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41

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 ...


32

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, ...


23

All the unreputable Internet sources indicate that the numbering on Baker Street in Doyle's lifetime was only up to 100. Apparently Doyle initially called the street "Upper Baker Street". One theory is that Doyle chose 221B - a non-existing address - to avoid some poor fella living there from receiving piles of mail an unwanted clients - which is the ...


21

TL;DR: Homer’s Ithaca is somewhere in the Ionian islands but his descriptions are hard to reconcile, so pending a really convincing archaeological find it is impossible to be sure how the descriptions relate to reality. Why do we think there might be a real ‘Ithaca’? An important first question, one that is often neglected, do we have any reason to expect ...


14

This answer is primarily based on Ignace Feuerlicht, "Omissions and Contradictions in Kafka's Trial", The German Quarterly 1967, 40(3), pp. 339-350 - available here if you have Jstor access. All quotes below are from this article unless otherwise stated. As mentioned in the OP, there is little explicit information in the text indicating a precise location. ...


11

"Scotland" is only mentioned once in the series, and that is as a Quidditch team in Chapter Five of Goblet of Fire: And Wales lost to Uganda, and Scotland was slaughtered by Luxembourg." In Chapter Sixteen of Deathly Hallows there is a mention of Harry and Hermione camping in a Scottish loch, but not in any relation to Hogwarts's location: They did ...


10

This answer is coming from my experience of living and working in the northern NJ/NY area for almost 20 years... To me the only area where you would have both "broken down piers" and be "across the river" from Manhattan would be Brooklyn. Brooklyn is where many of the historic "piers" are. These days they are parks and ...


9

There are multiple hints that the unnamed city the plot takes place in is a reminiscence of Genzano di Roma. Ende has lived there during the writing of Momo, and the Italian background (the names, but also the ancient amphitheatre) hint at that. Apparently, Ende himself has acknowledged the influence in an interview, but I could not find the original ...


8

I couldn't find any evidence supporting the fact that Grisham based Strattenburg off of a real town instead of just a generic archetype of a small town. There's no canon evidence to support either side. However, I was still curious to see if Strattenburg bore any striking resemblances to some real towns in Pennsylvania. I went ahead and used this ...


8

Conan Doyle is giving the reader a clue as to Holmes' character. Educated readers at the time of publication would have picked up on these clues. At that time, Baker Street was an upmarket residential part of London. To the western side - so not industrial, north of the river - so more fashionable, centrally placed near to major roads and railway stations ...


8

TL;DR: The opening chapters of Treasure Island make it clear that the "Admiral Benbow" must be within a few miles of Lynmouth in Devon. Stevenson wrote a detailed account of the writing of Treasure Island. Although this does not mention the "Admiral Benbow" or its location, it does include the passage: … how troublesome the moon is! I have come to grief ...


8

This is the final list I've made, after sifting through The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, His Last Bow, The Case-book of Sherlock Holmes, and the four novels in some detail. This comprises the entirety of the Sherlock Holmes canon. It's possible I've missed something - there's quite a lot to go ...


7

Ephesus was a port on the estuary of the River Kaystros, but silt from the river filled in the harbour during the Roman era. Stock et al. (2013) describe the geological history thus: Situated approximately 70 km south of Izmir, Ephesus is located on the southern flank of the Küçük Menderes graben. During the last six millennia, the surroundings of the ...


7

As user Fabjaja notes in the comments, Wessex was originally a kingdom in Anglo-Saxon Britain. While some of its peers survive in modern nomenclature (such as the county of Essex), Wessex had not. The name would have been largely unfamiliar to readers in Hardy's time - it is almost entirely thanks to his writing that it re-entered the modern vocabulary. ...


7

Original Authorial intent: "Three Musketeer"-ish pre-Age-of-Discovery kinda-Spain-cum-Russia-or-France (sans muskets). Based on Boris Strugatsky's "Commentaries to the past" (which comments on most of their works in great detail), quoting the original 1963 letter from Arkady Strugatsky where the idea of the book was discussed: «...Существует где-то ...


6

The island is never named. We get pretty close: “This is our island. It’s a good island. Until the grownups come to fetch us we’ll have fun.” However, the island is never named and we also don't know where in the world it takes place. Though the book was based on The Coral Island, the island in question is just a generic island, which happens to be ...


6

In Chapter I, we have a rough indication of the year, when Inspector MacDonald arrives (p. 4): Those were the early days at the end of the ’80’s, when Alec MacDonald was far from having attained the national fame which he has now achieved. For comparison, this falls around the time of one of Doyle's earliest works, The Sign of the Four, set in 1888. Now, ...


6

The place you seek is actually better transliterated as "Geumgang-Gul". Geumganggul Cave is a cave located in Seoraksan National Park, in Sokcho, South Korea... It was once a place of worship and contains a Buddha stone. - Wikipedia It's located very far northeast of the country. . You can walk there from a famous temple called the Sinheungsa ...


6

São Lourenço, i.e., Saint Laurence or Lawrence, was the name given to Madagascar by the Portuguese. According to Wikipedia: European contact began on August 10, 1500, when the Portuguese sea captain Diogo Dias sighted the island after his ship separated from a fleet going to India. The Portuguese traded with the islanders and named the island São Lourenço (...


5

It appears to be the one in Massachusetts. The essay is frequently cited as being published in Wheaton College alumnae magazine, which is the magazine of the Wheaton College in Massachusetts. I note, however, that the library's own history page does not make any mention of a rededication in 1973. There was a renaming of a room after a key alumna in 1972.


5

This website discusses the setting of the novel. Apparently Steinbeck never actually explicitly identified the country, although he said it was cold and stern like Norway, cunning and implacable like Denmark, reasonable like France. There are enough clues in it to narrow the possible countries down to Norway (unless you argue that Steinbeck just took ...


5

In the third book, they drive to Maine to hike and canoe up the Bear Trail (which I think is made up, I was trying to find it to see if we could do it with the kids for fun) so they are likely in the Northeast somewhere. There is a well-to-do neighborhood in Fairfield CT called Greenfield Hill, and Meriden CT is nicknamed Silver City. Perhaps she borrowed ...


5

Betjeman fell in love with Cornwall as a child and visited at least yearly until his death. As you say, the road links London and Cornwall: he spent a lot of his life on it. The geography of Devon and Cornwall dictates transport routes: with coasts to north, south and west, the A30 is the main route in and out. When you live in such a place the main ...


5

Chenmunka's answer to this question about why Doyle chose Baker St. claims All the streets and districts of London mentioned in the Sherlock Holmes stories existed at the time. Many of the London street names mentioned in the Holmes stories are indeed real. But some are not. Below, I list some that seem to be fictional. Admittedly, some references to ...


5

It's set in Louisiana because the town is based on a real town as she mentions in an NPR interview: I got the idea for the book from a conversation I had with my mother, who told me very offhandedly one day about a town she remembered from her Louisiana childhood, where everyone sort of intermarried so that their children would get lighter with each ...


5

Ludwik lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. See the first few pages, "Wanda's Greenpoint Convenience". Thanks for your curiosity. Love, Tomasz


4

The story is set in Baltimore. Just for reference, here's the text of the short story, entitled "Esquire" (from the Afternoon of an Author collection) and dated to August 1936. The biggest chunk of information about the story's setting comes near the beginning: "Yes, I certainly need to get out," he thought. "I'd like to drive down the Shenandoah Valley,...


4

It's Hastings. First I looked up the author, Mary Gentle, who was born in Eastbourne on the south coast of England. Eastbourne itself was then my first guess, but it didn't seem to fit: there's no castle in the town (the closest one being Pevensey a few miles away), and to the west of the town lies the massive Beachy Head, rather than a "West Hill" ...


4

As mentioned by the OP in a comment, the answer may be found in the article Sherwood Cummings, "Mark Twain's Moveable Farm and the Evasion", American Literature 63(3) (1991), pp. 440-458, which may be found on Jstor. There's actually much more to this issue than that one line from Aunt Polly. Allow me to answer by challenging one assumption made in the OP ...


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