Sodom and Gomorrah IV pp 95-99

p 96 | "...the Academicians...": candidates for election to the various academies, the Académie Française above all, are expected to gather support in this way. (Sturrock notes)

p 96 | Mme de Durfort: the Durfort family appears in the Memoirs of Saint-Simon, one of Proust's principal sources of aristocratic names; various members were still prominent in Parisian society in his own day. (Sturrock notes)

p 97 | Mélanie Pourtalès: Comtesse Edmond de Pourtalès, née Mélanie de Bussière (c.1832-1914), had been a lady-in-waiting to the Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III. (Sturrock notes)

Oratorian temple
p 97 | "Holy Synod and the Oratorian temple": the Holy Synod was an ecclesiastical body of the Russian Orthodox church, founded in 1721 and suppressed in 1917; in modern Russia, it serves by Church statute as the highest governing body of the Russian Orthodox Church in the periods between Bishops' Councils. Oratoire du Louvre is a Protestant church on the rue de Rivoli in Paris. It was given to the Protestants by Napoleon in 1811. Before then, it was the royal chapel of the kings of France. (Sturrock notes)

p 98 | General Staff: Representatives from all French military forces (army, navy, air, etc.).

p 99 | Eugène-Marin Labiche (1815-88), comic playwright who wrote many of the most popular and amusing light comedies of the 19th-century French stage. Born into the bourgeois class, which provided the social setting for most of his works. Typically, the plays are based on an improbable incident evolving into an imbroglio that brings out the folly and frailty of the characters.