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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte       

1.       Rizzio of so divine a Mary – David Rizzio (c. 1533-66), an Italian singer and musician who became a favorite of Mary, Queen of Scots; he was assassinated by Mary’s second husband, lord Darnley.

2.       Bothwell – James Hepburn (c. 1536-78), fourth Earl of Bothwell; he married Mary, Queen of Scots, after having her second husband murdered.

3.       Corsairs – pirates who sailed the coast of North Africa; the allusion is to Lord Byron’s popular poem The Corsair (1814), whose main character is a typical Byronic hero.

4.       Paynim - designating a non-Christian, especially a Moslem

5.       Bridewell – sixteenth century London hospital, subsequently a place of detention and correction for vagrants and immoral women, rebuilt in 1802

6.       Girandoles – branched candleholders

7.       Le cas – French for “the thing to do”

8.       Sybil – fortune teller

9.       Diablerie – diabolical behavior; witchcraft

10.       Blackaviced – having a dark complexion

11.    Ariel – in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a spirit of the air

12.    Cairngorm – a kind of quartz found in Scotland, used as a gem

13.    Quiz – an awkward or eccentric person

14.    The Rubric – the directions in a prayer book for conducting a religious service, often printed in red

15.    Queen Boadicea – queen of the Iceni in ancient Britain, who led an unsuccessful revolt against the Romans in 61 A. D.

16.    Midsummer-eve – June 23, the day before the feast of St. John near the summer solstice; in European folklore it was believed that witches and evil spirits performed rites on this night to renew their supernatural powers; people customarily locked themselves into their houses to avoid becoming the target of these powers.

17.    Organ of Adhesiveness – another of Bronte’s many references to the pseudoscience of phrenology;’ this organ was supposedly located at the back of the head.

18.    Mustard-Seed – one of the fairies in Shakespear’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

19.    Aerial – like air; ntoe the similarity of the word’s sound to Ariel and Eyre

20.    Ahasuerus – allusion to the Book of Esther; Ahasuerus was a wealthy Persian king who made the Jewish woman Esther his queen and promised her half of his kingdom

21.    Bairn – (Scottish) child

22.    Tyne (Scottish) lose

23.    Suttee – former Hindu custom in which a widow threw herself onto her husband's funeral pyre


Chapters 25-28

1.       D.V. – abbreviation for Deo volente, Latin for “God Willing”

2.       Blonde – a type of lace, so called because of its flaxen color

3.       Funchal – capital of Madeira

4.       Puck out you right eye; yourself cut off your right hand – an allusion to the sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:27-30); it foreshadows Rochester’s fate.

5.       Achan – an allusion to Joshua 7:19-26; Achan was stoned by the Israelites for having hidden an “accursed thing” in his tent

6.       Upas-tree – a Javanese tree that yields a poisonous fluid; thus, anything harmful or deadly in its influence

7.       Will-o’-the-wisp -  wandering spirit that supposedly haunts marshes; any delusive hope

8.       Grafinnen – countesses

9.       Messalina’s attribute – Messalina, wife of the Roman emperor Claudius, was notorious for her promiscuity.

10.       My solitary way – an allusion to the conclusion of Milton’s Paradise Lost, describing Adam and Eve’s expulsion from Paradise


Chapters 29-38

1.       Coruscating – sparkling; flashing

2.       Peri – in Persian mythology, an elf or fairy

3.       Lusus naturae (Latin) a freak of nature

4.       Mammon – personification of riches and greedy pursuit


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