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When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.
Oh, the Places Wells Goes
Bramblehurst (1.1) is a fictional town, possibly based on Midhurst in west Sussex (where Wells worked as a teacher).
Iping (1.2) is a real village a few miles northwest of Midhurst.
Great Portland Street (20) is a real street in London, running north from Oxford St. to Euston Rd.
Port Stowe (14) is not a real town, but possibly based on Portsmouth.
Burdock (14.72) is not a real town, but possibly based on Southsea.
Mudie's (21.7) is a lending library in New Oxford Street.
Museum (21.7) is probably the British Museum, founded in 1753.
Omniums (22.3) is a fictional department store, though around this time real department stores were opening in England.
Empire Music 'all (Epilogue.2) is the Empire Theatre in Leicester Square, a prominent theater from 1877 to 1927.
Literary and Artistic References
Vox et (9.46) is Marvel's attempt to say "Vox et praeterea nihil," which in Latin means "voice and nothing more." It's from Plutarch's Moralia.
"Subsequent proceedings interested him no more" (10.8) is a quote from the humorous poem "The Society upon the Stanislaus" by Bret Harte, an American writer.
West Surrey Gazette (12.44) is a fictional newspaper.
"Crusoe's solitary discovery" (21.15) refers to Daniel Defoe's Robinson Crusoe (1719), where Crusoe thinks he's alone on an island but finds a footprint that isn't his.
"Dust to dust, earth to earth" (22.8) is from the burial service for the Book of Common Prayer.
Sidney Cooper (27.76) was a landscape painter (1803-1902).
Whitsuntide (4.9) is the seventh Sunday after Easter.
Burton (16.1) is beer or ale from Burton-on-Trent.
Louis Quatorze (23.24) refers to Louis XIV of France and styles associated with him and his time period.
"Treasure trove" (Epilogue.2) refers to a British law that says that unclaimed treasure (say, a buried pile of Roman gold coins) was the property of the crown, though the discoverer would get some reward.
"Man with the one talent" (4.6) refers to Matthew 25:15, called "The parable of the talents."
Babel (7.32) refers to unintelligible sounds, and alludes to the story of the tower of Babel from Genesis 11.
Delilah (23.47) is a reference to the Biblical story of Samson (Judges 16). Delilah is the betrayer of Samson.
Ammonite (4.13) refers to a fossil shell, which Bunting uses here as a paperweight (possibly showing that he's not really scientific).