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Analysis

The Return of the Native Allusions & Cultural References

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.

References to Literature, Art, and Music

  • "Divine Florentine" a.k.a. Dante Alighieri (1.3.6)
  • Albrecht Drürer (German painter) (1.3.9)
  • "Queen Eleanor's Confession" (English ballad) (1.3.11-12, 1.3.112)
  • "Lydia," folk tune of Psalm 133 (1.5.87)
  • Cimmerians, from Homer's Odyssey (1.6.3)
  • Sappho, Greek poet (1.6.11)
  • "War March of the Priests" the finale of Felix Mendelssohn's cantata "Athalie" (1.7.6)
  • Lotus eaters, from Homer's Odyssey (1.7.6)
  • Alcinous, king of the Phaecians in Homer's Odyssey (1.7.11)
  • "a populous solitude," reference to Lord Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1.7.12)
  • Scylla, monster that guarded a passage in the Odyssey (1.8.6)
  • Charybdis, dangerous whirlpool in the Odyssey (1.8.6)
  • Mephistopheles, the devil that Faust made a bargain with (1.9.1)
  • James Thompson's "The Castle of Indolence," 1748 (2.1.29)
  • Scheherazade, from The Arabian Nights (2.3.17)
  • Saint George, play put on by the Egdon mummers (2.4.11)
  • Perugino, teacher of artist Raphael (2.4.39)
  • Rembrandt, Dutch artist (2.6.3)
  • Venus appearing before Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid (2.6.39)
  • Ithuriel, angel in Milton's Paradise Lost (2.7.56)
  • "My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is," line of poem by Sir Edward Dyer (3.1 chapter title)
  • Pheidias, Athenian sculptor (3.1.1)
  • Aeschylus, Greek dramatist (3.1.2)
  • John Gay, dramatist and author (3.1.7)
  • John Keats, Romantic poet (3.1.7)
  • "in striving at high thinking [...]" reference to sonnet by William Wordsworth (3.2.2)
  • Benjamin West, American painter (3.2.6)
  • Samuel Rogers, poet (3.2.6)
  • Thomas Blacklock, blind poet (3.3.111)
  • Anthonius Sallaert, Flemish painter (3.3.112)
  • Danys van Alsloot, Flemish painter (3.3.112)
  • Petrarch, Italian poet famous for his love for Laura (3.4.78)
  • Samuel Johnson, "The History of Raselas" (4.2.55)
  • "birthplace of Shakespeare," Stratford-upon-Avon, England (4.5.17)
  • Aeneas and his father, from Virgil's Aeneid (4.6.33)
  • "Beware the fury of a patient man," line from John Dryden's poem "Absalom and Achitophel" (5.1.63)
  • Oedipus, Greek mythology and Sophocles's play Oedipus Rex (5.2.118)
  • Jack and the Beanstalk (6.1.30)

Biblical References

Historical References

  • The Doomsday Book, 1086 census ordered by William the Conqueror (1.1.9)
  • John Leland (Henry VIII's antiquarian, or historian) (1.1.9)
  • Roman Roads, Via Iceniana, Ikenild Street (1.1.12)
  • The Gunpowder Plot (1.3.7)
  • Amerigo Vespucci (1.4.14)
  • "the year four," reference to war with Napoleon in 1804 (1.3.56)
  • "Fifth-of-Novembers," reference to Guy Fawkes Night (1.3.132)
  • Farinelli, famous Italian castrato singer (1.5.89)
  • Richard Brinsley Butler Sheridan, Irish playwright and member of Parliament (1.5.89)
  • "when a woman deliberates," reference to Cato (4.1), a play by Joseph Addison (1.5.122)
  • Julius Caesar (1.6.3 and throughout)
  • Michaelmas, the feast of St. Michael (September 29) (1.6.6)
  • Sarah Kemble Siddons, famous English actress (1.6.11)
  • Belshazzar, last king of Babylon (1.6.21)
  • Albertus Magnus, German natural philosopher (1.6.44)
  • Johann Paul Richter, a.k.a. Jean Paul, German humorist (1.7.8)
  • William the Conqueror, Thomas Wentworth, First Earl of Strafford, Napoleon (1.7.17)
  • Delphi oracles (1.7.22)
  • Heloise, medieval figure (1.7.22)
  • Cleopatra (1.7.22)
  • Sir John Franklin, polar explorer (1.10.3)
  • Frederick the Great of Prussia, Archduchess Maria Theresa of Austria, Napoleon, and Queen Louisa of Prussia (1.10.4)
  • King Candaules's wife in Herodotus's The Histories (1.10.41)
  • "king's head cut off years ago," reference to the beheading of Louis XVI of France (2.1.7)
  • John Kitto, biblical scholar (2.3.5)
  • Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (2.3.17)
  • "Swaflham tinker," reference to old English legend of John Chapman, who dreamt he'd go to London and become rich (2.3.17)
  • Madame Tussaud's, waxwork museum in London (2.4.2)
  • Napoleon (2.6.11 and throughout)
  • Death of Thomas Lyttleton (2.6.38)
  • Lavinia Fenton, actress famous for role of Polly Peachum in John Gay's The Beggar's Open (2.6.51)
  • Elizabeth Farren, actress who played role of Lydia Languish in Richard Sheridan's The Rivals (2.6.51)
  • Baltazar Gracian y Morales, Spanish philosopher (3.1.6)
  • Battle of Waterloo (3.1.6)
  • Robert Clive, governor of British India (3.1.7)
  • Philip of Macedon and his son, Alexander the Great (3.2.4)
  • Lord Frederick North, British prime minister during part of the American Revolution (3.2.6)
  • Plato and Socrates (3.2.23)
  • Nicholas Sanderson, blind mathematician (3.3.111)
  • Jean-Jacques Rousseau, famous philosopher (3.6.65)
  • Pitt Diamond, acquired by Thomas Pitt in India (3.7.26)
  • Sir Thomas Rumbold, governor of Madras, India (3.7.83)
  • Famous duel in 1547 between Gui Chabot and La Chateigneraie (4.4.7)
  • Colonel Charles Lynch (4.4.23)
  • Chateau of Hougomont, HQ of Wellington during the Battle of Waterloo (4.5.17)
  • Mary Stuart, Mary Queen of Scots (4.5.17)
  • Friedrich Hoffman, Richard Meade, and Felice Fontana, nineteenth-century physicians (3.8.03)
  • Sennacherib, king of Assyria (5.7.17)

Mythology References

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