Tuesday, 18 March 2008

J ~ is for Janet


Jacob Boucher  ~ see Colonel Jacob Boucher.

Jackdaw, Miss ~ appropriate maiden name of the bride of Colonel Boucher's former servant, Ahab Crow.   
   
Jaeger  ~ when, after several months away on the Gallagher Banks, Elizabeth Mapp and Lucia returned to Tilling at dawn, it took some minutes  to rouse "Mallards."  "They heard numerous bolts on the door shot back , they heard the rattle of the released chain.  The door was opened and there stood Major Benjy. He had put on his dinner jacket over his Jaeger pyjamas, and had carpet slippers on his feet. He was sleepy, bristly  and very cross..."     
 
Formed in 1884 by Lewis Tomalin, the high-end fashion brand and retailer Jaeger  is named after the German zoologist and physiologist Dr Gustav Jaeger who advocated the benefits of clothes made of animal rather than vegetable fibres. Having translated Jaeger's teachings to English for publication, Tomalin opened  Dr Jaeger's Sanitary Woollen System in London in 1884. Fred does not expand upon the composition or date of purchase of Major Benjy's high-end slumberwear .       
   
James Joyce, Mr.   when Lucia returned to Mallards at about half past ten"she could scarcely believe that it was the same day as that on which she had awoken here, regretful that she had fled from Riseholme on a false alarm, had swanked about Georgie staying at Sheffield Castle, had shirked the council meeting  to which duty had called her, had wangled an invitation to the Castle herself, had stayed there for quite three quarters of an hour, and had dined at Riseholme. 'Quite like hat huge horrid book by Mr James Joyce, which happens all in one day,' she reflected as she stepped out of the car."    
     
Here Benson is referring to "Ulysses" by influential Irish poet and modernist avant garde novelist James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (1882-1941). This landmark work of 1922 , set in Dublin, paralleled episodes from Homer's Odyssey in many contrasting literary styles, notably the stream of consciousness technique. Other notable works include "A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man" and "Finnegan's Wake" ~ see "Ulysses".

Jamifleg ~ spirit guide of Goosie Antrobus prompted by the visit to Daisy Quantock of soi disant psychic medium Princess Popoffski whilst automatic writing was fashionable in Riseholme. See Annabel, Nicostratus, Abfou and Vittoria.

Janet ~ Diva Plaistow's servant. Her duties included assisting in the service of teas at Ye Olde Tea House run by her mistress in the front parlour of her house, Wasters.

"Jetsam" ~ see "Flotsam" and "Jetsam."       
    
Jeune premier  ~  when Georgie Pillson was suffering from a painful attack of shingles, he grew a beard which Foljambe skilfully trimmed into a neat, pointed goatee. Georgie was so sensitive about his appearance that he withdrew from public view whilst thus discommoded.  "On that point he was immovable: nobody should see him with a little white beard,  for it would be the end of his jeune premiership of Tilling: no jeune premier ever had a white beard, however little. "  
    
A jeune premier is a young man or juvenile lead in a theatrical production - not to be confused with a  jeune premiere or leading juvenile actress.  
    
John Gielgud ~ see Gielgud, John.

John's treasures, King  ~  Miss Mapp was setting off with her basket and weekly books to do her shopping. She had various contentious matters to attend to with sundry tradesmen, including a disputed item of suet and a perceived overcharge for eggs. She had made up her mind about the laundry, she intended to pay that bill with an icy countenance and say, "Good morning for ever," or words to that effect, unless the proprietor instantly produced the - the article of clothing which had been lost in the wash (like King John's treasures) or refunded an ample sum for the replacing of it.

The youngest son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, King John (also known as John Lackland) (1166-1216) is famed for the unsuccessful rebellion against his elder brother Richard I's  royal administrators whilst the king was abroad engaged in the Third Crusade. He ascended the throne in 1199 and spent much of his reign trying to regain  territory lost in northern France, raising huge revenues, reforming his armed forces and carrying out judicial reforms. He was excommunicated in 1209, failed to defeat the French and was confronted by rebellion of English barons unhappy with his fiscal reforms and their treatment at his hands. He was forced to sign the Magna Carta in 1215 and was confronted with civil war shortly after, dying of dysentery contracted whilst on campaign in eastern England in 1216.    
     
According to a graphic account by Roger of Wendover,  in this final campaign King John lost a significant part of his baggage train - including the Crown Jewels - as he crossed one of the tidal estuaries which empties in to the Wash.  The exact location of the incident has not been verified, nor the scale of loss.  King John's loss in the Wash does, however, appear likely to have been greater that that suffered by Miss Mapp at the hands of her laundry more than 700 years later.  See Weekly books.

Joseph  ~  Whilst Lucia was away in London, Riseholme had been busy setting up its new Museum and had been immersed in a wave of psychical experimentsDaisy Quantock had been perfectly honest in acknowledging that the idea of the Museum was not hers at all, but Abfou's, her Egyptian guide. She had, it is true,  been as ingenious as Joseph in interpreting Abfou's directions, but it was to Abfou to whom all credit was due and who evidently took such a deep interest in the affairs of Riseholme.    
     
In the Book of Genesis, son of Jacob, Joseph, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. When imprisoned in Egypt Joseph was called upon to interpret various disturbing dreams for the Pharoah (such as those regarding leans cows emerging from a river and eating fat cattle and withered ears of corn devouring plump ones.) Joseph ingeniously interpreted the dreams, suggesting that they foretold years of abundance followed by famine and counselling saving for the hard times to come and benefited. In the same way, Daisy Quantock interpreted the automatic writing of her Egyptian spirit guide to her own advantage.    See Abfou, Daisy Quantock, Riseholme Museum.   
     
Juggernaut, Car of  ~  following the gala performance of "Lucretia" at Covent Garden, Georgie could not sleep owing to recurrent visions of the divine Olga Bracely.   He lit a cigarette as he reviewed Life. His wide ranging assessment of his dissatisfaction with his lot focused largely on his irritation with Lucia's egotism as Mayor. He even remarked to himself,  " I want a change. Sometimes I almost sympathise with Elizabeth when Lucia goes rolling along like the car of Juggernaut, squish-squash, whoever comes in her way."    
     
Derived from the Sanskrit Jagannatha (war lord, one of the names of Krishna) a juggernaut is a mercilessly destructive and unstoppable force. Originating  in about 1850, the terms refers back to the annual  Ratha Yatra (chariot procession) when an enormous wooden wagon or machine mounted on sixteen wheels was dragged by fifty men to the Jagannath Temple  in Puri, Orissa said to bear murtis or statues of Hindu gods,  Jagannath, Subhadra and Balabhadra or a bride for the god.   Many onlookers or devotees were reportedly crushed to death by the car.  The figurative sense of the English derivative juggernaut,  inferring blind devotion, merciless sacrifice or the crushingly destructive was coined in the mid-nineteenth century and was applied to Hyde by R.L.Stevenson in "Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde".
 
E.F.Benson published a novel entitled "Juggernaut" in 1911.    See "That Hole."

Jumna ~ On Boxing Day, when he saw the huge expanse of flooded land between Tilling on its hill and the sea, Major Benjy said it was nothing to the Jumna in flood, but then he always held up India as being far ahead of England in every way (he had even once said on an extremely frosty morning that this was nothing to the bitterness of Bombay.)  

The Jumna (sometimes Yamuna or Jamuna) is the largest tributary of the Ganges in northern India. It originates from the Yamunotri glacier in the lower Himalayas and is 855 miles long. Like the Ganges it is highly venerated in Hinduism -and apparently by Major Flint of Tilling (Indian Army Retd.)

When the Mapp-Flints were flooded out of their summer let of a very small bungalow by the sea(deficient in plumbing, but otherwise highly salubrious), a waste of waters lay a foot deep in the dining-room and their luggage had to be removed by boat. It reminded Major Benjy of the worst floods on the Jumna.       
        
 
"Just wait till we come back" ~ over supper on the evening that Lucia and Miss Mapp were swept out to sea, there was much debate upon the meaning of gallant Lucia's final words, "Just wait till we come back."      
   
The untrammelled discussion covered the rivalry between the two, including Miss Mapp's tricks and pointless meannesses and Lucia's scornful victories and domineering ways.  

Major Benjy thought she meant "Don't give up hope. We shall come back".  

Georgie felt the remark meant that she had something frightfully interesting to tell when she did come back: "I bet it was something about Elizabeth. Some new thing she'd found her out in."  

Diva came close in suggesting that Elizabeth went to the kitchen to look at the Christmas tree without permission and Georgie said "She meant to tell us that she'd found Elizabeth in her kitchen".  Georgie was vindicated when, upon her return, Lucia admitted, "Why of course, I wanted to tell you that I had found Elizabeth  in my kitchen"

At that point, despite the reconstructive genius of those present, no connection was made with the search for the recipe for Lobster a la Riseholme.   
    
Juvenal  ~  at the garden party at "The Hurst" in Riseholme, care was taken over the impression created for visitors. In the smoking parlour an Elzevir or two were left negligently open, as if Mr and Mrs Lucas had been reading the works of Persius and Juvenal when the first guests arrived.   
    
Roman poet Juvenal (or Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis) wrote the Satires in the late first/early second century AD. We do not have his precise dates. Juvenal wrote at least sixteen poems, the last unfinished, varying in length from sixty to six hundred and sixty lines. Topics covered inluded"all aspects of vice."  He wrote in a hyperbolic, comedic mode of expression that often made intepretation from a historical perspective delicate. He composed in dactylic hexameter in the manner of Lucilius and in a poetic tradition which excompassed Horace and Persius. He may have come from near Monte Cassino.  See Elzevir, Horace and Persius.


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