This article is about the characters in Heirs of Glory that are “real.” If you do not wish to know information about historical personages in the book, please skip this page.
Heirs of Glory contains historical figures spread throughout. While the persons in the narrative were real, they are fictitious renderings and in no way are intended to represent the real person. For a great many of these characters it would be impossible to know their true personalities or situations. Below is the list:
Lord Salisbury was the Prime Mister from 25 July 1886 – 11 August 1892.
Edward Aveling and Eleanor “Tussy” Marx were both on the Executive Committee of the Social Democratic Federation. The were involved in many different groups in the Socialist movement. The Bloomsbury Society was their current one at the time of the novel. Eleanor was Karl Marx’s daughter.
Vladimir Illych Ulyanov changed his name in 1905 to Vladimir Lenin. Those troublesome Russian politicos seem to like to change their names. At the time of Heirs of Glory he was 19 or 20. Prior to his brother being executed for his part in the attempted assassination of Alexander III, Lenin had no political inclination. While rummaging through his brothers belongings, he read the materials his rebellious brother had and became convince. A dose of revenge, too? Vova, the name which Lefevre uses with him, is a diminutive form for Vladimir.
Marie Francois Sadi Carnot was the French President from 3 December 1887 – 25 June 1894.
Other Figures and Groups
The Bloomsbury Socialist Society broke off from the Socialist League in August of 1888.
Monsieur Eiffel, of course was the architect of Le Tour Eiffel. I don’t really have to explain that, do I?
Henderson was the winner of the saber competition in the 1866 London Olympic Games. Wait! 1866? While Pierre du Coubertin ( a huge fan of Arthur Conan Doyle, btw ) is credited with creating the Olympic movement that started in 1896, it was not the first attempt. One of the attempts to revive the games resulted in the 1866 Games. So, technically, London hosted the Olympics three times?
As an aside, fencing has been a part of every modern Olympics ( and at least one failed revival ). It is one of only four sports to be able to claim this distinction. Go fencing!
Saucy Jack and Company
The Jack the Ripper murders color a portion of the novel. Calvin Sheridan has interactions with several people associated with the crimes. This, however, is not a Jack the Ripper book. That storyline intersects and Calvin moves into his own unrelated timeline. Newspaper articles quoted in the novel are from the mentioned publications in the narrative.
Joseph Barnett was in a relations ship with Marie Kelly. He was suspected to be out of work and not overly inclined to seek employment. Most of his behavior in Heirs of Glory is based on accounts of the general personality type. He was suspected of being the Ripper, though never seriously. After that case faded from the daily headlines, Joe Barnett faded from history.
Marie Jeanette Kelly was the last of the canonical Ripper victims. Her body was horribly mutilated. Feel free to investigate that and see whether I hit or missed. It’s pretty gruesome. Her body was unrecognizable. This, of course, lead to theories that it was someone else and she lived happily ever after a la From Hell. Heather Graham plays Marie.
Frederick Abberline was the lead investigator in the Ripper case. In From Hell he was portrayed by Johnny Depp. Depp looks nothing like the real Abberline. Clive Russell plays a visually appropriate if too old Abberline in Ripper Street.
Tom Boyer was the boy that discovered Marie. Various reports have a small amount of detail about what transpired. He did work for Mr. McCarthy, Marie’s landlord. Not much is known about either that I found.
Nikolai Vasiliev may not have even existed. The story about him being in a mental institution in France circulated around. He was released in January and hit London. He was also known by Wassily and other variants, which are mostly bad attempts to anglicize Vasiliev. He was said to be Skoptsi. He was accused of being the Ripper but so were dozens more. Many of the suspects were Russian or Polish Jews. East London was littered with Eastern European immigrants. They made easy targets for police and others.
In the recent past it has been suggested that Nikolai may have been made up by the Russian secret police to misdirect.
July 12, 1888. Calvin mentions snow on that summer day. It was true that it snowed on July 12. The press and other reports seemed to disagree whether it could be classified as snow. Regardless, a volcanic eruption earlier in the year had chilled the temperature more than was usual and produces aberrations like snow in July.