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The European Wold Newton Universe

Notes


#1. Ingolstadt has a curious (if minor) history in the Wold Newton Universe. In 1525 Florian Geier was executed there in the wake of the Peasants' War. In the 1770s, as documented by Jean-Marc Lofficier, Joseph Balsamo held meetings there with Adam Weisshaupt, the founder of the Illuminati. And in 1790 Victor Frankenstein created the Creature he was known for while studying at the university in Ingolstadt.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But coincidence has a relatively minor place in the Wold Newton Universe. Far more of what takes place seems to be guided by what narrativium. From the soul of a dying man manifesting as a bat and inspiring Bruce Wayne to freak visits to the distant past, much of what takes place in the WNU is not coincidence, but rather deliberate manipulation of events. (By who is another question, and one beyond the scope of this note to explain). So consider this: which "unhallowed damps of the grave" (his own words) did Victor Frankenstein visit? Whose bodies did Victor use to make his Creature? Is not merely possible but likely that a part of Florian Geier--perhaps only a femur, perhaps as much as a skull--was incorporated into the Creature's body?

#2. History records that Jonathan Wild was executed at Tyburn in 1725. But history also records that Claude Duval died in 1670, and we know that to be false. The sad truth is that record-keeping was intermittent in earlier centuries, and much of what has previously been confidently stated as true--for example, that the first trip to the Moon took place in 1969--is quite false. So, too, with the deaths of Wild and Duval.

Unfortunately, it is also true that researchers looking at the Wold Newton Universe are occasionally faced with two or more contradictory biographies and are forced to choose between them and to decide which is the true one and which is not. In this case, Edward Viles' Blueskin is the correct one, and William Harrison Ainsworth's Jack Sheppard (1839) must reluctantly be dismissed as pure fiction.

#3. As with the two contradictory histories of Jack Sheppard (see note #2 above), there are two contradictory biographies of the so-called "Blue Dwarf:" The Blue Dwarf. A Novel (1860-1861), by "Lady Esther Hope," and The Blue Dwarf: A Tale of Love, Mystery and Crime (1874-1875) by Percy B. St. John. The contradictory elements come not from the same figure appearing in both accounts, but rather two different people suffering from almost the exact same life story and given the same nickname. Clearly, one of these is an erroneous version of the true figure's story, and the erring account is the first one.

#4. Clearly Blueskin returned from France some time after the end of Blueskin.

Timeline: To 1800.
My WNU Site.