Page 64. " The album's called Songs After Dark and it's by Judy Bridgewater "

 Judy Bridgewater is a fictitious singer, but she fits into an easily recognisable style of easy listening music from the 1950s, the era just before rock and roll became the dominant popular form.  Lounge music was particularly popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and continues to have many fans.  Peggy Lee and Doris Day are possible models for Judy Bridgewater.

Page 64. " I should explain before I go any further this whole thing about Norfolk. "
Norfolk shown in England
GNU Free Documentation LicenseNorfolk shown in England


Norfolk is the largest county in the region of East Anglia, and is well known for its flat landscape.  It is the most significant of the English counties that the students in Never Let Me Go are taught about, in terms of both its role in the narrative and its thematic relevance.  As Miss Emily says, it is a peaceful, slightly disconnected area, having neither motorways nor high speed railways.

Page 65. " and catch myself looking for a particular village green with a mock-Tudor pub "
A mock-Tudor pub
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeA mock-Tudor pub - Credit: Ewan-M

The mock-Tudor style of architecture was particularly popular in England in the first half of the twentieth century.  The most distinctive feature of many mock-Tudor buildings is that they are made to appear as though they are timber-framed.



Page 67. " at Hailsham the guardians were really strict about smoking "
Lung cancer
Creative Commons AttributionLung cancer - Credit: Pulmonary Pathology

This is a significant clue to the destiny of the Hailsham students.  Any damage caused by smoking, for example lung cancer, would make their organs unsuitable for donation.

Page 67. " some classic books - like the Sherlock Holmes ones "
Sherlock Holmes
Public DomainSherlock Holmes

Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes detective stories have been very popular ever since the first appearance of the character in 1887.  He was frequently portrayed smoking a pipe.  References to classic works of literature appear frequently in Never Let Me Go; this is the subject in which Kathy chooses to specialise after moving to the Cottages.


Page 69. " a few years before Walkmans started appearing at the Sales "

Creative Commons AttributionWalkman - Credit: FaceMePLS
This reference to the Walkman, the portable cassette player which first appeared in 1979 and grew in popularity throughout the 1980s, helps identify the timeframe in which Never Let Me Go is set.  The Walkman was made obsolete, first by CD players and then MP3 players.

Page 69. " track number three, 'Never Let Me Go'. "

Like the singer Judy Bridgewater, the song ‘Never Let Me Go’ is a fabrication.  However, many songs with this title have been recorded.  Luther Vandross’ love song of that name is perhaps the best known.

Luther Vandross - 'Never Let Me Go'

Page 72. " none of us could have babies "

There is in fact no reason why clones should be unable to have babies.  Dolly the Sheep, the first ever cloned mammal, who was born in Scotland in 1996, produced several offspring.