durance vile

Also found in: Idioms.
See: detention
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durance vile mother superior parts unknown fee simple heir apparent bend sinister court martial heir presumptive letter s patent sergeant major knight errant prince charming lady fair attorney general battle royal
Like Homer's painting, these ceramic works stand on their own visual and tactile qualities: tactile because this is not just ceramics we are talking about, but porcelain--brittle, fragile eternal porcelain--invented in the ancient world of China and reinvented by an kidnapped alchemist held in durance vile.