A range of texts, historical events, bands and historic cultural items feature in The City of Quartz. Readers of the book can delve into some of the research by following the links below:

  • emiletitleEmile by J. J. Rousseau. This book was first translated into English – from the French – in 1762. Go to a Project Gutenberg version below. Isles and Hobbes were influenced by Rousseau’s analysis – as found in Emile – of how civilisation subtly traumatises children. A revised version of Rousseau’s insights about what constitutes a healthy childhood, basically ‘healthy orbits’, fed into ‘The System of the Orbits’.
  • Works by Robert Owen, e.g. A New View of Society (1813). His followers were called Owenites. In the novel, Isles and Hobbes have Owenite leanings during the 1820s.
  • Joseph Walker’s, Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards (1786) was an important influence on Abraham Isles. Along with Mesmer’s technique and the work of Edward Davies (see below) it helped cure Isles of ‘noxious humors’ in the mid-1820s after Miriam Hobbes rejected his advances. Eventually, it also contributed much to the musical side of Isles’s ‘system of the orbits’.
  • mythology-and-rites-of-the-british-druidsEdward Davies, Mythology and Rites of the British Druids. Another important ‘Celtic revival’ book that Isles read closely in the early 1820s.
  • The English translation of Mesmer’s Aphorisms and Instructions (translated into English in 1785 and detailing Mesmer’s technique: by M. Caullet de Veaumorewas also read closely by Isles, indeed he underwent ‘mesmerist’ therapy in the mid 1820s after his relationship with Miriam Hobbes broke down. Like the Romantic poets, however, Isles was interested not only in the therapeutic possibilities of Mesmerism, but also the inspirational-creative possibilities. An adapted version of ‘animal magnetism’ featuring creative pursuits like art, music, poetry and dance, eventually found its way into ‘The System of the Orbits’.
  • Five Australian stamps found in the vicinity of an ‘anomaly’ in The City of Quartz

  • More research topics to explore that are linked to The City of Quartz to follow!