Hans Christian Andersen (1805 - 1875), was a Danish author and poet, most famous for his children's stories such as The Snow Queen, The Little Mermaid, Thumbelina, and The Ugly Duckling. Andersen lived in Copenhagen.
Northanger Abbey is the 1817 novel by English romantic writer Jane Austen. The 'laundry lists' incident concerns seventeen-year-old Catherine Morland who is staying in the Abbey. Catherine has read too many Gothic novels, and imagines that the Abbey will be dark and full of horror and mystery. On her first night there she discovers some mysterious papers in her bedroom, but her candle suddenly goes out and she is unable to read them. In the morning, to her disappointment, she realises that they are merely laundry lists.
Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768 - 1834) was a German theologian and philosopher.
Sotheby's is an auction house, founded in London in 1744, that trades in antiques, fine art and related commodities.
The name 'Mortimer' is thought to originate from the French 'Morte Mer', meaning dead (or stagnant) sea (or lake). The shortened version of his name - Mort, or Morty - merely means 'death'. 'Cropper' is one who crops, or harvests, which could be an agricultural reference, or - more likely - could be an allusion to the Grim Reaper harvesting - or cropping - souls with his scythe. 'Cropper' - as in 'come a cropper' - means to fall, or fail disastrously. In this instance it could also refer to his work as an editor, literally cropping (cutting) text and words. His name, taken as a whole, perhaps reflects his obsession with things belonging to people who are long-dead.
Greek mythology, Mnemosyne was the goddess and personification of memory.
Medusa (meaning guardian) is a character from Greek myth. She is a Gorgon, a creature with a hideous face and live snakes on her head instead of hair. Anyone who looks directly at her will be turned to stone. She is eventually killed by the hero Perseus, who looks at her reflection in his polished shield and so is able to locate and behead her.
Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There (often called simply Alice Through the Looking-Glass), is the 1871 sequel to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, both by English author Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson). At one point in this fantastical tale, Alice meets the White Queen, who then turns into a sheep in charge of a shop. The sheep confuses Alice with seemingly nonsensical questions and statements, once again getting her nowhere!
Thoth is an ancient Egyptian deity, often depicted with the head of an ibis or baboon. He was believed to be the scribe of the gods, credited with inventing hieroglyphs and writing, and was also supposed to maintain the balance of power between good and evil in the universe. He is described as 'self-begotten and self-produced'.
Emanuel Swedenborg (1688 - 1772), was a Swedish scientist, philosopher, theologian, and Christian mystic. In 1741 he had a 'spiritual awakening' and claimed that he had been divinely appointed to write a doctrine to reform Christianity.He claimed that he could freely visit heaven and hell, and he claimed to have talked with angels and demons, as well as spirits from Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, and the moon. After this awakening he wrote and published 18 theological works, including his most famous: Heaven and Hell.
Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 - 1879), was a British photographer, famous for her portraits of contemporary celebrities such as Charles Darwin, Alfred Lord Tennyson, and Ellen Terry.
Elizabeth Gaskell (1810 - 1865), was an English author, today best known for her novels Cranford and Mary Barton.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882), was an American essayist, philosopher, poet, and Transcendentalist - holding the belief in a spirituality that transcends the merely physical.