With grateful thanks to Steve Higgins for sending me preview issue.
Updated 11 May 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 2003 Jess Nevins, and may not be duplicated, in part or in whole, without my permission.)
(Additions and corrections are of course appreciated.)
Pages 2-3. The thing choking the river is the Red Weed from H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds (hereafter WotW). In WotW the Red Weed is described in this way:
At any rate, the seeds which the Martians (intentionally or accidentally) brought with them gave rise in all cases to red-coloured growths. Only that known popularly as the Red Weed, however, gained any footing in competition with terrestrial forms. The Red Creeper was quite a transitory growth, and few people have seen it growing. For a time, however, the Red Weed grew with astonishing vigour and luxuriance...I found it broadcast throughout the country, and especially wherever there was a stream of water.Page 3. Panel 2. The background to Nemo's comment that Hyde "can't walk through London, even if it's half-evacuated" is the state of London in WotW. After the Martians display their technological superiority over the puny humans, most of the south of England (including London) is evacuated, so that in the latter stages of the novel the narrator meets only one or two humans as he wanders across London and its outskirts.
Page 5. Panels 1-2. Allan's comments are a reference to his second wife, Stella Carson. Allan's first wife was Marie Marais, and in Marie (1912) Allan says of her “She was my first wife, but I beg you not to speak of her to me or to anyone else, for I cannot bear to hear her name.” Marie died saving Allan's life. Later, in the events of Allan's Wife, Allan meets his childhood friend Stella Carson, falls in love and marries her. Stella died giving birth to Allan's son Harry.
In Allan's Wife mention is made of the burns on Stella's neck. The burns are not Moore's invention, although the degree of severity described by Allan here differs from the description in Allan's Wife. When Stella receives the burn, this is how it is described:
As she did so her sleeve, which was covered with cotton wool, spangled over with something that shone, touched one of the tapers and caught fire--how I do not know--and the flame ran up her arm towards her throat. She stood quite still. I suppose that she was paralysed with fear; and the ladies who were near screamed very loud, but did nothing. Then some impulse seized me--perhaps instinct would be a better word to use, considering my age. I threw myself upon the child, and, beating at the fire with my hands, mercifully succeeded in extinguishing it before it really got hold. My wrists were so badly scorched that they had to be wrapped up in wool for a long time afterwards, but with the exception of a single burn upon her throat, little Stella Carson was not much hurt.Then, later, when Stella and Allan meet again as adults:
"It is wonderful," she said, "but I have often heard that name. My father has told me how a little boy called Allan Quatermain once saved my life by putting out my dress when it was on fire--see!"--and she pointed to a faint red mark upon her neck--"here is the scar of the burn."Page 6. Panel 7. Zak Fejeran notes "the semi-subtle erect penis shaped into the second tree from the left."
Page 7. Panel 1. Mina's husband "Jonathan" is Jonathan Harker, from Dracula. Mina has not yet, in the series, given any reasons for her divorce from Jonathan; his withholding of physical affections from her would be one good reason psychologically, if not legally. In England in the 1890s divorce was not easy to obtain, and a lack of intercourse would not have been allowable as a reason for Mina divorcing Jonathan. A woman could not divorce her husband unless he had committed, in addition to adultery, bigamy, incest, cruelty, or bestial acts, while a husband could divorce his wife for simple adultery.
Panel 2. It's understandable that some modern readers (hi, Randy) find the asterisking of certain curse words (ala Allan's "Mina, I want to **** you") distracting. What must be remembered, though, is that Moore intends League to be at least partly a pastiche of Victorian boys' literature, and the asterisking of obscenities, viz. "D*** your eyes, sir!" was a practice in those stories. Moore is simply being faithful to his source literature.
Panel 3. Mina's comment "As if I were some...native girl" is a reference to a common stereotype among upper class British during the 19th century. Native women, particularly Indian women, were seen as being sexually uninhibited, as opposed to proper upper class English women. This stereotype arose not because of the actions of Indian and African women so much as English men indulging themselves while abroad. One of the "benefits" for English men travelling abroad was the opportunity to indulge in sexual adventures that were not possible in England at the time. Rather than blame English men for this, however, English women shifted the blame on to the foreign women.
Page 8. Panel 1. The rather unpleasant-looking ursine is a mutated Rupert the Bear. Rupert is one of the most popular of any of the humanized British animals. He was created by Mary Tourtel and first appeared in The Daily Express on 8 November 1920. Since then he's appeared in over 500 books in 18 countries.
Page 9. Panel 5. Moving from left to right: the elephant is Jumbo the Elephant, from the British comic Sparks (among others); the tiger is Tiger Tim, the oldest regularly appearing character in British comics--he first appeared in The Daily Mirror in 1904; and (I think) Mr. Badger, from Kenneth Grahame's wonderful The Wind in the Willows (1908). (The badger may also be Bill the Badger, one of Rupert the Bear's friends).
Bob McMahon thinks the elephant might be Edward Trunk, one of Rupert the Bear's supporting cast. Steve Smith also thinks that it might be Edward Trunk. Marcus Good thinks that it's Bill the Badger.
Page 10. Panel 1. In WotW London is as deserted as it appears to be here.
The headline of the paper in the lower left alludes to the destruction of Richmond, one of the towns destroyed by the Martians' black smoke in WotW.
Panel 2. The character drinking from a flask is Ally Sloper. Ally, seen in League v1n6, page 23, panel 1, is a British comic character who was created by Charles Ross and Marie Duval and first appeared in Judy in 1867. Ally was one of the first rogues in British comics to be featured as a hero. His name comes from the practice of avoiding the rent collector by “sloping” down an alley, and his personality is a combination of cheerful insolence and naked, unashamed self-interest. The character on the right side of the panel with the cap and pipe is Weary Willy, also last seen in League v1n6, page 23, panel 1. Weary Willy is an amiable tramp who was created by Tom Browne and first appeared in the British comic Illustrated Chips in 1896.
Panel 3. Sophie Lagacé (and Julian Fattorini and Rick Hodge) notes that "The little RCA dog is watching gramophones being stolen by looters."
Page 12. Panel 1. The giant skull can be seen in the various museum scenes in League v1. It likely belonged to a Brobdignagian, one of the rustic giants from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels (1726).
Panel 7. My guess is that the painting in the upper right of this panel is of Sir Francis Walsingham (1530-1590), who was a member of Queen Elizabeth’s Privy Council and the head of her intelligence agency. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from the presence of his painting in the Museum is that he was involved in the incarnation of the League during the Elizabethan (or, in the world of League, "Gloriana") era. For more on Sir Walsingham, go to the Britannia Biographies site on him. Philip disagrees: "I also don't think it's Walsingham... take a look at his 'Official Portraits'. He had hair, and a fuller beard." If it's not Walsingham, perhaps it's Shakespeare himself?
Page 13. Panel 4. The Daily Mail is a real British newspaper. It was active during the Victorian era and is mentioned in WotW as the first newspaper to resume service after the Martians die.
Page 15. Panels 5-7. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is notably lacking in the presence of women, and one prominent interpretation of the novel, most notably by Elaine Showalter, is that Hyde is Jekyll’s gay side, with the novel being “a fable of fin-de-siècle homosexual panic, the discovery and resistance of the homosexual self.” So there is a tradition of seeing Hyde as a gay man, although Hyde's sins are left undefined by Jekyll:
The pleasures which I made haste to seek in my disguise were, as I have said, undignified; I would scarce use a harder term. But in the hands of Edward Hyde, they soon began to turn toward the monstrous. When I would come back from these excursions, I was often plunged into a kind of wonder at my vicarious depravity. This familiar that I called out of my own soul, and sent forth alone to do his good pleasure, was a being inherently malign and villainous; his every act and thought centered on self; drinking pleasure with bestial avidity from any degree of torture to another; relentless like a man of stone.But rape is a crime of violence rather than sexuality, and heterosexual men rape other men far more often than gay men do. What Hyde is doing here has nothing to do with his own sexuality; rather, he has chosen the most degrading way possible to avenge Mina on Griffin.
Henry Jekyll stood at times aghast before the acts of Edward Hyde; but the situation was apart from ordinary laws, and insidiously relaxed the grasp of conscience.
Kelly Tindall says, "Hyde's last words to Griffin in Volume 1, in regards to Griffin telling Hyde to stop sinking their balloon, were, 'Bugger you, Griffin.'"
Page 16. Panel 3. Hooper says, "The "NOT TO TALK" from the beasts kind of reminds me of a literal interpretation from french, at least grammatically. Which would kind of vaguely make sense with Moreau being a french name." True, although (as seen in the note to Page 17, Panel 1 below) the "Not to--" construction is part of The Island of Dr. Moreau rather than Moore's invention.
Page 17. Panel 1. The reason that Rupert is upset with Tim is that in The Island of Dr. Moreau Moreau forces rules upon his Beast Folk:
"Not to go on all-fours; that is the Law. Are we not Men?In Moreau lapping up water on all fours is one of the crimes which results in the deaths of the various Beast Folk.
"Not to suck up Drink; that is the Law. Are we not Men?
"Not to eat Fish or Flesh; that is the Law. Are we not Men?
"Not to claw the Bark of Trees; that is the Law. Are we not Men?
"Not to chase other Men; that is the Law. Are we not Men?"
Panel 4. This is Mr. Toad, from Wind in the Willows, driving the new-fangled motor car ("poop poop!") which he so loves. In Wind in the Willows, however, Mr. Toad is comical, rather than somewhat sinister as he is here. Zak Fejeran adds, "The Car that Mr. Toad is driving around in is the exact same as the cars from the Disneyland ride, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride."
Panel 9. The Beast Folk in The Island of Dr. Moreau bow and scrape and cringe in the presence of Dr. Moreau, just as Mr. Toad does here.
Page 18. Panel 1. This is the "Doctor Moreau" of The Island of Dr. Moreau. In the novel his first name is not given, although "Alphonse" does seem to suit him. (Ray S. and Bald Evil note that on "South Park" the Dr. Moreau parody is named Dr. Alphone Mephisto and is based on Marlon Brando's portrayal of Dr. Moreau). Moreau is the cruel eugenicist of the novel, but what isn't widely known is that Wells intended Moreau to be the hero of the novel. (Wells had a number of frightening views). Steve C. usefully notes,
Moreau seems to have sustained some injuries. In every image of him, you can make out that the left side of his head has what looks like a dent in it, and maybe some scarring. Also, it looks like there's a bite-sized chunk missing out of his right arm. That pretty much synchs up with what Prendick saw in the Wells novel: "One hand was almost severed at the wrist and... His head had been battered in by the fetters of the puma."The passage in which Moreau's body is found is this:
Obviously, Moreau didn't die from these injuries as Prendick had reported, but, after all, who ever believes crazy hermits?
We came upon the gnawed and mutilated body of the puma, its shoulder-bone smashed by a bullet, and perhaps twenty yards farther found at last what we sought. Moreau lay face downward in a trampled space in a canebrake. One hand was almost severed at the wrist and his silvery hair was dabbled in blood. His head had been battered in by the fetters of the puma.Moving counter-clockwise, beginning with Moreau:
Panel 2. Note the rats trying to crawl up Quatermain's pants-leg (another realistic note) and his brushing them away.
Panel 4. I'm not sure who the dog to the left of Quatermain is.
Page 19. Panel 4. This might be Pong-Ping, Rupert the Bear's friend.
"It perished under the anasthetic." Moreau's methods have improved. In The Island of Dr. Moreau he experimented on animals without benefit of anesthetic.
Panel 6. Are those dead mice or rats ringing the food tray? Dean Milburn says "I think the platter at Moreau's was a feast of insects (some of them look like horned beetles). It makes sense I suppose if the rest of the animals are elevated to men." Kelly Tindall and Steve Higgins add that the platter also has small bluebirds on it.
Kieran Cowan says, "Moreau eating mice is, I think, a reference to the very real Victorian naturist, William Buckland, who was a forerunner of Darwin, and whose most famous quirk of personality was delighting in the snack of grilled mice on toast. Attributing the same quirk to Moreau seems to work well."
Marcus Good says,
The food tray Moreau sets out does indeed have dead rodents on it, along with dead birds. Looks to be a rather wideranging diet, and a "most civilised" one at that, though not one in keeping with the initial laws Moreau set out for his "children" ("Not to eat Fish or Flesh; that is the Law"). Perhaps, along with the anaesthetic, the good doctor's had a change in his techniques?Page 21. Panel 7. The portrait seemingly staring at Hyde is of Robert Louis Stevenson. A similar image can be seen on the cover to the Bumper Edition of League v1 n1-2.
Page 22. Panel 6. In Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Hyde is, originally, rather short--a "very small gentlemen." But as time goes by and Hyde emerges more often, he grows, so that in “Henry Jekyll’s Full Statement of the Case” Jekyll says
That part of me which I had the power of projecting, had lately been much exercised and nourished; it had seemed to me of late as though the body of Edward Hyde had grown in stature, as though (when I wore that form) I were conscious of a more generous tide of blood; and I began to spy a danger that, if this were much prolonged, the balance of my nature might be permanently overthrown....Panels 7-8. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is fertile ground for analysis; the psychological issues involved are primal, which invites differing interpretations. This interpretation, of Hyde as unchecked Id, is one of the more common, albeit one supported by Jekyll's statement in Chapter 10:
With every day, and from both sides of my intelligence, the moral and the intellectual, I thus drew steadily nearer to that truth, by whose partial discovery I have been doomed to such a dreadful shipwreck: that man is not truly one, but truly two. I say two, because the state of my own knowledge does not pass beyond that point. Others will follow, others will outstrip me on the same lines; and I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious, incongruous and independent denizens. I, for my part, from the nature of my life, advanced infallibly in one direction and in one direction only. It was on the moral side, and in my own person, that I learned to recognise the thorough and primitive duality of man; I saw that, of the two natures that contended in the field of my consciousness, even if I could rightly be said to be either, it was only because I was radically both; and from an early date, even before the course of my scientific discoveries had begun to suggest the most naked possibility of such a miracle, I had learned to dwell with pleasure, as a beloved daydream, on the thought of the separation of these elements. If each, I told myself, could be housed in separate identities, life would be relieved of all that was unbearable; the unjust might go his way, delivered from the aspirations and remorse of his more upright twin; and the just could walk steadfastly and securely on his upward path, doing the good things in which he found his pleasure, and no longer exposed to disgrace and penitence by the hands of this extraneous evil. It was the curse of mankind that these incongruous faggots were thus bound together -- that in the agonised womb of conscioousness, these polar twins should be continuously struggling. How, then were they dissociated?Panel 9. I don't know who the two schoolmasters are. Philip wonders if one of them might be Wackford Squeers, from Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby. Kelly Tindall asks, "could the schoolmasters' portraits behind Hyde during the creepy 'guess what horrible thing I've already done' supper be possibly of Headmaster Deadyawn or Professor Bellgrove from Gormenghast?"
Page 23. Panels 1-2. In The Invisible Man, a similar development takes place when Griffin dies:
Suddenly an old woman, peering under the arm of the big navvy, screamed sharply. "Looky there!" she said, and thrust out a wrinkled finger.Page 24. In Chapter Six of WotW the narrator has this passage:
And looking where she pointed, everyone saw, faint and transparent as though it was made of glass, so that veins and arteries and bones and nerves could be distinguished, the outline of a hand, a hand limp and prone. It grew clouded and opaque even as they stared.
"Hullo!" cried the constable. "Here's his feet a-showing!"
And so, slowly, beginning at his hands and feet and creeping along his limbs to the vital centres of his body, that strange change continued. It was like the slow spreading of a poison. First came the little white nerves, a hazy grey sketch of a limb, then the glassy bones and intricate arteries, then the flesh and skin, first a faint fogginess, and then growing rapidly dense and opaque. Presently they could see his crushed chest and his shoulders, and the dim outline of his drawn and battered features.
When at last the crowd made way for Kemp to stand erect, there lay, naked and pitiful on the ground, the bruised and broken body of a young man about thirty. His hair and brow were white--not grey with age, but white with the whiteness of albinism--and his eyes were like garnets. His hands were clenched, his eyes wide open, and his expression was one of anger and dismay.
Some way farther, in a grassy place, was a group of mushrooms which also I devoured, and then I came upon a brown sheet of flowing shallow water, where meadows used to be. These fragments of nourishment served only to whet my hunger. At first I was surprised at this flood in a hot, dry summer, but afterwards I discovered that it was caused by the tropical exuberance of the red weed. Directly this extraordinary growth encountered water it straightway became gigantic and of unparalleled fecundity. Its seeds were simply poured down into the water of the Wey and Thames, and its swiftly growing and Titanic water fronds speedily choked both those rivers.
"The New Traveller's Alamanac: Chapter Five"
Page 25. “...by 1901 the dreadful airship
wars afflicting early twentieth century Europe were already underway.”
This is a reference to H.G. Wells' War in the Air (1908), in which a world war is fought using armadas of airships.
"...the delayed and yet surprisingly successful British lunar expedition
by Professor Selwyn Cavor..."
Professor Cavor (who appeared in League v1 n2) and his lunar expedition appear in H.G. Wells' The First Men in the Moon (1901). The expedition was delayed due to the events of League v1.
"...such as several unsubstantiated sightings of reputedly deceased
detective Sherlock Holmes, which would not be confirmed until the following
Sherlock Holmes "died" in "The Adventure of the Final Problem," which was published in 1893. The next Holmes story was The Hound of the Baskervilles, which was published in 1901-1902. The Hound of the Baskervilles, however, was set in the years before Holmes "died." Holmes returned to action in "The Adventure of The Empty House," which was published in 1903. In the world of League, the events of the Sherlock Holmes stories occur during the year in which they were published, rather than the years which the stories state they occur. So, for example, "The Empty House" is dated in the spring of 1894, but in the world of League it takes place in 1903.
"...the sold survivor of an expedition into these alarming territories
during the 1870s, this being the Reverend Dr. Eric Bellman, was confined."
Dr. Bellman was mentioned in the Alamanc to League v2n1. The Bellman Expedition is from Lewis Carroll's "The Hunting of the Snark" (1876). In the poem the Bellman Expedition goes hunting for snarks, only to find that the gentle snark is in fact the dreaded boojum.
"...possibly as part of a two-year investigation into 'borderland' or
'gateway' sites such as the Mathers house discussed in our first chapter,
although journals from this period are either missing or suppressed. During
1904 they were investigating rural English locations such as Winton pond inear
Ipswich or Smalldene in Sussex..."
These references are explained in the Notes to League v2n1.
"...until 1906 that they came to travel overseas again. At this time
England was preparing to embark upon an Anglo-Russian Convention covering
Afghanistan, Tibet and Persia that would extend Britain's influence within
the European power blocs."
The Anglo-Russian Convention took place in our world from October 1905 to August 1907, at which time an entente was reached essentially ending the Great Game of espionage and dividing Persia (the cause of much Russian-British antagonism) into three spheres of influence and dealing with Afghanistan and Tibet.
"Here, to Australia's southwest there is the island kingdom of Antangil,
largely Catholic by inclination, where the seasons seem to happen all at once
and where a strange amphibious lion-faced creature thrived until the breed
was hunted to extinction in the 18th century."
Antangil appears in Histoire du grand et admirable royaume d'Antangil Inconnu jusques à présent à tous Historiens et Cosmographes (1616), possibly by Joachim du Moulin.
"Some distance east of Antangil we find a longer list of since-exterminated
species (unicorns, winged horses, concave dromedaries with a hollow where
the hump should be) upon the minor continent Terre Australe..."
Terre Australe appeares in Les Aventures de Jacques Sadeur Dans La Découverte Et le Voyage De La Terre Australe, contenant les coutumes et les moeurs des Australiens, leur religion, leurs études, leurs guerres, les animaux particuliers à ce pais et toutes les raretez curiesses qui s'y trouvent (1676).
"Travelling further, to the southeast of New Zealand in the weed and
coral-crusted ruins of Standard Island..."
Standard Island appears in Jules Verne's L'Ile à hélice (The Floating Island, 1895).
"Not far north from this looming hulk are the Jumelles..."
The Jumelles appear in de Catalde's Le Paysan Gentilhomme, Ou Avantures de M. Ransay: Avec Son Voyage Aux Isles Jumelles. Par Monsieur de Catalde (1737).
"...while further east lie prehistoric Caspak and the nearby Oo-Oh..."
Caspak and Oo-Oh were created by Edgar Rice Burroughs and appear in The Land That Time Forgot (1918).
"...cousins of the Vril-ya found beneath Newcastle in the north of England."
This reference is in the Notes to League v2n1.
"Meanwhile, in the southern reaches of Australia itself we come to what
remains of Farandoulie, close to the largely-rebuilt city of Melbourne..."
Farandoulie and the destruction of Melbourne appear in Albert Robida's VoyagesTrès Extraordinaires de Saturnin Farandoul dans les 5 ou 6 parties du monde (1879).
"Moving further north, it is still possible to see small tribes of Erewhonians..."
Erewhon appears in Samuel Butler's Erewhon (1872) and Erewhon Revisited (1901).
"North of Australia exists a massive spread of island, ranging from
the somewhat puritanical but brightly-dressed folk of Altruria..."
Altruria was created by William Dean Howells and appears in A Traveller from Altruria (1894).
"...on to savage Flotsam..."
Flotsam appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Cave Girl (1913) and The Cave Man (1917).
"...and the Mayan colony of Uxmal in the east."
Uxmal appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan and the Castaways (1964).
"Westward, just east of Altruria there is the island of New Gynia, where
New Gynia appears in Joseph Hall's Mundus alter et idem, sive Terra Australis ante hac semper incognita (1605) and Utopiae, Pars II (1613).
"...we raised our anchor and went east, so coming presently to Lilliput..."
Lilliput appears in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels (1726).
Page 26. "This largest island of the Indonesian
chain was misidentified as recently as 1753, called Bingfield's Island by
one William Bingfield, late of England...here we put in and visited the kingdom
of Melinde, being fortunate to journey there during a lull in its incessant
slave-trading war with neighboring Ganze, and going on from here came to
Bingfield's Island, Melinde, Ganze, and Kronomo appear in The Travels and Adventures of William Bingfield, Esq.: Containing, as Surprising a Fluctuation of Circumstances, both by Sea and Land, as ever befell one Man, by "William Bingfield" (1753).
"Southeast of Java we came by the massive island of Australia and were
much perplexed...the island was divided as two separate countries, the most
easterly known as Sporoumbia...neighboring Sevarambia, to the west, was much
more civilised and pleasing..."
The island of Australia and its countries of Sporoumbia and Sevarambia appear in Denis Veiras' Historie des Sevarambes, peuples qui habitent une partie du troisième continent, communement appelé la terre Australe (1677-1679).
"...we passed first by Pathan, where trees grow honey, meal and wine..."
Pathan appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Mandevile (1357).
"...while off to port we saw both Pala, where the potent moksha fungus
may be found, and oil-rich neighboring Rendang."
Pala and Rendang appear in Aldous Huxley's Island (1962).
"North of New Guinea we passed through the Luquebaralideaux Islands..."
The Luquebaralideaux Islands appear in Le Voyage de navigation que fist Panurge, disciple de Pantagruel (1538).
"Heading east we moored quite near Cuffycoat's Island..."
Cuffycoat's Island appears in André Lichtenberger's Pickles ou récits à la mode anglaise (1923).
"...the towering volcanic island of Manoba to the south..."
Manoba appears in Paul Scott's The Birds of Paradise (1962).
"...and also sighted off New Guinea's eastern coast the great island
Bensalem, that once traded with Atlantis..."
Bensalem was created by Francis Bacon and appears in New Atlantis (1627).
"...and a place that local seafarers have told us has been lately settled
by the shipwrecked family of a Swiss pastor, named by them New Switzerland."
New Switzerland appears in Johann David Wyss' The Swiss Family Robinson (1812-1827).
"Some way off Bensalem we could also see the
lonely isle of Uffa..."
Uffa is mentioned, in A. Conan Doyle's "The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips" (1891), as one of the locations of Sherlock Holmes' untold tales: "of the singular adventures of the Grice Patersons in the island of Uffa."
"...since it is my intent to take our fellowship as far as wondrous
Balnibarbi and Laputa."
Balnibarbi and Laputa appear in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
"On our way we skirted Yoka Island, with its shaven-headed samurai..."
Yoka Island appears in Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Mucker (1914).
"...and the extensive island commonwealth of Oceania..."
The fictional Oceana appears in James Harington's The Commonwealth of Oceana (1656).
"Further on, we came at last to the familiar waters of Glubbdubdrib,
Island of Sorcerors..."
Glubbdubdrib appears in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
"Though I entreated my companions to refuse this generous offer, Mr.
Blakeney was most adamant, insisting on the company of a revered and ancient
ancestor from his own lineage. When conjured, this shade proved to be not
wholly the aristocratic personage of Blakeney family legend, but instead
the spirit of a one-eyed horse thief with a desperate mania for public self-pollution.
Disheartened with the vision of his heritage provided by this squinting,
pizzle-waving apparition, Mr. Blakeney fast succumbed to melancholia, insisting
that we sail without delay on the next morning's tide."
I confess that I don't know who this is. Damian Gordon says, "Do you know Anton Chekhov's story The Horse Stealers? in this story there is a character called One-Eyed Filya who is a horse thief, maybe him?"
"Thus we came to the larger isle of Luggnagg, further north..."
Luggnagg appears in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
"...he thought his immortality and brow-mark traits he and his kind
had inherited from some long-distant forebear, said in legend to have been
a visitor to Luggnagg, come from distant Abyssinia, where our informant thought
there might exist a city of undying folk like he."
This city, the City of the Immortals from Jorge Luis Borges' "El Inmortal" (1949), is referred to in League v2n4.
Page 27. “...passing Tracoda to the east...”
Tracoda appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Mandevile.
"East of Tracoda, I have heard, exist three islands named for their
distinctly coloured sands, green, red, and black..."
Green Sand Island, Black Sand Island, and Red Sand Island appear in Tancrede Vallerey's L'Ile au sable vert (1930).
"...there hung the dark mass of Laputa, flying island homestead of the
science-and-learning preoccupied Tomtoddies..."
Laputa appears in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels.
"...when I suggested we sail on and try to spot the language-obsessed
island called Locuta that a son of mine once told me he had found..."
Locuta and Gulliver's son Lemuel Gulliver Junior appear in Mrs. E.S. Graham's Voyage to Locuta; A Fragment by Lemuel Gulliver Junior (1817).
"We passed east of Zipang, or of Japan as it is these days called..."
"Zipangu" was what Marco Polo called Japan in The Travels of Marco Polo.
"...and went south by way of Formosa, which possess off its coast another
smaller island of the same name..."
The smaller island of Formosa appears in George Psalmanaazaar's Description de l'isle Formosa (1704).
"...northwest of Borneo, we saw the mountain Tushuo rising from the
Mount Tushuo appears in the anonymously written The Compendium of Deities of the Three Religions (3rd century B.C.E.).
"...and heading on passed by the Island of the Roc..."
The Island of the Roc appears in The Arabian Nights.
"Nearby we saw another, smaller island, situated opposite a river mouth
in nearby Borneo. Protected by a reef it seemed fecund and full of life,
yet to my knowledge it has never been explored or named."
I think this is a reference to R.M. Ballantyne's The Coral Island (1858).
"We sailed on past the Isle of Salmasse, where some trees grow meal
while others drip a fearful venom..."
With the help of Mark Cummins I've solved this, I think. In some translations of Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville the isle of "Pathen" is said to have
trees that bear meal, whereof men make good bread and white and of good savour; and it seemeth as it were of wheat, but it is not allinges of such savour. And there be other trees that bear honey good and sweet, and other trees that bear venom, against the which there is no medicine but one....I think that Moore must be using a translation of Mandeville in which this section is credited to the island of "Salmasse.""...and came likewise by the islands Raso (where men will be hung if they fall ill)..."
"...and strange Macumeran, where the hound-headed populace adore their
ox-god with unfathomable rituals and barking, howling incantations."
Macumeran, or Nacumera, appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"Finally we reached the gulf of Siam, moorning near the isle of Tilibet,
a place that I myself had never visited yet which was recommended to me by
my eldest son, John, who himself is something of a traveller, as with my
various other children and descendants."
Tilibet and Gulliver's son John appear in the Abbé Pierre François Desfontaines' Le Nouveau Gulliver, ou Voyage de Jean Gulliver, Fils Du Capitaine Gulliver (1730).
Page 28. “...we discovered an enormous
isle called India that clearly was not the more famed sub-continent known
by that name...”
The island of India appears in André Guillaume Contant d'Orville's La Destinée Ou Mémoires Du Lord Kilmarnoff, Traduits de L'Anglois de Miss Voodwill, Par M. Contant Dorville (1766).
"...with nearby a strange island where the trees seemed merely balls
of cottonwool glued onto posts, inhabited by animals in human dress, of which
I must confess Mr. Bumppo bagged a couple. It transpired our island was in
fact a Phoenix-governed Animal Republic..."
The island with the trees of cottonwool appears in C.S. Lewis' Surprised by Joy (1955). The Animal Republic appears in Jean Jacobé de Frémont d'Ablancourt's Supplément de l'Histoire Véritable de Lucien (1654). Greg Plantamura adds,
My friend David Branson, who is quite the Lewis expert, points out that although C.S.Lewis' "Surprised By Joy" is an autobiography and not a fantasy, Lewis recounts in it about a fantasy land called Boxen which he made up as a child. So the land of cotton ball trees mentioned on page 28 is not Narnia, but his much lesser-known Boxen.Kurt Wilcken adds
Also note that the counterpart to Lewis' Boxen was his brother's island called (oddly) India. Hence, the "isle called India" mentioned on this page is probably not the one found in Andre Guillaume Contant d'Orville's work, as you have listed, but rather is the creation of Warren Lewis.
Since it was concocted when C.S. Lewis was but 8 years old, Boxen cannot be expected to compare with his professional works, however his Boxen notes have been collected in Boxen: The Imaginary World of the Young C.S. Lewis Harcourt Brace Jovanovich ISBN 0-15-113630-0
I did have a comment on one of your annotations for the New Traveller's Almanac. The "enormous isle called India" near a "strange island... inhabited by animals in human dress" would, sometime after Gulliver's visit, become united as the Kingdom of Boxen. Boxen was an imaginary country invented by C.S. Lewis and his brother Warren in their childhood."Thus did we pass Mask Island..."
As a child, Lewis was interested in "dressed animals" as well of tales of chivalry. His older brother Warren was more interested in steamships and railways and exotic India. The two boys created a joint fantasy world by removing the entire Indian subcontinent right off of Asia and placing it just off the coast of Animal-Land. The country of Boxen was ruled jointly by King Benjamin Bunny VII of Animal-Land and Rajah Hawki V of India.
The young Lewis wrote a couple of "novels" about the land of Boxen. One oddity of Boxen which Moore does not mention is the existence of a race of creatures who look like chessmen, who are something of a persecuted minority.
"Here, I'm told, exists the kingdom of Agartha, veiled divinely from
the memory of man, the throne of which is decorated with the figures of two
million gods, with its existence central to the very continuity of mankind
and...but I confess that I have quite forgot the point I sought to make,
or why I ever thought this place important."
Agartha appears in Saint-Yves d'Alveydre's Mission de l'Inde en Europe (1885). The memories of Agartha are removed from humans by the gods.
"...finally we put ashore on Feather Island..."
Feather Island appears in Fanny de Beauharnais' Rélation très véritable d'une isle nouvellement découverte (1786).
"Nemo speaks of being taken by his father as a boy to visit Lomb, a
city on the western coast of India near Mangalore..."
Lomb appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"He comments witheringly on this beast-worship practiced by his countrymen,
with reference to Goatland, just northwest of Lomb..."
Goatland appears in Charles Fieux de Mouhy's Les Masque de Fer.
"...but he reserves his deepest scorn for the religious manias of Mabaron,
a ten-day journey north of Lomb..."
Mabaron appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"Much more to the Captain's taste is Mancy, almost opposite to Mabaron
on India's eastern coast..."
Mancy appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"Nemo also comments favorably upon the Pygmy Kingdom on the Dalay River
just northeast of Mancy..."
The Pygmy Kingdom appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"Likewise meeting his approval we find Jundapur, in the northwest..."
Jundapur appears in Paul Scott's The Birds of Paradise.
"The Sikh submariner, however, speaks less fondly of the feared Black
Jungle, on its island in the Ganges delta..."
The Black Jungle appears in Emilio Salgari's I misteri della Jungla Nera (1895).
"...passing by Calcutta, came upon the east shore of the Ganges to the
more alluring and yet no less fearsome kingdom known as Gangaridia..."
Gangaridia appears in Voltaire's La Princesse de Babylone (1768).
Page 29. "...into the Sacred Valley, beyond
the Great Rungit Valley...”
The Sacred Valley appears in Maurice Champagne's La Vallée mystérieuse (1915).
"Here, in the morning, looking north, we saw the River Physon in its
devil-haunted valley that is said to be a way to Hell, and heard the distant
yet incessant sound of fiendish drums and trumpets with which that dire valley
The River Physon appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville. It had formerly appeared in a letter supposedly written by Prester John and sent to the Roman Emperor.
"Beyond it, father told me, was a nameless isle whereon lived giants,
each as tall as five like him, while further northward yet were women who
had precious stones for eyes, that they might slay men as the basilisk doth."
Both of these islands appear in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"...wherein was found the island kingdom of Pentexoire, governed once
by the immortal Prester John."
Pentexoire, or Pentixore, appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Maundeville.
"Also, he spoke of the Dream Kingdom, near to Bactria..."
The Dream Kingdom appears in Alfred Kubin's Die andere Seite: Ein phantastischer Roman (1908).
"On our way here from Formosa across the East China Sea we passed Alcina's
Island, near to Japan's coast, where I once travelled some five hundred years
Alcina's Island appears in Ludovico Ariosto's Orlando Furioso (1516).
"...including the sad tale of a young local beauty, Cho-Cho-san, with
family still living in the nearby streets, who'd killed herslef some few
years after her desertion by the handsome U.S. Naval officer she'd married
in the early 1890s."
Cho-Cho-San appears in John Luther Long's Madame Butterfly (1903).
"She laughed delightfully and said that I was flirting with her, warning
me that I should take care not to visit Titipu, a nearby town where the Mikado
had decreed that such flirtation was a crime that merited beheading."
Titipu appears in Gilbert & Sullivan's The Mikado (1885).
"On our way we passed by the minor continent Hsuan, where in 90 BC the
Emperor Wu Ti revived the lately-dead by burning incense..."
Hsuan appears in Tung-fang Shuo's Accounts of the Ten Continents (1st century B.C.E.).
"...and sailed on by those two enticing isles, Babilary, whereon women
Babilary appears in the Abbé Pierre François Desfontaines' Le Nouveau Gulliver, ou Voyage de Jean Gulliver, Fils Du Capitaine Gulliver.
"...and Women's Island, where there are no men at all."
Women's Island appears in the anonymously written Le livre de merveilles de l'Inde (1883-1886).
"The first place that I went to was Albraca..."
Albraca appears in Matteo Maria Boiardo's Orlando innamorato (1487).
"...it appears to be a man-like monkey or perhaps an ape-like man...a
signboard placed within the cabinet identified this strangely noble beast,
in Chinese characters, as 'Great Sage, Equal to Heaven,' though even after
I'd painstakingly translated this, I was left none the wiser."
The 'Great Sage, Equal to Heaven' is the Monkey King, Sun Wu'Kung, who appears in HsiYuChi (Journey to the West), which was written by Wu Ch'eng-en (1500?-1582).
Page 30. "...described
to their immediate forebears by a famous wandering storyteller called Kai
Lung during the nineteenth century."
This is a reference to Ernest Bramah's Kai Lung, whose charming stories first appeared in The Wallet of Kai Lung (1900).
“...I passed through a dreadful city called Perinthia...”
Perinthia appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili (1972).
"...where walking in the desert by the falling light of day I reached
a place called Watcher's Corner..."
Watcher's Corner appears in Der Nister's Gedakht (1922).
"Some distance further west I saw the mountain
Waiting Wife Mountain appears in the anonymously written Tal-Ping Geographical Record (921 C.E.).
"...passing the towering scaffold-city of Isaura..."
Isaura appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"I continued south, and after some great while
reached Gala, an agreeably appointed kingdom..."
Gala appears in André-François de Brancas-Villeneuve's Histoire ou Police du royaume de Gala, traduite de l'italien en anglais, et de l'anglais en français (1754).
"...amongst the the jungles of Cambodia, I saw
the tunnel-riddled but majestic city of Pnom Dhek, its neatly-tended gardens
rising from the shrieking, growling greenery, and not far off saw also great
Pnom Dhek and Lodidhapura appear in Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Jungle Girl (1931).
"...near Mandalay I ventured in Gramblamble Land
and visited the famous city Tosh, beside Lake Pipple-popple."
Gramblamble Land, Tosh, and Lake Pipple-popple appear in Edward Lear's "The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-poppe" (1871).
"From Grambleamble Land I ventured north across the Southwest Wilderness..."
The Southwest Wilderness appears in Tung-Fang Shuo's The Book of Deities and Marvels (1st century B.C.E.).
"I had a dreadful time kept as a hostage at a monastery of sinister
Bon sorcerers, a place called So Sa Ling..."
I don't know what this refers to.
"After some days further travel I beheld Mount Tsintsin-Dagh, the lamasery
of the Silent Brothers there atop its pinnacle."
Mount Tsintsin-Dagh appears in Paul Alperine's Ombres sur le Thibet (1945).
"By this means I came firstly to True Lhassa..."
True Lhassa appears in Maurice Champagne's Les Sondeurs d'abîmes (1911).
"...I also avoided the mysterious cloudy valley just north of True Lhassa,
where two rival cults of sorcerors (or perhaps more-than-human supernatural
forces) called the White Lodge and the Black Lodge are believed to be at
The White Lodge and the Black Lodge as warring magical forces are a part of basic Theosophical teaching as well as a feature of several novels involving "Eastern" magic, most notably Talbot Mundy's, as in Ramsden (1926). Rick Hodge says, "I read in the travelog that it said that they used both human souls and freakish twilight entities both as pawns. I was hoping that would have been a reference to "Spy vs. Spy" (but that's just me)."
"...at last I came to the lovely valley in the shade of the blue mountain
called Mount Karakal, where is the beautiful bronze-dragon-decorated lamasery
Mount Karakal and Shangri-La appear in James Hilton's Lost Horizons (1933).
Page 31. "...we rattle first through Dodon's
Dodon's Kingdom appears in Alexander Pushkin's Skazka o zolotum petushke (The Golden Cockerel, 1835)
"When I said I thought that this was tosh, Allan replied that Tosh was
actually a city in the heart of Burma. Much as I adore him he can be intensely
irritating when he thinks he's being humorous."
As mentioned on Page 30, Tosh is a city in Burma.
"Heading on to Moscow we gave a wide bert to Pauk...
Pauk appears in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Besy (The Possessed, 1871-1872).
"...a long, deep sleep, during which I endured a dreadful, muddled dream
where I appeared to be in Moscow, although not the Moscow of our present
day, but rather as it might be in, say, twenty years or so. There was some
nonsense that concerned a large black talking cat, and a well-dressed man
that according to the logic of the dream I knew to be the Devil. I awoke
Mina has dreamed about Mikhail Bulgakov's excellent Master i Margarita (The Master and Margarita, 1928?-1940).
"...passing by the wretched remnants of the town of Gloupov..."
Gloupov appears in Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin's Istoriya odnogo goroda (The History of a Town, 1869-1870).
"...we travelled through the large, apparently borderless town of Ibansk..."
Ibansk appears in Aleksandr Zinoviev's Ziyayushchie Vysoty (The Yawning Heights, 1976).
"Take Paflagonia, for example...or nearby Blackstaff...or else Crim
Paflagonia, Blackstaff, and Crim Tartary appear in William Makepeace Thackeray's "The Rose and the Ring" (1857).
"...I must say our ride through the city of Phyllis seemed to offer
fascinating views at every turn..."
The city of Phyllis appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"Just as intriguing was the city of Despina on the Black Sea's northern
The city of Despina appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"Just east of Despina, in the Tartary Desert, we saw from far off the
The Tartary Desert and the fortress Bastiani appear in Il deserto dei Tartari (1940).
"It stands upon the edge of Abcan, a wide territory in constant darkness
due to Abcan's emperor persecuting Christians."
I don't know what this refers to.
"...a little further south we found the sprawl of caverns, rocks and
whirlpools wherein the poetic dreamer Alastor maintained his cave-retreat..."
Alastor's cavern appears in Percy Shelley's "Alastor or the Spirit of Solitude" (1816).
"More southerly still we passed through the land of Gondour..."
Gondour appears in Mark Twain's The Curious Republic of Gondour (1875).
"...we spent some time travelling in Amazonia, or Feminy, a land of
women which extends from here into the west of China..."
Amazonia, a.k.a. Feminy, appears in Sir John Mandeville's Voiage de Sir John Mandevile.
"North of Feminy we passed through Ivanikha, where the peasantry are
all named Ivan..."
Ivanikha appears in Yevgeniy Zamyatin's "Ivany" (1922).
"...crossing the boundless, junk-filled country known as 'X'..."
X appears in Tibor Déry's G.A. úr X.-ben (Mr. A.G. in the City of X, 1963).
"...came finally into the province called the Land of Wonder..."
The Land of Wonder appears in Isaac Lieb Peretz's Ale Verk (1912).
Page 32. “...passing the half-constructed
Thekla appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"Similarly half-done was the nearby city Moriana..."
Moriana appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"Eudoxia, a little further east..."
Eudoxia appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"Nearby Zemrude was more ambiguous..."
Zemrude appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"Octavia, in the northeast, is a fragle cobweb-city
of rope walkways strung across a chasm..."
Octavia appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"...while further on Valdrada, built above a
lake, seemed no more real than its perfect reflection..."
Valdrada appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"From here we headed south to Vladivostok, passing through the Land
of the Goat Worshippers..."
The Land of the Goat Worshippers appears in the Abbé H.L. Du Laurens' Le Compère Mathieu ou les bigarrures de l'esprit humain (1771).
"...and saw fabled Xanadu, wild vegetation bursting upwards through
the holes in its long-ruined pleasure dome..."
Xanadu appears in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem "Kubla Khan" (1816).
"...past the high-piled platform city of Zenobia..."
Zenobia appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"...through daily replaced Leonia with massive waste-heaps on its outskirts..."
Leonia appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"...and amongst the ringed canals of Anastasia, city of unlimited desire."
Anastasia appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"We went through Urnland, famed for horsemanship..."
Urnland appears in Jorge Luis Borges' "Undr" (1975).
"We saw Mount Poyang, with its dog-flesh eating deity..."
Poyang Mountain appears in Liu Ching-Shu's Garden of Marvels (5th century C.E.)
"We went southwards through Eusapia, which has a subterranean double
of itself built underneath it..."
Eusapia appears in Italo Calvino's Le città invisibili.
"...and also Queen Ayesha, believed by Orlando to be at present incarnated
in the land of Kaloon, also to the west."
Queen Ayesha first appeared in H. Rider Haggard's She: A History of Adventure (1887). After her seeming death in She Ayesha reappeared in the Asian country of Kaloon in Ayesha: The Return of She (1905).
"...and were shown the way to Mount K'un Lun, sometimes called Hes or
Fire Mountain, further west."
Mount K'un Lun is a part of Chinese mythology, perhaps appearing first in the anonymously written The Book of Mountains and Seas (4th century B.C.E.). Hes, a.k.a. Fire Mountain, appears in Ayesha: The Return of She.
"...Hsi Wang Mu, the Royal Mother of the West..."
Hsi Wang Mu is the queen of immortals in Taoist mythology.
"Orlando spoke quite wistfully about a gathering of immortals said to
happen every three thousand years or so atop the mountain's peak..."
In Taoist/Chinese mythology Hsi Wang Mu's peach tree bears its sole fruit every three thousand years.
"We travelled on instead west from Kaloon through Chitor. Here we saw
the Victory Tower..."
Chitor and the Victory Tower are mentioned by Sir Richard Francis Burton in a note to his translation of The Arabian Nights Entertainment (1885-1888).
"We went with her through the lovely Kingdoms of Radiant Array and Joyous
Groves, north o the Himalayas, thus avoiding the ill-favoured Kingdom of
I don't know what these refer to.
"She showed us, in the poignant ruins of his kingdom, Trees of Sun and
Moon that spoke with Alexander once, foretelling his demise..."
The Trees of the Sun and the Moon are a part of Persian legend, as is their foretelling of Alexander's fate.
"...and we three lounged delightfully beneath them, gorging on their
fruit, said to provide five hundred years of life."
I am unaware of the Persian legend of the Trees of the Sun and the Moon also including anything about long-life-bestowing fruit. Carycomic says, "Could Mr. Moore be hinting that the grove where the Sun and Moon Trees grow is also the fabled Garden of the Hesperides from Greek Mythology (famous for its golden apples)?"
Inside Back Cover
Rick Hodge notes, about the "L.O.E.G. Readers" ad, "Those two boxers are Gentleman Jim Corbett on the left and Bob Fitzsimmons (a.k.a. "Ruby Robert") on the right." Rick provides a link to prove his point.
E-texts, in order of their mention
The War of the Worlds
The Wind in the Willows
The Voyages of Sir John Mandeville
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Island of Dr. Moreau
The War in the Air
The First Men in the Moon
"The Adventure of the Final Problem"
The Hound of the Baskervilles
"The Adventure of the Empty House"
“The Hunting of the Snark”
The New Atlantis
"The Five Orange Pips"
The Swiss Family Robinson
The Coral Island
"The History of the Seven Families of the Lake Pipple-popple"
"The Rose and the Ring"
"Alastor or the Spirit of Solitude"
The Curious Republic of Gondour
The Wallet of Kail Lung
Ayesha: The Return of She
Thanks to: Alicia, beloved, and The Jam, whose Snap powered the writing of these annotations. And thanks to: John Coulthart (!); Mark Cummins, for clearing up two Mandeville problems; Sophie Lagacé; Kieran Cowan; Gabriel Neeb; Dean Milburn; Kelly Tindall; Ray S.; Carycomic; Damian Gordon; Pete von Sholly; Paul Polton; Bob McMahon; Zak Fejeran, Julian Fattorini, Steve C., Greg Plantamura, Steve Smith, Kurt Wilcken, Philip, Hooper, Rick Hodge, Bad Evil, Marcus Good,
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