Nothing has changed, as weather forecasters are still vilified. At the time of Three Men in a Boat, the forecasts would have been consulted in newspapers.
A barometer is used to measure atmospheric pressure, a useful tool in weather forecasting. Like the forecasts themselves, the barometer was blamed by the narrator for showing misleading information.
This unsolved murder took place in London on Christmas Day 1872. The victim was Harriet Boswell (also referred to as Harriet Buswell and Clara Burton), who lived at 12 Great Coram Street, and she was probably a prostitute. She was found in a pool of blood, with her throat slit, and it has been suggested that this was an early victim of Jack the Ripper, who murdered women in the nearby Whitechapel area in 1888.
A Thames Traditional Boat Rally is held at Henley each year, which gives an idea of the type of boat in use at the time of Three Men in a Boat.
The picturesque streets of Kingston-upon-Thames are long gone, but there are still pockets of history worth visiting today.
Queen Elizabeth I is reputed to have stayed at a whole host of pubs in the vicinity of London, though many of the legends that 'Queen Elizabeth slept here' cannot be proved. The narrator J. reckoned that his companion Harris should be similarly honoured with signs on all the pubs he had frequented.
This staircase was at that time in Hides Department Store. This was originally the site of the Castle Inn, which was built in 1537 in the market place of Kingston-upon-Thames. The restored Jacobean oak staircase from the Castle Inn now forms part of Borders bookstore, though its future is uncertain because this bookstore chain sadly went into into administration at the end of 2009.
The trapezoidal maze at Hampton Court Palace was originally planted in about 1700, with hedges of hornbeam from the Netherlands. In the 1960s, these were replaced with yew. Hornbeam has now been reintroduced. It was a place for courtiers to escape palace life and literally lose themselves. It was once part of a much larger 'Wilderness Garden' of King William III.
The narrator refers to Molesey lock as Moulsey. Close to Hampton Court, it is the second longest out of forty-five locks on the River Thames and was built between 1814 and 1815.