Pastures of Heaven - Cultural References

Setting | Character Summaries| Plot Synopsis | Critical Reception
Cultural References | Key Terms and Concepts

 Adventures in Contentment: 1907 novel by author David Grayson (Ray Stannard Baker).

Atlantis: Mythical ancient lost island civilization.

Auto-da-fe: Public execution, usually by burning at the stake.

Carthaginians: Citizens of the North African city of Carthage, which possessed the greatest naval power in the Mediterranean the third century C.E.

Elaine: A named shared by many female characters in the Arthurian legends.

Dresden Vase: Fine German porcelain china.

Gallows: Usually a wooden frame used for executions by hanging.

Georgics: Work by the Roman poet Virgil on rural and farming life.

Heaven: The title of the work alludes to the Garden of Eden, connecting rural life ironically (?) to life before the Fall.  

Herodotus, Xenophon, Thucydides: Ancient Greek historians.  Thucydides authored The Peloponnesian Wars.

James Oliver Curwood: American novelist and conservationist (1878-1927).

Kidnapped (1886): Historical fiction novel by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Leviathan: A mythical sea monster of biblical origins.

Masonic Ring: Ring worn by members of the Freemasons, a fraternal organization dating back to the 1600s in Europe.

Meerschaum: Soft white mineral of which pipes and decorative sculpture are carved.

Mentholatum: Medicinal ointment famous for treating a variety of ailments, from aches and pains to coughs and colds.

Merry Widow: A firm undergarment similar to a corset intended to smooth waist and hips while lifting the bust.

Millet's "Angelus": Jean-Francois Millet's 1857 painting of a couple praying over their potato crop. See the image at

Pince nez: A style of glasses without ear pieces supported by pinching the bridge of the nose.

Pox: The sexually transmitted disease Syphilis.

Russian Hill: Affluent residential neighborhood in San Francisco, California.

Travels with a Donkey: Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), one of Robert Louis Stevenson's earliest published works.

Varro: Marcus Terentius Varro (116-29 B.C.E.), Roman scholar/author and horticulturist.

Velasquez's Cardinal: Seventeenth-century painting by Spanish painter Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velazquez.

Zane Grey: American adventure novelist (1872-1939).

Setting | Character Summaries| Plot Synopsis | Critical Reception
Cultural References | Key Terms and Concepts