p 30 | My landlady, Mme de Guermantes: Having originally lived in a different part of Paris, at the beginning of The Guermantes Way, the narrator's family moves to a flat in the Hotel de Guermantes, in the Faubourg Saint-Germain. The side ranges of the front courtyard of the old aristocratic town house are now divided into flats and rented to middle-class families, while the ground floor supports small workshops of various kinds. The furthest range is occupied as a single house by the owners, the Duc and Duchesse de Guermantes, whom by this point in the story the narrator has got to know. Many of the main characters in the story (the narrator, Albertine, the Guermantes, Jupien and his niece) are thus now living on the same site, and can plausibly watch and/or meet each other on the stairs & in the courtyard. Charlus, brother of the Duc de Guermantes, erstwhile sexual partner of Jupien & protector of his niece, visits them all at this address, which is very convenient for the novelist's purposes, and not implausible; such multiple uses of old aristocratic dwellings was common in Paris throughout the 19th century, and its traces can still be seen in the Marais district, until its recent renovation.
p 32 | See a selection of early 20th century women's dresses
p 34 | Fortuny's Delphos gown -->
p 38 | Pampile: pen-name of Mme Leon Daudet, wife of Proust's friend and author of Les bons plats de France: cuisine régionale (1913).
p 41 | coup d'éclat=feat or great feat; coup de tête=whim; coup de force = a sudden, violent act; rapprochement=establishment or resumption of harmonious relations, reconciliation
p 42 } The Dreyfus affair was a political scandal that from its beginning in 1894 divided France until it was finally resolved in 1906. [So, we think it's 1908-ish here in the text.]
p 44 | In the Aeneid, Achates ("good, faithful Achates", fidus Achates as he was called) was a close friend of Aeneas; his name became a byword for an intimate companion.
p 45 | Mayer Alphonse James Rothschild (1827-1905)
p 46 | Jupiter Tonans = Thundering Jove: the aspect of Jupiter (Jove) who is the god of sky & thunder and king of the gods in ancient Roman religion & mythology. Here, it refers back to Basin knitting his Jupiterian brows on p 44.
p 46 | Édouard Adolphe Drumont (1844–1917) was a French journalist and writer. He founded the Antisemitic League of France in 1889, and was the founder & editor of the newspaper La Libre Parole.