Chapter 17

Highland Park Scotch– Brewed in a distillery in Orkney, Scotland, Highland Park is widely regarded as some of the best scotch whiskey available ( The “fifty-year old Highland Park single malt” mentioned on page 73 of Brown’s novel is the most rare whiskey distilled by the company; production was limited to 275 bottles (Highland Park 50 Year Old). The premium quality, coupled with the rarity of the product, embody the prestige and longevity of the Consortium to that point.

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Tome– The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines “tome” as “a volume forming part of a larger work.”

Silver-haired devil“- Throughout the book, there are references to a silver-haired woman. The woman first appears in Robert Langdon’s mysterious dreams while he is in the hospital in Chapter 1. She then appears in more dreams in Chapter 6, while Langdon rests in Siena’s apartment. “…the statuesque, veiled woman with the amulet and silver hair in ringlets. As before, she was on the banks of a bloodred river and surrounded by writhing bodies. She spoke to Langdon, her voice pleading. Seek and ye shall find!” (Brown 29). In Chapter 17, the same silver-haired woman is referenced by the client of the Consortium. He calls her a “devil.” This pits the client directly against Langdon, who has seen the silver-haired woman as a source of guidance in his dreams.

Safe Deposit Box– Safe deposit boxes are used by bank clients to store valuables and other precious materials in the bank itself. On page 75 when Brown mentions a safe deposit box, it alludes to a scene in his earlier novel, The Da Vinci Code. Langdon and Sophie Nouveau, the Holy Grail incarnate, go to the Paris branch of the Depository Bank of Zurich, where they retrieve a codex that leads them further on their journey around Paris.

Inferno– Written by Dante in the thirteenth century, the “Divine Comedy” tells Dante’s journey through the nine circles of hell, guided by Virgil. On page 77, as Thomas Beyer observed, Dan Brown quotes Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s translation Inferno. Longfellow’s translation of Inferno was the first American interpretation of the work. There are several other widely used translations of Inferno, such as those by Allen Mandelbaum and John Ciardi.

The cover of Allen Mandelbaum translation of Dante’s Inferno

“And it was precisely nine minutes long . . .  to the second.”- At the end of the chapter, Laurence Knowlton reviews a video that the client wished to have the Consortium release to the world. His reaction to the length of the video relates, as Thomas Beyer pointed out, to the nine circles of Hell mentioned in Dante’s Inferno.

The Nine Circles of Hell

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