heather_mist: (Blue Peter)
[personal profile] heather_mist

" ‘And he gave me these diamonds,' she said, unclasping the necklace and tossing it on the couch, where it blazed and glittered like a phosphorescent wake. 'They were his mother's, and he had them reset. The big one in the middle is called the Begum. I suppose it is disgraceful to admit that they had an influence on me, but they did. Perhaps most women like diamonds.' "
The Fortune of War. Ch 6.

 (The necklace) was a splendid bauble, so splendid that its central stone had a name, the Nabob or the Mogul or something of that kind;… suddenly the name of Diana's came to mind: it was the Blue Peter, a pear shaped stone of a most surprising colour, like a pale, pale sapphire but with much more life and fire. An impious sailor had taken it from a temple in the time of Aurangzeb and it had kept the name he gave it ever since, a name that Stephen particularly liked, for not only had it a fine round sound, but it was also that of one of the few flags he could recognise with certainty, the flag that ships flew when they were about to set sail, and it had the pleasing associations of fresh departure, new regions, new creatures of the world, new lives, perhaps new life.
 The Surgeon's Mate Ch 3.

" 'You are much attached to those diamonds, Villiers,' [Stephen] said kindly.
'Yes, I am. I truly love them,' she said. 'Above all the Blue Peter.' She detached the pendant stone and put it into his hand, where it lay, strangely heavy, sending out countless prismatic flashes at the slightest movement. 'I don't give a damn where they come from,' she went on, raising her chin. 'I love them passionately. I should not part with them for anything on earth and I shall certainly be buried in them. You will remember that, Stephen? If things don't go well in the autumn, I am to be buried in them. I may rely on you?'

‘Certainly you may.’ "
The Surgeon's Mate  Ch 5 
 

"Stephen looked secretly at the stone again: he had rarely seen so true an azure; and the gold rim echoed the golden specks within the stone quite admirably. But a most unwelcome comparison welled up in his mind.
Diana had possessed an extraordinary blue diamond - she was buried with it - a blue of an entirely different nature, of course, but he felt the familiar chill grip him, the sort of frigid indifference to virtually everything; and he welcomed the opening door."
The Hundred Days Ch 7


As we see from the above, when we first meet the riviere of diamonds which Johnson gave Diana the large central stone had an Indian name, but  by the next book POB had rechristened it to the much more appropriate Blue Peter.  It is appropriate in another way in that the word 'peter' means stone, so quite literally the Blue Peter is 'the Blue Stone'.

Diana has always been able to rely on Stephen - even to honouring her age old wish to be buried with her diamonds... 
esteven: (Default)
[personal profile] esteven
Do you see those green roofs and terraces? That is Elsinore.'
'Elsinore itself? The very Elsinore? God bless my soul: and yours too, joy. A noble pile. I view it with reverence. I had supposed it to be merely ideal - hush, do not move. They come, they come!'
A flight of duck wheeled overhead, large powerful heavy swift-flying duck in files, and pitched between the castle and the ship.
'Eiders without a doubt,' said Stephen, his telescope fixed upon them. 'They are mostly young: but there on the right is a drake in full dress. He dives: I see his black belly. This is a day to mark with a white stone.' A great jet of white water sprang from the surface of the sea. The eiders vanished. 'Good God!' he cried, staring in amazement, 'What was that?'
'They have opened on us with their mortars,' said Jack. 'That was what I was looking for." A puff of smoke appeared on the nearer terrace, and half a minute later a second fountain rose, two hundred yards short of the Ariel.
'The Goths,' cried Stephen, glaring angrily at Elsinore. 'They might have hit the birds. These Danes have always been a very froward people. Do you know, Jack, what they did at Clonmacnois? They burnt it, the thieves, and their queen sat on the high altar mother-naked, uttering oracles in a heathen frenzy. Ota was the strumpet's name. It is all of a piece: look at Hamlet's mother. I only wonder her behaviour caused any comment.'


I cannot but adore this scene. So many wonderful Stephen remarks in it: Elsinor the noble pile, his love for eider-ducks and then he likens Hamlet's mother to a strumpet. Dear, oh dear.

Just today I came across (thanks to [personal profile] joyful_molly the title of a future zombie movie calledThe Curse of the Buxom Strumpet playing in the 18th century,with McKellan, Buchan and Judy Dench. It may well be the first zombie movie I will ever watch