World of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

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The world of The League of Extraordinary Gentleman is a fictional universe created by Alan Moore in the comic book series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, where all of the characters and events from literature (and possibly the entirety of fiction) coexist. The world the characters inhabit is one more technologically advanced than our own, but also home to the strange and supernatural. Beyond the comic itself, the world of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is expanded upon by supplemental prose material, including The New Traveller's Almanac, Allan and the Sundered Veil, and the documents from the Black Dossier.

The British Isles[edit]

In the Black Dossier, the alternate history of the League's United Kingdom is explored in depth. As in medieval British legend, in approximately 1100 BC, Brutus of Troy founds the kingdom of Britain (then called Brutain) with the capital at New Troy. He is accompanied by the ageless and gender swapping Orlando, who aids Brutus in subduing Brutain's population of savage giants and their chieftain, Gogmagog. In 43 AD Britain is invaded by the Roman Empire under Claudius. In 363, the year of Merlin's birth, the Emperor Julian declares Britain a pagan nation. In 410 the Romans withdrew, and Uther Pendragon rose to power. Circa 450, his son Arturus became king, ruling until 468. Britain descended into barbarism and anarchy, plagued by ogres, giants, and faeries ruled by Arthur's half-sister Morgana. The faerie remained a powerful force in Britain, so much so that King Henry VIII took the second cousin of King Oberon of the Faerie, the polydactyl Faery-blooded Anne Boleyn, as his wife. From this union sprang Queen Gloriana the First, who reigned from 1558 to 1603. Under her rule, magical and otherworldly forces became more popular in Britain. Her court held such notables as Johannes Suttle, Edward Face, Sir Jack Wilton, and Sir Basildon Bond (ancestor to Campion and James Bond). Gloriana was also the patron and associate of William Shakespeare.

After her death, the puritanical magic hater King Jacob the First ascended to the throne, and proceeded to purge the faerie and other supernatural races from Britain, resulting in the faerie kingdom cutting all ties with the human world by 1616. It was also under Jacob's rule that the King Jacob Bible was compiled. Beginning in 1610, Prospero, by order of a decree written by Gloriana before her death, began to assemble the first 'League' of extraordinary individuals to defend Britain. The group disbanded when Prospero returned to the Blazing World, but was succeeded by similar groups in the 1740s, early 19th century, 1890s, early 20th century, and a failed group in the 1950s.

In the late 1890s the United Kingdom was attacked by Martian invaders, who were defeated via germ warfare. The nation went on to fight in World War I and against the Germany of Adenoid Hynkel in World War II. After the war, General Sir Harold Wharton, an agent implanted by rogue factions of MI5 into the Labour Party, took power and turned the United Kingdom into a communist dictatorship. Under Wharton's Ingsoc government, cameras monitored citizens' daily activities, torture of dissidents was widespread, and a reduced and simplified version of English known as Newspeak was made the official language of the state. After Wharton's death in 1952, he was succeeded by Gerald O'Brien. O'Brien was unable to maintain power, and conceded to the Conservative Party's demands to be reinstated as an official party. Soon after he was voted out of office, and most of the Ingsoc government's programs were reversed. By 2008, Britain's Prime Minister is Tom Davis and engaged in a prolonged war in Q'umar.

The first chapter of The New Traveller's Almanac covers Britain and Ireland, describing, in addition to sites related to British and Irish folklore such as faeries, leprechauns, giants, The Mabinogion, and Arthurian legend, sites from both British and Irish literature such as:

Britain[edit]

  • Abaton, a mythical Scottish phantom town that can only be glimpsed, from the work of Sir Thomas Bulfinch.
  • Yalding Towers, from E. Nesbit's The Enchanted Tower, which contains dinosaur statues that magically come to life.
  • Ravenal's Tower, where the remains of Richard Ravenal from E. Nesbit's The Wouldbegoods reside.
  • The mythical Ysbaddaden Pencawr, a castle that gets further away the closer you get to it.
  • Exham Priory, from Lovecraft's The Rats in the Walls (in the book, the mansion is infested by demonic rats and leads down into an ancient cavern).
  • The floating island from The Floating Island by Richard Head (under the pseudonym "Frank Careless") (1673), inhabited by ninepins-playing Naiads.
  • A description of how the works of Lewis Carroll tie into the world: In 1861, Alice (referred to in the almanac as "Miss A.L.", a reference to Alice Liddell using the convention of withholding the names of children) disappears into a portal to a parallel universe (Wonderland) by the shores of River Thames, and washes up soaking wet several months later, after her disappearance created a media panic. Although she had been gone for months, only an afternoon had passed in Wonderland. She recounted how she'd fallen down a puzzling "hole" that she'd found in the riverbank, only to find herself in a disorienting realm where many laws of physics, even laws of logic, were entirely different from those of our world.
She gets sucked into the world again 10 years later while visiting Oxford, via a looking-glass, but returns with her body inverted so that features on her left side are now on her right side and vice-versa. She has situs inversus, but does not die from it. She dies from malnutrition, because her amino acids and proteins are now isomers. A being made of isomer proteins is 'incompatible' with Earth's biosphere, which exhibits a preferential handedness. An expedition to explore the original riverbank hole was then organized by a "Dr. Bellman", accompanied by a lawyer, a banker, a butcher, a shoemaker, a bonnet-maker, a billiard-maker, and a woman named "Miss Beever" (a reference to the cast of The Hunting of the Snark). They too disappeared, and reappeared again months later, except the baker (who vanishes in The Hunting of the Snark); their adventure log is nothing but nonsensical poetry (a reference to Phantasmagoria and other poems by Carroll, including The Hunting of the Snark). The banker suffers the same fate as Alice, although his skin has become black whilst his hair and waistcoat have become white (a reference to the line in the poem "While so great was his fright that his waistcoat turned white."). All of the survivors are institutionalized, and years later, Mina Murray visits the only living survivor, Dr. Bellman, who gives her a blank piece of paper that's supposedly a map to Snark Island (the same map which Bellman used to navigate the sea to Snark Island).
  • Winton Pond, from Graham Greene's Under the Garden (1963), which contains references to both Alice books, is subsequently mentioned in passing.
  • Nightmare Abbey, from Thomas Love Peacock's novel of the same name.
  • The world of the Vril, from a novel by Edward Bulwer-Lytton. They are enigmatically connected to C.S. Lewis's Narnia. The word for "sin" and "evil" in their language is "Nania" [sic], (an invention of Moore, not Lytton) and the reader is directed to a (fictional) document referring to a British project to grow an apple tree. (Allegedly, this would be the apple tree that Digory planted with a seed brought from Narnia as seen in The Magician's Nephew and that in later years would provide the wood for the wardrobe that served as a portal back to Narnia in The Chronicles of Narnia's first book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.).
  • Airfowlness, the meeting-place of the crows from The Water Babies.
  • Coradine, from W.H. Hudson's A Crystal Age, where Mina Murray moves to at the end of Volume Two. (Moore ignores the fact that A Crystal Age takes place in the future. Although, in the world of the League, it is entirely possible that the future of the novel could be the past as we see it, much like the way Moore treated Orwell's 1984.)
  • The Glittering Plain, from William Morris' The Story of the Glittering Plain, a valley that grants enterers immortality, but making them unable to leave the valley.
  • The Isle of Ransom, also from The Story of the Glittering Plain
  • Many of the sites mentioned in Arthurian lore are mentioned in the Almanac, with the legends treated as factual, historical events.

Ireland[edit]

  • The house of Mr. Mathers that is a portal to a hellish parallel-Ireland, from The Third Policeman.

Continental Europe[edit]

The second chapter of the Almanac covers continental Europe.

Western Europe[edit]

Islands off the coast of Iberia:

  • The former-kingdom of Philomela, from Samuel Gott's Novae Solymae libri sex (1648).
  • Nut Island from Lucian of Samosata's True History (where the native fishermen make boats out of gigantic nut-shells).
  • Coromandel, from Edward Lear's The Courtship of Yonghy-Bonghy-Bò (1877) Note: This not a reference to the real Coromandel, the south-eastern coastal region of India, but a reference to the fictional Coromandel from Lear's famous nonsense poem.
  • The island of the Cyclopses, from Homer's Odyssey.
  • The Great Garabagne, Henri Michaux's Voyage to Grand Garabagne (1936) an island where the visitor's despairs come true.
  • Anostus, from Claudius Aelianus' 2nd Century Varia Historia, with two rivers called "Pleasure" and "Grief". Beside these two streams grow fruit, the fruit of the former causes a lifetime of joy, and the fruit of the latter causes a lifetime of sorrow.

Spain and Portugal[edit]

  • Max Frisch's Andorra (1961), about a country peopled by the violently pro-Christian and anti-Semitic.
  • Barataria, the "island" where Sancho Panza was governor for a short time.
  • Andrographia, from Nicolas-Edme Rétif's 1782 tome Andrographe ou idées d'un honnête homme sur un projet de réglement proposé à toutes les nations de l'Europe pour opérer une réforme générale des moeurs, et par elle, le bonheur du genre humain avec des notes historiques et justificatives (The andrographer, or ideas of an honest man on a scheme of regulations proposed to all the nations of Europe to produce a general reform of morality and thereby the happiness of mankind, with historical and supporting notes).
  • The libertine isle of Trypheme, from Pierre Louys' Les Aventures du roi Pausole (1901).

Islands off the coast of France[edit]

  • Papafiguiera, from Béroalde de Verville's 1610 work Le Moyen de parvenir. Oeuvre contenant la raison de tout ce qui a esté, est, et sera, avec démonstrations certaines et nécessaires selon la rencontre des effets de vertu (The way to succeed. A work containing the reason for everything that was, is, and will be, with sure and necessary proofs according to the encounter of the effects of virtue) inhabited by extremely obese people.
  • Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel is home to theClerkship Island, Ruach the Windy Island, the Fortunate Islands - including the Isle of Butterflies, inhabited by monstrous butterflies - Pastemolle the pie island, and Breadlessday Island.
  • Leaveheavenalone, from Charles Kingsley's Water Babies (1863).

France[edit]

  • Flora, which was "murderously beset by witches", from Ferdinand Raimund's 1837 dramatic faerytale Die gefesselte Phantasie (The Bound Imagination).
  • Lubec, from Béroalde de Verville's Le Moyen de parvenir, where the inhabitants have removable genitals (stored in the Town Hall). Moore explains that it was founded by inhabitants of Thermometer Island. There are no connections between the two works in reality.
  • Calejava, the republic from Claude Gilbert's Histoire de Calejava ou de l'Ilse des Hommes Raisonnables, avec le Paralelle de leur Morale et du Christianisme (1700). Entertainments are not found here, hence Mina's summation of "screamingly dull".
  • Brocéliande forest is first mentioned in Tennyson's "The Idylls of the King" (1842–1845).
  • Parthenion Town is from Nicolas Edme Restif de la Bretonne's 1769 work Le Pornographe, ou ideés d'un Honnête homme sur un projet de réglement pour les prostituees (The Pornographer, or Ideas of an Honest man for a Scgeme of Regulation for the Prostitutes).
  • Neverreachhereland is from André Dhôtel's Les Pays où l'on n'arrive jamais (The Country One Never Reaches, 1955).
  • Lofoten Cemetery is from Symbolist poet Oscar Milosz's Les Sept solitudes, poèmes (The Seven Solitudes, Poems, 1906).
  • Fluorescente is from Tristan Tzara's Grains et Issues (Grains and Exits, 1935).
  • Suicide City is from José Muñoz Escamez's La Ciudad de los Suicidas (The City of the Suicides, 1912), a novel written as an informal sequel to Robert Louis Stevenson's "The Suicide Club" (1882).
  • The Hollow Needle is a naturally-formed cave which Arsène Lupin used in Maurice LeBlanc's L'Aiguille Creuse (The Hollow Needle, 1909).

Belgium[edit]

Greece[edit]

  • Troy (or Ilium), as depicted in the works of Homer; a savage war between the half-divine race of Heroes raged here for ten years, circa 1184 BC.

Italy[edit]

  • The realm of King Astralgus, from Ferdinand Raimund's Der Alpenkönig und der Menschenfeind.
  • The Balbrigian and Bouloulabassian United Republic, from Max Jacob's Histoire du roi Kaboul Ier et du marmiton Gauwain.

Germany[edit]

  • The Grand Duchy, from Der goldene Topf and other stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann.
  • Nexdorea, from Tom Hood's Petsetilla's Posy.
  • The wardrobe leading to the Kingdom of the Dolls, from E.T.A. Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
  • The realm of the Regentrude, from Theodor Storm's Die Regentrude.
  • Sainte Beregonne, from Jean Ray's La Ruelle ténébreuse.

The Netherlands[edit]

  • The island of Laiquihire, from Voyage Curieux d'un Philadelphe dans des Pays nouvellement Découverts.

Scandinavia[edit]

Eastern Europe[edit]

  • Ubu's kingdom, from Alfred Jarry's Ubu plays.
  • The City of the Happy Prince, from Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince.
  • Selene, the city of vampires from Paul Féval's La Ville-Vampire.

The Americas[edit]

The third chapter of the Almanac covers the Americas.

Off the coast of South America[edit]

  • The Riallaro Archipelago, from John Macmillan Brown's Riallaro, the Archipelago of Exiles and Limanora, the Island of Progress.
  • Manouham and Letalispons from the Abbé Pierre Desfontaines' Le Nouveau Gulliver ou Voyages de Jean Gulliver, fils du capitaine Lemuel Gulliver
  • Rose, from Mervyn Peake's Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor.
  • Rampole Island, from H.G. Wells' Mr. Blettsworthy on Rampole Island.

In South America[edit]

  • The Palace of Justice, from Marco Denevi's ¿El primer cuento de Kafka?.
  • Golden Lake, from Daniel Defoe's A New Voyage Round the World.
  • Watkinsland, from Doris Lessing's Briefing for a Descent into Hell.

Off the coast of North America[edit]

  • The Island of Birds, from Michel Tremblay's Contes pour buveurs attardés.
  • Waferdanos, from Voyage Curieux d'un Philadelphe dans des Pays nouvellement Découverts.
  • Buyan, from Russian folklore.
  • Ursina and Vulpina, from The Floating Island.
  • The Island of Fortune, the Island of Chance, and Philosophy Isle, from Abbé Balthazard's L'Isle Des Philosophes Et Plusieurs Autres.
  • Captain Sparrow's Island, from S. Fowler Wright's The Island of Captain Sparrow.

In North America[edit]

  • Rampart Junction, from Ray Bradbury's The Town Where No One Got Off.
  • Springfield, the town where Moore says the Cat in the Hat appeared. (The Gazeteer places the town in Massachusetts; the real town of Springfield, MA is the hometown of Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote Cat in the Hat under the pen name Dr. Seuss.)
  • Beaulieu, from Ralph Adams Cram's Walled Towns. Beaulieu is built on the "Miskatonic River leading into Arkham" and is stately implied that the town's defenses are meant to protect from Lovecraftian horrors.
  • The Mexican villa of Don Diego de la Vega, better known as Zorro.

Africa and the Middle East[edit]

The fourth chapter of the Almanac covers Africa and the Middle East.

  • Ardistan and Djinnistan, from Karl May's Ardistan and Der Mir von Djinnistan.
  • The Kingdom of the Amphicleocles, from Charles de Fieux Mouhy's Lamekis, ou les voyages extraordinaires d'un Egyptien dans la terre intérieure, avec la découverte de l'Isle des Silphides, enrichi des notes curieuses.
  • Ishmaelia, from Evelyn Waugh's Scoop.
  • Kor, from the Allan Quatermain and Ayesha novels of H. Rider Haggard, "in what is now Uganda." Home to the Flame of Immortality.
  • The Monsters of Alexandria built on orders from Alexander the Great from Maria Savi-Lopez's Legende del Mare.

Asia and the Australias[edit]

The fifth chapter of the Almanac covers Asia and the Australias.

  • Antangil, from Histoire du grand et admirable royaume d'Antangil Inconnu jusques à présent à tous Historiens et Cosmographes.
  • Sporoumbia and Sevarambia, from Denis Vairasse's Histoire de Sévarambes.
  • Mask Island, from Charles de Fieux Mouhy's Les Masque de Fer.
  • Feather Island, from Fanny de Beauharnais's Rélation très véritable d'une isle nouvellement découverte.

Polar Regions[edit]

The sixth chapter of the Almanac covers the Arctic and Antarctica.

Islands and seas off the coast of Antarctica[edit]

  • Megapatagonia, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean stretching south from Tierra del Fuego, similar to the Blazing World archipelago north of Britain, inhabited by animal men and an inverse of French society. The capital city is "Sirap". From La Découverte australe par un homme-volant by Nicolas Edme Restif de la Bretonne.
  • Pyrandia island, in the South Pacific Ocean southwest of the Megapatagonia islands, west of the Antarctic peninsula, home to fire men, from Supplément de l'Histoire véritable de Lucien by Jean Jacobé de Frémont d'Ablancourt.
  • The Leap Islands, which in LoEG also are a part of the Academic Sea, containing Aggregation Harbour on the Isle of Leaphigh, inhabited by enlightened monkey-men, from The Monikins by James Fennimore Cooper.
  • Caprona/Caspak, a land mass in the South Pacific Ocean, inhabited by dinosaurs and a variety of homonid species at different stages of evolution, from Edgar Rice Burroughs' Caspak Trilogy.

Antarctica[edit]

  • Empire of Alsondons, a subterranean land beneath Mac. Robertson Land, from L'Aventurier Français by Robert-Martin Lesuire.
  • Iron Mountains, probably in Queen Maud Land, from Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne.

Northern Asia[edit]

Islands and other locations in the Arctic Ocean[edit]

  • Elisee Reclus Island, Cristallopolis (French Colony), Maurel City (American Colony), from Une Ville de Verre by Alphonse Brown.
  • North Pole Kingdom, a land populated by civilized dinosaurs living under the polar ice cap, from Le Peuple du Pôle by Carles Derennes.
  • Polar Bear Kingdom, inhabited by intelligent polar bears who also advertise Coca-Cola, from 20,000 Lieues Sous Les Glaces (or 20,000 Leagues Under the Ice) by Mór Jókai and a parody of the 1993 "Polar Bears" Coca-Cola advertising campaign by Creative Artists Agency.
  • Mountain-Door to Mandai Country, subterranean land, from Iran by Hirmiz bar Anhar.
  • The Sea of Frozen Words from The Fourth Book of the Deeds and Sayings of the Good Pantagruel by François Rabelais.
  • The Island of Thule, from The Bibliotheca historia (Library of History) by Diodorus Siculus, Geographika (Geography) by Strabo, and The Gothic War by Procopius (or possibly Thule from Robert E. Howard's Kull stories).
  • The Arctic counterpart to the Iron Mountains, with an entrance to the subterranean land of either Pluto, Pellucidar (from At the Earth's Core by Edgar Rice Burroughs), Atvatabar (from The Goddess of Atvatabar by William R. Bradshaw), or Ruffal (from La vie, les avanture, and le voyage de Groenland du Révérend Père Cordelier Pierre de Mesange by Simon Tyssot de Patot) or possibly all of these subterranean worlds.
  • The home of Santa Claus, described as a shaman clad in reindeer hide whose spirit guides ("little helpers") encourage him to spread joy around the world on the winter solstice. He has also been visited by the Coca-Cola representatives.

Beyond the world[edit]

  • The Faerie homeland, a half-realm or "fractional dimension" that is home to the Faerie.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]