p 79 | ..."my little Coburgs..."= The House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
p 82 | Standish, Hélène (1847-1933). Proust met her (née Hélene de Prusse des Cars) for the first time in 1912. The Doudeauvilles were a branch of the La Rochefoucauld family, hence highly aristocratic. (Sturrock notes)
p 83 | Tiepolo red... ; collar of rubies
p 86 | School of Political Sciences (École Libre des Sciences Politiques): Ecole des Sciences Politiques: a private institution, founded in 1871, to teach law. economics, and history, which quickly came to specialize in training future senior civil servants. It was nationalized in 1945 as the Institut des Etudes Politiques. (Sturrock notes)
p 87 | Desert Fathers=Christian hermits, ascetics, and monks who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt starting around 3rd century C.E.
p 87 | Racine's famous tragedies, Athalie and Esther. Neither of the two tragedies has a homosexual theme; the "race" Racine is concerned with in both plays is the Jews. The quotations are from Esther, as modified by Proust. (Sturrock notes)
p 87 | Temple at Jerusalem; throne-room at Susa. In 1912, the Comtesse Blanche de Clermont-Tonnerre gave a famous "Persian" party, the decor of which reproduced that of the walls of the recently discovered throne room in the ancient palace of Suze, in Tunisia. (Sturrock notes)
p 89 | Proust and Racine
p 90 | Alexander Pavlovich Isvolsky (1856-1919), Russian ambassador in Paris (1910-17), involved in Anglo-Russian Alliance.
p 90 Ibsen died in 1906, and his appearance contemporary with Isvolsky is implausible. (Sturrock notes)
p 90 | Le Gaulois (French daily newspaper); founded 1868, was famous before 1914 for its social coverage, which took readers away from Le Figaro—the paper it merged with in 1928. (Sturrock notes)