This map plots the settings and references in The Boys Who Saved the World
To start exploring, click a red pin
The boys of the Brotherhood, we can surmise, live in or around south London. Kingston, a commuter-belt suburb in outer south-west London, is the location of the nightclub from which the boys kidnap Padma.
An ancient market town where Saxon kings were once crowned, it was one of the English boroughs given municipal status in 1835. Following the Local Government Act of 1963, it became part of Greater London in 1965. Prior to this, Kingston was located in Surrey.
Throughout the 20th century, Kingston was known for its military aircraft manufacturing plants. The Harrier, Hunter, Hurricane and, perhaps most famous of all, Sopwith Camel were all designed and built in the town. The nearby Brooklands Museum in Weybridge showcases examples of these aircraft.
British Aerospace was also based there, but finally closed the doors of its factory in 1992. The town’s polytechnic was transformed into Kingston University, making it a university town. Today, its main activities are retail and leisure.
Notable natives of Kingston include such diverse figures as pioneering Victorian photographer Eadweard Muybridge, author of The Forsyste Saga John Galsworthy, drummer of punk band The Damned Rat Scabies, and celebrated children’s author Jacqueline Wilson, who still lives there today.
The remote cottage in which the Brotherhood hold Padma hostage is located in an unspecified part of rural Suffolk.
The county, always predominantly agricultural, was once part of the kingdom of East Anglia, which was settled by the Angles in the 5th century AD. It became a unified county in 1972 when East Suffolk, West Suffolk and Ipswich were merged.
Like neighbouring Essex, which it borders to the south, Suffolk is largely flat, its rural areas comprising vast wetlands and forests – areas of great natural and majestic beauty. The Suffolk coastline is composed of relatively unresistant rock, and as a result is eroding. Attempts to set up coastal defences have so far failed to arrest the erosion, and it remains a significant concern for the county.
The forest featured in the novel is likely to be Rendlesham Forest, the site of Britain’s most infamous UFO incidents in 1980. The forest covers 1,500 hectares and comprises diverse woodland.
In the 1820s the Prince Regent requested John Nash clear the area as part of the Charing Cross Improvement Scheme, but Sir Charles Barry was responsible for the architectural style, completed in 1845. The Square’s centrepiece is Nelson’s Column: from a base of four lions rises a 151-foot granite column surmounted by a statue of Admiral Horatio Nelson.
Jon recalls a story his father once told him about St Francis taming a wolf in Gubbio.
Gubbio is an ancient town (no longer a village) situated on the lower slopes of the Apennines in Perugia, Italy. Its origins are exceptionally ancient – the hills above were occupied in the Bronze Age. Important in the development of the Umbrian peoples, it was invaded by the Romans in the 2nd century BC and its Roman theatre still survives – the second oldest on the planet.
Gubbio was exceptionally powerful in the middle ages, and the following centuries were characterised by tumult and war with surrounding Umbrian towns.
It became part of the Papal States in 1631 and was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy in 1860.