The Greenefisher Guide to The Green Flourish Pentalogy
Notes on Book 2: An Unco Body in an Unco Land
-The title is a variation on "stranger in a strange land" Exodus 2:22
-The quote "It's aye gude to keep up a hardy heart - as broken a ship's come to land" is from Chapter 14 of Sir Walter Scott's Old Mortality.
Chapters 1 through 5
-"weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth" Matthew 13:42, Luke 13:28
-"since like Saint Paul a simple shipwreck could not defeat us" Acts 27:27 through 28:5 describes the wreck of Paul and the Roman soldiers on the Adriatic Sea.
-"set his cap at her" The term was already a popular metaphor in the time of Jane Austen, and typically it has always been the woman who sets her cap at a man, but, as she commonly does, Mary reverses the gender roles.
-Doctor Patrick Manson, born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1844, is recognized as being the "Father of Tropical Medicine". One of his greatest contributions to medicine was in establishing the connection between mosquitoes and malaria.
-"endureth forever" is a cross between Isaiah 40:8 and Psalm 136:1
-The Musselburgh Links, near to where Mary was born, is considered to be the oldest golf course in existence. Reputedly, Mary, Queen of Scots, played there in 1567.
-"possessed meat to eat I could not see" John 4:32
Chapters 6 through 10
-"legs o' mutton" and "Cromwells" Abigail's dress is a leftover gown from her mother's days of fashion as a young lady in England which she has altered to reflect some of the current trends that she has seen depicted in magazines. Most notably among these is her overweening of the sleeves to create massive legs o' mutton (also known as a gigot) which were popular at the beginning of the 1890s but would begin to fall out of favor as more practical sportswear for women was sought. Reference is made to Abigail's everyday shoes as being "Cromwells" (also known as "Colonials") which had been popular in the 1870s but had made a comeback in the 90s. The Cromwell prominently featured a large buckle in imitation of Puritan style. Women commonly wore bangs through the middle of the decade though they were to ultimately fall out of style in favor of wearing the hair up in a bun atop the head (Abigail updates her fashions to the more sporty Gibson Girl look in Loggerhead).
-Harper's Bazar (later re-titled Harper's Bazaar) was first published in 1867 in a weekly format providing European fashion news to American women.
-"Tollbooth" Traditionally in Scottish towns, the tollbooth was the center of government and included the customs department that collected tolls.
-The Roerskarl Festival of Greenhaven is based loosely on the Up Helly Aa festivals of Shetland in the far north of Scotland. In Greenhaven, the Roerskarl Festival is a specific celebration by the local Norwegian immigrant population celebrating their Scandinavian (Viking) heritage and Up Helly Aa, which was first popularized in the second half of the nineteenth century, is based on the same principles and features some of the same festivities including a torchlit procession and burning of a longboat model. The real festival features the Jarl Squad and the Guizer Jarl whereas Greenhaven's version features the Roerskarls (oarsmen) and an elected "beauty queen".
-The original inspiration for the poem "Too Much" came from a reading of Robert Browning's "Too Late".
-"about forty years of inhaled sand" Deuteronomy 2:7 Joshua 5:6 Number 14:20-38
-"unfortunate revolution" Abigail refers to the French Revolution at the end of the 18th century which saw a bloody end to the monarchy followed by an extended period of national violence and ended with the rise of Napolean and the French Empire.
-The "four Marys" is another reference to Mary, Queen of Scots, who had four attendants (Mary Seton, Mary Beaton, Mary Livingston and Mary Fleming) commonly referred to as the "Four Marys".
-"broken leg" The medical situation regarding Abigail's father's death was an embolism resulting from a DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) blood clot. The modern study of the phenomenon began in the mid nineteenth century although it was not properly understood, nor were effective drugs and therapies developed, until the twentieth century.
-"Hindoostan" (more commonly spelled Hindustan) was a traditional name for the northern area of India between the Himalaya and Vindhya mountain ranges.
-"they might be giants" Just the same as Don Quixote, Mary sees the distant windmills as "giants".
-Any of a number of books published around the turn of the century featured the term "Race Culture" in the title as reference to the fact that they contained material about contemporary views on Eugenics.
-Traditionally going back to the Middle Ages, most surgery and dentistry was performed by "barber surgeons", not physicians.
-Francis Galton was Charles Darwin's cousin, and the publication of On the Origin of Species in 1859 had a great influence on his life as regards his interest in heredity. Galton coined the term Eugenics and, as described in the story, proposed government incentives designed to convince those with what were considered the best genetic characteristics to marry and breed.