History Literature / TheWolvesOfWilloughbyChase

23rd Aug '15 8:27:17 PM nombretomado
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* AffectionateParody: Aiken is harking back to both Regency and Victorian (especially Gothic) literature. Of particular note is ''Nightbirds on Nantucket'' which is a thoroughly eccentric take on the story of ''MobyDick'' (Captain Casket is chasing a pink whale).

to:

* AffectionateParody: Aiken is harking back to both Regency and Victorian (especially Gothic) literature. Of particular note is ''Nightbirds on Nantucket'' which is a thoroughly eccentric take on the story of ''MobyDick'' ''Literature/MobyDick'' (Captain Casket is chasing a pink whale).
4th Apr '15 11:04:20 AM JMQwilleran
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Added DiffLines:

* DeadlyEuphemism: In the original novel, when Bonnie and Sylvia overhear Miss Slighcarp discussing the planned murder of their parents, she refers to it as simply "the ''event''."


Added DiffLines:

* YouAreNumberSix: When Sylvia and Bonnie are sent to Mrs. Brisket's OrphanageOfFear in the original book, they are told that none of the children there have names and that they are now number ninety-eight and ninety-nine respectively.
8th Feb '14 9:48:16 AM PaulA
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* IconicSequelCharacter: Dido, who went on to be the central character of the series, didn't appear at all in the first book.
14th Jul '13 10:10:15 AM Hedgebird
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* The Whispering Mountain (1968) a prequel to the series
* The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (1963)
* Black Hearts in Battersea (1964)
* Nightbirds on Nantucket (1966)
* The Stolen Lake (1981)
* Dangerous Games, published in the UK as Limbo Lodge (1999)
* The Cuckoo Tree (1971)
* Dido and Pa (1986)
* Is Underground (British title: Is) (1992)
* Cold Shoulder Road (1995)
* Midwinter Nightingale (2003)
* The Witch of Clatteringshaws (2005)


to:

* The Whispering Mountain (1968) a prequel to the series
* The
''The Wolves of Willoughby Chase Chase'' (1963)
* Black ''Black Hearts in Battersea Battersea'' (1964)
* Nightbirds ''Nightbirds on Nantucket Nantucket'' (1966)
* The ''The Stolen Lake Lake'' (1981)
* Dangerous Games, ''Dangerous Games'', published in the UK as Limbo Lodge ''Limbo Lodge'' (1999)
* The ''The Whispering Mountain'' (1968), a side-story simultaneous to ''The Cuckoo Tree Tree''
* ''The Cuckoo Tree''
(1971)
* Dido ''Dido and Pa Pa'' (1986)
* Is Underground ''Is Underground'' (British title: Is) ''Is'') (1992)
* Cold ''Cold Shoulder Road Road'' (1995)
* Midwinter Nightingale ''Midwinter Nightingale'' (2003)
* The ''The Witch of Clatteringshaws Clatteringshaws'' (2005)

(Note: ''Midnight Is a Place'' (1976), though set in the same fictional city as ''Is'', isn't usually counted as part of the series.)




** An example of an abusive guardian is Miss. Slighcarp, to Bonnie and Sylvia in 'The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase, and to Dido and Dutiful Penitence in 'Nightbirds On Nantucket'.

to:

** An example of an abusive guardian is Miss. Miss Slighcarp, to Bonnie and Sylvia in 'The ''The Wolves Of of Willoughby Chase, Chase'', and to Dido and Dutiful Penitence in 'Nightbirds On Nantucket'.''Nightbirds on Nantucket''.



* AffectionateParody: Aiken is harking back to both Regency and Victorian (especially gothic) literature. Of particular note is 'Nightbirds On Nantucket' which is a thoroughly eccentric take on the story of MobyDick (Captain Casket is chasing a pink whale).

to:

* AffectionateParody: Aiken is harking back to both Regency and Victorian (especially gothic) Gothic) literature. Of particular note is 'Nightbirds On Nantucket' ''Nightbirds on Nantucket'' which is a thoroughly eccentric take on the story of MobyDick ''MobyDick'' (Captain Casket is chasing a pink whale).



* ApatheticCitizens: Justified in that the terrrible things taking place in the books - forced child labour; horribly dangerous factories and mines etc - are barely exaggerated dangers of real nineteenth-century life, and realistically only a few people are interested in, or capable of, taking a stand against them.

to:

* ApatheticCitizens: Justified in that the terrrible terrible things taking place in the books - forced child labour; horribly dangerous factories and mines etc - are barely exaggerated dangers of real nineteenth-century life, and realistically only a few people are interested in, or capable of, taking a stand against them.



* AuthorExistenceFailure: it's debatable how satisfying a conclusion 'The Witch Of Clatteringshaws' makes, and whether it would have been inteneded as the last in the series.
* BadassBookworm: Owen in 'The Whispering Mountain'.
* BittersweetEnding: On occasion, for example in 'Is Underground', [[spoiler: Is only succeeds in finding one of the missing boys she set out to alive, and her grandfather dies as well.]]
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: The London residence of the Duke Of Battersea. After years in the building, he commented it looked like a giant pink blamange and, irritated, died.
* CardCarryingVillain: Most of the series' antagonists, especially Miss Slighcarp of 'The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase' and 'Nightbirds On Nantucket'
* ChekhovMIA: In Black Hearts In Battersea, Simon is expecting to meet Dr. Field, who seems to have disappeared...
* CinderellaCircumstances: About once a book in some form. Whether its because of an OrphanageOfFear or an evil governess, or simply circumstance, expect the characters to be forced into dreadful hard work and poverty at some point in the plot.
* CompetenceZone: Almost all the child or adolescent characters are sure to be quick-witted and ready to see through Hanovarian plots, with adults much less inclined to be much use. Some books even formalise this to some extent - in 'Dido And Pa' the urchins of London form a network called 'the birthday club' which is instrumental in the protagonists' victory. In 'Is Underground' the child mine-workers form a telepathic bond together which saves the day. In both cases there are only a few adult characters open and clever enough to be members.

to:

* AuthorExistenceFailure: it's debatable how satisfying a conclusion 'The ''The Witch Of Clatteringshaws' of Clatteringshaws'' makes, and whether it would have been inteneded as the last in the series.
* BadassBookworm: Owen in 'The ''The Whispering Mountain'.
Mountain''.
* BittersweetEnding: On occasion, for example in 'Is Underground', ''Is Underground'', [[spoiler: Is only succeeds in finding one of the missing boys she set out to alive, and her grandfather dies as well.]]
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: The London residence of the Duke Of of Battersea. After years in the building, he commented it looked like a giant pink blamange blancmange and, irritated, died.
* CardCarryingVillain: Most of the series' antagonists, especially Miss Slighcarp of 'The ''The Wolves Of of Willoughby Chase' Chase'' and 'Nightbirds On Nantucket'
''Nightbirds on Nantucket''.
* ChekhovMIA: In Black ''Black Hearts In Battersea, in Battersea'', Simon is expecting to meet Dr. Field, who seems to have disappeared...
* CinderellaCircumstances: About once a book in some form. Whether its it's because of an OrphanageOfFear or an evil governess, or simply circumstance, expect the characters to be forced into dreadful hard work and poverty at some point in the plot.
* CompetenceZone: Almost all the child or adolescent characters are sure to be quick-witted and ready to see through Hanovarian Hanoverian plots, with adults much less inclined to be much use. Some books even formalise this to some extent - in 'Dido And Pa' ''Dido and Pa'' the urchins of London form a network called 'the birthday club' which is instrumental in the protagonists' victory. In 'Is Underground' ''Is Underground'' the child mine-workers form a telepathic bond together which saves the day. In both cases there are only a few adult characters open and clever enough to be members.



* DesertedIsland: In 'Black Hearts In Battersea'

to:

* DesertedIsland: In 'Black ''Black Hearts In Battersea'in Battersea''



* IronicNurseryTune: The chapters of 'Is Underground' are headed with lines from nursery rhymes which emphasise how much of a [[CrapsackWorld crapsack world]] Blastburn is compared to the 'Playland' the children were promised.

to:

* IronicNurseryTune: The chapters of 'Is Underground' ''Is Underground'' are headed with lines from nursery rhymes which emphasise how much of a [[CrapsackWorld crapsack world]] Blastburn is compared to the 'Playland' the children were promised.



* LiteraryAllusionTitle: It's possible Aiken was invoking DidoAndAeneas with the title 'Dido And Pa'.

to:

* LiteraryAllusionTitle: It's possible Aiken was invoking DidoAndAeneas with the title 'Dido And Pa'.''Dido and Pa''.



* MeaningfulName: A lot of Dickens-style naming: Slighcarp, Grimshaw etc. Bonnie is bonny. The surname Twite belongs to two characters (Dido and Is) often described in bird-like terms, and their father is a songwriter. Is's name connects her, in-universe, to a drowned town of the same name which becomes relevant by the climax of 'Is Underground'...
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: ...Meanwhile, Dido's [[DidoAndAeneas namesake]] doesn't seem at all relevent to her. In-universe she is named after a canal boat.

to:

* MeaningfulName: A lot of Dickens-style naming: Slighcarp, Grimshaw etc. Bonnie is bonny. The surname Twite belongs to two characters (Dido and Is) often described in bird-like terms, and their father is a songwriter. Is's name connects her, in-universe, to a drowned town of the same name which becomes relevant by the climax of 'Is Underground'...
''Is Underground''...
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: ...Meanwhile, Dido's [[DidoAndAeneas namesake]] doesn't seem at all relevent relevant to her. In-universe she is named after a canal boat.



* NiceGuy: Simon, who acts with decency and courage throughour his story. He was raised on a Poor Farm, and then lived half-wild in the woods, before coming to London in 'Black Hearts In Battersea', but this doesn;t stop him from being a stand-up guy. He is in the tradition of heroes like David Copperfield and even folkloric young seekers-of-fortune. [[spoiler: His sister]] Sophie has had an equally trying upbringing: [[RaisedByWolves raised by otters]], found and cared for by a kindly old gentleman only to be taken away and herself sent to the Poor Farm - but she too is unfailingly decent, kind and courageous.

to:

* NiceGuy: Simon, who acts with decency and courage throughour his story. He was raised on a Poor Farm, and then lived half-wild in the woods, before coming to London in 'Black ''Black Hearts In Battersea', in Battersea'', but this doesn;t doesn't stop him from being a stand-up guy. He is in the tradition of heroes like David Copperfield and even folkloric young seekers-of-fortune. [[spoiler: His sister]] Sophie has had an equally trying upbringing: [[RaisedByWolves raised by otters]], found and cared for by a kindly old gentleman only to be taken away and herself sent to the Poor Farm - but she too is unfailingly decent, kind and courageous.



* RaisedByWolves: In 'Black Hearts In Battersea', Sophie mentions having been raised by ''otters'' for a time.

to:

* RaisedByWolves: In 'Black ''Black Hearts In Battersea', in Battersea'', Sophie mentions having been raised by ''otters'' for a time.



* SweetPollyOliver: Bonnie from 'Willoughby Chase', and later Dido, occasionally live up to the trope. Dido does not usually actively disguise herself as a boy but since she wears her hair short and prefers trousers to skirts she is often mistaken for a boy, and notes that this sometimes comes in useful.

to:

* SweetPollyOliver: Bonnie from 'Willoughby Chase', ''Willoughby Chase'', and later Dido, occasionally live up to the trope. Dido does not usually actively disguise herself as a boy but since she wears her hair short and prefers trousers to skirts she is often mistaken for a boy, and notes that this sometimes comes in useful.



** In 'Limbo Lodge' (known in the US as 'Dangerous Games'), Dido realises early on that the apparently male [[spoiler: Doctor Talisman]] is in fact female.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: the fact of shifting protagonists and a [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters large cast]] means threads are often left open-ended. Before writing 'Nightbirds On Nantucket' Joan Aiken was inundated with letters from fans with this reaction regarding Dido Twite, who is last seen in 'Black Hearts In Battersea'clinging to driftwood in the middle of a stormy sea before disappearing and being presumed dead.

to:

** In 'Limbo Lodge' ''Limbo Lodge'' (known in the US as 'Dangerous Games'), ''Dangerous Games''), Dido realises early on that the apparently male [[spoiler: Doctor Talisman]] is in fact female.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: the fact of shifting protagonists and a [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters large cast]] means threads are often left open-ended. Before writing 'Nightbirds ''Nightbirds On Nantucket' Nantucket'' Joan Aiken was inundated with letters from fans with this reaction regarding Dido Twite, who is last seen in 'Black ''Black Hearts In Battersea'clinging in Battersea'' clinging to driftwood in the middle of a stormy sea before disappearing and being presumed dead.
4th May '13 7:11:26 AM Kyrillion
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* AbusiveParents: Dido's parents are neglectful of her to the point of cruelty and her father in particular does not hesitate to imprison and endanger his daughter in the name of Hanovarian conspiracies. Much worse off though is another daughter, Is, who is used by her mother as a drudge and treated with nothing but casual violence and verbal abuse by her mother and father. It's never acknowledged outright by the pair that she is their child, probably since she is the product of an extramarital affair, a fact which might explain their disregard. An example of an abusive guardian is Miss. Slighcarp, to Bonnie and Sylvia in 'The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase, and to Dido and Dutiful Penitence in 'Nightbirds On Nantucket'.

to:

* AbusiveParents: Dido's parents are neglectful of her to the point of cruelty and her father in particular does not hesitate to imprison and endanger his daughter in the name of Hanovarian conspiracies. Much worse off though is another Twite daughter, Is, who is used by her mother as a drudge and treated with nothing but suffers casual violence and verbal abuse by from both her mother and father. It's never acknowledged outright by the pair that she is their child, probably since she is the product of an extramarital affair, a fact which might explain their disregard. An disregard.
**An
example of an abusive guardian is Miss. Slighcarp, to Bonnie and Sylvia in 'The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase, and to Dido and Dutiful Penitence in 'Nightbirds On Nantucket'.



* AffectionateParody: Aiken is harking back to Victorian literature - mostly Dickens and childrens' writers like Frances Hodgson Burnett. Large parts of 'Nightbirds On Nantucket' are essentially a madder version of MobyDick (Captain Casket is chasing a pink whale).

to:

* AffectionateParody: Aiken is harking back to both Regency and Victorian literature - mostly Dickens and childrens' writers like Frances Hodgson Burnett. Large parts of (especially gothic) literature. Of particular note is 'Nightbirds On Nantucket' are essentially which is a madder version thoroughly eccentric take on the story of MobyDick (Captain Casket is chasing a pink whale).whale).
* AlternateHistory: yep.



* OrphansOrdeal

to:

* OrphansOrdealNiceGuy: Simon, who acts with decency and courage throughour his story. He was raised on a Poor Farm, and then lived half-wild in the woods, before coming to London in 'Black Hearts In Battersea', but this doesn;t stop him from being a stand-up guy. He is in the tradition of heroes like David Copperfield and even folkloric young seekers-of-fortune. [[spoiler: His sister]] Sophie has had an equally trying upbringing: [[RaisedByWolves raised by otters]], found and cared for by a kindly old gentleman only to be taken away and herself sent to the Poor Farm - but she too is unfailingly decent, kind and courageous.
* OrphansOrdeal: All over the place, whether the orphans are literal or de facto.



* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Good King Jim is an all round good egg; kind and down to earth.

to:

* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Good King Jim is an all round good egg; kind and down to earth. There's generally a pretty even balance of authority figures who are reasonable, those are diabolical, and those with a mixture of vices and virtues.



* SweetPollyOliver: Bonnie from 'Willoughby Chase', and later Dido occasionally fits this trope - the latter does not really actively disguise herself as a boy but since she wears her hair short and wears trousers instead of skirts, she is often mistaken for a boy, and notes that this sometimes comes in useful. Furthermore, Sophie often disguises herself as [[spoiler: her brother]] Simon once he is [[spoiler: the Duke of Battersea]] and there are conflicting demands on his time. In 'Limbo Lodge' (known in the US as 'Dangerous Games'), Dido realises early on that [[spoiler: Doctor Talisman]] is in fact female.

to:

* SweetPollyOliver: Bonnie from 'Willoughby Chase', and later Dido Dido, occasionally fits this trope - live up to the latter trope. Dido does not really usually actively disguise herself as a boy but since she wears her hair short and wears prefers trousers instead of skirts, to skirts she is often mistaken for a boy, and notes that this sometimes comes in useful. Furthermore, useful.
**
Sophie often disguises herself as [[spoiler: her brother]] Simon once he is [[spoiler: the Duke of Battersea]] and there are conflicting demands on his time. time.
**
In 'Limbo Lodge' (known in the US as 'Dangerous Games'), Dido realises early on that the apparently male [[spoiler: Doctor Talisman]] is in fact female.
7th Apr '13 2:19:49 AM Xtifr
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Added DiffLines:

[[quoteright:341:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/slighcarpgrimshaw_8008.jpeg]]
[[caption-width-right:341:Even the wolves are not as cruel as Slighcarp and Grimshaw]]

->''The action of this book takes place in [[AlternateHistory a period of English history that never happened]] - shortly after the accession to the throne of Good King James III in 1832. At this time, the Channel Tunnel from Dover to Calais having been recently completed, a great many wolves, driven by severe winters, had migrated through the tunnel from Europe and Russia to The British Isles.''
-->--Joan Aiken

The first written in a series of eccentric gothic adventure stories for children by Joan Aiken. The series is generally referred to by the same name (that or the 'Wolves Chronicles').

The twelve books feature a changing line-up of main protagonists, the most frequently recurring being [[StreetUrchin cockney urchin]] [[ActionGirl action girl]], Dido Twite, who have adventures in an [[AlternateHistory alternate history]] of the nineteenth century. Often the villains are Hanovarian conspirators, desperate to replace the incumbent James III with George Of Hanover. Other common threads are the motif of the wolves, the presence of awful nineteenth-century working conditions and a certain English barminess about the plots.

The books are part parody of, and part homage to, Victorian literature. They are a little like a prototype ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents and in turn in is likely they are part of the very canon Daniel Handler was parodying and paying homage to with that series. Philip Pullman is also a fan and the influence of Dido Twite is clear in his own urchin [[ActionGirl action girl]], Lyra Silvertongue.

[[AC: ''The Wolves Chronicles'' (in narrative order):]]
* The Whispering Mountain (1968) a prequel to the series
* The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (1963)
* Black Hearts in Battersea (1964)
* Nightbirds on Nantucket (1966)
* The Stolen Lake (1981)
* Dangerous Games, published in the UK as Limbo Lodge (1999)
* The Cuckoo Tree (1971)
* Dido and Pa (1986)
* Is Underground (British title: Is) (1992)
* Cold Shoulder Road (1995)
* Midwinter Nightingale (2003)
* The Witch of Clatteringshaws (2005)


----
!!This series provides examples of:


* AbusiveParents: Dido's parents are neglectful of her to the point of cruelty and her father in particular does not hesitate to imprison and endanger his daughter in the name of Hanovarian conspiracies. Much worse off though is another daughter, Is, who is used by her mother as a drudge and treated with nothing but casual violence and verbal abuse by her mother and father. It's never acknowledged outright by the pair that she is their child, probably since she is the product of an extramarital affair, a fact which might explain their disregard. An example of an abusive guardian is Miss. Slighcarp, to Bonnie and Sylvia in 'The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase, and to Dido and Dutiful Penitence in 'Nightbirds On Nantucket'.
* ActionGirl: Oooh yes. Pretty much any adolescent female character, even if they start out meek, and most adult female characters as well. Of particular note is Dido Twite, hero of seven of the books, and her half-sister Is, who follows her lead.
* AdultsAreUseless: even the more helpful and benevolent adult characters tend to be some way off the quick wits of the child/teenaged heroes.
* AffectionateParody: Aiken is harking back to Victorian literature - mostly Dickens and childrens' writers like Frances Hodgson Burnett. Large parts of 'Nightbirds On Nantucket' are essentially a madder version of MobyDick (Captain Casket is chasing a pink whale).
* AnachronismStew: See the page quote.
* ApatheticCitizens: Justified in that the terrrible things taking place in the books - forced child labour; horribly dangerous factories and mines etc - are barely exaggerated dangers of real nineteenth-century life, and realistically only a few people are interested in, or capable of, taking a stand against them.
* ArtisticLicenseHistory
* AuthorExistenceFailure: it's debatable how satisfying a conclusion 'The Witch Of Clatteringshaws' makes, and whether it would have been inteneded as the last in the series.
* BadassBookworm: Owen in 'The Whispering Mountain'.
* BittersweetEnding: On occasion, for example in 'Is Underground', [[spoiler: Is only succeeds in finding one of the missing boys she set out to alive, and her grandfather dies as well.]]
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: The London residence of the Duke Of Battersea. After years in the building, he commented it looked like a giant pink blamange and, irritated, died.
* CardCarryingVillain: Most of the series' antagonists, especially Miss Slighcarp of 'The Wolves Of Willoughby Chase' and 'Nightbirds On Nantucket'
* ChekhovMIA: In Black Hearts In Battersea, Simon is expecting to meet Dr. Field, who seems to have disappeared...
* CinderellaCircumstances: About once a book in some form. Whether its because of an OrphanageOfFear or an evil governess, or simply circumstance, expect the characters to be forced into dreadful hard work and poverty at some point in the plot.
* CompetenceZone: Almost all the child or adolescent characters are sure to be quick-witted and ready to see through Hanovarian plots, with adults much less inclined to be much use. Some books even formalise this to some extent - in 'Dido And Pa' the urchins of London form a network called 'the birthday club' which is instrumental in the protagonists' victory. In 'Is Underground' the child mine-workers form a telepathic bond together which saves the day. In both cases there are only a few adult characters open and clever enough to be members.
* ConsummateLiar: Dido's pretty circumspect, and is able to dissemble and lie without much trouble or guilt.
* CrapsackWorld: most of the locations are pretty awful, particularly for children, but the children seem to regard their surroundings quite cheerfully on the whole. Dido pines for stinking, dangerous London even when in the relative idyll of Nantucket.
* CutShort: See AuthorExistenceFailure
* DesertedIsland: In 'Black Hearts In Battersea'
* DevilInPlainSight: Miss Slighcarp.
* EvilTeacher: Miss Slighcarp again - though of course she was never a real teacher.
* HaveAGayOldTime: The meanings of nineteenth-century slang has shifted somewhat. When the stories are in London, the characters frequently eat 'faggots', and when introduced Is is most frequently referred to as 'the Slut' meaning, in this case, drudge or maid-of-all-work.
* HonorBeforeReason: Is Twite seems to have a particularly acute sense of duty, traveling to the horribly dangerous town of Blastburn/Holdernesse because she promised a dying uncle she barely knew she would find a cousin she doesn't know either. This is commented upon by several characters.
* IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming: For the first three books anyway
* IronicNurseryTune: The chapters of 'Is Underground' are headed with lines from nursery rhymes which emphasise how much of a [[CrapsackWorld crapsack world]] Blastburn is compared to the 'Playland' the children were promised.
* IstanbulNotConstantinople
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: It's possible Aiken was invoking DidoAndAeneas with the title 'Dido And Pa'.
* LittleMissBadass: Most any adolescent female character the series features - but particularly Dido.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters
* LukeIAmYourFather: Simon and Sophie [[spoiler: turn out to be the long-lost relatives of the Duke of Battersea, and Simon his heir]]
* MeaningfulName: A lot of Dickens-style naming: Slighcarp, Grimshaw etc. Bonnie is bonny. The surname Twite belongs to two characters (Dido and Is) often described in bird-like terms, and their father is a songwriter. Is's name connects her, in-universe, to a drowned town of the same name which becomes relevant by the climax of 'Is Underground'...
* NamedAfterSomebodyFamous: ...Meanwhile, Dido's [[DidoAndAeneas namesake]] doesn't seem at all relevent to her. In-universe she is named after a canal boat.
* NeverWasThisUniverse: The setting is more AlternateHistory than AlternateUniverse, but the occasional supernatural elements like telepathy and werewolves veer towards this trope.
* OrphansOrdeal
* ParentalAbandonment: Either the protagonists are orphaned (Simon, Sylvia etc), believe themselves to be ([[spoiler: Bonnie]] etc), have neglectful parents (Dido, Is etc), or their parents are removed from the action in some way (Dutiful Penitence).
* PrecisionFStrike: rather surprising for a series usually filed in the 9-12 age range, the word 'bastard' is used as an insult on at least one occasion.
* RaisedByWolves: In 'Black Hearts In Battersea', Sophie mentions having been raised by ''otters'' for a time.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: Good King Jim is an all round good egg; kind and down to earth.
** Subsequent English kings follow form, especially [[spoiler: Simon Bakerloo]] for the brief time he is king. Aristrocrats tend to be pretty maganamous as well. Interestingly, non-hereditary leaders (e.g. Roy Twite in ''Is'') and foreign monarchs tend to be less trustworthy.
* PunnyName: In universe, Is. It's mentioned to be the name of a legendary drowned town (which becomes relevant to Is Twite come the end of her eponymous story). The villain of the same story also threatens to turn her from 'Is' into 'Was'.
* ShownTheirWork: She might play fast and loose with history, but Joan Aiken clearly knew her stuff regarding nineteenth-century England and even details you might assume are flights of fancy can turn out to be based on fact. An evident interest in nineteenth-century nursery rhymes and playground games on the part of the author often comes to the fore.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: no one's looking out for these urchins.
* SteamPunk: sort of. There are enough anachronisms to the nineteenth-century settings to invoke this - see the page quote.
* SweetPollyOliver: Bonnie from 'Willoughby Chase', and later Dido occasionally fits this trope - the latter does not really actively disguise herself as a boy but since she wears her hair short and wears trousers instead of skirts, she is often mistaken for a boy, and notes that this sometimes comes in useful. Furthermore, Sophie often disguises herself as [[spoiler: her brother]] Simon once he is [[spoiler: the Duke of Battersea]] and there are conflicting demands on his time. In 'Limbo Lodge' (known in the US as 'Dangerous Games'), Dido realises early on that [[spoiler: Doctor Talisman]] is in fact female.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: the fact of shifting protagonists and a [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters large cast]] means threads are often left open-ended. Before writing 'Nightbirds On Nantucket' Joan Aiken was inundated with letters from fans with this reaction regarding Dido Twite, who is last seen in 'Black Hearts In Battersea'clinging to driftwood in the middle of a stormy sea before disappearing and being presumed dead.
----
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Literature.TheWolvesOfWilloughbyChase