Updated 25 October 2002. Updates in blue.
On sale now, MonkeyBrain Press: A Blazing
the Unofficial Companion to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol II.
With grateful thanks to Steve Higgins for hooking me up with the preview issue.
(The image above is © copyright 2002 Alan Moore & Kevin O'Neill. The text here, except where otherwise credited, is © copyright 2002 Jess Nevins, and may not be duplicated, in part or in whole, without my permission.)
(Additions and corrections are of course appreciated.)
Page 1. Panel 1. Campion Bond is first seen in much the same way that he was first seen on Page 1 of League v1 #1, down to his Aubrey Beardsley cigarette case.
Panel 2. Several people, Hooper among them, have pointed out that Bond's carriage has a Masonic symbol. The ties between MI-5 and the Masons were made more explicit on Page 23 of Issue #4 of the first series.
John Gregory points out that in Chapter Three of the H.G. Wells novel War of the Worlds (1898) there is the following passage: "There were half a dozen flies or more from the Woking station standing in the road by the sand pits, a basketchaise from Chobham, and a rather lordly carriage." John wonders if Bond's carriage is meant to be the "lordly carriage."
Panel 4. As with much of the material in this issue, the newspaper Griffin is holding comes from the War of the Worlds. In that novel is the following passage:
In the afternoon the appearance of the common had altered very much. The early editions of the evening papers had startled London with enormous headlines:"Visitor" points out that I missed the other headline on the newspaper Griffin is holding. The words, "Dr. Nikola," are just barely visible. This is a reference to Guy Boothby's supervillain Dr. Nikola, who was introduced in an eight-part storyline in Windsor Magazine, which was collected as A Bid For Fortune (1895), and went on to appear four more novels. Nikola is one of the great 19th century mad scientists and archvillains; I have information on him on my Fantastic Victoriana site.
"A MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM MARS."
"REMARKABLE STORY FROM WOKING,"
and so forth.
The new M Campion refers to is Mycroft Holmes, the brother of Sherlock Holmes; he was seen on Page 23 of League v1 #6 taking over as the new M. It is a part of Sherlockian canon that Mycroft does not like to travel; in "The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter," Sherlock describes his brother this way:
Mycroft lodges in Pall Mall, and he walks round the corner into Whitehall every morning and back every evening. From year's end to year's end he takes no other exercise, and is seen nowhere else, except only in the Diogenes Club, which is just opposite his rooms.Panel 5. The girl in the left-hand side of the panel resembles the Tenniel drawings of Alice, from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. But in League v2 #1 Alice is described as having died almost 30 years before the events of this issue.
The "Prussians," for the less historically minded among you, were the Germans, rivals to the British Empire at the turn of the 20th century. (Prussia, historically, was Eastern Germany, along the Polish border; Prussia and the lesser Germanic/Hapsburg states were united and became the German Empire in 1871.) Henry Blanco corrects my too-hasty explanation of the Hapsburgs with the following:
The Habsburg state of Austria was not incorporated into the German Empire; it was the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. While the south German (and Catholic) states were under the Austrian sphere of influence before unification, they were not officially part of that empire. A major international question during the mid-19th century was whether the Prussians or Austrians would unite the lesser German states, and ultimately the Prussians won out.Page 2. I'm about to give away the plot. The enormous capsule seen here is one of the Martians' crafts; in War of the Worlds (hereafter WotW) it is described as "a huge cylinder, caked over and its outline softened by a thick scaly dun-coloured incrustation. It had a diameter of about thirty yards."
Page 3. Panel 1. To answer Campion's question, in WotW Stent, the "Astronomer Royal" Hyde mentions, directed the workmen excavating the cylinder.
Panel 2. Kieran Cowan usefully points out that the head of Campion Bond's cane has the Morse Code for "007."
Panel 5. The dialogue here is reproduced verbatim from Chapter 4 of WotW.
Page 4. Panel 1. In WotW the Martians' first appearance is described thusly:
A big greyish rounded bulk, the size, perhaps, of a bear, was rising slowly and painfully out of the cylinder. As it bulged up and caught the light, it glistened like wet leather.Page 5. Panel 1. The Martian falling from the cylinder into the pit occurs in Chapter Four of WotW. (It hardly needs saying that Moore and O'Neill are showing great faithfulness to the original book.)
Two large dark-coloured eyes were regarding me steadfastly. The mass that framed them, the head of the thing, was rounded, and had, one might say, a face. There was a mouth under the eyes, the lipless brim of which quivered and panted, and dropped saliva. The whole creature heaved and pulsated convulsively. A lank tentacular appendage gripped the edge of the cylinder, another swayed in the air.
Those who have never seen a living Martian can scarcely imagine the strange horror of its appearance. The peculiar V-shaped mouth with its pointed upper lip, the absence of brow ridges, the absence of a chin beneath the wedgelike lower lip, the incessant quivering of this mouth, the Gorgon groups of tentacles, the tumultuous breathing of the lungs in a strange atmosphere, the evident heaviness and painfulness of movement due to the greater gravitational energy of the earth--above all, the extraordinary intensity of the immense eyes--were at once vital, intense, inhuman, crippled and monstrous. There was something fungoid in the oily brown skin, something in the clumsy deliberation of the tedious movements unspeakably nasty.
Panels 3-5. The man trying to crawl from the pit is from WotW, Chapter Four:
And then, with a renewed horror, I saw a round, black object bobbing up and down on the edge of the pit. It was the head of the shopman who had fallen in, but showing as a little black object against the hot western sun. Now he got his shoulder and knee up, and again he seemed to slip back until only his head was visible. Suddenly he vanished, and I could have fancied a faint shriek had reached me.Page 6. Panel 3. The pair between Quatermain and Hyde are from WotW; they are the narrator (on the left, with his back to us) and one of the narrator's neighbors. The relevant passage, from Chapter Five:
One man I approached--he was, I perceived, a neighbour of mine, though I did not know his name--and accosted. But it was scarcely a time for articulate conversation.Page 7. Panel 1. The expedition, with the lead man waving the flag, is from WotW Chapter Five.
"What ugly brutes!" he said. "Good God! What ugly brutes!" He repeated this over and over again.
"That Reverend Harding who writes to the newspapers so often" was mentioned in League v1 #2; he is the Reverend Septimus Harding, from Anthony Trollope's The Warden (1855) and the succeeding Barsetshire novels.
Panel 5. From Chapter Five of WotW:
Suddenly there was a flash of light, and a quantity of luminous greenish smoke came out of the pit in three distinct puffs, which drove up, one after the other, straight into the still air.Page 9. Panel 1. The group here is described in War of the Worlds:
...the group of bystanders...among these were a couple of cyclists, a jobbing gardener I employed sometimes, a girl carrying a baby, Gregg the butcher and his little boy, and two or three loafers and golf caddies who were accustomed to hang about the railway station.Panels 2-3. From Chapter Five of WotW:
Forthwith flashes of actual flame, a bright glare leaping from one to another, sprang from the scattered group of men. It was as if some invisible jet impinged upon them and flashed into white flame. It was as if each man were suddenly and momentarily turned to fire.Page 10. Panels 1-2. From Chapter Five of WotW:
Then, by the light of their own destruction, I saw them staggering and falling, and their supporters turning to run.
I stood staring, not as yet realising that this was death leaping from man to man in that little distant crowd. All I felt was that it was something very strange. An almost noiseless and blinding flash of light, and a man fell headlong and lay still; and as the unseen shaft of heat passed over them, pine trees burst into fire, and every dry furze bush became with one dull thud a mass of flames. And far away towards Knaphill I saw the flashes of trees and hedges and wooden buildings suddenly set alight.
It was sweeping round swiftly and steadily, this flaming death, this invisible, inevitable sword of heat. I perceived it coming towards me by the flashing bushes it touched, and was too astounded and stupefied to stir. I heard the crackle of fire in the sand pits and the sudden squeal of a horse that was as suddenly stilled. Then it was as if an invisible yet intensely heated finger were drawn through the heather between me and the Martians, and all along a curving line beyond the sand pits the dark ground smoked and crackled. Something fell with a crash far away to the left where the road from Woking station opens out on the common. Forthwith the hissing and humming ceased, and the black, dome-like object sank slowly out of sight into the pit.Page 13. Panel 4. The inn, "The Bleak House," is in all likelihood a reference to Charles Dickens' The Bleak House (1852), Dickens' legendary take-down of the British legal system. Bleak House, in the novel, was the source of "this scarecrow of a suit," the interminable Jarndyce and Jarndyce. Ian Crichton writes,
A quick note to inform you that The Bleak House inn is an actual coaching inn and hostelry, public house, etc., that has stood on the Woking to Weybridge road, the A320, for several centuries, and in fact, may have inspired Mr. Dickens' The Bleak House, as opposed to vice-versa!Page 15. Panel 5. Quaterman's "this whole affair reminds me of a dream I once had" is a reference to his dream in "Allan and the Sundered Veil," from the first League miniseries.
As a resident of the fair county of Surrey, from just outside Woking, and a local history buff, I can confirm the accuracy of the mentioned locales (Horsell, Chobham etc.) and barracks, all here at the time.
Page 16. Panel 1. These trooops appear in Chapter Eight of WotW:
About eleven a company of soldiers came through Horsell, and deployed along the edge of the common to form a cordon. Later a second company marched through Chobham to deploy on the north side of the common. Several officers from the Inkerman barracks had been on the common earlier in the day, and one, Major Eden, was reported to be missing. The colonel of the regiment came to the Chobham bridge and was busy questioning the crowd at midnight. The military authorities were certainly alive to the seriousness of the business. About eleven, the next morning's papers were able to say, a squadron of hussars, two Maxims, and about four hundred men of the Cardigan regiment started from Aldershot."Major Henry Blimp" is a reference to Colonel Blimp, a cartoon character who was created by Sir David Alexander Cecil Low and appeared in various newspapers around the world in the 1930s, beginning with the London Evening Standard. Low described Colonel Blimp in this way:
Blimp was no enthusiast for democracy. He was impatient with the common people and their complaints. His remedy to social unrest was less education, so that people could not read about slumps. An extreme isolationist, disliking foreigners (which included Jews, Irish, Scots, Welsh, and people from the Colonies and Dominions); a man of violence, approving war. He had no use for the League of Nations nor for international efforts to prevent wars. In particular he objected to any economic reorganization of world resources involving changes in the status quo.Obviously the Blimp seen here is a younger version who's yet to be promoted. (Thanks to Rick Lai for correcting my mistake here.) Mark Coale (of the good 'zine Odessa Steps) points out the film The Life and Times of Colonel Blimp, which is about a Col. Blimp-like character.
"It'll all be over come Monday morning" is likely a reference to the expression "It will all be over by Christmas," which many British told each other in the opening days of World War One. Gabriel Neeb adds that a young Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery was actually quoted in August 1914 as saying, "Fortunately the whole thing will be over by Christmas." Mitchell Glavas adds
However, near the beginning of Chapter 9 of WotW, the narrator's neighbor "was of the opinion that the troops would be able to capture or to destroy the Martians during the day (i.e. the Sunday following the first use of the Heat Ray)." Wells also seems to indicate that people who had not seen the Martians themselves had an overly optimistic impression of how easily they would be defeated. Thus while the WW1 reference makes complete sense, the same sentiments come directly from WotW.The ever-interesting Martin Linck contributes the following:
What I find interesting is that the troops shown here are wearing the standard-issue British Home Service uniform, circa 1898. British troops in the Boer War (who spent most of that conflict being picked off by Boer sharpshooters) wore almost exactly the same uniform, although in foreign service, a white pith helmet was worn instead of the black home service helmet depicted here. I must say, I'm worried by the metal spike portuding from the helmets; this is, I think, an older style, no longer in use in our universe in 1898.Very well, so the uniforms are perfectly consistent with our version of 1898. What about the rifles? The weapons carried by the soldiers in the diagram are Lee-Metfords or Lee-Enfields. This was the bolt-action "magazine rifle" that replaced the venerable Martini-Henry single-shot in the early 1890's. The Lee-Metford had Metford rifling, which was adequate for black-powder cartridges; the Lee-Enfield had Enfield rifling, which was necessary to deal with the smokeless-powder catridges introduced at around the same time. Externally, both rifles are identical. By WWI, all British soldiers carried Lee-Enfields.
Page 17. Panel 2. The "buggering noise and clanging from the Common" are from Chapter Eight of WotW:
A curious crowd lingered restlessly, people coming and going but the crowd remaining, both on the Chobham and Horsell bridges. One or two adventurous souls, it was afterwards found, went into the darkness and crawled quite near the Martians; but they never returned, for now and again a light-ray, like the beam of a warship's searchlight swept the common, and the Heat-Ray was ready to follow. Save for such, that big area of common was silent and desolate, and the charred bodies lay about on it all night under the stars, and all the next day. A noise of hammering from the pit was heard by many people.Panel 3. In response to my wondering about the significance of the "NINE" spelled out in matchsticks, Steve Higgins wrote:
The NINE that is spelled out in matchsticks is the answer to a riddle. you take six matchsticks, line them up like so:Nowie Potenciano adds that he's more familiar with the twenty matchstick version of this game.
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
! ! ! ! ! !
Then you hand the person five more matchsticks and say, "add these five to the six lined up to get nine."
Once they're stumped, you place the matchsticks on top of the others like so:
!\ ! ! !\ ! !---
! \ ! ! ! \ ! !---
! \! ! ! \! !---
And the riddle is solved. It's a way to pass time in bars when bored. Hence, they're doing riddles because they're so bored.
Page 18. Panel 1. The descent of the second cylinder appears in Chapter Eight of WotW:
A few seconds after midnight the crowd in the Chertsey road, Woking, saw a star fall from heaven into the pine woods to the northwest. It had a greenish colour, and caused a silent brightness like summer lightning. This was the second cylinder.
"The New Traveller's Alamanac: Chapter Two"
aka Alan Moore's attempt to kill me
Page 25. “Landed in Philomela's kingdom...”
This is a reference to Samuel Gott's Novae Solymae libri sex (1648), in which Philomela robbed and murdered her guests as described here.
"We passed by the Capa Blanca Isles, where bullfighting occurs, a beastly
sport which some animal-lover really should persuade them to abandon."
The Capa Blanca Isles appear in Hugh Lofting's The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (1923). In that novel Dr. John Dolittle persuaded the bulls to chase a matador from the slaughter ring and then perform various tricks, winning the crowd and effecting the abolition of bullfighting. Dennis Power makes the point that the events of The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle are set "many years ago," and so bullfighting must have made a comeback between the time that Dr. Dolittle visited the islands and the time of Mina's visit. David Goldfarb suggests that Lofting got the name from Cuban chess champion Jose Raul Capablanca, who won the world title in 1921.
"Further south was Mayda, Island of the Seven Cities..."
Mayda, Island of the Seven Cities, appears in Washington Irving's The Alhambra (1832). Mayda is inhabited by the descendants of Portuguese who fled Portugal in 734 to escape the Moors. Mayda's cathedrals built of basalt and decorated with many golden ornaments.
"...nor upon Nut Island, though we saw that island's fishermen, Nutanauts..."
Nut Island and the Nutanauts come from Lucian of Samosata's True History (2nd century C.E.). The True History has accounts of places on Earth but is notable for being the earliest science fiction space travel novel.
"East lay the coast of Coromandel, a small independent country on the
edge of Portugal, where was raised the castle of a locally-famed nobleman,
the Yonghi-Bonghi of Bo."
Coromandel and the Yonghi-Bonghi of Bo are from Edward Lear's "The Courtship of Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò" (1877), one of Lear's great nonsense rhymes.
"The Milanese magus Duke Prospero..."
Prospero, revealed in League v2 #1 to have been the leader of the first League, is from Shakespeare's The Tempest (1611).
"...an Isle called Lanternland..."
Lanternland, and the glowing Lords and Ladies, are from Le Voyage de navigation que fist Panurge, disciple de Pantagruel, aux isles incognues et éstranges de plusieurs choses merveilleuses et difficiles à croire, qu'il dict avoir veues, dont il fait narration en ce présent volume, et plusieurs aultres joyeusetez pour inciter les lecteurs et audietues à rire (Anonymous, 1538), and then again in François Rabelais' Le cinquiesme et dernier livre des faicts et dicts du bon Pantagruel, auquel est contenu la visitation de l'Oracle de la dive Bacbuc, et le mot de la bouteille; pour lequel avoir est entrepris tout ce long voyage (Five Books of the Lives, Heroic Deeds and Sayings of Gargantua and His Son Pantagruel, 1564). Gargantua was a giant of medieval Celtic and Gallic legend which Rabelais adapted for his satirical works, which hold up surprisingly well as comedy, even today. Philip Cohen says,
That translation is the name given to the collection of all five of Rabelais's books in the Urquhart and Motteux translation. I can't find the 1538 book on the Web but the fact that the pays Lanternois is mentioned in chapters 1, 5, 6, and 8 of the 4th book, published in short form in 1548, makes me wonder if the 1538 book was by Rabelais hiding from condemnation. Can't find my dead-tree copy to investigate further. Anyhoo, the translations of the titles are, roughly: 'The journey that Panurge, disciple of Pantagruel, made to unknown and strange islands and several marvelous and hard-to-believe things which he claims to have seen, of which he tells in this present volume, and several other jests to incite readers and hearers to laughter' and 'The fifth and final book of the deeds and sayings of the good Pantagruel, in which is contained the visit to the Oracle of the divine Bacbuc, and the word of the bottle, for which this whole long voyage was undertaken'.
"We found an Isle called Lanternland by some, where great Demosthenes burned midnight oil, and putting in to shore at my command upon its soil saw men to glow-worms turned; each Lord and Lady dressed with glass and gem that caught the shine of wanton candle-flame. Jewelled crest and diamond hem, blazing they pass, no two the same, their radiance near divine."
Ryan Laws points out that Prospero's journal is in properly-Shakespearean iambic pentameter, albeit slightly off the ten-beat line. The preceding entry can be broken down like so:
We found an Isle called Lanternland by some
Where great Demosthenes burned midnight oil
And putting in to shore at my command
Upon its soil saw men to glow-worms turned;
Each Lord and Lady dressed with glass and gem
That caught the shine of wanton candle-flame.
Jewelled crest and diamond hem, blazing they pass
No two the same, their radiance near divine.
"Not far away an oracle is found; a bottle in a crypt upon an isle where
did sweet Bachus make a vineyard grow. The bottle speaketh with a cracking
sound, and I did like its augurs not at all."
The Oracle in the Bottle is from Five Books of the Lives, Heroic Deeds and Sayings of Gargantua and His Son Pantagruel.
"...past the Lotus-Eater's land of yellow sand and endless afternoon..."
The Island of the Lotus-Eaters is from Homer's Odyssey (and, as Steve Higgins points out and which I should have caught, Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Lotos Eaters"). The Lotus Eaters feed on lotus blooms and in so doing become inured to the concerns of mortals. Lang Thompson notes that the Lotophagi, lotus eaters, appear in Herodotus, who said they feed on the fruit, not the blooms. Philip Cohen quibbles with my use of the word "inured" and prefers "become immune to" or "forget" or "lose."
"...Ogygia too we passed..."
Ogygia is from Homer's Odyssey. Ogygia was the island on which the nymph Calypso lived.
"...This ring-shaped island, that is called only 'Her'..."
The island of Her and its silent swan are from Alfred Jarry's Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, Pataphysicien (Gestures and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician, 1911). Jarry's work is scabrous, foul, and brilliant; it's hard to say it's about anything, though.
"...a Cyclops is, one of that fearsome breed whereof Odysseus spake..."
In Homer's Odyssey Odysseus outwitted a Cyclops.
"...past the Imaginary Isle..."
The Imaginary Isle is from Anne Marie Louise Henriette d'Orléans, Duchesse de Montpensier's Rélation de L'Isle Imaginaire (Relation of the Imaginary Island, 1659). (By Montpensier, unless her husband Jean Segrais wrote it instead.) L'Isle Imaginaire is a Utopia burlesquing France.
"...a pois'nous land called the Great Garabagne..."
The Great Garabagne is from Henri Michaux's Voyage en Grande Garabagne (Voyage to Grand Garabagne, 1936); Great Garabagne is a land where each traveller meets his own monsters and despairs.
"Next we came to Aiolio..."
Aiolio appears in Homer's Odyssey. Aiolos Hippotades is the King of the Winds and keeps violent winds in ox-skin sacks.
"...the mountain Animas raised up near Soria, where once Knights Templar
The mountain Animas, aka Monte de las Animas, aka Mountain of the Spirits, appears in Gustavo Becquer's "El Monte de las ánimas" (The Mountain of the Spirits, 1871). The Monte de las Animas was a former stronghold of the Templars before the Castilians slaughtered the Knights.
"Beyond the straits verdant Anostus lay..."
Anostus appears in Claudius Aelianus' Varia Historia (2nd century C.E.).
"Portugal has the republic of Andorra..."
Andorra (the fictional concept, not the country) is from Max Frisch's Andorra (1961), about a violently pro-Christian and anti-Semitic country in the Pyrenees.
"More interestingly, in Spain's La Mancha provice, is the landbound
island, Barataria, where twenty years before Prospero's voyage a squire named
Sancho Panza ruled, albeit only for a week. Not far from Barataria we find
a grotto, Montesinos' Cave, the sole account of which is that of Panza's
master, Don Quixote..."
La Mancha, Barataria, Sancho Panza, Montesino's Cave, and Don Quixote are all from Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra's El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quixote de La Mancha (The Ingenious Noble, Don Quixote de la Mancha, 1605-1615).
Page 26. "...the tomb of the hero Durandarte..."
Although the tomb of Durandarte appears in Don Quixote de La Mancha, Durandarte is part of medieval Spanish myth, and was supposedly killed at the Battle of Roncesvalles; for more information, read Le Chanson de Roland.
“...the willfully eccentric country Exopotomania...”
Exopotomania appears in Boris Vian's L'Automne à Pékin (The Fall of Peking, 1956), a novel about a desert Utopia.
"Further east is Andrographia..."
Andrographia is from Nicolas Edme Restif de la Bretonne's L'Andrographe ou idées d'un honnête homme sur un projet de réglement proposé à toutes les nations de l'Europe pour opérer une réforme générale des moeurs, et par elle, le bonheur du genre humain avec des notes historiques et justificatives (The andrographe or ideas of an honest man on a regulation project proposed to all the Europe nations to operate a general reformation of the morals, and by her, the happiness of the mankind with historic and supporting grades, 1782). de la Bretonne was a French author who wrote a little bit of science fiction, a lot of pornography, and still more rubbish. I'll leave it to you to guess which category this book falls into. Philip Cohen says that this is a better translation: "Better: The andrographer, or ideas of an honest man on a scheme of regulations proposed to all the nations of Europe to produce a general reform of morality and thereby the happiness of mankind, with historical and supporting notes."
"...the iron-clad castle of the 16th century sorcerer Atlante..."
Atlante's castle appears in Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1516), one of the great medieval epics.
"Next comes a Pyrenean city that apparently cannot be named for reasons
of what is puzzlingly described as 'theological security.' Its southern half
contains a mansion, Triste-le-Roy, reached by committing murders at the three
points of a mystic triangle..."
The city which cannot be named, and the mansion Triste-le-Roy, are from Jorge Luis Borges' "La Muerte y la brújula" (Death and the compass, 1956).
"...we pass the garrulous land of Auspasia..."
Auspasia, the noisiest and most talkative nation in the world, appears in Georges Duhamel's Lettres d'Auspasie (Letters from Auspasia, 1922) and La dernier voyage de Candide (The Last Voyage of Candide, 1938).
"...to reach Bengodi..."
Bengodi, and its Parmesan cheese, appear in Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron (1353), a very influential collection of Italian stories, some of which were later used by Chaucer in his Canterbury Tales.
"...there are also gemstones unique to Bengodi, including an invisibility-bestowing
heliotrope used in the first experiments of Hawley Griffin."
The heliotrope has traditionally been seen as an item which grants invisibility. Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable defines the heliotrope as
Apollo loved Clytie, but forsook her for her sister Leucothoe. On discovering this, Clytie pined away; and Apollo changed her at death to a flower, which, always turning towards the sun, is called heliotrope. (Greek, "turn-to-sun.")In Novel iii of the Eighth Day of the Decameron the heliotrope is described as "a kind of stone in the Mugnone which renders whoso carries it invisible to every other soul in the world."
According to the poets, heliotrope renders the bearer invisible. Boccaccio calls it a stone, but Solinus says it is the herb. "Ut herba ejusdem nominis mixta et præcantationibus legitimis conscecrata, eum, a quocunque gestabitur, subtrahat visibus obviorum." (Georgic, xi.)
Philip Cohen says,For those with less Latin than Brewer expected of his readers, this means something like 'So the herb of the same name, brewed and consecrated with the proper incantations, removes whoever it is carried by from the sight of passersby.'"No hope had they of crevice where to hide,
Or heliotrope to charm them out of view."
Dante: Inferno, xxiv.
In Wells' Invisible Man there is no evidence of a heliotrope in Griffin's first experiments (although Griffin surely qualifies as an unreliable narrator). By his own account, he discovered invisibility in this way:
I will tell you, Kemp, sooner or later, all the complicated processes. We need not go into that now. For the most part, saving certain gaps I chose to remember, they are written in cypher in those books that tramp has hidden. We must hunt him down. We must get those books again. But the essential phase was to place the transparent object whose refractive index was to be lowered between two radiating centres of a sort of ethereal vibration, of which I will tell you more fully later. No, not these Röntgen vibrations--I don't know that these others of mine have been described. Yet they are obvious enough. I needed two little dynamos, and these I worked with a cheap gas engine.JoeyBags notes, "While it's true that there's no evidence of heliotrope in the novel, for some reason Heliotrope is a major ingredent in Universal's The Invisible Man, directed by James Whale and starring Claude Rains (1933)."
"...close to the Balearic Islands is Trypheme..."
Tryphême appears in Pierre Louys's Les Aventures du Roi Pausole (The Adventures of King Pausole, 1900). In the novel Tryphême operates much as described here.
"North, within French territory, is Papafiguiera..."
Papafiguiera, or Papefiguiera, is from Béroualde de Verville's Le Moyen de parvenir. Oeuvre contenant la raison de tout ce qui a esté, est, et sera, avec démonstrations certaines et nécessaires selon la rencontre des effets de vertu (The Means to reach. Work containing the reason of all this that has been, is, and will be, with certain and necessary demonstrations according to the encounter of the virtue effects, 1610). Le Moyen de Parvenir was one of a number of late Renaissance French menippean satires. Philip Cohen says
Better: 'The way to succeed. A work containing the reason for everything that was, is, and will be, with sure and necessary proofs according to the encounter of the effects of virtue.' Both translations seem to be missing some point starting with 'according to' but I can't figure out anything better."These include Ptyx, Bran Isle..."
The island of Clerkship appears in François Rabelais' Le quart livre des faicts et dicts du bon Pantagruel (1552).
Laceland is from Alfred Jarry's Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, Pataphysicien.
The island of Leaveheavenalone is from Charles Kingsley's The Water Babies (1863).
Breadlessday appears in François Rabelais' Le cinquiesme et dernier livre des faicts et dicts du bon Pantagruel.
Amorphous Island appears in Alfred Jarry's Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, Pataphysicien.
"Ruach, the 'Windy Island'..."
Ruach appears in François Rabelais' Le quart livre des faicts et dicts du bon Pantagruel.
"In between are Cyril Island (a self-propelled volcano that is currently
the home of Captain Kidd)..."
Cyril Island is from Alfred Jarry's Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, Pataphysicien. In the novel the island is the home of Captain Kidd.
"...the Fortunate Islands (which include the Isle of Butterflies..."
The Fortunate Islands and the Isle of Butterflies are from Le Voyage de navigation que fist Panurge, disciple de Pantagruel.
Fragrant Island is from Alfred Jarry's Gestes et Opinions du Docteur Faustroll, Pataphysicien.
"...the pie-island Pastemolle..."
Pastemolle appears in Le Voyage de navigation que fist Panurge, disciple de Pantagruel.
Thermometer Island appears in Denis Diderot's Les Bijoux Indiscrets (The Indiscreet Jewels, 1748). Diderot, the famous encyclopedist and philosopher, also wrote erotica, which Les Bijoux Indiscrets is.
"...the flower-carpeted peninsula of Flora..."
Flora appears in Ferdinand Raimund's "Die gefesselte Phantasie" (The Bound Imagination, 1837), a dramatic fairytale.
"North is Lubec, a town in south Provence founded by colonists from
Thermometer Island, with all the genital peculiarities so common in that place."
Lubec is from Béroualde de Verville's Le Moyen de parvenir. There is no textual link between de Verville's work and Diderot's. In Lubec, as mentioned, the genitalia of men are removed and stored in the Town Hall. On Thermometer Island the genitalia of men and women are peculiarly and geometrically shaped, but not removed.
The castle of Trinquelage appears in Alphonse Daudet's Lettres de mon moulin (Letters from my mill, 1866), a collection of mostly-humorous stories about Daudet's native Provence.
"...to the west is Nameless Castle..."
Nameless Castle is from Denis Diderot's Jacques le fataliste et son maître (Jacques the Fatalist and his Master, 1796), a comedy about a servant and the man he served.
"...the kingdom of Poictesme, guarded by the Fellows of the Silver Stallion."
Poictesme appears in the works of James Branch Cabell, most notably Jurgen (1919), in which the Fellowship of the Silver Stallion appears. Jurgen is a brilliant satirical comedy set in a fantasy Europe.
"A like-named group exists in modern Nimes..."
I am unaware of another Fellowship of the Silver Stallion aside from Cabell's.
"Further west, in what is now Auvergne, we have a medieval province
that shared borders with Poictesme, known as Averoigne."
Averoigne is from the outstanding stories of Clark Ashton Smith, among which was "A Rendezvous in Averoigne" (1931). Smith is a criminally-underrated fantasy writer, with Averoigne being one of the locations of his stories.
"...the subterranean Grande Euscarie..."
Grande Euscarie appears in Luc Alberny's Le Mammoth Bleu (The Blue Mammoth, 1935).
"...where the buried kingdoms of the Fatipuffs and Thinnifers are found."
The kingdoms of the Fattipuffs and the Thinnifers appear in André Maurois' Patapoufs et Filifers (1930), one of Maurois' juvenalia.
"...we find Baron Hugh's Castle..."
Baron Hugh's Castle appears in the 1942 film Les Visiteurs du soir (The Visitors in the Evening), a romance about two minstrels sent by the Devil to tempt the desperate and unswary. David Cairns noted that Les Visiteurs du soir was written by Jacques Prevert and that "French audiences at the time took the still-beating hearts of the statues to be a symbol of the heart of France under the Nazi occupation. This symbolism, not consciously intended by Prevert, escaped the Nazi censors."
"...the modest and agrarian republic Calejava, founded by one Dr. Ava
in the 1600s upon communitarian ideals, described by Mina Murray in her journal
notes as 'scrupulously fair; screamingly dull.'"
Calejava and Dr. Ava are from Claude Gilbert's Histoire de Calejava ou de l'Ilse des Hommes Raisonnables, avec le Paralelle de leur Morale et du Christianisme (History of Calejava or the Island of Reasonable Men, with the Parallel of their Morals and Christianity, 1700). The reason that Mina finds Calejava so dull is that there are no forms at all of entertainment in Calejava, it being a communitarian, work-oriented Utopia. Philip Cohen again corrects me, or rather the source I used: "Histoire de Calejava, ou de l'isle [n.b.] des hommes raisonnables, avec le parallèle [n.b.] de leur morale et du christianisme."
"...the sunken city Belesbat..."
Murderous Belesbat appears in Claire Kenin's La Mer mystérieuse (The Mysterious Sea, 1923).
"...a separate sunken city (named by its discoverers as, simply, 'Disappeared')..."
The sunken city of Disappeared appears in Victor Hugo's "La Ville disparue" (The Disappeared City, 1859).
"...the Atlantean colony, Atlanteja..."
Atlanteja appears in Luigi Motta's Il tunnel sottomarino (The Undersea Tunnel, 1927).
"...outposts of the Streaming Kingdom..."
The Streaming Kingdom, mentioned in the Almanac in League v2 #1, appeared in Jules Superveille's L'enfant de la haute mers (1931).
"...we passed above Le Douar..."
Le Douar appeared in J.H. Rosny (jeune)'s L'Enigme du "Redoutable" (The Enigma of the "Redoubtable," 1930).
Page 27. “...we saw the Isle of Boredom...”
The Island of Boredom appears in Marie Anne de Roumier Robert's Les Ondins (The Water Sprites, 1768), a voyage imaginaire.
"...we saw Magic Maiden's Rock..."
Magic Maiden's Rock appears in Vasco de Lobeira's Amadis de Gaula (Amadis of Gaul, 1350-1508), one of the greatest of the Iberian epics and the work responsible for Don Quixote's madness.
"...we passed Realism Island..."
Realism Island is from G.K. Chesterton's "Introductory: On Gargoyles" (1910), Chesterton's screed against Realism in art ("realism is simply Romanticism that has lost its reason").
"We carried on past Cork (not Cork in Ireland, obviously) that Lucian
The island of Cork appears in Lucian of Samosata's True History.
"The first is Alca, where the native penguins were transformed to humans
by the Angel Gabriel..."
The island of Alca appeared in Daniel Defoe's The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Serious Reflections during the Life and Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, or, A New Voyage Round the World, by a course never sailed before. Being a voyage undertaken by some Merchants, who afterwards proposed the Setting up an East-India Company in Flanders (1724). This was Defoe's sequel to Robinson Crusoe. Shawn Garrett notes that the story of the Angel Gabriel and the penguins is from Anatole France's L'Ile des pingouins (Penguin Island, 1908), which made use of Alca from Defoe's sequel.
"...the former Isle of Asbefore, once part of an archipelago, with its
fellow islands (Farapart, Jumptoit, Incognito) now seemingly sunken; Asbefore
has known only one incident of interest, this being a successfully repelled
invasion by a group of turkey hunters from the town of Bang-Bang-Turkey..."
The islands of Asbefore, Farapart, Jumptoit, and Incognito and the city of Bang-Bang-Turkey all appear in Jacques Prévert's Lettre des îles Baladar (Letter from the Baladar Islands, 1952), one of his books for children.
"...the mouth of the Atlantic tunnel..."
The trans-Atlantic tunnel appeared in Luigi Motta's Il tunnel sottomarino.
"Further inland is Broceliande forest..."
Brocéliande forest appeared in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "The Idylls of the King" (1842-1845), the classic poetic take on Arthurian myth.
"Next we reach Banoic..."
Banoic, aka Benwick, was a part of Arthurian myth.
"...this area was subsumed in the Hurlubierean Empire..."
The empire of Hurlubiere appeared in Charles Nodier's Hurlubleu, Grand Manifafa d'Hurlubiere (1822), a satire of philosophy.
"...is the proposed site of the city Morphopolis..."
Morphopolis (not 'Morphiopolis;' thanks to Marc Madouraud for the correction) appeared in Maurice Barrère's La Cité du sommeil (The City of Sleep, 1909, not 1929 as I originally had it; thanks to Marc Madouraud for the correction). The site is "proposed" because the events of La Cité du sommeil take place in 1950, and the The New Traveller's Almanac was written before that (thanks to Ryan Laws for correcting my mistake here).
"...the eight-sided Abbey of Theleme..."
The Abbey appeared in François Rabelais' La Vie très horrifique du grand Gargantua (The Very Horrific Life of the Great Gargantua, 1534). David Goldfarb, among others, noted that Aleister Crowley took "Do as you will" from Rabelais, and that "his followers sometimes use the term 'thelemic' to describe themselves."
"...the giant Gargantua, who, amongst other things, provided Paris with
its name during the 16th century, when he discharged the contents of his
massive bladder. The luckless citizens were washed away or drowned by a great
flood of urine that poured steaming from the much-relieved colossus, who,
when he viewed the destruction his emission had provoked, could not contain
his mirth. At this, those who'd survived the deluge angrily cried, 'Look!
He's drowned us par ris (for a laugh),' with the unlucky city known as Paris
This event occurred in François Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532). In Chapter XVII of the First Book we read:
And they pressed so hard upon him that he was constrained to rest himself upon the towers of Our Lady's Church. At which place, seeing so many about him, he said with a loud voice, I believe that these buzzards will have me to pay them here my welcome hither, and my Proficiat. It is but good reason. I will now give them their wine, but it shall be only in sport. Then smiling, he untied his fair braguette, and drawing out his mentul into the open air, he so bitterly all-to-bepissed them, that he drowned two hundred and sixty thousand, four hundred and eighteen, besides the women and little children. Some, nevertheless, of the company escaped this piss-flood by mere speed of foot, who, when they were at the higher end of the university, sweating, coughing, spitting, and out of breath, they began to swear and curse, some in good hot earnest, and others in jest. Carimari, carimara: golynoly, golynolo. By my sweet Sanctess, we are washed in sport, a sport truly to laugh at;--in French, Par ris, for which that city hath been ever since called."...such as the Amran period, when France was Aquilonia and was ruled briefly by a Swedish warrior-king named Amra, though some suggest this was a nickname meaning 'lion' or 'lionheart.'"
"...the cruel Melnibonean empire, these remains including the corroded
hilt of a black sword..."
The Melnibonean empire and the black sword are from the Elric of Melnibone books of Michael Moorcock. The black sword is Stormbringer, the soul-sucking blade of Elric. J. Keith Haney says,
There is a significance to only the hilt of Stormbringer being found by archeologists. You may recall from the ending of the novel of the same name that after slaying its master, Elric, Stormbringer assumed its true form and went flying off into the new cosmos they had created together. Apparently, it must have just been the blade itself and not the whole sword, hence the hilt being left behind."Like most French cities, Paris has its own 'Parthenion Town,' bordello districts with permitted, regulated prostitution."
"Less graspable is Neverreachhereland..."
Neverreachhereland appeared in André Dhôtel's Les Pays où l'on n'arrive jamais (The Country One Never Reaches, 1955).
"Beneath the city's Opera House exist the caves where in 1911 the deranged
and hideous 'Phantom' carried out his crimes."
The Opera House and the Phantom appear in Gaston Leroux's The Phantom of the Opera (1911). Jean-Marc Lofficier points out the events of Phantom take place in the 1880s, not 1911.
"In 1913, Mina Murray and her second extraordinary league..."
An obvious hint about the future of the League, here.
"...their French counterparts Les Hommes Mysterieux..."
French popular fiction is filled with characters who would easily qualify for a French League. For more information on them, see Jean-Marc Lofficier's excellent Cool French Comics site and his outstanding French Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Pulp Fiction.
"...aeronaut Jean Robur..."
Robur, mentioned in passing in the first League series, is the hero of Jules Verne's The Clipper of the Clouds (1887) and then the villain of The Master of the World (1904). I have information on Robur on my Fantastic Victoriana site.
"...the frightening night-sighted Nyctalope..."
The Nyctalope was created by "Jean de La Hire," aka Adolphe d'Espie De La Hire, and appeared in a series of books from 1908 through the mid-1950s, beginning with L'Homme Qui Peut Vivre Dans L'Eau (The Man Who Could Live in the Water, 1908). The Nyctalope was the first real super-hero of French pulp literature, having super-powers (he could see in the dark and had an artificial heart) and a group of faithful assistants. For more information on the Nyctalope, see Jean-Marc Lofficier's excellent Nyctalope page.
"...just prior to A.J. shooting him..."
As a number of people (including Kevin Mowery, Andrew J. Brook, and Stu Shiffman) pointed out, I originally made an error in conflating "A.J." with Mina's lover "A." A.J. is in all likelihood E.W. Hornung's gentleman thief A.J. Raffles. Jeff Meyer adds that he thinks "Quatermain may have pulled the time-honored trick of immortals everywhere, faking his own death and masquerading as his own son. Thus, 'A.J.' stands for 'Alan, Jr.'"
"...their disputed 'Jean Valjean' graffiti..."
Jean Valjean is of course from Victor Hugo's Les Misérables (1862). JoeyBags corrects me and points out that Jean Valjean was the character's real name in Les Misérables.
"..the Graveyard of Unwritten Books, in chambers under the Hotel de
The Graveyard of Unwritten Books beneath the Hôtel de Sens was created by the Turkish writer Nedim Gürsel and appeared in Son Tramway (His Tram, 1900). The Graveyard, also known as the "Well of Locks," is the home of all books forbidden by authorities across the world.
"...just outside Paris lies Lofoten Cemetery, with its crows grown fat
on human flesh and its reported spectres."
Lofoten Cemetery appears in the Symbolist poet Oscar Venceslas de Lubicz Milosz's Les Sept solitudes, poèmes (The Seven Solitudes, Poems, 1906). The crows of Lofoten feed on the cold flesh of the recently dead and have grown quite fat on this diet. The spectres are of the dead, who are, according to some, less dead than some famous living people.
"Nearby there is Montmorency, where the scientist Martial Canterel maintains
his villa, Locus Solus, with its many wonderful inventions."
Martial Canterel and Locus Solus are from Raymond Roussel's Locus Solus (1914). Canterel is an inventor and scientist who creates several remarkable inventions, including two formulae for resurrecting corpses.
"Les Hommes Mysterieux"
See Page 28, below.
Page 28. “Also near Paris is the city
Fluorescente, built on avant-garde philosophies.”
Fluorescente was created by noted Dadaist Tristan Tzara and appeared in Grains et Issues (Grains and Exits, 1935).
"...yet another subterranean site, this being the notorious Suicide
City. This dismal refuge of the world's failed suicides was found during 1912
Police investigations of an underground rail line between Bastille and Vincennes,
and was allegedly founded by survivors of London's notorious Suicide Club,
Suicide City appeared in José Muñoz Escamez's La Ciudad de los Suicidas (The City of the Suicides, 1912); Escamez wrote the novel as an informal sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Suicide Club" (1882).
"...we come to Etretat and Hollow Needle, cave-lair of Arsene Lupin."
The Hollow Needle is a naturally-formed cave which Arsène Lupin used in Maurice LeBlanc's L'Aiguille Creuse (The Hollow Needle, 1909). Lupin, created by LeBlanc, is the foremost example of the gentleman thief; for more information on him, see Jean-Marc Lofficier's excellent Arsène Lupin page. Jean Rogers adds
in fact the Aiguille is the huge rock off the cliffs at Etretat (There's a clear picture at http://perso.wanadoo.fr/bernard.langellier/htenorm/htenorm.htm). Lupin's lair, as described in the book entitled L'Aiguille Creuse, is a cave within this rock, reached by a tunnel from the town, passing under the sea. This is much more dramatic than the Almanac makes it sound..."As with his rival Fantomas..."
So, for those who care about such things, the 1913 line-up of Les Hommes Mysterieux, seen in the illustration at the bottom of Page 27, consists of Jean Robur, the Nyctalope, Arsène Lupin, Fantômas, and "several others." Who is who in that illustration, however, is another matter. I think that the man in the lead is Jean Robur. Next to him is the tuxedo-wearing individual, and while Lupin is customarily portrayed in a tuxedo the definitive Fantômas image shows the Lord of Terror in a tuxedo. The seated individual with the odd helmet and goggles is, I think, Nyctalope, but given Fantômas' faceless nature in his novels this could be Fantômas instead. That leaves the fourth, bearded individual, to the rear of the boat, which could be Fantômas or the Nyctalope. Damian Gordon has an interesting comparison between Les Hommes Mysterieux to the League; he also notes that since Lupin is traditionally shown wearing a monocle, and that the tuxedo-wearing individual seen here has a monocle, the identification of the man in the tuxedo with Lupin is correct, which makes the character in the rear Fantômas. Marc Madouraud sends along a note which clears up the question of who is who in this picture. The fourth character, in the rear of the boat, is not Fantômas, but rather the Phantom of the Opera; what I took to be a bearded face is actually a mask, which as Marc notes is the exact same mask which Claude Rains wore in the 1943 Arthur Lupin version of Phantom.
Thanks to Jean-Marc Lofficier I can tell you that the creepy pumpkinheaded floppy-armed imp seen running along the edge of the sewer, in the illustration at the bottom of Page 27, is a Martian from Arnould Galopin's Le Docteur Oméga - Aventures Fantastiques de Trois Français dans la Planète Mars (Dr. Omega - Fantastic Adventures Of Three Frenchmen On Planet Mars, 1905). Le Docteur Oméga (a book, not a magazine, as I had it; thanks to Marc Madouraud for the correction) was about Doctor Omega, an inventor-adventurer, who goes to Mars and fights various Martians, some of whom are quite like the one seen here. I have slightly more information on Dr. Omega on the French Heroes section of my Pulp Heroes site, and Jean-Marc Lofficier has still more information in his magisterial French Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Pulp Fiction. According to Jean-Marc, who spoke directly to Kevin O'Neill, O'Neill put in the Martian because he liked its look; there's "no hidden story agenda there."
"Further north is Quiquendone, on the Escaut in Flanders, where in 1870
a deranged engineer named Dr. Ox turned townsfolk into violent beasts with
side effects from gas-lighting experiments."
Quiquendone and Dr. Ox are from Jules Verne's Une Fantasie du Docteur Ox (A Fantasy of Dr. Ox, 1874). Quiquendone was the location Dr. Ox chose in which to install a modernized lighting system, with unfortunate results.
"Dr. Ox, believed dead, was in fact admitted to a nearby township, Expiation
City, built for purposes of ethical atonement and said to have aided in the
rehabilitation of various master villains."
Expiation City appeared in P.S. Ballanches' La Ville des expiations (The City of Expiations, 1907). In the novel Expiation City is a dictatorship created for the sole purpose of social re-education and the atonement of moral and spiritual weaknesses. Unfortunately the novel contains no mention of specific master villains who have sought expiation.
"North, the castle of the murderer Bluebeard stood..."
Bluebeard and his castle appeared in Charles Perrault's "La Barbe Bleue" (The Blue Beard, 1697); the story of Bluebeard is that he would take a young wife and eventually murder her, with Bluebeard's last wife discovering this awful fact and seeing to Bluebeard's death.
"...further south was the retreat of the deformed noble called 'The
The Beast, of the legend (then novel, then film, then animated treatment) of Beauty and the Beast, was created by Mme Marie Leprince de Beaumont and appeared in "La Belle et La Bête" (The Beauty and the Beast, 1757).
"Eastwards lie two demolished fortresses, one home to an inbred Royal
family cursed by cataleptic fits, with lovely Princess Rosamund as the most
"Princess Rosamund" is better known as "Princess Rosamond," or "Sleeping Beauty." I think Moore is also bringing in George MacDonald's The Wise Woman, a Parable (1875), which has a similarly sleep-prone Princess Rosamond.
"The other fort, Carabas Castle, had been previously called Ogre Castle
until the ogre was provoked into transforming into a mouse and promptly eaten
by a talking feline dressed in striking footwear."
Carabas Castle appeared in Charles Perrault's "Le Maître Chat ou Le Chat Botté" (The Master Cat or the Boot-Wearing Cat, 1697). The ogre was taunted into this transformation by the talking feline in striking footwear, aka Puss-in-Boots.
"...alleged to have been made by Merlin for the great knight Tristan.
Called the Fountain of Love..."
Tristan and Merlin are part of the Arthurian myth cycle as well as the legends of Tristan et Yseult (aka Tristan and Isolde). I am unaware of a specific Fountain of Love or River of Love in those myths and legends, however. Matthew Baugh notes that in Gottfried von Straussberg's Tristan, the pair of lovers, fleeing from King Mark, take refuge in a hidden grotto, the Cave of Lovers, which has a brook of pure water in it. Lang Thompson wonders if this is "a reference to Maeterlinck's (& then Debussy's) Pelleas et Melisande which is a variant of Tristan & Iseult and features a key scene with Melisande at a fountain." Jean Rogers adds
none of the explanations offered is really satisfying, but I can't do any better. I think it must be a late development; the Tristan story was originally independent of the Arthurian material, and the earliest connection brings Arthur into the story as an independent outsider. Gottfried von Strassburg (that's the spelling in my - Penguin - edition) describes a spring flowing through a glade "somewhat apart" from the Cave of Lovers, which really doesn't match the description at all."Xiros, further east, is a notoriously haunting land..."
"Westward, Devil's Island was ruled by the giant Bandaguido, with his
daughter Bandaguida and their child, until the dynasty was overthrown in
the 3rd century A.D."
Devil's Island, Bandaguido, and Bandaguida are from Amadis of Gaul (1508).
"Nearby is Abdera, famous for its devotion to the horse..."
Abdera is a part of traditional Greek and Latin myth, appearing in (among other places) the Physiologus Latinus (4th century B.C.E.).
"Lemuel Gulliver's margin-notes conjecture that the banished intellectual
horses of Abdera may have sired the Houyhnhms..."
The talking horse Houyhnhms appeared in Jonathan Swift's Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of Several Ships (1726).
"...we find the ruins of the morbid city Ptolemais, bordered by the
Ptolemais and the Charonian Canal appear in Edgar Allan Poe's "Shadow: A Parable" (1845), one of Poe's shorter and creepier works.
"...while over Phlegra are the floating remnants of the avian citadel
Cloudcuckooland, founded by Pesithetaerus in 400 B.C."
Cloudcuckooland and Pesithetaerus appeared in Aristophanes' The Birds (414 B.C.E.). Pesithetaerus was an Athenian who founded the floating fortress Cloudcuckooland. It was intended to be a keep for birds of all species, but they ended up using it to starve the gods into submission and lay claim to rulership over the world.
"Westwards are still more islands. Aiaia, Circe's island, is amongst
the most well-known, along with Scylla and Charybdis (now without their monstrous
dwellers) and the Wandering Rocks, a group of now-unmoving islands that were
said once to have clashed togehter, as remarked on by Captains Ulysses and
Jason. Also popular is Siren Island..."
All of these are from Greek myths.
"Not far off, the volcanic isle Pyrallis..."
Pyrallis appears in Pliny the Elder's Inventorum Natura (Natural History, 1st century C.E.).
"Below Mediterranean waters we find the Arabian Tunnel leading to the
Red Sea, its existence proved by Nemo, Sikh submariner, who released marked
fish in the Gulf of Suez, these fish later turning up near Syria."
The Arabian Tunnel, Nemo, and the experiment with marked fish are all from Jules Verne's Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1870).
"The tunnel's length comes close to intersecting with another shaft,
this being the Arcadian Tunnel linking Greece with Italy, once said to be
the haunt of satyrs and reserved for bitterly unhappy lovers..."
The Arcadian Tunnel first appeared in Jacopo Sannazaro's Arcadia (1501), a pastoral idyll.
"...we're near the Straits of Otranto and the castle of the same name,
empty since the 18th century, when it was plagued by apparitions, which included
a giant helmet covered with black plumage."
The Castle of Otranto appeared appeared in Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1765), one of the greatest of the Gothic novels.
"Further north is Portiuncula..."
Portiuncula, where visitors go to recapture something lost in their past, appeared in Stefan Andres' Die Reise nach Portiuncula (The Trip to Portiuncula, 1954).
"...while under Italy we find Meloria Canal..."
Meloria Canal is from Emilio Salgari's I naviganti della Meloria (The Seamen of Meloria, 1903).
"Across Italy rotted webs of string are found, complex and covering
several acres, remnants of the mobile town Ersilia..."
Ersilia is from Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili (The Invisible Cities, 1972).
Page 29. “In Torelore on Italy's west
Torelore appears in Aucassin et Nicolette (Aucassin and Nicolette, 14th century C.E.), one of the greatest of all medieval romances.
"Islands nearby include the one where Prospero, his daughter and his
spirits dwelled in 1600."
Prospero and his island are from Shakespeare's The Tempest.
"Ennasin Island, close to Sicily..."
Ennasin Island is from François Rabelais' Le quart livre des faicts et dicts du bon Pantagruel.
"...while nearby lie the industrious island of the Busy Bees..."
The island of the Busy Bees is from Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio (1883).
"...the Island of the Day Before..."
The Island of the Day Before appears in Umberto Eco's The Island of the Day Before (1994). Kieran Cowan points out that
The island of the Day Before can't be the one in the Umberto Eco novel. THAT Island is in the middle of the Pacific, it isn't anywhere NEAR Italy. The whole point of the title is that the stranded mariner's ship is trapped just on the other side of what is now the International Date Line. It is LITERALLY the Island of the Day Before, as well as symbolically."Back on the mainland, in the Apennines we find the ruined Abbey of the Rose..."
"...and the ill-famed Castle of Udolpho..."
The Castle of Udolpho is from Mrs. Ann Radcliffe's The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794), one of the greatest of all Gothic novels.
"...the hill-top town of Pocapaglia..."
Pocapaglia appears in Fiabe Italiane (Italian Fables, compiled by Italo Calvino, as Philip Cohen says, 1956).
"...Switzerland and prosperous Goldenthal..."
The fictional places of Switzerland and Goldenthal appear in Johann Heinrich Daniel Zschokke's Das Goldmacherdorf (The Village of the Gold Maker, 1817), a fairy tale which was influential in the German dorfgeschichte (Village Stories) movement of the 1840s.
"...the snow-swept realm of King Astralgus and his alpine spirits..."
The realm of King Astralgus (or Astragalus) appears in Ferdinand Raimund's Der Alpenkönig und der Menschenfeind (The Mountain King and the Misanthrope, 1928), a comedic fairy-tale play.
"While south upon the Austrian border is the Balbrigian and Bouloulabassian
The Balbrigian and Bouloulabassian United Republic appears in Max Jacob's Histoire du roi Kaboul Ier et du marmiton Gauwain (The History of King Kaboul the 1st and the Marmiton Gauwain, 1903), a Symbolist fairy-tale.
"...perhaps the smallest and most socially retarded country in the world,
the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, founded in the 17th century by Sir Roger Fenwick,
his insufferable Englishness preserved in both the Duchy's language and its
customs. European commentators, while surprised by Grand Fenwick's continuing
survival, feel the Duchy will hang on as long as it doesn't do anything ridiculous
such as declaring war on the United States."
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick appears in Leonard Wibberley's The Mouse that Roared (1954); in that novel Grand Fenwick, bankrupted by cheap California wine, declares war on the United States in the hope that reparation funds from the U.S. would save Grand Fenwick. Henry Spencer notes that there were several sequels to The Mouse that Roared.
"Fenwick should not be confused with the nearby Grand Duchy..."
The Grand Duchy first appeared in E.T.A. Hoffmann's "Der Goldene Topf" (The Golden Pot, 1814) but was featured in several of Hoffmann's works. "The Golden Pot" is about the war for the soul of a hapless young student.
"Zaches came from the alpine village of Weng..."
Although Zaches appeared in Hoffmann's "Der Goldene Topf," Weng is from Thomas Bernhard's Frost (1963); the textual link between the two is Moore's invention.
"...west of Munich lies delightful woodland where our coachman said
a place known as 'The Wood Between the Worlds' was sometimes found..."
The Wood Between the Worlds is from Dante Gabriel Rossetti's "Sudden Light" (1870) and C.S. Lewis' The Magician's Nephew (1955).
"Nearby stood Runenberg..."
Runenberg is from Ludwig Tieck's "Der Runenberg" (1804), a fable about a young man who ventures too far on to a mountain and meets the faerie Woodwoman.
"...our eventual destination, Horselberg..."
Horselberg, aka Venusberg, is from Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser (1845), although the more erotic/pornographic elements were added by Aubrey Beardsley in his Under the Hill (1897).
"I much preferred to witness how Queen Venus makes her unicorn Adolphe
sing each morning..."
For the insatiably curious, Queen Venus masturbates Adolphe.
"...we find the remarkable city of holes, Cittabella..."
Cittabella was created by Lia Wainstein and appeared in Viaggio in Drimonia (1965).
"...and the nearby Nexdorea..."
Nexdorea is from Tom Hood's Petsetilla's Posy (1870), a fairy tale much influenced by Alice in Wonderland.
"Northwest lies the deserted Palace of Prince Prospero, no relative
to our Duke of Milan, with its seven different-coloured chambers, that was
devastated by an outbreak of the Red Death in the 16th century."
The Palace of Prince Prospero is from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Masque of the Red Death" (1842).
"...we pass the troubling police-state of Meccania..."
Meccania appears in Gregory Owen's Meccania, the Super-State (1918); Meccania is troubling because it is a state completely regimented and controlled by the government--the ultimate in totalitarian dystopias.
"...and come to Micromona..."
Micromona was created by Karl Immerman and appears in Tulifäntchen, Ein Heldengedicht in drei Gesängen (Tulifäntchen, a hero poem in three songs, 1830).
"...Percy left us at the border and went on to nearby Silling Castle
(owned by some nobles saved by Percy from the guillotine)."
Silling Castle is from Donatien-Alphonse-François, Marquis de Sade's vile and pornographic 120 Days of Sodom (1785); Loki Carbis corrects my mistake here and notes that the implication of this entry is that Percy saved the four noblemen who were the protagonists of 120 Days of Sodom.
"...suggested we should head on to Cockaigne, sometimes known as Cuccagna..."
Cockaigne/Cuccagna is from the Le Dit de cocagne (The Sayings of Cocagne, 13th century C.E.) and then Marc-Antoine Le Grand's Le Roi de Cocagne (The King of Cocagne, 1719). Cocagne, or Cockaigne, is the French equivalent of Utopia; in the middle ages numerous Cocagne myths were told about "a land of fabled abundance, with food and drink for the asking."
"On our last day we visited a builders that exported houses made of
food (cottages of gingerbread and such) to other parts of Germany."
Although Le Dit de Cocagne and Le Roi de Cocagne certainly referred to houses made of food, the allusion to the story of Hansel and Gretel is Moore's creation, rather than being in either work.
"Also in Germany is Mummelsee, a supernatural lake providing entrance
to the subterranean realm of Centrum Terrae..."
Mummelsee and the Centrum Terrae appeare in Johann Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen's Der abenteuerliche Simplicissimus Teutsch (The Adventurous Simplicissimus Teutsch, 1668).
"Or perhaps a trip to Nuremberg might be in order. Here, in Presidential
antechambers, is a curious wardrobe granting access to the otherworldly 'Kingdom
of the Dolls.'"
The wardrobe and the Kingdom of the Dolls first appeared, in very alien (to modern eyes) form, in E.T.A. Hoffmann's "The Nutcracker and the King of the Mice" (1819), and then in a softened form in Alexandre Dumas (père)'s "The Nutcracker of Nuremberg," in Histoire d'une cassenoisette (History of a Wardrobe, 1845); these both form the basis for the modern Nutcracker ballet. As far as I know C.S. Lewis's use of a similar wardrobe, in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was coincidental.
"It was from this strange realm, or areas adjacent, that an apple pip
was taken and used to grown the privately-kept tree within Kew Gardens mentioned
in our last installment."
Thus answering that question from issue #1.
"...we find the subterranean haunt of vagrants known as Under River,
and, nearby, a ruined mansion called the Black House, both locations famous
only in the psychiatric history of a violet-eyed young derelict who turned
up in 1907, out of nowhere. Alienists were fascinated by the detail of the
man's delusions, which concerned a sprawling castle to which he was heir,
its architecture and its rituals described so vividly that many still believe
his 'Castle Gormenghast' exists, although no trace was ever found."
Under River and Black House both appear in Mervyn Peake's Titus Alone (1959). The violet-eyed young man and Castle Gormenghast are from Peake's Gormenghast trilogy: Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950), and Titus Alone. The violet-eyed young man is Titus Groan, the seventy-seventh Earl of Gormenghast, who adventures through the vast, crumbling city-castle of Gormenghast.
The 1907 date is curious. I was initially hopeful that Moore was implying that Kasper Hauser was Titus Groan, but the dates are all wrong, Hauser appearing in 1828.
"Northward lies Auenthal, home of author Maria Wuz..."
Auenthal and Maria Wuz appear in Johann Paul Friedrich Richter's Leben des vergnügten Schulmeisterlein Maria Wuz in Auenthal (Life of the Happy Schoolmarm Maria Wuz in Auenthal, 1793).
"Pierre Menard, second to chronicle the history of Don Quixote, was
influenced by Wuz..."
Pierre Menard appears in Jorge Luis Borges' "Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote" (1964).
Page 30. “Still further north is Berlin,
near the Falun Fault...”
The Falun Fault appears in E.T.A. Hoffmann's Die Bergwerke zu Falun (The Mines of Falun, 1819).
"...the underground realm of the Regentrude..."
Regentrude appears in Theodor Storm's Die Regentrude (1868).
"Next we reach Hamburg and the quarter called Sainte Beregonne..."
Sainte Beregonne appears in Jean Ray's Le Manuscrit français (The French Manuscript, 1946). Alberto Chimal corrects me (or, rather, the source I used to identify this reference):
the right title of the novella where Sainte Beregonne is mentioned is "The Dark Alley" ("La Ruelle ténébreuse"); it was first published in 1952 and "The French Manuscript" is just about the third part of the whole story, which deals with strange and terrifying events at Sainte Beregonne."Further east is Auersperg Castle, gothic home of the notorious 19th-century black magician Axel Auersperg..."
"...while off the Baltic coast are the Ear Islands, where live the Auriti..."
The Ear Islands and the Auriti appear in Pliny the Elder's Inventorum Natura.
"Westward in Belgium, in a valley outside Brussels, are colonies collectively
referred to as Harmonia..."
There are two Harmonias, both very similar and which together fit the description given here: Charles Fourier's Harmonia, found in Théorie des Quatre Mouvements (Theory in Four Movements, 1808), and Georges Delbruck's Au pays de l'harmonie (The Country of Harmony, 1906).
"On the Dutch border is the independent land of Gynographia..."
Gynographia was created by Nicolas Edme Restif de la Bretonne and appeared in his Les Gynographes, ou Idées de deux honnêtes femmes sur un problème de réglement proposé a toute l'Europe, pour mettre les femmes à leur place, et opérer le bonheur des deux sexes (The Gynographes, or the Ideas of two honest women on a regulation problem proposed for all of Europe, to put the women in places for them, and to regulate the happiness of the two sexes, 1777). Percy finds it not as enjoyable as he'd hoped because fidelity is obligatory in Gynographia. Philip Cohen prefers his translation of the title: "The Gynographers, or Ideas of two honest women on a problem of regulation proposed to all of Europe, to put women in their place, and to bring about the happiness of the two sexes."
"Nearby in Holland is the sleepy hamlet of Vondervotteimittis..."
Vondervotteimittis is from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Devil in the Belfry" (1845).
"Just off the coast of Holland is the island Laiquihire, reportedly
the home of unseen deities..."
Laiquihire appears in Voyage Curieux d'un Philadelphe dans des Pays nouvellement Découverts (The Strange Trip of a Philadelphian in a Newly Discovered Country, 1755). The "unseen deities" are the Invisible Deities, who sometimes reveal themselves when they engage in human activities.
"...we must travel northward past the Mer-King's underwater realm near
The Mer-King's aquatic kingdom appears in Marie Anne de Roumier Robert's Les Ondins and in Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid (1835).
"In northeast Greenland stand the hills known as the Devil's Teeth..."
The Devil's Teeth were created by Paul Alperine and appeared in La Citadelle des Glaces (The Fortress of Ice, 1946).
"...which include Estotiland, whose folk are skilled in every science
save that of navigation, and Drogio..."
Estotiland and Drogio are from F. Marcolini's Dello scoprimento dell'Isole Frislanda, Eslandia, Engrovelanda, Estotilanda e Icaria, fatto sotto il Polo Artico dai due fratelli Zeno (1558). Philip Cohen says,
Estotiland developed a life outside of Marcolini's account; it's in my Webster's New International Dictionary, 2nd ed: 'A region in America, near the Arctic Circle, referred to by Milton as 'cold Estotiland', said to have been discovered in the 15th century.' See http://www.philaprintshop.com/zeno.html for comments on how Marcolini's account and accompanying map were taken as factual and incorporated into legitimate maps from 1558 on."On the Icelandic mainland we discover the extinct volcano Hekla..."
"Westward lies the extinct volcano Snaefells Jokull, which in 1863 was
used by Hamburg's famed Professor Lidenbrock to enter the vast realm discovered
by the 16th-century Icelandic scholar, Arne Saknussemm."
These all appear in Jules Verne's Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864).
"Some of this underground lies beneath the north of Scotland, and may
be connected with Coal City, Roman State and Vril-ya country, mentioned in
our previous installment."
Coal City is from Jules Verne's Les Indes Noires (1877). The Roman State is from Joseph O'Neill's Land Under England (1935). The Vril-ya country is from Edward Bulwer-Lytton's The Coming Race (1871).
"East lies the Norwegian coast and Daland's Village, the only known
port where the famous Flying Dutchman was allowed to land..."
Daland's Village appears in Richard Wagner's The Flying Dutchman (1843).
"...another tangle of sub-surface realms, such as Nazar..."
Nazar was created by Baron Ludvig Holberg and appeared in Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum Novam Telluris Theoriam Ac Historiam Quintae Monarchiae Adhuc Nobis Incognitae Exhibens E Bibliotheca B. Abelini (1741). Philip Cohen provides a translation for this title: "The Journey of Niels Klim to a New Underground World, Setting Forth the Theory and History of Five Kingdoms Hitherto Unknown to Us, From the Library of B. Abelin."
"Nazar has links with caves in central Norway's Dovre Fjell mountains,
where trolls have been seen as recently as the late 19th century."
The trolls of the Dovre Fjell mountains appear in Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt (1867).
"...the undersea realm Capillaria..."
Capillari is from Frigyes Karinthy's Capillaria (1921).
"Passing on through Sweden, formerly Cimmeria..."
Cimmeria was created by Robert E. Howard and appeared in Howard's Conan stories. Jim Cannon complained that Cimmeria was located in Wales ("Cimmeria = Cymru = Wales") in the Howard stories, not in Sweden; Chris Davies responded that "the specific part of Cimmeria that Conan was from -- the northwest of it, according to Howard, butting up against Vanaheim -- is currently under the North Sea. So transplanting his homeland into another part of Cimmeria that *isn't* -- southern Sweden -- makes a certain amount of sense." Doug Muir added that "there were two Cimmerias. One was derived from 'Cymru', Wales; the other, from 'Himmerland,' southern Denmark -- aka Cimbria, if you want to use the Latin. Howard was probably thinking of the Danish one." Ian McDowell responds to the preceding with this:
Both sides in this argument have a point. Howard's Cimmeria does indeed seem to be located in the far northlands amidst various Germanic tribes, but the Cimmerians themselves are the ancestors of modern Celts. Conan has a Celtic name, swears in Gaelic, and is described in almost identical terms to the "Black Irish" heroes of Howard stories with contemporary or historical settings.Michael Frank adds the following:
The Cimmerians appear in Homer's Odyssee, at the beginning of book 11. They live near the kingdom of the dead. Quote:"...the stunning ruins of the Snow Queen's Castle..."And she /Circe/ made the outer limits, the Ocean River's bounds where Cimmerian people have their homes - their realm and city shrouded in mist and cloud. The eye of the Sun can never flash his rays through the dark and bring them light, not when he climbs the starry skies or when he wheels back down from the heights to touch the earth once more-an endless, deadly night overhangs those wretched men. (transl. by Robert Fagles)They also appear, less mythical, in Herodot, book 4, 11 ff., where they are driven off their land in Southern Russia, near the Black Sea, by the Scythians. The Cimmerians are a nomadic horse-people, who also appear in Assyrian cuneiform texts. They later invade Asia Minor, where they kill famous King Midas. They keep on marauding and are later defeated by the Lydians; they then vanish in the dark of history. They cannot be satisfyingly identified - like many horse-people they only left little material evidence. They very likely were of Scytho-Iranian origin (no trace of a Germanic or Celtic element!).
"Southwards, at Finland's tip, are friendlier places such as Moominvalley,
Daddy Jones' Kingdom and the Lonely Island, all inhabited by an unusually
pacifistic breed of troll..."
Moominvalley, Daddy Jones' Kingdom, and the Lonely Island are all from Tove Jansson's delightful Moomintroll books.
Page 31. "...visited by Wilhelmina Murray
and a youthful male friend during 1912. Miss Murray and her paramour..."
I originally conflated "A.J." with "A.," Mina's youthful paramour, but as several people have pointed out there's no reason why they have to be the same person. This leaves open the question of who "A." might be. What we know about him is this: his first initial is "A," he is an adventurous type, he is familiar with Ayesha's Fountain of Life, and in 1912 he is younger than Mina. My guess (as well as Kevin Mowery's) is that "A." stands for Allan Quatermain, who has somehow been rejuvenated, most likely through exposure to Ayesha's Fountain of Life. Win Eckert notes that "H. Rider Haggard's She and Allan takes place circa 1872. If 'A.' is a rejuvenated Allan Quatermain, he may have been slowly reverse-aging since that time. If this theory is true, it also may be a double play by the creators on the title of another Quatermain book: The Ancient Allan." Ben Moldover says,
I propose that "A." is the character of Auguste Lupa ('Son of Holmes') aka Nero Wolfe.“We passed Klopstokia, a remarkable small country full of athletes...”
Why? First, he's a detective, a calling Mina has an affinity for, as evidenced by her correspondence with Dupin, as well as seeking out Holmes during his bee-keeping. Second is the question of age. We know that Mina’s travels happen from 1899 to 1912, and it’s more likely that there were several shorter trips, rather then one 13-year-long sabbatical, and ‘A.’ would not necessarily be with her on all of them. Those destinations where he is mentioned as companion likely take place near the end of her travels, as she refers to the events of Dracula as being 15 years earlier. Auguste Lupa is a young man in 1915, so it’s reasonable to think he would be so in 1912. He also turns up in France which Mina, and likely ‘A.’, came to in 1913 on League business. As an addition I would offer some arguments against Allan and A.J. Raffles, the other two candidates so far. Once again looking to Wold-Newton reference, Raffles encountered Holmes in 1883. For him to be a young man in 1912, he would have to have been 1 year old, at the Holmes meeting, which is highly unlikely. On Allan, we know only two members of the current League survive, by 1899, and I don’t think the other one is Allan. This is because on many occasions we’ve seen, he seems to have lost the mettle he once had. These events include Hyde and Griffen’s captures (1:1,1:2), The opium den in Lime House (1:3), discovery by the Doctor’s guard(1:4), and last the confrontation with Moriarty(1:6). He wasn’t doing well before, and with an invisible man planning to stab him in the back, I doubt he could survive to be ‘A.’.
"...the tiny and yet somehow monstrous kingdom seized by the horrendous
King Ubu the First in 1896."
King Ubu the First appeared in Alfred Jarry's trilogy of plays, King Ubu, Cuckold Ubu and Slave Ubu, all written in 1896. The kingdom is monstrous just as Ubu himself is.
"...we saw the distant outline of Klepsydra Sanatorium, where Dr. Gotard's
time-reversal theories recently made news."
Klepsydra Sanatorium and Dr. Gotard appeared in Bruno Schulz's Sanatorium pod Klepsydra (The Sanatorium of Kelpsydra, 1937).
"...the rejuvenating fountain in Ayesha's kingdom..."
Ayesha's kingdom appeared in H. Rider Haggard's She books, beginning with She: A History of Adventure (1887). The rejuvenating fountain is the means by which Ayesha maintained her immortality.
"Our carriage took us through the City of the Happy Prince..."
The City of the Happy Prince was created by Oscar Wilde and appears in "The Happy Prince" (1888).
"From Strelsau, the capital of Ruritania..."
Strelsau (not Streslau, as I originally had it; thanks to David Goldfarb for the correction) and Ruritania appear in the Zenda books of Anthony Hope Hawkins, beginning with The Prisoner of Zenda (1894).
"...heading south to Lutha..."
Lutha is from Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Mad King (1914).
"Along the way we passed a frightening edifice known only as 'The Castle'..."
The Castle appears in Franz Kafka's Das Schloss (The Castle, 1926).
"...then through a nearby valley where there's said to be a penal settlement..."
The penal settlement is from Franz Kafka's In der Strafkolonie (In the Penal Settlement, 1919).
"...the valley led into Wolf's Glen..."
Wolf's Glen was created by Carl Maria, Freiherr von Weber, and Johann Friedrich Kind and appeared in Der Freischütz (The Freeshooter, 1821).
"...we drove west to Kravna on Czechoslovakia's eastern border, where
I should have liked to visit the still-standing Tower of Suleiman."
This is meant to be a reference to the city of Slavna and its Tower of Suleiman, part of the country of Kravonia, from Anthony Hope's Sophy of Kravonia (1906).
Lang Thompson adds that "the reference to Czechoslovakia is mistaken if it was supposed to have been written in 1912: That country wasn't formed until 1918." True; in 1912 Czechoslovakia was still part of the Hapsburg Monarchy & Austria-Hungary. But even in 1912 there was a native movement for independence and the formation of an independent "Czechoslovakia." Perhaps Mina was aware of that and was in sympathy with their desire for independence? John Klump wonders if the Almanac editors changed her regional reference to "Czechoslovakia" so that modern readers would recognize it.
"...the independent countries of Sylvania and Freedonia..."
Sylvania and Freedonia both appeared in the Marx Brothers film Duck Soup (1933).
"At last we reached the castle high in the Carpathians where He lived
Mina is referring to Castle Dracula.
Page 32. “He died out on the ice, that
dreadful, beautiful old man.”
I confess to not quite understanding this. Dracula, in Dracula, died in his coffin, cut through the throat and stabbed in the heart. Frankenstein died on an ice floe, but I don't see why Mina would be thinking of him. Joseph Nevin points out that Dracula died on a road, in the snow, outside of Castle Dracula, but I still don't see how that is the same as dying "out on the ice." Jean-Marc Lofficier, Andrew McLean, and Lang Thompson note that Dracula dies on a frozen river in the film Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1964). Jeff Meyer says,
Regarding "he died out there on the ice, that dreadful, beautiful old man", I'd put forward the (rather tepid) theory that Dracula died as related in Stoker's novel; but that Moore has plans for Dracula to return to life in a future League story, where the fiend is eventually killed someplace with a cold climate before the events described by the Almanac."The one disquieting thing that we discovered was a sheaf of mildewed letters written to the former occupant by persons from a Transylvanian city east of Belgrade. These, I hope, were writ in rust-brown ink, though the content, with its cheerful reminiscences of awful acts performed on earlier vists, suggests otherwise."
In fact -- by George, I rather like this -- Dracula killer is Frankenstein's Monster, up in the frozen North, where nights last for an awfully long time (thus making it a wonderful place for a vampire.)
"In Transylvania we passed the ruins of Castle Karpathenburg..."
Karpathenburg Castle is from Jules Verne's Le Château des Carpathes (The Castle of the Carpathians, 1892).
"...the most astonishingly dismal town I've ever seen, this being called
the City of Dreadful Night."
The City of Dismal Night appears in James Thomson's The City of Dreadful Night (1874).
"the family name. Bathory."
Countess Elizabeth Bathory (1560-1614), a Hungarian noblewoman, is infamous for her torture of girls and her bathing in their blood. J. Keith Haney says, "Countess Elizabeth Bathory (mentioned in the final page of the Almanac) was reputed by some sources to have actually been a lover of Dracula in the historical record. Ergo, that may very well have been how he could have passed on the disease of vampirism to her in this universe."
Yorga is from the films Count Yorga, Vampire (1970) and The Return of Count Yorga (1971).
"I even fancied I caught sight of the name Hapsburg, though in this
I surely was mistaken."
I am unaware of a fictional or historical vampire named Hapsburg; I think this is just a jab at the Austrian House of Hapsburg. Ryan Laws notes,
There have been a number of medical explanations for the myth of vampirism. Porphyria is the most common, but hemophilia has also been advanced. The Hapsburgs, if I remember correctly, suffered from hemophilia, thus making them susceptible to the accusation of vampirism. If so, this may be why AM is being so cagey here."...we found a pleasant inn quite near Evarchia on the Black Sea."
"...then hired a boat to carry us to Leuke..."
Leuke is a part of Greek myth, appearing in, among other places, the Aethiopis by Arctinus of Miletus. A later and more salacious version, undoubtedly relating to the spirit which moved Mina to conjugal activity, appears in James Branch Cabell's Jurgen.
Back Cover. "Women Who Fascinate." This is the female equivalent of the "Men--Enlarge Your Penis" e-mail spam which circulates fairly regularly.
"Kind Sire, you 'ave an 'onest face. Please buy our 'umble efforts." This is not, as several people though, an add full of small references in need of annotating. This is a small version of the cover to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen v2 #3. When that issue comes out, I will annotate it, but not before, if only because there are enough references in this image that it needs to be viewed at full-size to get them all.
E-texts, in order of their mention
The War of the Worlds
A Bid For Fortune
"The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter"
The Bleak House
The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle
"The Courtship of Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò"
"The Lotos Eaters"
Five Books of the Lives, Heroic Deeds and Sayings of Gargantua and His
Le Chanson de Roland
Les Bijoux Indiscrets (in French)
"A Rendezvous in Averoigne"
The Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
"The Idylls of the King"
"Chant de fin d'ete" (from Les Sept Solitudes)
The Hollow Needle
Une Fantasie de Docteur Ox (in French)
The Wise Woman, A Parable
"Puss in Boots"
"Shadow: A Parable"
Inventorum Natura, or Natural History
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
The Castle of Otranto
Aucassin and Nicolette
The Adventures of Pinocchio
The Mysteries of Udolpho
"Under the Hill"
"The Masque of the Red Death"
The Adventurous Simplicissimus
Leben des vergnügten Schulmeisterlein Maria Wuz in Auenthal
Die Bergwerke zu Falun (in German)
Die Regentrude (in German)
"The Devil in the Belfry"
Journey to the Center of the Earth
She: A History of Adventure
The Happy Prince and Other Stories
The Prisoner of Zenda
The Mad King
The City of Dreadful Night
Thanks to: Alicia, of course; Steve Higgins, for sending me the preview issue and for various suggestions & corrections; Rick Lai, for correcting my Col. Blimp error; Jean-Marc Lofficier, for contacting Kevin O'Neill and clearing up the identity of the Martian; Matthew Baugh for the Fountain of Love item; and "Visitor," for the Dr. Nikola item. Thanks to JoeyBags, Henry Blanco, Andrew J. Brook, David Cairns, Jim Cannon, Loki Carbis, Alberto Chimal, Philip Cohen, Ian Crichton, Mark Coale, Kieran Cowan, Chris Davies, Zoltan Dery, Marc Dolan, Win Eckert, Joe Gallagher, Shawn Garrett, Mitchell Glavas, David Goldfarb, Adam Goldman, Damian Gordon, John Gregory, J. Keith Haney, Hooper, John Klump, Ryan Laws, Martin Linck, Ian McDowell, Andrew McLean, Marc Madouraud, Jeff Meyer, Ben Moldover, Kevin Mowery, Doug Muir, Gabriel Neeb, Joseph Nevin, Nick Orwin, Nowie Potenciano, Dennis Power, Jean Rogers, Stu Shiffman, Henry Spencer, Allen Strange, Lang Thompson, Arturo Villarubia, and Jérôme Wicky for miscellaneous additions and corrections.
- Notes to
League v1 #1 - Notes to League
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- Notes to League v1 #6 - Notes to the League hardcover - Notes to the Game of Extraordinary Gentlemen -
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- Notes to League v2 #1 - Notes to League v2 #3 - Notes to League v2 #4 - Notes to League v2 #5 -