Page 251. " I was born in Chicago in 1901 "
Nurse holding baby in 1901 Chicago Hospital
Creative Commons AttributionNurse holding baby in 1901 Chicago Hospital - Credit: Vernon Dutton

Chicago in the early 20th Century was a violent place, plagued by corruption and murder.  Gangs held control of the city that would go on to become the third largest in the United States.

Chicago History Online

When Edward Cullen was born...

Jan 1st - Australia declares independence from federation of British colonies.

Feb 2nd - Queen Victoria's funeral.

Feb 18th - Winston Churchill makes his maiden speech in the House of Commons.

Jun 20th - Charlotte Manye becomes the first native African to graduate from a US college.

Jun 24th - The first exhibition by Pablo Picasso, 19, opens in Paris.

Dec 2nd - Gillette patents the first disposable razor.

Dec 10th - The first Nobel Peace Prizes are awarded (to Jean Henri Dunant, Frederic Passy)

Dec 12th - Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal, England to US.

More Historical Events for 1901

Page 251. " I was seventeen, and dying of the Spanish influenza "

Q & A with Stephenie Meyer

from the twilight lexicon

Q:  What was Edward’s human last name?  And are there any other details about his mortal life that you could pass on to us? 

Stephenie Meyer:  Edward’s full name is Edward Anthony Masen Cullen.  His mother’s name is Elizabeth and his father’s name is also Edward.  His human life in Chicago was fairly happy and uneventful.  His parents were moderately wealthy (his father was a successful lawyer).  The biggest worry in his mother’s life before they were all caught in the epidemic was the fact that World War I was raging and Edward was only a year away from the draft (in August of 1918, the draft age was lowered to 18–the influenza epidemic hit in September).


1918- Nurses tending influenza sufferers
Public Domain1918- Nurses tending influenza sufferers

The Spanish influenza was a pandemic that hit most of the world in the early 20th Century. Many of its victims were young adults. It lasted from March 1918 to June 1920, killing an estimated 50-100 million people worldwide. Symptoms began with extreme fatigue, followed by a high fever and delirium. Patients had violent coughing fits - so much, that they often coughed up blood. To this day, no one knows what caused the flu, or how to treat it. 

Page 267. " You have a very floral smell, like lavender... or freesia "
Creative Commons AttributionLavender - Credit: Dean Forbes
Creative Commons AttributionFreesia - Credit: Martin LaBar

Lavender and Freesia are both plants known for their pleasant smell.


Lavender grows mostly around the Mediterranean, and is cultivated for use in scented oils and in cooking.

Freesias are native to Africa, primarily the Cape Province of South Africa.