Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Forlorn Soldier That So Nobly Fought

If you’ve slummed around the Bellairsia site over the past ten years then you’ve probably noticed that we tend to go in for the historic and literary trivia that John tossed into his books. There’s a lot of that sort of thing, some skimming the top (such as the names of some prominent characters) and more within the text that you may miss on initial readings. While we’ve been pretty good at tracking down some of these odds and ends, we thought we’d give others the chance to work their detective skills, too.

How so? In The House with a Clock in its Walls, Lewis, Uncle Jonathan, and Mrs. Zimmermann enjoy an evening of interactive ghostly visions of historic battles. One such vision is of the infamous 1815 Battle of Waterloo and it’s here Lewis first catches a glimpse of a peculiar individual:
Lewis recognized him immediately. It was Wellington. He looked the way he did in John Clark Ridpath’s History of the World [79].
Wellington would be Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, and we can only wonder what he’s doing (i.e. how he’s standing, posing, reacting, dancing, etc.) in Ridpath’s book. Or maybe he’s not doing anything. We assume there’s some sort of illustration - and that John found it interesting enough to reference - but we don’t know because we haven’t come across the book. It looks to have been first published c.1894 and is not immediately available at the local library. So that’s where you – and those aforementioned detective skills – come into play. How well can you find this image? If you can, send us a scan/photograph, along with a brief note about how/where you found it, and we’ll share it with others.

And no, that's not Wellington pictured above.  Nor is it one of the Smith Brothers.  It's Ridpath and nothing is living in that mess under his lip.

Happy hunting and good luck!

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