[Page 233, line 20 et seq.] Purgatory an intermediate stage in some Christian doctrines where a soul can do penance to be purged of the sins which had prevented it from going straight into heaven. “Purgatorio”, part II of Dante Alighieri’s (1265-1321) La Divina Commedia gives a description of it as perceived by Dante.
[Page 235, line 25] his own kith and kin his own family and relations.
[Page 237, line 9] holocaust this is not a reference to the World War II activities of the Nazis or the various acts of genocide that have taken place in the 20th century and after. The word refers to its original meaning of a completely burnt sacrifice, derived from the Greek holokauston.
[Page 237, line 12] Pharaoh’s chariot-wheel See Exodus 14, 23,24 and 25. [ORG]
[Page 237, line 13] flying-fish This phrase, in conjunction with the reference to Pharoah’s chariot-wheel, appears to be a reference to a comment in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay (1814-1889), published in 1841.
In the chapter “A Love of the Marvellous and a Disbelief in the True”, a sailor returns home and tells his mother of some of the strange things that he has seen. He describes a flying fish at which his mother calls him a liar, and then when he tells of how they hauled up a chariot-wheel made of gold and studded with diamonds in a fishing net in the Red Sea, she immediately believed that it was one from Pharoah’s chariot when he had been pursuing the Israelites.
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