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
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
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