As Pulley writes in the acknowledgements, there is a level of “historical accuracy” to the depiction of Victorian and Japanese London:
With regard to historical accuracy – there is some, mainly courtesy of Lee Jackson’s Dictionary of Victorian London, which includes brilliant resources on the early days of the London Underground, the Knightsbridge show village, the bombing of Scotland Yard and a thousand thousand other interesting things. Natsume Soskeki’s sad and hilarious Tower of London provides a very good idea of what a Japanese man thought of England in the early 1900s.
Although the novel is presented as historical fiction, it is very contemporary because it explores how the London bombings and terrorists affect life and identity in the capital. The novel begins in the political centre of London, the Home Office in Whitehall. There is a threat from Fenian groups to bomb public buildings.