From the Journal of Mr John R. Carruthers - Carruthers's journal is presented in the traditional format many Lovecraft and Lovecraft-style stories come in. "I repeat to you, gentlemen, that your inquisition is fruitless."
the White Plague - Tuberculosis, but as Carruthers is writing during the climax of the London Blitz, he's not idly speculating when he says the Germans are just as likely to get him. That night, mere hours after he finished writing his account and making arrangements for its safekeeping, the Luftwaffe would spend all night dropping eight kilotons of high explosive on London. It was the last major raid of the Blitz, and one of its victims was Mr John R. Carruthers, occupation (according to the 1939 National Register) retired engineer.
a princely sum - Indeed, depending on which complicated economic calculation you choose to give the most weight, £5 in 1884 would be equivalent to anything from several hundred to a few thousand US dollars today - something like two months' pay for an unskilled workman. Certainly a hell of a lot more than the average match girl could expect to clear in a day!
she wore a sword - The implication on Doctor Who is that Jenny was in fact just a match girl before she met Vastra, who trained her to be the all-around badass she is in her on-screen appearances. Since they're meeting much younger in this context, and I thought it might be more interesting if they met as something closer to equals anyway, I decided to flip it around and establish that she'd already had a significant adventuring career before their first meeting.
unmistakably feminine - Don't come to me complaining that Silurian women shouldn't have breasts. I didn't design them.
Sir Richard Owen - Owen was a real piece of work, and not the kind of scientific figure I particularly like to glorify, but he's the authority someone in Jenny's position would be most likely to have heard of in 1884.
millions of years - The age of the Earth was one of the great scientific controversies of the age in the latter half of the 19th century; this was the era of Darwin, Kelvin, et al., when scientists were beginning to realize that planet had to be a great deal older than received wisdom and religious dogma would have it, but no one could agree on exactly how great a deal. That Jenny isn't just scandalized or baffled by the assertion is another indication that she's more widely read on more exotic topics than her lower-class status and straitened circumstances would tend to indicate.
we are not maniacs - Well, not all of them, anyway.
Miss James - Named after Roy James, the getaway driver of the 1963 Great Train Robbers. This may not be the last we see of her; she was meant to be a fairly stock character, just the underworld person whose job was to sell the stuff to Nanami, but the way she presented herself, I suspect there's more to her.
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.