On page viii of the forward, FXC mentions that one of the candidates for V.M. Striker’s identity is the Canadian adventurer C. F. J. Wallingford. And while one of the in-story reasons for using this name may be related to Jen’s comment about the clock Eric is racing, the actual source of the name might be much simpler. Author Doug Dorst admits that his fascination with the Shakespearean author controversy was inspirational in his creation of “S.” And the name “C. F. J. Wallingford” happens to point us directly to the most important American Shakespearean scholar of the 19th century: Horace Howard Furness. Horace Howard Furness lived, wrote, and died in Wallingford, Pennsylvania. He had four children. The last, a daughter, is Carollne Furness Jayne (CFJ). When Furness would write to his daughter from his home, he would begin the letter like this…
And, as if we didn’t have enough rabbit holes to chase, Caroline Furness Jayne wrote the best-known book on string figures, String Figures and How to Make Them: a study of cat’s cradle in many lands, 1906.
Interesting how one simple name choice for use in “S” takes us back to handwritten words between two people who love each other.