Exeter is a small city in Devon, in the southwest of England. It takes its name from the River Exe.
The historic centre was largely destroyed by German bombing in World War II.
Omnibuses were originally horse-drawn public carriages, the first of which was established by George Shillibeer in 1829. They were initially also known as Shillibeer's and later on as 'buses. The era of the horse-drawn omnibus finally came to a close in 1911, after which the service was motorised.
Hyde Park Corner is located in the West End of London, between Hyde Park and Green Park. Piccadilly is the street that leads east from Hyde Park Corner, along the north side of Green Park.
Rotten Row is a broad track running the length of Hyde Park’s south side. Established by William III in 1690, it was the first ever artificially-lit road in the UK, and was once a very fashionable place to be seen. Today it is still maintained as a place to exercise horses in central London.
A cartwheel hat is a hat with a very large, flat, circular brim. Click here for images of these hats.
A victoria was a light, four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with a folding hood.
A hansom was a light, agile two-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse, designed for speed. They were seen as a little ‘racy’ and not generally used by respectable women. They were used as vehicles for hire, and could easily nip in and out of the notorious traffic jams of 19th century London.
In 1898, one year after the book's publication, America defeated imperial Spain in a ten-week war fought in Cuba, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. The victory gave the USA a small colonial empire and left it the unrivalled military and political power in the Western Hemisphere. It would be just two decades more before World War I and the Treaty of Versailles confirmed the USA's dominant position in the world.
Hampstead is an affluent area of London, situated in the London Borough of Camden.
It has traditionally been seen as the stamping ground of literary, musical, and artistic figures; intellectuals; and middle-class liberals.
One of the main attractions of the area is the large open space known as Hampstead Heath.
‘Bloofer lady’ is a childish way of saying ‘beautiful lady.’ This phrase is used in Charles Dickens’ novel Our Mutual Friend (1864-5) in Book 2, Chapter 9.
Dame Ellen Terry was a British actress who performed alongside Sir Henry Irving in the Lyceum Theatre where Bram Stoker worked. She became the leading Shakespearean actress in Britain.
"Furze" is gorse.
In his Author’s Note for The Secret Agent (1907), Joseph Conrad describes London as:
a monstrous town more populous than some continents and in its man-made might as if indifferent to heaven’s frowns and smiles; a cruel devourer of the world’s light. There was room enough there to place any story, depth there for any passion, variety there for any setting, darkness enough to bury five million of lives.
A reference to the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, which God forbade the first humans, Adam and Eve, from eating.
The serpent tempted Eve to eat the fruit (there is no mention of an apple in Genesis), and Eve in turn convinced Adam. After eating the fruit they gained knowledge of Good and Evil, and tried to hide their nakedness. God was furious when he saw what they had done, and threw them from the paradisical garden. This is the ‘original sin’ that all humans are tainted with when they are born, according to Christian theology.