind of arras trap which tempted Hamlet's rapier to prick about for rats, p.573 - Hamlet III.iv.

King Henry V, (M), p.164 - One of Shakespeare's history plays, it continues the story of Prince Hal from the Henry IV plays; Hal is now King Harry, and he wages war against the French. The play contains a dramatization of the famous Battle of Agincourt (1415).

Mordred as Hamlet, Gawaine and the grave-digger, p.593 - Hamlet V.i.

Ophelia, p.611 - "In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the young and innocent daughter of Polonius and sister of Laertes. Dutifully, Ophelia obeys Polonius's request that she spurn Hamlet's advances and later permits her father to spy on her and Hamlet. After the death of Polonius, she loses her mind." (Murphy 758)

Swan of Avon, (M), p.165 - i.e., Shakespeare.

Tray, Blanche and Sweetheart, p.263 - King Lear,

Under the greenwood tree, etc., p.98 - As You Like It, II.iv.





Songs and Music

Adeste Fideles, p.138 - Latin for "O Come All Ye Faithful"; traditional Christmas song.

Alleluia Dulce Carmen, p.424 - Latin for "Alleluia, Song of Gladness"; anonymous eleventh-century hymn.

Aulde Lang Syne, p.310 - traditional Scottish song, first written by Robert Burns (1759-1796).

descanting, p.158 - "The soprano or highest part of the score in part-singing; A melodious strain." (OED)

Greensleeves, p.264 - traditional folk melody.

Home Sweet Home, p.185 - by John Howard Payne (1791-1852), an American actor, writing, and producer.

hurdy-gurdy, p.264 - "A lute-like instrument, having strings (two or more of which are tuned as drones); the strings are sounded by the revolution of a rosined wheel turned by the left hand, the notes obtained by the action of keys which stop the strings." (OED)

I Sing of a Maiden, p.138 - anonymous fifteenth-century Christmas poem.

Londonderry Air, (M), p.190 - traditional Irish song found in many incarnations, one of which is the tune for "Danny Boy."

Morfa-Rhuddlan, p.529 - "The Marsh or Rhuddlan," a Welsh folksong.

The Old Rustic Bridge by the Mill, p.185 - Irish folk song by T. P. Keenan, referring to a bridge in County Cork.

Poteen, Good Luck to Ye, Dear, p.240 - Drinking song by Charles Lever; the lyrics can be found in Barnard, p.394.

regal, p.476 - "A small portable organ, having one, or sometimes two, sets of reed-pipes played with keys by the right hand, while a small bellows was worked by the left hand." (OED)

Veni, Sancte Spiritus, p.564 - Latin for "Come, Holy Spirit"; this is the "Golden Sequence" for Pentecost, sung at Mass from Whitsunday until the following Saturday. (

vielle, p.264 - "A musical instrument with four strings played by means of a small wheel; a hurdy-gurdy." (OED)

you take the high road and I'll take the low road, p.153 - from "Loch Lomond."

zithers, p.425 - "An Austrian musical instrument having thirty to forty strings let into the lower rim of a shallow resonance-box, and played by striking with the fingers and thumb." (OED)





Sword and Spear Fighting

buckler, p.321 - a small shield.

Doublez! Dedoublez! Degagez! Un! Deux!, p.324 - See French.

Excalibur, p.221 - See Arms and Armor.

falchion, p.150 - See Arms and Armor.

fewtered their spears, p.65 - To fewter the spear was to lower it for the attack.

foin, p.321 - To thrust with the point. (OED)

foining, p.318 - Thrusting with the point.

Joyeux, p.336 - See Arms and Armor.

pel-quintain, p.321 - "A stout post or plank, or some object mounted on such a support, set up as a mark to be tilted at with lances or poles, or thrown at with darts, as an exercise of skill for horsemen or footmen." (OED)

point and edge rebated, p.321 - A rebated point and edge were reduced to decrease the likelihood of injury in a practice match.

trace, p.324 - "In phr. trace and traverse, trace and rase, in reference to combatants: sense uncertain: cf. RACE v.3, RASE v.1, and TRAVERSE v. Obs. (OED)

rase, p.324 - To slash. (OED)





Terms and Expressions

2pieR, p.265 - Mathematical equation for figuring out the circumference of a circle.

4s. 6d., p.510 - Four shillings, six pence (pre-1971 British currency had the pound divided into 20 shillings, with 12 pence to the shilling).

adipose in his fins, p.49 - "of or pertaining to adeps, or animal fat; fatty." (OED)

agley, p.504 - "Asquint, askew, awry." (OED)

aircraft, p.534 - "Early attempts were made to build flying machines according to the principle of bird flight, but these failed; it was not until the beginning of the 20th cent. that flight in heavier-than-air craft was achieved. On Dec. 17, 1903, Americans Orville and Wilbur Wright produced the first manned, power-driven, heavier-than-air flying machine near Kitty Hawk, N.C." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

airt, p.172 - "A quarter of the compass; a direction." (OED)

alpenstock, p.536 - "A long staff, pointed with iron, used in climbing." (OED)

amadan, p.257 - "A fool: as an Irish term of abuse." (OED)

anthropos, (M), p.53 - Greek noun meaning "man; a human being."

appanage, p.271 - "A specially appointed, or natural accompaniment, endowment, or attribute." (OED)

atrabilious, p.332 - "affected by black bile. . . melancholy, splenetic." (OED)

bairns, p.237 - Scottish word meaning a child, or a son or daughter.

batteries, (M), p.18 - Batteries were first constructed around 1800 by Alessandro Volta.

bedizening, p.473 - "Dressed up with vulgar finery." (OED)

Bedlam, p.402 - "The Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem, used since 1547 as an asylum for the insane." (OED)

being shaved when crossing the line, p.9 - Ship crews held many sorts of initiation rituals when the equator or the longitude of 180 degrees was crossed; those crew members who had never crossed those lines were initiated. The practice dates back to ancient times. This particular reference is from a ritual in which neophytes had their heads shaved when crossing the equator. (Fritze 84-85)

blue fire on the tips of one's fingers, p.138 - "A game (usually played at Christmas) in which the players try to snatch raisins out of a bowl or dish of burning brandy or other spirit and to eat them while alight; a bowl or quantity of liquor, etc. used in this game." (OED)

a blue-stocking, p.170 - "Having or affecting literary tastes." (OED)

Bolshevist, p.355 - Having the qualities of "a member of that part of the Russian Social-Democratic Party which took Lenin's side in the split that followed the second congress of the party in 1903, seized power in the 'October' Revolution of 1917, and was subsequently renamed the (Russian) Communist Party." (OED)

brehons, p.238 - "An ancient Irish judge." (OED) More generally, any authority figure.

Bridge of Sighs, p.588 - "covered stone bridge in Venice, Italy, built in the 16th cent. to connect the ducal palace with the state prison. The prisoners were led over the bridge directly to prison after trial in the ducal palace." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

bruckle, p.82 - "Liable to break; fragile, brittle." (OED)

bull-roarer, (M), p.29 - "A flat slip of wood fastened by one end to a thong for whirling it around." (OED)

bunsen burners, p.31 - "1879, a gas-burner, in which air is burnt with gas." (OED)

cabalistic signs, p.29 - having to do with intrigue, with sinister connotations.

carbuncle, p.76 - "an inflammatory, circumscribed, malignant tumor, caused by inflammation of the skin and cellular membrane. Also a red spot or pimple on the nose or face caused by drinking." (OED)

catamite, p.438 - "A boy kept for unnatural purposes." (OED)

chipping the referee, p.175 - Chipping, from chip, "to aim a blow at, peck at, hit at, pick a quarrel with; also, to poke fun at." (OED)

chi-ro page, p.424 - Two Greek letters symbolizing Christ, they often appeared in a very ornate fashion on the opening page of a manuscript.

chirurgeon, p.117 - a medieval barber/surgeon.

Christmas cracker, p.167 - The "cracker" is a traditional English Christmas gift: "A bon-bon, or small parcel of sweets, etc., containing a fulminant, which explodes when pulled sharply at both ends." (OED)

cigarette cards, p.31 - "a picture card inserted by the makers in a packet or box of cigarettes." (OED)

cinema, p.534 - "In 1889 Thomas Edison and his staff developed the kinetograph, a camera using rolls of coated celluloid film, and the Kinetoscope, a device for peep-show viewing using photographs that flipped in sequence." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

cloisonne, p.31 - "Divided into compartments: applied to enamels. Also= cloisonne enamel." (OED)

cloudberry time, p.171 - the end of July to the beginning of August; the time when cloudberries are ripe for picking in Finland. (

coal-scuttle, p.63 - "A coal scoop." (OED)

colleen, p.238 - Irish for damsel, girl.

concentration camp, p.351 - "a camp where non-combatants of a district are accommodated...esp. as organized by the Nazi regime in Germany before and during the war of 1939-45." (OED)

confabulation, p.146 - "familiar talk; a chat."(OED)

congeries, p.539 - "A collection of things merely heaped together." (OED)

corpus striatum, (M), p.29 - See Latin.

corrosive sublimate, p.125 - "mercuric chloride, a white crystalline powder, which acts as a violent poison."(OED)

countervair, p.471 - "A variety of vair (one of the "furs"), in which the bells or cups of the same tincture are placed base to base." (OED)

cousin german, p.359 - first cousin.

currachs, p.241 - "A boat made of wickerwork covered with hides; a coracle." (OED)

Cymry, (M), p.189 - the Welsh word for the Welsh people.

daub, p.12 - "A patch or smear of some moist substance." (OED)

D.N.B., (M), p.28 - The Dictionary of National Biography.

dovecote, p.328 - "A house for doves or pigeons; usually placed at a height above the ground, with openings, and internal provision for roosting and breeding." (OED)

drouthy antipodes, p.192 - dry regions of the earth that are opposite, geographically, from one another.

D.S.O., (M), p.168 - The Distinguished Service Order. "British military decoration awarded to officers who have performed meritorious or distinguished service in war." (

eight knots, p.71 - eight nautical miles per hour. The knot is defined as: "A piece of knotted string fastened to the log-line, one of a series fixed at such intervals that the number of them that run out while the sandglass is running indicates the ship's speed in nautical miles per hour; hence, each division so marked on the log-line, as a measure of the rate of motion." (OED)

electric light, p.28 - patented in 1883 by Thomas Edison.

elevenses, p.397 - "light refreshment (as a snack) taken in the middle of the morning." (

Encyclopaedia Britannica, p.31 - "The oldest and largest English-language encyclopaedia. The Encyclopaedia Britannica has been published since 1768, when its first edition began to appear in Edinburgh, Scotland." (

equerry, p.301 - "An officer charged with the care of the horses of a royal or exalted personage." (OED)

Eton, p.10 - an English public school founded by Henry VI.

everything was at sixes and sevens, p.244 - "In a state of confusion or disorder." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

Exchequer and the King's Bench, p.552 - The Court of the Exchequer, in post-Conquest England, was the agency responsible for collecting the king's revenues and for exercising jurisdiction in cases affecting the revenue. The King's Bench (so named under male rulers) adjudicated criminal and civil cases. (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

ex officio, p.535 - See Latin.

Fairies - Known interchangeably as the Good Folk (p.102), a Little Person (p.102), the People of Peace (p.103), or the shee (p.237). White blends several different superstitions about fairies, including their aversion to iron (p.105), and the danger of eating in the fairy stronghold (p.105).

fforbeshynge, p.320 - Middle English for "furbishing." (

fieri facias, p.510 - See Latin.

Fifth Columnists, p.244 - a term for any "group of secret sympathizers or supporters of an enemy that engage in espionage or sabotage within defense lines or national borders." (

flapper, p.278 - "a young girl in her late teens, orig. one with her hair down in a pigtail; a young woman, esp. with an implication of flightiness or lack of decorum" (OED) - associated with "Roaring Twenties" of America.

Fomorians, p.229 - Villainous mythological inhabitants of Ireland who were defeated by the Tuatha De Danaan, the legendary race that preceded mankind's arrival in Ireland.

Fortnum and Mason's, (M), p.29 - the famous British gourmet food store.

Fox-and-Geese, p.591 - traditional northern European board game; the person playing the fox attempts to capture geese, while the person playing the geese attempt to encircle the fox.

frumenty, p.180 - "A dish made of hulled wheat boiled in milk, and seasoned with cinnamon, sugar, etc." (OED)

Fylfot, p.520 - "A name for the figure called also a cross cramponnee, and identified with the Swastike of India." (OED)

gad, p.12 - "To go from one place to another, to wander about." (OED)

gallow-glasses, p.220 - from gallowglass: "a mercenary or retainer of an Irish chief" or "an armed Irish foot soldier." (

gelid, p.587 - "Extremely cold, ice-cold, frosty." (OED)

genitive plurals, p.309 - See Latin.

gleemen, p.264 - Archaic. "A professional entertainer at social gatherings; esp. a singer, musician, or minstrel." (OED)

globe, p.31 - A modern misconception that premodern Europeans believed the earth was flat until the voyage of Christopher Columbus, 1492.

good handicap man, p. 63 - an anachronistic suggestion that Sir Grummore Grummursum has a "handicap" for jousting, as if jousting were a modern sport like golf.

Grand National, p.422 - "British horse race held annually over the Aintree course, Liverpool, in late March or early April. The race was instituted in 1839 by William Lynn." (

green fee, p.345 - entry fee required to use a golf course.

guy-ropes, p.588 - "A rope, cord, or cable used to steady, guide, or secure something." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

handicap, p.63 - "an advantage given or disadvantage imposed usually in the form of points, strokes, weight to be carried, or distance from the target or goal." (

Homo ferox/sapiens, p.629 - See Latin.

Hoodman Blind, p.138 - blindman's bluff, "a game in which one player is blindfolded, and tries to catch and identify any of the others, who, on their part, push him about." (OED)

hummocks, p.54 - "a low hillock or a knoll." (OED)

hundredweight, p.152 - "an avoirdupois weight equal to 112 pounds." (OED)

hypnotism, p.39 - "The process of. . .artificially producing a state in which the subject appears to be in a deep sleep, without any power of changing his mental or physical condition, except under the influence of some external suggestion or direction." (OED)

impoliticus, (M), p.50 - See Latin.

joculators, p.264 - "A professional jester, minstrel, or jongleur." (OED)

joiner, p.532 - "A craftsman who constructs things by joining pieces of wood; a worker in wood who does lighter and more ornamental work than that of a carpenter." (OED)

jus primae noctis, p.510 - See Latin.

kerns, p.223 - "A light-armed Irish foot-soldier; one of the poorer class among the "wild Irish." (Sometimes applied to Scottish Highlanders.) (OED)

leaven, p.478 - "a substance (as yeast) used to produce fermentation in dough or a liquid." (

leu'd, p.297 - probably contracted from "levied."

levee, p.504 - "A reception of visitors on rising from bed." (OED)

limners, p.510 - "An illuminator of manuscripts." (OED)

lollards and communists, p.196 - Lollardy - a 14th-century group of heretics who advocated clerical poverty and a simplification of the Church. Led in England by John Wycliff. Communism - first gained widespread attention through the "Communist Manifesto" of 1847 by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

lucubrations, (M), p.56 - "A literary work showing signs of careful elaboration." (OED)

magnum opus, p.277 - See Latin.

maharajah sahib, p.267 - Indian title of royalty.

Master of Trinity, p.39 - The head of Trinity College, Cambridge.

Mastic varnish, p.31 - "a substance being used as a chewing-gum in the East." (OED)

meerschaum pipe, p.34 - "A tobacco pipe with a meerschaum bowl." Meerschaum is defined as: "A popular synonym of sepiolite, a hydrous silicate of magnesium occurring in soft white clay-like masses." (OED)

miasma, p.243 - "Infectious or noxious exhalations from putrescent organic matter; poisonous germs floating in the atmosphere; noxious emanations, esp. malaria." (OED)

mickle, p.260 - much (archaic).

miniver, p.397 - "A kind of fur used as a lining and trimming in ceremonial costume." (OED)

mollocking, p.24 - from mollock, "To cavort, esp. to engage in sexual intercourse." (OED)

mopseys, p.73 - from "mopsy." "Used as a term of endearment; a pretty child; a darling, a sweetheart." (OED)

morris dances, p.138 - perhaps a corruption of ‘Moorish’ dances. (OED) In England, dating back at least to the later Middle Ages, morris dances were performed by rural communities during festival times.

muscovite, p.538 - "Of or pertaining to Muscovy, or its inhabitants." (OED)

necromancer, p.102 - one who practices necromancy: "conjuration of the spirits of the dead for purposes of magically revealing the future or influencing the course of events." (

Nelson Sideboard, p.324 - A kind of table, named for Admiral Lord Nelson, that can be expanded in length to accommodate large numbers of people.

neopallium, (M), p.29 - See Latin.

nigromant, p.76 - See "necromancer."

nine-pin alley, p.497 - the alley of a bowling-like game that dates to the 16th century.

obstetrics, p.238 - "The branch of medical practice which deals with parturition, and it antecedents and sequels; the practice of midwivery." (OED)

Odour of Sanctity, (M), p.187 - See Religion.

ogham, p.273 - "An alphabet of twenty characters used by the ancient British and Irish; the system of writing, or an inscription written, in such characters." (OED)

an old tilting blue, p.56 - a titling (i.e., jousting) ‘blue’ would be a man who represented his university in jousting matches against other schools.

oneirocriticism, (M), p.12 - "The art of interpreting dreams." (OED)

Order of the Garter, p.316 - "English order of Knighthood founded by King Edward III in 1348. Considered to be the highest British civil and military honor obtainable." (

Organon, p.9 - "A set of principles for use in scientific or philosophical investigation." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

outrance, p.481 - "A degree which goes beyond bounds or beyond measure." (OED)

passive resistance, p.448 - term given to the opposition to the British by the Indians during the 19th century.

paynim, p.242 - "A pagan, a heathen; a non-Christian; esp. a Moslem, a Saracen." (OED)

Phillip Sparrow, p.117 - "a former name for a sparrow; contracted to Phip." (OED)

pickets, p.97 - "A party of sentinels; an outlying post." (OED)

pight, p.215 - archaic form of the word "pitch."

pillory, p.538 - "A wooden framework erected on a post or pillar, having holes through which the head and hands of an offender were thrust, in which state he was exposed to public ridicule and molestation." (OED)

pinion, p.166 - "The distal or terminal part of a bird's wing." (OED)

piseog, p.306 - from Irish Gaelic: "1. Black magic; sorcery. 2. An evil spell; an incantation." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

plaids, p.213 - See Clothing.

Pons Asinorum, p.389 - Latin, meaning "bridge of fools": "nickname of the Fifth Proposition in the Elements of Euclid, due to its difficulty." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

portative, p.540 - "Portable; spec. applied to a kind of organ." (OED)

pro et contra, p.510 - See Latin.

probity, p.59 - "Moral excellence, integrity, rectitude, uprightness; conscientiousness, honesty, sincerity." (OED)

p's and q's, p.77, - pints and quarts, admonition not to drink too much.

Puce, p.269 - "Of a flea color; purple brown or brownish purple." (OED)

Punch and Judy, p.204 - "The hero and heroine of countless English puppet shows. In the traditional story, Punch, in a fit of rage, kills his infant child and bludgeons Judy, his wife, to death; although imprisoned, he manages to escape. Later he encounters and outwits several other characters, including the Devil." (Murphy, 841)

purlieus, p.51 - "a place where one has the right to range at large; a haunt; one's bounds, limits, beat." (OED)

purse-nets, p.31 - "a bag-shaped net, the mouth of which can be drawn together with cords." (OED)

Quaker, p.156 - a member of the religious society founder by George Fox 1648-50.

Quelques Fleurs, (M), p.59 - See French.

quiddities, (M), p.171 - "A capacious nicety in argument; a quirk, quibble." (OED)

quietus, p.83 - "Discharge or release from life; death, or that which brings death." (OED)

quinine, p.207 - "An alkaloid found in the bark of species of cinchona and remigia, and used as a febrifuge, tonic, and antiperiodic, chiefly in the form of the salt, sulphate of quinine, which is popularly termed quinine." (OED)

rabbit wires, p.31 - snares.

raffish, p.294 - "disreputable, low." (OED)

red propaganda, p.197 - refers to Soviet-era communist propaganda.

reticulations, (M), p.161 - "A network; an arrangement of lines, etc." (OED)

retorts, p.31 - "A vessel usu. made of glass, and provided with a long neck, bent downwards, in which liquids, etc., subjected to distillation are heated." (OED)

ricks, p.525 - piles of hay. (OED)

rod-box ditto, p.31 - i.e., a box for fishing rods that, like the weapons mentioned in the clause just beforehand, would not be invented for many centuries.

rusks, p.33 - "A piece of bread hardened or browned by re-firing and sometimes sweetened." (OED)

salmon flies, p.31 - "an artificial fly, i.e. a fish-hook dressed to resemble some insect." (OED)

samite, p.242 - "A rich silk fabric work in the Middle Ages, sometimes interwoven with gold." (OED)

sanguine, p.471 - "Having the mental attributes characteristic of the sanguine complexion; hopeful, confident." (OED)

Saracen, p.58 - "A non-Christian; a heathen or pagan; an infidel." (OED)

Sassenach, p.243 - "The name given by the Gaelic inhabitants of Great Britain and Ireland to their 'Saxon' or English neighbors." (OED)

satsuma china, p.31 - "A kind of cream-coloured Japanese pottery." (OED)

sciatica, p.178 - "A disease characterized by pain in the great sciatic nerve and its branches." (OED)

scombre, p.43 - scumber. "intr. Of a dog or fox: To evacuate the fæces." (OED)

scutage, p.244 - "A tax levied on knight's fees: chiefly, such a tax paid in lieu of military service." (OED)

sealing of the gages with signets, p.506 - a signet is a ring with a design on it, identifying a seal made with it as belonging to a particular person. A seal was made dripping sealing wax on a folded letter, and then impressing the ring into the hot wax.

sendal, p.347 - "A thin rich silken material." (OED)

seneschal, p.206 - "An official in the household of a sovereign or great noble, to whom the administration of justice and entire control of domesti arrangements were entrusted." (OED)

sepals, p.390 - "Each of the divisions of the calyx of a flower." (OED)

sett, p.188 - "The earth or barrow of a badger." (OED)

settee, p.604 - "A seat for holding two or more persons, with a back and arms." (OED)

shebeen, p.295 - "Chiefly in Ireland and Scotland: a shop or house where excisable liquors are sold without a license; any low wayside public-house." (OED)

a sixpenny rocket, p.61 - a rocket costing sixpence.

slee, p.82 - Archaic form of sloe, "something having little or no value." (OED)

slob, p.172 - "Mud, esp. soft mud on the sea-shore; ooze, muddy land." (OED)

sorbent, p.73 - "A material having the property of collecting molecules of a substance by sorption." Sorption is "the combined or undifferentiated action of absorption and adsorption." (OED)

southron, p.216 - "Belonging to or dwelling in the south, esp. of Britain." (OED)

Spartan military mess, p.77 - "a company of persons eating together." (OED)

spavined, p.264 - "Affected with spavin (a hard bony tumor of excrescence found at the union of the splint-bone and the shank in a horse's leg, and produced by inflammation of the cartilage uniting those bones)." (OED)

spectacles, p.22 - eyeglasses. Although such devices probably existed in ancient China and the Mediterranean world, White's use of "spectacles" is anachronistic because lenses were crude and unwieldy until the eighteenth century, when they were first constructed according to the principles of light refraction. (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

status quo, p.631 - See Latin.

Sto arere, so howe, so howe, p.149 - Early fifteenth century Middle English interjections. (MED)

stridulation, p.108 - The shrill, grating noise produced by some insects. (OED)

sutlers, p.588 - "One who follows an army or lives in a garrison town and sells provisions to the soldiers." (OED)

Tantivvy, p.270 - "perhaps intended to represent the sound of horses galloping." (OED)

telegram, p.310 - The dispatch from a telegraph: "an apparatus for communication at a distance by coded signals; especially: an apparatus, system, or process for communication at a distance by electric transmission over wire." (

tilting, p.9 - Jousting.

tobacco, p.34 - "The use of tobacco originated among the indigenous inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere in pre-Columbian times. Tobacco was introduced into Spain and Portugal in the mid-16th cent., initially for its supposed virtues as a panacea." (The Columbia Encyclopedia. Sixth Edition, 2001)

treacle, p.510 - "A medicinal compound, orig. a kind of salve, formerly in repute as an alexipharmic against, and an antidote to, venomous bites, poison generally, and malignant diseases." (OED)

tregetours, p.264 - Archaic. "One who works magic or plays tricks by sleight of hand; a conjurer; a juggler; hence, a trickster, a deceiver." (OED)

tripe, p.111 - "The first or second stomach of a ruminant, esp. of the ox, prepared as food." (OED)

tumulus, p.184 - "An ancient sepulchral mound, a barrow." (OED)

Uffizzi, p.243 - the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence. (

vamp, p.436 - "to practice seductive wiles on." (

vent, p.241 - the anus.

Victoria Crosses, (M), p.164 - "The highest British military and naval decoration, bestowed for conspicuous bravery in battle." (OED)

villein, p.16 - "One of the classes of serfs in the feudal system; spec. a peasant occupier or cultivator entirely subject to a lord or attached to a manor." (OED)

wallahs from the Indies, p.39 - wallah, from the Hindi, meaning "An important person in a particular field or organization." (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition, 2000)

wame, p.458 - "The belly, abdomen." (OED)

wattle, p.12 - "Rods of stakes, interlaced with twigs or branches of trees, used to make fences, walls, and roofs." (OED) Often filled in with some adhesive substance (see "daub") for added strength and insulation.

weather clock, p.253 - a device that made automated recordings of air pressure and wind direction.

Weyve, p.107 - a female outlaw. (OED)

Wossle, p.404 - OE Was Hale, i.e., good health; often "wassail."

Wrangle, p.14 - Also "rangle." "Small stones or gravel given to hawks, usually to improve their digestion." (OED)

writs for attainder, chancery, chevisance, disseisin, distraint, distress, , etc., p.510 - referring to various kinds of written legal documents. In legal language, a writ is "A written command, precept, or formal order issued by a court in the name of the sovereign, state, or other competent legal authority, directing or enjoining the person or persons to whom it is addressed to do or refrain from doing some act specified therein." (OED)


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