114

Nobody knows. I've been doing some Internet research, and the only thing that people agree on is that we don't know. There are, however, three theories. One (slightly convoluted) theory is that he took the date from Alexander Chayanov's Путешествие моего брата Алексея в страну крестьянской утопии (My Brother Alexei's Journey Into the Land of Peasant Utopia)...


41

The year 1984 was probably chosen to sound like 1948 while still being in the future. Anthony Burgess, in his book 1985, part novel and part commentary on Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, gives the following explanation of the title: You have to remember what it was like in 1948 to appreciate Nineteen Eighty-Four. Somebody in 1949 told me - that was the ...


37

Yes: it corresponds to the date of Hugo's conception. This is part of a pattern of similarities between the character of Jean Valjean and the author himself: both are of similar age, have similar habits and similarly austere lifestyles, and even share the same dreams. This is according to David Bellos's The Novel of the Century: The Extraordinary Adventure ...


35

Circumnavigation was nothing new. Speedy circumnavigation was new, but not unheard-of and Around the World wasn't positing anything outlandish or even vaguely sci-fi. It's a story celebrating what the British Empire had already accomplished, not postulating what might be possible in the future. Verne himself claims to have been inspired by an early 1860s ...


30

It was possible, but not easy. The difficulty of the task accounts for the substantial amount of the bet: £20,000 in 1873 is worth about £2,000,000 or more than US $2.5 million today. William Butcher's 1995 translation of Verne's book includes an appendix that provides details of contemporary sources that had information regarding quick circumnavigations, ...


22

A variety of other possible answers have been put forth, put succinctly in a Guardian column from 2009: Why '1984'? Orwell's title remains a mystery. Some say he was alluding to the centenary of the Fabian Society, founded in 1884. Others suggest a nod to Jack London's novel The Iron Heel (in which a political movement comes to power in 1984), or ...


19

If she did, she hasn't admitted it. In her writing on Pottermore she states: King's Cross, which is one of London's main railway stations, has a very personal significance for me, because my parents met on a train to Scotland which departed from King’s Cross station. For this reason, and because it has such an evocative and symbolic name, and because it ...


16

Martin Gardner's The Annotated Alice contains some excellent literary analysis of both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, including a lot of surrounding information about Carroll in real life which helps us to analyse his books. I shall be quoting heavily from this below. Many of the group of wet animals in Chapter 3 of Alice in Wonderland - ...


15

1. Professor Moriarty I'd like to go into Moriarty in more detail, because Worth was not the only inspiration for Moriarty. Doyle did not simply draw on Worth for inspiration. Masters of Crime states that Doyle himself only acknowledged being inspired by one criminal: Jonathan Wild, a 17th and 18th century master of the criminal underworld. In The Valley ...


14

There are many instances of boats, some of them quite large, being carried inland by a tsunami. For example... ...which is from the Japanese tsunami of 2011. It is quite likely that Terry Pratchett took events of this nature as inspiration for the book. Although, wind alone isn't going to lift a boat any distance, the story doesn't have to be ...


14

Oddly enough, Rowling has cited The Chronicles of Narnia as an inspiration for her King's Cross entryway to the world of magic, but not the part you're thinking of! I found myself thinking about the wardrobe route to Narnia when Harry is told he has to hurl himself at a barrier in Kings Cross Station - it dissolves and he's on platform Nine and Three-...


12

I believe all the Weasleys except Ron were named after either characters from Arthurian legend or historical royalty of England/Albion/Britain: Arthur (duh) Molly (sometimes a nickname for Margaret or Mary) William Charles Percival Frederick George Ginevra (a form of Guinevere)


12

Yep. Stevenson writes in his A Chapter on Dreams, which you can see a book scan at that link, and a text version at Project Gutenburg: Well, as regards the dreamer, I can answer that, for he is no less a person than myself;—as I might have told you from the beginning, only that the critics murmur over my consistent egotism;—and as I am positively forced ...


11

It is stated here: his brother Donal's favourite conversation-starter in the pub: ''Artemis Fowl is based on me.'' and ''So I took this character, my brother Donal, the little 12-year-old Bond villain, and said, 'What if he kidnaps one of the leprechauns for the crock of gold?'' So apparently, Artemis is based on Colfer's brother Donal.


9

There is no indication in various sources found online that Gaiman was influenced by Heinrich Heine. In short, these are the authors Gaiman said he was influenced by: Michail Bulgakov, Master and Margarita I loved it when I read it, yes;1 Mary Shelley He wrote an essay titled Mary Shelley: My Hero J. R. R. Tolkien (duh) I came to the conclusion ...


9

While we can't rule out an influence from Lewis, he was not Gaiman's primary motivation. Gaiman has named different influences for Stardust. Stardust has a much closer parallel to the 1926 book Lud-In-The-Mist by Hope Mirrlees. Gaiman has praised the book, including it in a list of his all-time favourite novels. In this newspaper feature, he makes clear ...


8

It looks like he was influenced by traditional English fairy stories and in particular a writer by the name of Lucy Clifford A star still falls, a boy still promises to bring it to his true love, there are still wicked witches and ghosts and lords (although the lords have now become princes.) They even gave the story an unabashedly happy ending, which is ...


8

Three total. Jenkins’ Guide tells about them. Nightfall (1990 novel) based on “Nightfall” (1941 short story). The Ugly Little Boy (1992 novel) based on “The Ugly Little Boy” (1958 short story). The Positronic Man (1993 novel) based on “The Bicentennial Man” (1976 short story) We know there are only three of these from the Guide's description for The ...


8

This is not meant to be definitive nor exhaustive, but merely an exploration of certain themes and symbols in the poem: Yeats is widely regarded as one of the great poets of the ages--Eliot considered him the greatest poet of the 20th century--and is certainly of similar stature with the greatest poets of antiquity. Thus his innovations regarding subjects ...


8

Stevenson's admission of the earlier stories and authors he'd plagiarised borrowed ideas from comes in My First Book - his little-known preface to Treasure Island, first published in McClure's Magazine in September 1894. First Stevenson acknowledges very readily some minor ideas and motifs taken from other writers: It is not to be wondered at, for stolen ...


7

In chapter 1* of On Writing, King says that Carrie White was based on two girls that he knew from high school. All the details mentioned in the question are there, but not in those exact words. It is likely that Wikipedia's source for their quote is Secret Windows. muru has left a comment with a link to a website with the exact quote, attributed to an ...


7

William Ernest Henley. Per Andrzej Diniejko, in William Ernest Henley: A Biographical Sketch: Robert Louis Stevenson modelled the most famous pirate in literature — Treasure Island's Long John Silver with his wooden leg — on his crippled friend Henley. Doris Alexander, in Creating Literature Out of Life, devotes a chapter to Stevenson's creative process ...


7

'Nets' are basically the Internet as predicted/guessed by Orson Scott Card It is interesting to note that the World Wide Web, the modern form of the Internet, was not invented until 1990, 5 years after Ender's Game was published. Orson Scott Card accurately predicted how much influence the nets would have, years before they became a daily part of people's ...


7

There are two questions here: the origin of the idea of the ‘halfling’, and the origin of the word ‘hobbit’. The former seems to be adequately explained by European folklore, which describes dwarfs, elves, fairies, goblins, brownies, kobolds, leprechauns, and other kinds of small magical people. So I will concentrate on the latter. Tolkien described the ...


6

I'm reasonably certain that Irving's major inspiration for Rip van Winkle was the German folktale Peter Klaus (text here). Almost all the analyses I've read give it precedence over other works (Karl Katz, for instance is a similar, though less-well-documented story). There are many similarities that quickly indicate some connection: The main character ...


6

Yes, certainly, but we don't know exactly which one(s). The Wikipedia page for the story lists many possible literary forerunners from both European and Native American folk and fairy tale traditions -- so many that it's difficult to say whether Irving was inspired by one in particular or some larger subset of the candidates. He was very erudite and had ...


6

In addition to tsunamis, Hurricanes provide great deals of destruction in coastal areas. Although, in Nation it was a tsunami, IIRC. Hurricane Sandy in 2012 tore entire islands on the East Coast of the United States, leaving whole marinas full of boat stranded inland. Water is a one of the most powerful forces when it comes in large quantities. Even ...


6

Corey Olsen discusses this a bit in his lecture series at Mythgard. (I strongly recommend it: he's quite gifted at close analysis, plus it's free.) He notes that most people compare it to Jane Austen, since that's the Regency author that most people are familiar with. It does fit her style well, but that of many other Georgian authors as well. In sum, he ...


6

I'm fairly confident that the parallels are present, intentional, and real. Some portions, however, are about as clear as mud. You'll have to decide for yourself what exactly these parallels are and what they mean. I imagine writing that out would take a Hyperion-length book, and the only true answer would be one by the author. Thinking about this at all ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible