NOTES ON ISSUE 6: HISTORICAL GLOSSARY
PART 3 OF 3
A particularly remote and harsh penal settlement, some 1000
miles off the coast of Australia. Transportation to Norfolk
Island was reserved for the worst offenders (often those who
had committed second crimes while in custody in Australia),
and conditions there were dreadful. Its use as a penal colony
was discontinued in 1855.
This illustration of Norfolk Island appeared in the Illustrated
London News on June 12, 1847:
"The strong hand will never do 't. Vict'ry
and triumph will never do 't. Agreeing fur to mak' one side,
unnat'rally awlus and forever right, and toother side unnat'rally
awlus and forever wrong will never, never do 't. Nor yet lett'
alone will never do 't."
In February 1854, Dickens published an
article called "On Strike" in Household Words, which
concluded with words to similar effect:
...in the gulf of separation it hourly deepens
between those whose interests must be understood to be identical
or must be destroyed, it is a great national affliction. But,
at this pass, anger is of no use, starving out is of no use….
Masters right, or men right; masters wrong, or men wrong;
both right, or both wrong; there is a certain ruin to both
in the continuance or frequent revival of this breach. And
from the ever-widening circle of their decay, what drop in
the ocean shall be free!
the Travellers' Coffee House down
by the railroad
Refreshment houses and waiting rooms
in or near railway stations were commonplace by the 1840s, replacing
The bread was new and crusty,
the butter fresh, and the sugar lump, of course
In Victorian times, sugar was sold in
hard loaves, not finely granulated. The foods mentioned—good
bread, fresh butter, and more expensive white sugar—indicate
that Stephen has access to (and money for) decent, though limited
foods, particularly when he is entertaining guests. The adulteration
of food and the poor quality of food sold to the poor—including
rancid butter, heavy or adulterated bread, and tea that was
reused or cut with other ingredients—was a problem in the nineteenth
century, particularly in large cities.
so large a party necessitated
the borrowing of a cup
It was commonplace for laborers to have
no more dishes, cutlery, or furniture than would meet the immediate
needs of their own households, because of the expense of such