William Shakespeare

The writings of John Bellairs reflect some of the author's varied interests - from history and folklore to literature, religion, baseball, and beyond. These interests, mixed with his incredible imagination, resulted in spellbinding stories with historic names and archaic locations blended throughout the text. This realistic depth could easily engage the curious: who were John Stoddard and John Dee? Where is Van Twiller, New York? Do the Lewis Chessmen actually exist? Is there really that much Shakespeare referenced in the novels?

Who's Who?

Meet up with everyone from popes and professors to authors and athletes and a heavenly host of more people in Bellairs' wide-ranging neighborhood. Who's the artist that autographed a series of purple water-lilies? Who's the singer that mesmerized the citizens of New Zebedee with his operatic voice? Who's the scientist that speculated about the cosmic trails of comets? Plus, there are biographies of your favorite characters, to boot.

What's What?

A place for everything and everything from household appliances to mystical talismans to rock formations and astronomical events - plus some words to the wise - in their place. Here you can learn about the preferred headgear of students living in Durham, New Hampshire during the mid-1950s, the four letters of the alphabet that pop up throughout Roman history, and the long, convoluted naming convention of the Fifth Michigan Fire Zouave Lancers.

Where's There?

Go hop-scotching the world to find the usual and the unknown and who knows where you'll wind up: in the depths of a series of subterranean caves, taking in the sights from atop a mountain peak, or even the neighborhood fountain in your own backyard. You won't have to travel far to see sights Bellairs read about - or even probably saw firsthand: the 19th Century covered bridge in Stark, New Hampshire, rocky islands off the coast of Ireland where no one would want to be deserted, and what lies at the convergence of five roads.

When's Then?

Find the dates and times of actual, factual historical events including the capture of Fort Ticonderoga, the Salem Witch Trials, and when the battles of the New Orleans and Lepanto took place. Here you can discover what happened that prompted certain sailing vessels to run aground, what caused noteworthy wars, and what led to relics being obtained and displayed in medieval monasteries.