Virginia Woolf's MRS. DALLOWAY was published on May 14, 1925. Yesterday, I finished my annotations to a new edition of the novel, & thought I'd share some of my favorite discoveries.

(1 / however many of these I can type before my kids wake up from their naps)
"Rumplemayer's men were coming": No photographs remain of Anton Rumpelmayer (1832-1914), who sailed from his hometown of Pressburg, Austria to the French Riviera in 1870 to seek his fortune as a world-renowned confectioner. He arrived in Menton, where he started working as a (2)
candy maker for restaurant owner Viktor Sylvain Perrimond. Together, they opened Perrimond-Rumpelmeyer’s, followed by cafes in Aix and Baden-Baden, a chocolate factory in Dresden, a tea house in Paris. “London has long wanted a Rumpelmayer’s, and now it is to have one,” (3)
announced Putnam’s Magazine, when a Rumpelmayer’s franchise opened on St. James Street in 1907. There one could gaze upon “the most tempting array imaginable of little individual, one-or-two mouthful tea cakes,” wrote society columnist Frank Arnold in 1915. “All England and (4)
the English colonies may be visualized at that moment as one joy giving teapot.” (5)
"Lucrezia": (1)The character of Lucrezia was a study of John Maynard Keynes’s wife Lydia Lopokova, a dark-haired, large-eyed, charming Russian ballerina, gay and peripatetic, but “without two solid ideas to rub together,” recalled Quentin Bell in his biography of Woolf. “I (6)
wanted to observe Lydia as a type for Rezia; and did observe one or two facts,” Woolf noted in her diary on September 11, 1923. Her later entries suggest she made a closer study of Lucrezia than she had intended originally. “Lydia (I called her Rezia by mistake) leaves crumbs (7)
sticking to her face,” she wrote on August 15, 1924 after seeing the Keynes’s at Charleston. (8)
"She had pawned her great-grandfather's ring which Marie Antoinette had given him ...": Woolf was fond of boasting of her own descent from Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), the last Queen of France before the French Revolution, famous for her poise, her voice, her lavish spending (9)
on frocks, jewelry, and gambling during a serious financial crisis. “If you want to know where I get my (ahem!) charm, read Herbert Fisher’s autobiography,” Woolf wrote to a friend, referencing the family history written by her cousin. “Marie Antoinette loved my ancestor: (10)
hence he was exiled; hence the Pattles, the barrel that burst and finally Virginia.” (11)
"Dent's shop in Cockspur Street": Edward John Dent (1790-1853) was an English watchmaker renowned for the chronometers he created for Britain’s maritime conquests. The son of a candle maker, he had no passion for tallow or wicks and was apprenticed at fourteen to his cousin, (12)
a watchmaker named Richard Rippon. Dent soon surpassed Rippon as a constructer of beautiful, reliable, and precise timepieces, starting his own practice in 1814. His clocks kept time for the Empire as it expanded through the nineteenth century. His designs included (13)
the Great Clock (better known as “Big Ben”) for the Houses of Parliament; Dent chronometer no. 633, which accompanied Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle; and the Standard Clock at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. (14)
"Mr. Willett's Summer Time": William Willett (1856-1915) was a builder who, in 1907 published a pamphlet titled “The Waste of Daylight.” It outlined a time-keeping scheme whereby clocks would be advanced by 80 minutes in April and reversed in September, thus extending (15)
daylight & saving millions of pounds in lighting costs. Though he campaigned tirelessly to see his scheme enacted by Parliament, daylight savings time, or “British Summer Time,” was not adopted until the start of the First World War, when the need to save coal reinvigorated (16)
his proposal. On May 21, 1916, clocks were advanced by an hour for the first time. Dent had died of influenza the year before. (17)
... and my older son is up!
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