The Façade of Quad in Nimrod takes place in a fictional 1826 – 1827 England.
While it is historical fiction, it is heavier on the fiction part and not so much historical. However, some elements in the story do reflect the time period while others are from a much later period like the 1880s.
Just out of curiosity, I wondered what the world was really doing during 1826 – 1827. So I decided to look it up and write about it. This the first in a series of “The World During” articles.
I looked up “1826 Wiki”. The first thing Wikipedia does is give you the roman numerals for 1826.
Speaking of roman numerals, all the chapters in the Facade of Quad (as I like to say for short) are in roman numerals to give that sort of old-timey feel. It helped me learn the system of roman numerals up to chapter 30, which is, “XXX”. X is 10 so 10+10+10.
To get back to 1826, MDCCCXXVI. All I know is that XXVI is 26. 10+10+5+1. Romans were pretty simple for a while until they came to 100 and got all confused.
That’s my interpretation anyway 😛
The Facade of Quad begins in late November. Why? Because this novel was a 2014 NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November).
Let’s look at some major events which happen in late November. I don’t go into detailed dates in the novel until two weeks before Christmas, so let’s just start with the 25th, 1826.
On This Day x Wiki
A website called On This Day gives two historical events. One for Nov. 25 and another for Nov. 27.
“Nov 25 The Greek frigate Hellas arrives in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy” (found on “On This Day” website)
Here is what Wiki says about “Greek frigate Hellas” with some of my words to make it less rigid sounding.
“After an arbitration hearing in New York due to financial default by the Greek government, she was delivered to Greece in 1826. [During the delivery the crew of the ship failed in an attempted mutiny.] [Although delivered to Greece, the poor ship didn’t accomplish much and she didn’t last long either.] She was burned in 1831 by the Greek Admiral when the government of [some Count with a long name] ordered her turned over to the Russian navy.” [Greek Admiral burned the ship as a threat to the Russian navy, probably saying something like “If I can’t have this ship, no one can!” *cue temper tantrum*]”
If you want to read more about it: Greek frigate Hellas on Wiki.
“Nov 27 John Walker invents friction match in England” (found on “On This Day” website)
Since Nov. 27 on Wiki does not give us 1826, we must look up “John Walker” on Wiki instead.
John Walker, According to Wiki
For a moment, I thought friction match had something to do with sports. But no, it’s not that kind of match. You know what it is? It’s a matchbox. What it says in Wiki is the funniest thing.
“He developed an interest in trying to find a means of obtaining fire easily.” (Wiki: John Walker (inventor))
Give me one of those upside down smileys. Come on. How does one become interested in getting fire easily? Come ON!
So he invented the matchbox.
That’s a pretty big discovery if you ask me.
The actual matchbox became available in 1827.
Wiki says that John Walker “refused to patent his invention…making it freely available for anyone to make. He received neither fame nor wealth for his invention… The credit for his invention was attributed only after his death.” (Wiki: John Walker (inventor))
John Walker obviously wasn’t the kind of guy who wanted fame or money from what he did. It’s still good that people remembered he did it. And now more people will remember he did it, right? 😉
Go tell your friends that an Englishman called John Walker invented the matchbox and the first box was called ” ‘Congreves‘ in honour of the inventor and rocket pioneer, Sir William Congreve” (Wiki: John Walker (inventor)).