With grateful thanks to Steve Higgins for sending me preview issue.
Updated 1 January 2003. Updates in blue.
On sale now, MonkeyBrain
Press: A Blazing
the Unofficial Companion to League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol II.
(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. The placard on the right reads "Barnes B" which is a reference to the Barnes Railway Bridge, one of the western bridges over the Thames. The Barnes Bridge was opened in 1849.
Page 4. Lang Thompson says, "there's a balloon just visible in the sky. This must be a reference to the opening of Chapter 17 of War of the Worlds ("If one could have hung that June morning in a balloon in the blazing blue above London ...")
Page 5. Panel 4. In Chapter Twelve of War of the Worlds a fallen Tripod boils the Thames to steam.
Page 6. Panel 4. As seen in the first League miniseries (for example, Issue #1, Page 15, Panel 1), the steering wheel of the Nautilus is is a statue of the god Siva in his identity as Siva-Nataraja, the lord of the cosmic dance.
Page 7. Panel 2. Hyde's comment is a reference to the events in Chapter 1 of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886), in which Hyde "trampled calmly" over a child. This scene can be seen on the cover to Issue #2.
Panel 5. The Thames has a series of locks put in place to control its flow. The Shepperton lock is on the Windsor-to-Twickenham stretch of the Thames.
Nemo's comment is a reference to Chapter Twelve of War of the Worlds, in which a hidden group of artillery bring down one of the Tripods:
In another moment it was on the bank, and in a stride wading halfway across. The knees of its foremost legs bent at the farther bank, and in another moment it had raised itself to its full height again, close to the village of Shepperton. Forthwith the six guns which, unknown to anyone on the right bank, had been hidden behind the outskirts of that village, fired simultaneously. The sudden near concussion, the last close upon the first, made my heart jump. The monster was already raising the case generating the Heat-Ray as the first shell burst six yards above the hood.Panel 6. In Chapter Twelve of War of the Worlds the Martians retrieve the wreckage of a tripod: "Then I saw them dimly, colossal figures of grey, magnified by the mist. They had passed by me, and two were stooping over the frothing, tumultuous ruins of their comrade."
I gave a cry of astonishment. I saw and thought nothing of the other four Martian monsters; my attention was riveted upon the nearer incident.
Simultaneously two other shells burst in the air near the body as the hood twisted round in time to receive, but not in time to dodge, the fourth shell.
The shell burst clean in the face of the Thing. The hood bulged, flashed, was whirled off in a dozen tattered fragments of red flesh and glittering metal.
Panel 9. I'm not sure the statue in the background is of. It might be of Ganesha, the Hindu god of and destroyer of obstacles. Philip Graves says, "I'd mildly agree with Ganesha, although the face *doesn't* look like an Elephants', but the feet do - the opposite of what I'd previously thought!"
Page 9. Panel 3. Hooper says, "When they enter the forest, Allan comments on how 'bloody huge' they are. Could they be... say... a hundred acre wood?" (Marcus Good made much the same point.) Hundred Acre Wood, of course, is from A.A. Milne's "Winnie the Pooh" novels.
Panels 4-5. Nature being "red in tooth and claw" is a reference to a quote by to a passage in Alfred, Lord Tennyson's "In Memoriam:"
Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation's final law--
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed--
Keith Kole notes that "After the paranoia over Griffin possibly being with them, we get a speech balloon for an unseen (off-panel) person in the exact style that has been used for Griffin."
Page 10. Panel 1. Keith Kole says, "It seems to me the steam from the Nautilus ends in a question mark."
Panel 3. Michael Norwitz was first (followed by Keith Martin) to clear up the mystery of Jimmy Grey's identity. Thanks to the UK Superheroes Site, I can tell you that "Jimmy Grey" is the childhood identity of "Professor Gray," the father of Danny and Penny Gray, the leads in the 1949 Beano strip "The Iron Fish," about two twins who pilot Iron Fish submarines (built by Professor Gray). For more information, see The Iron Fish entry. Eric Reehl Loren Collins, and Tim Chapman wondered if "Jimmy Grey" might have been Sir James Gray, a noted English zoologist and coiner of Gray's Paradox. Tim Chapman wonders if the creators of "The Iron Fish" and Sir James Gray in mind when they created Professor Gray.
Page 12. Panel 3. Teddy Prendrick is from H.G. Wells' The Island of Dr. Moreau (1896). In that novel Edward Prendrick is shipwrecked on Moreau's island and discovers Moreau and his handiwork.
Panel 6. At the end of The Island of Dr. Moreau Prendrick is more than a little unstable, finding that the humans he meets reminds him of Moreau's creations:
My trouble took the strangest form. I could not persuade myself that the men and women I met were not also another Beast People, animals half wrought into the outward image of human souls, and that they would presently begin to revert,—to show first this bestial mark and then that. But I have confided my case to a strangely able man,—a man who had known Moreau, and seemed half to credit my story; a mental specialist,—and he has helped me mightily, though I do not expect that the terror of that island will ever altogether leave me. At most times it lies far in the back of my mind, a mere distant cloud, a memory, and a faint distrust; but there are times when the little cloud spreads until it obscures the whole sky. Then I look about me at my fellow-men; and I go in fear. I see faces, keen and bright; others dull or dangerous; others, unsteady, insincere,—none that have the calm authority of a reasonable soul. I feel as though the animal was surging up through them; that presently the degradation of the Islanders will be played over again on a larger scale. I know this is an illusion; that these seeming men and women about me are indeed men and women,—men and women for ever, perfectly reasonable creatures, full of human desires and tender solicitude, emancipated from instinct and the slaves of no fantastic Law,—beings altogether different from the Beast Folk. Yet I shrink from them, from their curious glances, their inquiries and assistance, and long to be away from them and alone. For that reason I live near the broad free downland, and can escape thither when this shadow is over my soul; and very sweet is the empty downland then, under the wind-swept sky.Page 15. Panel 6. If, as Hooper noted above (the note to Page 9, Panel 3), Mina and Allan are in Hundred Acre Wood, the clawed hand here might be that of a mutated Winnie the Pooh. Marcus Good wonders if, based on the "white paw with claws, and...red jacket," it might be Rupert the Bear.
When I lived in London the horror was well-nigh insupportable. I could not get away from men: their voices came through windows; locked doors were flimsy safeguards. I would go out into the streets to fight with my delusion, and prowling women would mew after me; furtive, craving men glance jealously at me; weary, pale workers go coughing by me with tired eyes and eager paces, like wounded deer dripping blood; old people, bent and dull, pass murmuring to themselves; and, all unheeding, a ragged tail of gibing children. Then I would turn aside into some chapel,—and even there, such was my disturbance, it seemed that the preacher gibbered “Big Thinks,” even as the Ape-man had done; or into some library, and there the intent faces over the books seemed but patient creatures waiting for prey. Particularly nauseous were the blank, expressionless faces of people in trains and omnibuses; they seemed no more my fellow-creatures than dead bodies would be, so that I did not dare to travel unless I was assured of being alone. And even it seemed that I too was not a reasonable creature, but only an animal tormented with some strange disorder in its brain which sent it to wander alone, like a sheep stricken with gid.
Page 16. Panel 1. The "London General Omnibus Company" was the largest of the London bus companies in the 1890s and the early decades of the twentieth century. It was formed in 1855 and closed in 1933.
Rob corrects my previous too-hasty entry on the Blackfriars Bridge and says that the entry should read, "Blackfriars Bridge is one of the bridges over the Thames. The bridge was completed in 1875 on the site of an earlier (1769) bridge and is the oldest bridge currently crossing the Thames."
Page 17. Panel 4. Nemo's comment here may be Moore's way of reminding us that Nemo is, after all, a fanatic, a dedicated enemy of the English, and so would see the death of hundreds of English as only fitting, given what they did to his country.
Page 18. Panels 1-2. "The Olde Stumpe," "Miss Mopp," and "Bell End" are references to "It's That Man Again," aka "I.T.M.A.," a weekly radio comedy on the BBC which first aired in 1939 and aired through 1949. On ITMA "Mrs. Mopp" was an "office char." She later got her own radio series, "The Private Life of Mrs. Mopp," in 1946.
Page 24. Panels
3-6. In interviews Moore has said that Dracula's teeth were not human
teeth but rather the saw-toothed fangs of a vampire bat, which is why Mina's
neck is so horribly scarred.
"The New Traveller's Alamanac: Chapter Four"
Page 25. “...in Government investigations
into the United Avondale Phalanstery...”
The Phalanstery was mentioned in the Alamanac to League v2 #1; it is from Grant Allen’s “The Child of the Phalanstery” (1899).
"...the ambiguous figure Orlando..."
Orlando was first mentioned in the Almanac to League v2 #3; he is from Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato, Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1516), and Virginia Woolf's Orlando (1928), although it was Moore rather than Woolf who linked the three Orlandos together.
"...seemingly affiliated to the Prospero, Gulliver and later Murray
For a good treatment of the memberships of the various Leagues of Extraordinary Gentlemen, visit Damian Gordon's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen site.
"...the base that he maintained at Lincoln Island..."
Lincoln Island appears in Jules Verne's L'Ile Mystérieuse (The Mysterious Island, 1874). L'Ile Mystérieuse was the sequel to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and the novel in which Verne retconned Captain Nemo's origin. In the novel Lincoln Island was Nemo's volcano base.
"...also made use of an underground port known as Nautilus Island..."
Nautilus Island appears in Jules Verne's Vingt mille lieues sous les mers (Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1870). Nautilus Island is an underground port inside of an extinct volcano.
"Upon the seabed east of his volcanic grotto, his log notes a great
proliferation of stone ruins that Nemo thought to be the submerged townships
This is a reference to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, in which Nemo shows Arronax the underwater ruins of "Atlantis."
"...the much feared and fabled Nameless City..."
I'm not entirely sure what this is a reference to. It may be a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's Irem, the City of Pillars, which was based on the Koranic story of Iram (which in turn inspired the Arabian Nights story of Irem Zat El-Emad) and which was mentioned in "The Nameless City" and "The Call of Cthulhu," among other places. Rick Lai notes that it was August Derleth who confused Lovecraft's Nameless City with Irem, but that Lovecraft meant the Nameless City to be a separate place. Jonathan Carter says, "HP Lovecraft's Nameless City is properly located in Arabia, but Atlantean ruins in the Sahara are mentioned in "Medusa's Coil," by Lovecraft and Zealia Bishop." Rick Lai followed up his first note with the following:
Alan Moore places the Nameless City in the Sahara, but Lovecraft's story of the same name was located in the Arabian Desert. Moore also suggest that the Nameless City was a colony of Atlantis, which sounds strangely like the Saharan city in Pierre Benoit's Atlantide. there is not a reference to Atlantis in Lovecraft's story. Is there another Nameless City in some literary work? Probably not. Moore may have been confused by two references to a noise heard on the banks of the Nile River in "The Nameless City." The Atlantean connection may have been derived from a remark by Lovecraft that the Nameless City existed on a nameless continent before Africa arose from the sea. Although Lovecraft didn't have any direct Atlantean references in "The Nameless City," his revision for Adolphe de Castro, "The Last Test," indicated that tombs of Atlantean wizards existed in the Hoggar Mountains of North Africa."We sailed past bleak Mongaza Island, where with good eyes you can see the horrid idol raised beside the so-called Boiling Lake. A giant called Famongomadan apparently sacrificed young virgins to the idol in the early sixteenth century..."
"...by which time I thought science had assured us the giant race of
Earth's prehistory was long extinct."
This is a reference to earlier chapters of the Almanac, which established that giants from various stories had existed on Earth but that the race had died out centuries ago.
"Travelling on we passed Mogador..."
Mogador appears in the works of Alberto Ruy-Sanchez, beginning with Los nombres del aire (1987).
"...I barely noticed the Fixed Isle..."
The Fixed Isle appears in Amadis de Gaula.
"...the isle of Lixus whereupon gold hornet-bees drone busily about
the island's sole surviving gold-leafed tree..."
Lixus and its gold insects appear in Pliny the Elder's Inventorum Natura (1st century C.E.)
"...we put to shore near Nouakchott upon the western coast of Mauritania."
Nouakchott is the capital of Mauritania. In 1900-1 it was a small village.
"We avoid the islands known as the Harmattan Rocks..."
The Harmattan Rocks appear in Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle's Post Office (1924).
"...soon pass the isle called No-Man's-Land..."
No-Man's-Land appears in Doctor Dolittle's Post Office.
"...coming at last in sight of Nacumera..."
Nacumera and its dog-headed inhabitants appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundevile (1357). Marcus Good asks, "The Nacumerans - any possibility these are related to the Cynocephali of Biblical times (thought to be inspired by baboons)? St. Christopher, patron saint of travellers, was a Cynocephali, but this is often glossed over."
"...a place that I have previously heard of, called the Island of the
The Island of the Blessed appears in Lucian of Samosata's True History (2nd century C.E.)
"We travel onward, passing by Wild Island..."
Wild Island appears in Ruth Stiles Gannet's My Father's Dragon (1957).
"It may be that the dragon has its origins on Silha, further south..."
Silha appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundevile.
"Silha is the most northerly island of the Dondum Archipelago..."
The Dondum Archipelago appears in the Voiage de Sir John Maundevile.
"...the minor continent Genotia, some miles off the coast of German
Genotia appears in Louis Adrien Duperron de Castera's Le Theatre des Passions et de la fortune Ou les Avantures Surprenantes de Rosamido & de Theoglaphire (1731). Henry Spencer corrects my earlier error and points out that "German Southwest Africa" was a German colony from 1885 to 1919; it is now Namibia.
Page 26. "...the Mithras-worshippers found
in Ximeque, Genotia's largest region. Gynopyrea, on Genotia's southern coast,
is infamous for its effeminate behavior..."
Ximeque and Gynopyrea appear in Louis Adrien Duperron de Castera's Le Theatre des Passions.
"...past Neopie Island..."
Neopie Island appears in Louis Adrien Duperron de Castera's Le Theatre des Passions.
"Pandoclia, nearby, is similar..."
Pandoclia appears in Louis Adrien Duperron de Castera's Le Theatre des Passions.
"Nimpatan, a large island of silk-garbed and gold-worshipping scoundrels..."
Nimpatan appears in John Holmesby's The Voyages, Travels, and Wonderful Discoveries of Capt. John Holmesby. Containing a Series of the most Surprising and Uncommon Events, which befel the Author in his Voyage to the Southern Ocean, in the Year 1739 (1757).
"...after his death by one Miss Diver..."
Miss Diver, mentioned in the Almanac to League v2 #3, appears in John Gay's Beggar's Opera (1765) and Bertholt Brecht's Three Penny Opera (1928).
"...the famed seagoing Iraqi adventurer Sindbad."
Sindbad appears in The Arabian Nights (14th-16th century C.E.)
"The most southerly of these islands is Canthahar..."
Canthahar, or Cantahar, appears in De Varennes de Mondasse's La Découverte de L'Empire de Cantahar (1730).
"...while nearby Cucumber Island..."
Cucumber Island appears in Rudolph Erich Raspe's Baron Munchausen's Narrative of His Marvellous Travels and Campaigns in Russia (1785).
"Three unnamed islands mentioned in the manuscript are probably those
settled by the now-obligatory shipwrecked Englishman, a sometime-associate
of Lemuel Gulliver named Sir Charles Smith who was cast up there during 1740,
and called by him New Britain."
Sir Charles Smith and New Britain appear in Pierre Chevalier Duplessis' Mémoires de Sir George Wollap; Ses Voyages dans diffferéntes parties due Monde; avenures extraordinaires qui lui arrivent; découverte de plusieurs Contrées inconnues; descriptions des moeurs et des coutumes des Habitan (1787-1788).
"Further north, just south of Madagascar, is the isle of Taprobane with
its fabulous City of the Sun..."
Taprobane and the City of the Sun appear in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia and Inventorum Natura (both 1st century C.E.).
"...while on nearby Bustrol he reports that the inhabitants have formed
themselves into perfect square provinces."
Bustrol appears in Simon Tyssot de Patot's Voyage et Avantures de Jaques Massé (1710).
"...the northern swamp-isle of Aepyornis..."
Aepyornis appears in H.G. Wells' "Aepyornis Island" (1894). Marcus Good adds, "Aepyornis is also fairly well documented as fossils. In fact, it's believed that recovered eggs (one was even found here in Western Australia in the sand dunes, suggesting either it floated over or was carried by a trading ship) are the inspiration for the rukh/roc."
"...the giant avian Rocs that he had once encountered further north."
Sindbad encountered the Rocs on the Island of the Roc in The Arabian Nights.
"He also notes that some way east of Madagascar is an island where the
cliffs, viewed from the sea, resemble nothing so much as a massive human
skull, where monstrously proportioned primates had allegedly been seen, along
with dragons, Rocs, and other creatures of that nature."
Skull Island, a.k.a. the Island of the Mists, appears in King Kong (1933), from the Edgar Wallace's "King Kong" (Boys' Magazine, 1933).
"...Just north-east of Madagascar off the coast of Mozambique, although
not mentioned by the legendary Iraqi sailor, there exists a mountainous island
where in 1782 a stranded Englishwoman, Mrs. Hannah Hewit, built not only
her own house of clay bricks but also a mechanical man as a companion (and
possibly, as certain sailors' stories have indecently suggested, as a paramour)."
This island, "Hewit's Island," appears in Charles Dibdin's Hannah Hewit (1796).
"...Meillcourt, further north still, was in Sindbad's time the province
of the peaceful Troglocites and Quacacites..."
Meillcourt, the Troglocites and Quacacites all appear in Jean Baptiste de Boyer, the Marquis d'Argens' Le Législateur Moderne, Ou Les Mémoires du Chevalier de Meillcourt (1739).
"...while on nearby 'Island of Iron' Marbotikin Dulda..."
Marbotikin Dulda appears in Pierre Chevalier Duplessis' Mémoires de Sir George Wollap (1787-1788).
"Rondule, the island furthest south, ruled by a hundred chieftains..."
Rondule, or Rondisle, appears Pierre Chevalier Duplessis' Mémoires de Sir George Wollap.
"...while on Lamary the naked locals hold women in common..."
Lamary appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"A sub-group of islands nearby, the Waq archipelago, are said by Sindbad
to be ruled by women..."
The Waq archipelago appears in The Arabian Nights.
"...Sindbad makes the mystifying observation
that it would make a bad place for a small group of schoolboys to be marooned."
Well, shame on me for not realizing that this is a reference to William Golding's Lord of the Flies (1954). Matthew Sabonis pointed out my mistake, as did Hooper, Jonathan Carter, Chris Roberson, Jason Adams, Anthony Padilla, Steven Padnick, and Marcus Good.
"Feather Island, not far off..."
Feather Island appears in Fanny de Beauharnas' Rélation très véritable d'une isle nouvellement découverte (1786).
Page 27. “To the north, the isle where
stands the Mihragian Kingdom...”
The Mihragian Kingdom appears in The Arabian Nights.
"...while King's Kingdom, on an adjacent island, is believed to be the
burial site of Solomon, son of David."
King's Kingdom appears in The Arabian Nights.
"The island empire Pentixore is close at hand..."
Pentixore appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"...and off Somalia's coast exists the rival Azanian Empire..."
The Azanian Empire appears in Evelyn Waugh's Black Mischief (1932).
"Double Island, which seems to both rise and submerge at will, lies
to the east..."
Double Island appears in George Maspero's Les Contes populaires de l'Egypte ancienne (1899).
"...while Camphor Island, known for its generous camphor trees..."
Camphor Island appears in The Arabian Nights.
"...and giant horned animal, the karkadann..."
Marcus Good notes that "The karkaddan is mentioned in the Arabian Nights as a Persian unicorn, which is snatched up by a roc whilst an elephant is speared on its horn."
"...as does the island of the Diamond Mountains..."
The Diamond Mountains appear in The Arabian Nights.
"Continuing north we pass Old Man of the Sea Island, with it sterrible
ancient inhabitant reputedly killed by Sindbad, though we only have the mariner's
own word for this, and the island of the Mountain of Clouds..."
Old Man of the Sea Island and the Mountain of Clouds both appear in The Arabian Nights.
"The nearby Island of Grey Amber, meanwhile..."
The Island of Grey Amber appears in The Arabian Nights.
"...whereas Bragman, the Land of Faith, was so devout and dull that
Alexander couldn't be bothered to conquer it."
Bragman appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"The people of the Island of Connubial Sacrifice, at least as they're
described by Sindbad..."
The Island of Connubial Sacrifice appears in The Arabian Nights.
"Manghalour, off the coastline of Saudi Arabia..."
Manghalour appears in Louis Rustaing de Saint-Jory's Les Femmes Militaires (1735).
"...the linguistically extraordinary island known as Polyglot..."
Polyglot appears in the Liber monstrorum de diversis generibus (9th century C.E.).
"...and also Taerg Natirb..."
Taerg Natib appears in William Bullein's A Dialogue both Pleasant and Pitiful, wherein is a Goodly Regimente against the Fever Pestilence, with a Consolation and Comfort against Death (1564).
"In the Arabian Sea near the mouth of the Persian Gulf we have Calonack..."
Calonack appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"...where people live within the gorgeous shells
of giant molluscs..."
Marcus Good wonders, "Could the reference to Calonack's giant molluscs be tied into the Giant Sea-Snail from Dr. Dolittle?"
"...further west, Parthalia is inhabited by giants of great longevity..."
Parthalia is from William Bullein's A Dialogue both Pleasant and Pitiful.
"...we have the mountainous country Ardistan..."
Ardistan appears in Karl May's Ardistan (1909) and Der Mir von Djinnistan (1909).
"...by League associates William Samson Senior and his son, also called
William Sasmon, the feared (and currently famed) 'The Wolf of Kabul.'"
William Samson, Sr., was seen in League v2 #3, Page 7, Panel 5. "The Wolf of Kabul" was a character in the British comics Wizard and Hotspur beginning in 1922. He was Bill Sampson (or "Samson"), an agent for the British Intelligence Corps operating on the Northwest frontier of India. William Samson, Sr. is the father of the Wolf of Kabul, a bit of what Moore calls "back-engineering." For more information on the Wolf of Kabul, see the Wolf of Kabul entry on my Pulp Heroes site.
"A triple-headed volcano called Djebbel Allah on the northern borders
makes a hazard of the route to neighboring El Hadd, home of the much-admired
white lancers, while nearby lands such as Djinnistan, Djunubistan, Ussulistan,
Tshobanistan, and the giant-built isthmus known as the Chatar Defile..."
Djebbel Allah, El Hadd, Djinnistan, Djunubistan, Ussulistan, Tshobanistan, and the Chatar Defile are all from Karl May's Ardistan and Der Mir von Djinnistan.
"...I have a good mind to let Chung take his Clicky-Ba to the whole
bloody lot of them..."
Chung was the native servant of the Wolf of Kabul. "Clicky-Ba" was the iron-edged cricket bat with which Chung used to kill his enemies.
"...the adjacent warring lands of Farghestan and the old Christian kingdom
Farghestan and Orsenna appear in Julien Gracq's Le Rivage des Syrtes (1951).
"The Garamanti tribe inhabiting the Rifei mountains in Afghanistan..."
The Garamanti tribe and the Rifei mountains appear in Antonio de Guevara's Libro llamado Relox de los Principes, en el cual va encorporado el muy famoso libro de Marco Aurelio (1527).
"...where we find the mountain-ringed land of Tallstoria..."
Tallstoria appears in Sir Thomas More's Utopia (1516).
"...a visit to Samarah and its splendid palace Alkoremi is advised..."
Samarah and Alkoremi appears in William Beckford's Vathek (1787).
"...the fabulously jewelled and mosaic-decorated City of Sand..."
The City of Sand appears in Jean d'Agraives' La Cité des sables (1926).
"...at the end of beautiful Fakreddin Valley is the ruined palace Ishtakar..."
Fakreddin Valley and the palace of Ishtakar appear in William Beckford's Vathek.
"...and his fellow poet William Ashbless..."
William Ashbless is the invention of Tim Powers and James Blaylock. The pair had used the name as a pseudonym to publish cowritten poetry. Later, when they needed a name for a poet in their books, they independently used Ashbless' name.
"...the almost unreachable city of Jannati Shah..."
Jannati Shah is from George Allan England's The Flying Legion (1920).
Page 28. “...the gemmed remains of Irem
Zat El-Emad, or Irem with the Lofty Buildings...”
Irem Zat El-Emad appeares in The Arabian Nights.
"Northwest we pass Golden Mountain, where a sultan's treasure horde
was once concealed..."
Golden Mountain appears in Emilio Salgari's Il treno volante (1904).
"...and skirt the Christian city Nova Solyma in Israel..."
Nova Solyma appears in Samuel Gott's Novae Solymae libri sex (1648).
"...we find the ruined palace-principality called Here or Ici..."
Ici, a.k.a. Here, appears in Philippe Jullian's La Fuite en Egypte (1968).
"..a barge-trip down the curious Brissonte River..."
The Brissonte appears in Macondo appears in Liber monstrorum de diversis generibus.
"Not far from the Brissonte, upon the beaches close to Alexandria, is
Monsters' Park appears in Maria Savi-Lopez's Leggende del mare (1920).
"Further south is Heliopolis..."
The fictional Heliopolis appears in Die Zaubeflöte (1791) by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Emanuel Schikaneder.
"...while upon the border with Sudan exists the subterranean Sunless
The Sunless City appears in Albert Bonneau's La Cité sans soleil (1927).
"...the ever-young and slender gallant named Orlando, who adventured
in North Africa during the sixteenth century, apparently a male during this
part of his or her career."
As mentioned in the notes to the Almanac in League v2 #3, Orlando changes sex overnight in Virginia Woolf's Orlando. The Orlando of Woolf's novel did not begin adventuring before the 1630s. Moore, however, has linked this Orlando to Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato and Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, thus making the character much longer lived than Woolf's character.
"...and therein sought the Kingdom of the Amphicleocles..."
The Kingdom of the Amphicleocles appears in Charles Fieux de Mouhy's Lamekis, ou les voyages extraordinaires d'un Egyptien dans la terre intérieure, avec la découverte de l'Isle des Silphides, enrichi des notes curieuses (1735).
"We passed the ruined citadel of Bou Chougga..."
Bou Chougga appears in Certeux's L'Algérie traditionelle (1884).
"Beyond Bou Chougga is a dreadful place, beside the yellow waters of
the sluggish Zaire, where acre after acre of the ground is choked with sickly
lilies and the clouds hang fixed within the dismal sky. The region is called
The land of Silence appears in Edgar Allan Poe's "Silence: A Fable" (1845).
"At last we reached Abdalles, neighbor to the Kingdom of the Amphicleocles..."
Abdalles appears in Charles Fieux de Mouhy's Lamekis.
"Heading into Chad we had the Mountains of the Moon behind us to the
The Mountains of the Moon appear in Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso (1516). Mark Cummins adds,
I believe the Mountains of the Moon (Montes Lunae) were first mentioned in Ptolemy's Geography, circa 2nd century CE. From Book IV, Chapter 8, Location of Interior Aethiopia (from the Fourth Map of Libya):"...Umbopa fairly put the wind up Curtis, Good and I by telling us that we were now in Arimaspian Country..."
"Around this bay the Aethiopian Anthropophagi dwell, and from these toward the west are the Mountains of the Moon, from which the lakes of the Nile receive snow water."
This was based on the story of Diogenes, who was blown off course while sailing to India, landed in Africa, and traveled inland to the source of the Nile. The source was water from snowy mountains. Ptolemy's location would appear to mesh more or less with Moore's setting of the mountains as located between Libya and Chad, rather than the modern identification of the Ruwenzori Mountains on the Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo border, much further south-east.
Page 29. "Then,
a mile south, Curtis tripped upon a skeleton half buried in the undergrowth
that of some enormous lion, yet had a beak, and now we don't know what to
Marcus Good says, "The reference to the skeleton with a beak is one pertaining to a school of thought that early finds (pre 20th century) of Protoceratops andrewsi in the deserts of Mongolia could have created legends of lion-sized, bird headed animals. Modern science only uncovered this animal in the 1920s."
“...we made camp in Albino Land, a region sparsely populated by albino
Albino Land appears in Voltaire's Essai sur l'histoire générale et sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations depuis Charlemagne jusqu'a nos jours (1756).
"Whatever idle thoughts I had of these grew dim, however, when we moved
south into Makalolo..."
Makalolo appears in Albert Robida's Voyages Tres Extraordinaires de Saturnin Farandoul dans les 5 ou 6 parties du monde (1879).
"...the many local tribes such as the ferocious Bulanga and the utterly
dreadful wife-trading cannibals of the M'tezo, who eat all their spare relatives."
The Bulanga and M'tezo appear in Norman Douglas' South Wind (1917).
"We skirted round a hamlet called Ben Khatour's Village..."
Ben Khatour's Village appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Son of Tarzan (1915).
"...we came into the kingdom Pal-Ul-Don."
Pal-Ul-Don appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan the Terrible (1921). Keith Martin adds,
Moore has Quartermain describe some carved monster-heads in Pal-Ul-Don ("not wholly unlike the supposed gryphon skeleton we'd found in Arimaspian Country, but bigger, with a ruff of bone behind the head and two rhino-like horns grown from the beak"). This describes the Gryfs of Burroughs' Pal-Ul-Don, a species of small Triceratops. Moore is tying different sources together again. (Odd however that Quatermain does not mention that the Pal-Ul-Donian natives have tails.)Marcus Good also noted that the carved monster-heads were of Triceratops, and adds that "it's kinda funny, from a biological POV that no ceratopsians are known from Africa at all, only from Asia (early ones like Proto) and all others from North America. [With one exception, being a VERY early form from Australia, but this is still being reconciled in the literature]."
"...the miles-high peaks called by the local people Saba's Breasts,
which mark the plateau Kukuanaland..."
Saba's Breasts and Kukuanaland appear in H. Rider Haggard's King Solomon's Mines (1886).
"...Abyssinia and the neighboring Kingdom of Ishmaelia..."
Ishmaelia appears in Evelyn Waugh's Scoop, a Novel about Jerusalem (1938).
"Before Ishmaelia came to prominence, however, Abyssinia itself was
commented upon at length by League associate Orlando, visiting the area in
the early sixteenth century. 'How many years, I wonder, has it been, or centuries,
since last I knew the pleasure of these sands between my toes? Travelling
without company I soon came to those dear, familiar ruins in the north, set
on their stone plateau; those tumbled relics of a city that I still walk
in my dreams of childhood, where my girlish fingertips still know each dent
in each worn stone as though it were a long lost cousin. Tethering my horse
I found my way through the familiar labyrinths and chambers, mounting finally
the old iron ladder to our city's central courtyard, or at least its remnants.
Some of my old fellows left their hole-like dwellings at the city's outskirts
to come to greet me, though the Troglodyte condition is much worse in them,
and this has advanced since last we met. I hardly could make out a word they
spoke, though our discourse was amiable, and they seemed most amazed to find
me now a man, insisting that I drop my britches and provide them evidence
of this. I asked after my much-beloved old Greek friend, Mr. Cartaphilus,
but from what I could make out of their reply they have not seen him for
some time, and think that he still roams the world disconsolately, seeking
some eventual cure for what he views as our abiding curse."
Ori Kowarsky, Chris Roberson and Ben Brighoff answered this reference for me. It's the City of the Immortals, from Jorge Luis Borges' "El Inmortal" (1949). Keith Martin, however, sent me this, which is an interesting coincidence:
This sounds as if it refers to a book called The Footstool of the Moon , by J. Alan Rennie. I haven't been able to find out much about it beyond the following bookseller's summary: "Soldiers of fortune seek treasure on a fabled plateau in Abyssinia where they find an apish, retrogressed people living amidst the ruins of a glorious civilization. Plenty of action that includes an encounter with a Brontosaurus.""Cartaphilus" is one of the older names of Ahasuerus, or the Wandering Jew, who in Christian legend is forced to wander eternally as atonement for his failure to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. The implication of this passage is that Orlando is actually Cartaphilus' female counterpart, who like him is doomed to eternal life and travel. This woman is sometimes called Kundry, who supposedly burst into laughter when she saw Jesus carrying the cross, and sometimes called Herodias, who is the mother of Salome. For more on the Wandering Jew, see the Jewish Encyclopedia.Com article. Ori Kowarsky, Chris Roberson and Ben Brighoff point out that "Mr. Cartaphilus" appears in Borges' "El Inmortal;" he is the poet Homer under a pseudonym.
"...and continued on to Nubia where perfumed Senapho is ruler..."
Nubia and Senapho appear in Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando furioso.
"It is at Saba here in Abyssinia, though, that Solomon and Sheba's tomb
Saba appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundevile.
"I journeyed on, and rode a while beside the Marvellous River..."
The Marvellous River appears in Jean, Sire de Joinville's Histoire de saint Louis (1809).
"I heard the music of sun-worshipers with gongs and cymbals, carried
on a dusk breeze from the Temple of the Sun in Mezzorania..."
Mezzorania appears in Simon Berington's The Memoirs of Sigy Gaudentio di Lucca (1737).
"Elsewhere in the same document Orlando makes mention of the City of
The City of the Apes appears in The Arabian Nights.
"The Island of the Palace of Joy..."
The Island of the Palace of Joy appears in Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando Innamorato (1487).
"...part of the larger country known as Freeland..."
Freeland appears in Dr. Theodor Hertzka's Freiland (1890).
"Close by, on Tanganyika's coastline we find Jolliginki, where the Land
of Monkeys is located."
Jolliginki and the Land of Monkeys appear in Hugh Lofting's The Story of Doctor Dolittle (1922).
"...a school-friend of George Edward Challenger..."
Professor Challenger appears in five of A. Conan Doyle's novels, beginning with The Lost World (1912).
"...discovered the purportedly two-headed animal that caused such an
intense curiosity amongst zoologists and scientists..."
This is a reference to the pushmi-pullyu, from Hugh Lofting's The Story of Doctor Dolittle.
"...until the discovery of the Piltdown Man in 1912."
The Piltdown Man was a hoax perpetrated in 1912 by an amateur paleontologist who claimed to have found the new species of man. For more information, see the Museum of Hoaxes article.
"...there is Bong Tree Land..."
Bong Tree Land appears in a number of Edward Lear poems, beginning with "The Owl and the Pussy Cat" (1871).
"...passing swiftly through Basilisk Country..."
Basilisk Country appears in Pliny the Elder's Naturalis Historia and Inventorum Natura.
"...we reach Butua in Bechuanaland."
Butua appears in the Marquis de Sade's Aline et Valcour (1795). Bechuanaland was a section of what is now Botswana. The British annexed it in 1885.
"...an occasional resort for the depraved aristocrats of Silling castle..."
Silling castle, referred to in League v2 #2, appears in the Marquis de Sade's 120 Days of Sodom (1785).
"North of here, in German Southwest Africa, there stands the city of
Beersheba appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili (1972).
"On our first day, out walking in the hot, damp forests near the coast,
we stumbled on a most peculiar site, being a long abandoned hut apparently
untouched by either local folk or wildlife. You will think me mad, but there
seemed something strangely English about this abode, with its clay cladding
and its window grids of woven branches; its roof thatched after a style I
am sure I've seen in Devon. Inside was a quaint stone fireplace and rudimentary
furnishings, and I had quite a nasty turn when I happened upon a baby's rib
containing a small skeleton, though Allan reassured me that the bones appeared
to him to be those of an infant monkey, possibly some unfamiliar species
This is a reference to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes (1912). The hut is the location where Tarzan's father and mother died.
Page 30. “...into eastern Mauritania where,
we were told, exist two isolated outposts of the Roman Empire, Castra Sanguinarius
and Castrum Mare...”
Castra Sanguinarius and Castrum Mare appear in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and the Lost Empire (1929).
"...the marvellous oasis of Giphantia..."
Giphantia appears in Charles Francois Tiphaigne de la Roche's Giphantia (1760).
"...and past the walled and dead City of Brass..."
The City of Brass appears in The Arabian Nights.
"Here, in a quarter of the city that tourists
have named 'the Interwoven Zone,' Allan made his by-now furtive enquiries
of a seedy-looking chap who had the sweet, medicinal aroma on his dusty clothing
that I now associate with opium, and we were led through narrow streets to
a stone house with cool, dark rooms where we were introduced to one of the
most utterly repellent and unsettling individuals that it has been my misfortune
to encounter. Squatting in a corner swathed in shapeless robes, with only
one deformed hand visible, clutching the fuming mouthpiece of a hookah pipe,
I would not even swear our host was human. A pretty but subdued young Arab
boy lay curled up like a dog upon the rush mat where the creature sat, but
had a frightened air to him and did not meet our eyes. Our host's voidce,
issuing from the darkened cave-mouth of his cowl, was guttural yet sounded
somehow slippery. We were informed that we were in the presence of a...I
believe the word was 'Mudwunk' or 'Mugwump' or something like that...and
that this creature could provide us with whatever drugs or sexual activities
we might desire."
This is a reference to the William S. Burroughs' "Interzone" (a.k.a. the "Interwoven Zone") and the Mugwump, which appears in a few Burroughs' works, including The Naked Lunch (1959). The Mugwump is…something nasty. (For more, you should just read The Naked Lunch yourself).
"...the French intended to transform this area,
with interlinked canals, to a 'Saharan Sea.'"
The Saharan Sea appears in Jules Verne's L'Invasion de la mer (1905).
"...a reputed cannibal-and-sorcerer infested region
called Crotalophoboi Land..."
Crotalophoboi Land appears in Norman Douglas' South Wind (1917).
"...the prosperous kingdom of Macaria..."
Macaria appears in Samuel Hartlib's A Description of the Famous Kingdom of Macaria (1641).
"...and soon passed nto Brodie's Land..."
Brodie's Land appears in Jorge Luis Borges' El informe de Brodie (1970).
"Headed for Niamey..."
Niamey is Niger's largest city.
"...the outskirts of the city known as Blackland..."
Blackland appears in Jules Verne's L'Etonnante Aventure de la Mission Barsac (1919).
"...we rode on into Uziri Country, where we similarly tried our hardest
to avoid the fierce Waziri tribe."
Uziri Country and the Waziri Tribe appear in Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Beasts of Tarzan (1914), Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar (1916), and Tarzan the Untamed (1919).
"The valley country Midian, where the people were converted to fanatically
Midian appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan Triumphant (1919).
Page 31. "...the legendary minarets of
Opar glinting high above that citadel's impregnable and massive walls..."
Opar appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Return of Tarzan, Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar, and Tarzan the Invincible.
"In French Sudan we managed to pass through the Valley of the Sepulchre
without becoming caught up in a theological dispute between the separate 12th
century Crusader colonies of Nimmr, and its sister city at the valley's other
Nimmr and the Valley of the Sepulchre appear in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle (1928).
"...a secret and forbidden city ruled by a fierce warrior queen, we
next camped by the great volcano Tuen-Baka, in which we believed this Kingdom
(called Ashair by local tribesmen)..."
Ashair and Tuen-Baka appear in Tarzan and the Forbidden City (1938).
"The deep, enormous footprint, possibly from
some variety of dinosaur..."
Marcus Good says, "The reference to a dinosaur-type footprint is intriguing, as I'm trying to reconcile it with any known cryptids of this type from the region. Most of the 'living dinosaurs' are found in the Congo region - these being the sauropod-like mokele-mbembe, Triceratops-like/rhino-like emala-n'touka, and the 'stegosaur'-like mbielu-mbielu-mbielu."
"We passed on through the outer reaches of the Great Thorn Forest where
we had a startling encounter with the towering tribeswomen of Alali..."
The Great Thorn Forest and Alali appear in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and the Ant Men (1924).
"...the tribesmen of nearby Minuni..."
Minuni appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and the Ant Men.
"Riding into Fantippo..."
Fantippo appears in Hugh Lofting's Doctor Dolittle's Post Office (1924) and Doctor Dolittle and the Secret Lake (1949).
"District EC7, corresponding roughly with the British Protectorate of
Uganda, had Ayesha's city, Kor, listed amongst its prominent addresses."
Kor appears in H. Rider Haggard's She (1887).
"...through the jungle region known as the Ape Kingdom by its natives..."
The Ape Kingdom appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes.
"...they passed the Kingdom of the One-Eyed..."
The Kingdom of the One-Eyed appeared in Jean Gaspard Dubois-Fontanelle's Aventures Philosophiques (1796).
"...the droppings-fouled great wall bounding the city of Xujan..."
Xujan appears in Tarzan the Untamed.
"...passing through the Empire known as Ponukele-Drelchkaff..."
Ponukele-Drelchkaff appears in Raymond Roussel's Impressions d'Afrique (1910).
"...the famed Viceroyalty of Ouidah..."
Ouidah appears in Bruce Chatwin's The Viceroy of Ouidah (1980).
"In the north, they say, is Sleepless City..."
Sleepless City is a Hausa legend.
"...carry your remains to Fixit City on Nigeria's Bauchi Plateau..."
Fixit City is a Hausa legend.
"Dead's Town, deep in the Nigerian bush..."
Deads' Town appears in Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drunkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads' Town (1952).
"...the cruel and insanely capricious more northerly town, Unreturnable-Heaven."
Unreturnable-Heaven appears in Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drunkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads' Town.
"We saw swamp-bound Wraith-Island.."
Wraith-Island appears in Amos Tutuola's The Palm-Wine Drunkard and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Deads' Town.
Page 32. “On our way we had the most delightful
treat of falling in amongst a heard of the most civilised and gentle elephants
that I have ever seen, one of whom I thoght I saw wearing a small golden
crown atop his head...”
This is a reference to the Babar books of Cecile, Jean and Laurent de Brunhoff, which began in 1934 with The Story of Babar.
"...the horrid little hut, deep in the Congo and
still ringed by decomposing heads on poles, where ivory-trader's agent Kurtz
met his deserved demise..."
This is a reference to Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness (1901).
"...members of the Amahagger tribe..."
The Amahagger tribe appears in H. Rider Haggard's She (1887).
"...ruled by a native Amahagger woman posing as
Ayesha (whom, they learned, was now believed to have been reincarnated somewhere
off in Asia)."
This is a reference to H. Rider Haggard's Ayesha: The Return of She (1905), a sequel to She.
"We saw the name 'Orlando' and word that I thought
might have been the ancient Greek for 'Homer.'"
Orlando's bathing in the Fire of Life would explain her immortality. If the word in Greek is not "Homer" but "Cartaphilus," it would explain why Cartaphilus is immortal (and would do so without engaging in anti-Semitism). Ori Kowarsky, Chris Roberson and Ben Brighoff note that this is a reference to Borges' "El Inmortal." In the story one of the Immortals of the City of the Immortals is Homer.
"We traveled north through Blemmyae Country..."
Blemmyae Country appears in Pliny the Elder's Inventorum Natura.
"...until we reached his much-beloved lost land of Zuvendis..."
Zuvendis appears in H. Rider Haggard's Allan Quatermain.
"...just prior to Allan's death we found out that a son of his he'd
thought long dead (also called Allan)..."
Quatermain's son is mentioned in several of Haggard's books, beginning with King Solomon's Mines (1885). His death is described in Allan Quatermain. Quatermain's son's name, in the books, is "Harry." (To everyone wanting to point out the obvious about this passage: yes, I know. But I don't want to spoil the surprise for anyone.)
E-texts, in order of their mention
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Island of Dr. Moreau
The Mysterious Island
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
The Beggar's Opera
The Arabian Nights
Baron Munchausen's Narrative of His Marvellous Travels and Campaigns
The Son of Tarzan
Tarzan the Terrible
King Solomon's Mines
The Story of Doctor Dolittle
Tarzan of the Apes
Beasts of Tarzan
Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar
Tarzan the Untamed
Ayesha: The Return of She
Thanks to: Alicia, beloved. And Jason Adams, Matt Austern, Simeon Bankoff, Henry Blanco, Ben Brighoff, Ray Brunt, Jonathan Carter, Carycomic, Tim Chapman, Loren Collins, Spencer Cook, Josh Cramer, Mark Cummins, Marc Dolan, Mark Elstob, Francis, Marcus Good, Philip Graves, Hooper, Keith Kole, Ori Kowarsky, Rick Lai, Ed Love, Will Mahoney, Keith Martin, Michael Norwitz, Dapo Olasiyan, Anthony Padilla, Steven Padnick, Eric Reehl, Rob, Chris Roberson, Matthew Sabonis, Henry Spencer, Lang Thompson, and Dean White.
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