- Mr. Beebe recalls his first encounter with Lucy was hearing her play the first of the two movements of Beethoven's final piano sonata, Opus 111, at a talent show in Tunbridge Wells.
- While visiting the Emersons Mr. Beebe contemplates the numerous books strewn around.
- "I fancy they know how to read – a rare accomplishment. What have they got? Byron. Exactly. A Shropshire Lad. Never heard of it. The Way of All Flesh. Never heard of it. Gibbon. Hullo! Dear George reads German. Um – um — Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and so we go on. Well, I suppose your generation knows its own business, Honeychurch." 
- Towards the end of Part One, Cecil quotes a few unidentified stanzas ("Come down, O maid, from yonder mountain height", etc.). They are from Tennyson's narrative poem "The Princess".
- In the Emersons' home, the wardrobe has "Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes." (a quote from Henry David Thoreau's Walden) painted upon it.
- In chapter five, after bemoaning the fact that people do not appreciate landscape paintings any more, Mr. Eager misquotes William Wordsworth's poem title,"The World Is Too Much With Us", saying "The world is too much for us."
- Cecil announces his engagement to Lucy with the words: "I promessi sposi" ("the betrothed") – a reference either to the 1856 Ponchielli opera of that name or the Manzoni novel on which it is based.
- When George is lying on the grass in Part Two, Lucy asks him about the view, and he replies, "My father says the only perfect view is the sky over our heads", prompting Cecil to make a throwaway comment about the works of Dante.
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