My Particular Friend footnotes: The Poison Pen Affair 2

Beginning with An Ever-Rotating Wheel of Information:

We joined the society taking a turn in the large ballroom and whereas before the image of prisoners pacing in their cells came to mind—when in my dark mood—to-day I saw the crowd as an ever-rotating wheel of information, like some vast clockwork mechanism that will reveal its secrets if only the separate gears can be aligned.

My particular friend Lee could not believe the image of people endlessly circling a large room, but in fact that’s just what people did. After all, the point was to see and be seen and to make connections with the object being to secure a marriage.
‘Thank you, Mr King,’ I said. ‘You are kind to notice.’

Mr. King is mentioned in Northanger Abbey:

They made their appearance in the Lower Rooms; and here fortune was more favourable to our heroine. The master of the ceremonies introduced to her a very gentlemanlike young man as a partner; his name was Tilney.
… and later, Mr. Tilney says to Catherine Morland that she should say …
“I danced with a very agreeable young man, introduced by Mr. King; had a great deal of conversation with him—seems a most extraordinary genius—hope I may know more of him. That, madam, is what I wish you to say.”

James King was the master of ceremonies at the Lower Rooms in Bath and later the Upper Rooms. His mention in My Particular Friend as being the emcee first at the Lower Rooms and then later in the Upper Rooms would seem to date the events in this book to 1805. Or it may be that the mention of Lower Rooms in this section is an error.

Which did not prove easy, because although the Winslowes did, at least at one time season in Bath, we could not find a present address. We enquired again in the Upper and Lower Rooms, at the Pump Room, at the theatre and at every occasion we attended, but no one seemed to know where the Winslowes lived.
Pump Room: The beautiful Georgian room at the Roman Baths in Bath where patrons could sample the spa water. Recent arrivals to Bath made a point of signing the visitor’s book.
In answer to my question, Mrs Ashby said, ‘I don’t know the Spensers, and I don’t think I know the Winslowes … although the name does sound familiar. We have not been too many seasons at Bath, you see. We were at Tunbridge Wells last season. Are these people important?’
Royal Tunbridge Wells: a town south east of London (in west Kent) that “owes its existence to the discovery of the Chalybeate Spring in 1606 by Dudley, Lord North.”
‘Did she upbraid you for interrupting her—what d’you call it—Mesmerism?’
Mesmerism: Franz Anton Mesmer was a German physician who theorised that there was a natural energetic transference that occurred between all animated and inanimate objects that he called magnétisme animal; his name is the root of the word Mesmerism.

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