Page 103. " the books were written in the language the elements of which I had acquired at the cottage "

Paradise Lost (1674) by John Milton is an epic poem recounting the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden, considered a work of great importance in English literature.  The creature understandably subscribes to an interpretation popular at the time, particularly among the Romantics, in which Satan is not the villain but an eloquent and solitary antihero, rebelling against the injustices of his creator. 

Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans (late-1st century AD) is a work of biography recounting the lives of famous men in Greek and Roman culture, and would provide the creature with a more or less continuous history of classical civilisation from the 2nd millenium BC to the 1st century AD.  However, the work freely mingles fact with fiction, containing biographies of mythical characters such as Theseus and Romulus as well as real historical figures, meaning that the picture it provided would be rather skewed.

The Sorrows of Young Werther (1787) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is a semi-autobiographical novel depicting a young German writer's unrequited love and resultant suicide.  The adolescent creature's identification with Werther reflects the book's enormous popularity amongst the contemporary youth who saw themselves in or styled themselves after its hero – this following included many of the Romantics and Napoleon Bonaparte (See note to page 39), who would later carry a copy with him while campaigning abroad.



Page 104. " The path of my departure was free; "

   Revealing that he shares his creator's taste for literature which does not yet exist, the creature here impossibly quotes Percy Bysshe Shelley's Mutability, published in Alastor, or The Spirit of Solitude in 1816 (See note to page 75). 

Page 107. " When his children had departed, he took up his guitar, and played several mournful, but sweet airs "


   While something more-or-less like the guitar has existed for centuries, the 1790's saw the emergence of the 'early romantic' model, which closely resembled the recognisable modern instrument.  Its use grew in popularity throughout Europe during the early 18th century spurred by high-profile figures like Spanish player Fernando Sor, whose relocation to London in 1815 caught the public's attention. 



Fernando Sor's Les Adieux, op.21 (early-19th century), played by Margarita Escarpa:

Page 111. " All, save I, were at rest or in enjoyment: I, like the arch fiend, bore a hell within me "

   Reference to Book IV of Milton's Paradise Lost (See note to page 103) in which an envious Satan, like the creature in this passage, declares war on all mankind, driven by his own envious torment:


The hell within him; for within him hell

He brings, and round about him, nor from hell

One step, no more than from himself, can fly

By change of place...

Page 123. " The promise I had made to the demon weighed upon my mind, like Dante's iron cowl on the heads of the hellish hypocrites "


   A reference to Canto XXIII of Dante Alighieri's Inferno.  The heavy cowls which weigh down 'hypocrites' confined to the Eighth Circle of Hell are in fact described as comprising an outer skin of gold over a thick layer of lead.

Online edition of Dante Alighieri's 'Divine Comedy' as translated by Rev. HF Cary, M.A., (1805)