Girl Genius
Girl Genius

Not quite like the one in this world. For one thing, it's sinking into the ocean.


A possible glimpse into underwater Londinium, also known as the Glass City.

It still manages to maintain a political presence, though. Britain's Queen, Albia, ruling from her throne in Londinium, appears be a powerful ageless Spark and is referred to as "Her Undying Majesty". According to eyewitness Gil, while in England it is "literally unthinkable" to go against her will; the mechanics and limits of this are still vague, but at one point we see a graphic demonstration .

Additionally, as long as she rules, "England is closed to Klaus"[1]. Whether this indicates hostility between the two rulers or simply a tense understanding between the two has not be made clear in the comic; the print novels have noted that the two empires have managed to avoid open warfare but are butting heads commercially, and Sparks constantly battle for hierarchical control. At any rate, Albia's people find it necessary to send someone to spy on the Baron. And while Gil apparently sees nothing wrong with threatening to turn England to slag if he must[2], Dr. Sun does have a problem with this plan and thinks Klaus would too.[3]

Master Payne's Circus of Adventure travels here after the Battle of Sturmhalten, since staying in the Wulfenbach empire after that particular fracas is not a particularly healthy idea. They evidently settle in nicely, traveling the countryside during the summer and staying in for the winter in Londinium.

Characters from England[]

Real and living[]


Possibly reality-impaired[]

(But note that some artifacts from the story in which they appear are now canon.)

Britannia Beneath the Waves[]

As noted, the island of Great Britain is relatively slowly but relentlessly sinking into the ocean. (Possibly Ireland and even Iceland are suffering a similar fate, but this is yet to be established in-comic; see map discussion below.) Much of the country has been submerged, including the capital Londinium, but there is at least one important northern locale that is still above sea level.

According to Wooster and Hippocrates Brunel, this unfortunate state of affairs was brought about by an unknown mechanism or process set in motion 300 years ago by one of the first "modern Sparks", a man named Pandorus Omnisiens. Omnisiens led a cabal of nobles which engaged in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow "the throne" of England; it is not clear what intended role the sinking played in this plot, or if Albia was occupying said throne at the time.


The badge of Albia, or her secret service.

Agatha comments that as the island continues to sink, the engineering required to keep her submerged cities intact becomes exponentially more difficult; however, Albia will never allow England to be abandoned, and again as noted, that pretty much decides that.

A house Badge as worn by Trelawney, Hippocrates, and Ardsley features the Union Flag and appears to represent Albia's house sigil. Similar circular sigils appear on British uniforms and airships, including the HMA Tom Wilkinson[4] which transports Agatha and Co. from Paris to the Spires. And of course, Albia herself always displays one somewhere, no matter how much the rest of her personal ensemble might morph.

Observations on the Map[]


At least it's a glimpse

Using these maps, we can see the England's ongoing submersion is already even more drastic than our world's global warming. Britain, from John O'Groats to the Isles of Scilly to the Cliffs of Dover has to date sunk well over 14 meters, possibly more than double that. Herein is an attempt to describe the devastation, comparing the (semi-canonical) Wulfenbach map to that of the American National Geographic Society[5]:

The Home Counties are, for the most part, submerged.

The first dry land reached traveling away from the Glass City would be the Isle of Oxfordshire. It appears to extend SW as far as Swindon, and NE all the way into south Lincolnshire, but not quite including (possibly) the ancient city of Leicester. It appears to include most of Northamptonshire. A fairly narrow island, it vaguely resembles the main body of Japan.

Immediately to the south of Oxfordshire is a more compact island with an indiscernable feature, either a mountain or a large lake/small inland sea. Let's call this the Isle of Salisbury, because it naturally does not include the sunken port of Southampton, and does not extend to the Severn mouth cities. The westernmost point seems to be around Yeovil.

Next westerly is the Isle of Devon, from the peninsula's northern coastline in a vaguely round section which excludes Plymouth but seems to include Torquay and, with a swerve away from the coast we're used to, Honiton.

Last along this line of travel is the Isle of Cornwall, narrow and extending from roughly Bodmin (NE) to Truro (SW), centred between the modern coastlines.

Returning to our reference point of Oxford, we head NW to Wales, largely intact due to its springback from glacial weight and mountainous territorry. The Isle of Mon (Anglesey) and the Gwynnedd coast are submerged, as is most of Dyfed (Pembrokeshire, southern Carmarthenshire), and the areas of Monmouth and Glamorgan around the Severn Estuary again. There appears to be a large embayment to the east of the Brecon Beacons, up to around the famous booktown of Hay-on-Wye.

Northeast of Oxford, along that island's long axis, is a small island which appears to have Grimsby on its northern shore. Directly north of it, and separated by almost the same distance as it is from Oxford are two more smallish islands, one comprising the most of The Wolds, the next north including Scarborough and the bulk of the Cleveland Hills.

The island comprising the greatest bulk of dry British land looks rather like an arm extending from the north, its fisted hand crooking a finger at Oxford. Edinburgh is at the northernmost shore of this mighty island; the Isle of the Cleveland Hills is tucked into a fold in its sleeve just northeast of the "wrist".

The "hand" seems to include the areas of Birmingham/Coventry (at least in part), Derby, Nottingham and Leicester. It goes north to include possibly Manchester and Blackpool - the western coast is partially intact - and definitely Leeds and York. The coastline which has Barrow-in-Furness at its point is drowned, but the northern two-thirds of Cumbria is intact up to the expanded Firth, but then they are mountains.

At a line roughly level with Newcastle upon Tyne, the modern width of Britain is identical to Drowned Britain's, if for just a short distance. North of the Newcastle area, the eastern coast dips in and out irregularly until Berwick-upon-Tweed. It then curves north to create the northern coastline, which possibly includes part of Glasgow.

North of the Isle of the Midlands, the Isle of the Nearer Highlands is largely intact, although Dundee, Perth and Aberdeen have drowned, as have some of the western islands off the southern coast.

The Isle of the Farther Highlands, split off by the deepening and complete flooding of the Great Glen, is also much like on modern maps, except for the flooding of a stretch of coastland which had Wick at its northeastern end. The Shetlands and Orkneys appear to have been unaffected. The Isle of Lewis, the Harrises and the Uists are gone along with Skye.

The Isle of Man has sunk, and the Irelands comprise sixteen major islands, not annotated here.

The area around Londinium, along with being the Glass City also sports the label "England Deep".

Iceland seems to be gone; in that location there are a tiny pair of islands listed as "The Island of Gold", with several signposts indicating "Perfectly Safe" and "No Monsters Here!" (One might presume some sarcasm by the map writer).

One matter of interest is that the western shore of Great Britain in real life has eroded into the sea some five miles since the 400s AD. Ancient Roman towns and other towns on the west coast that were marked on ancient Roman maps fell into the ocean over time. The North Sea has severely eroded other coasts in NW Europe in historic times.

Possibly Relevant Outside Information[]

Londinium, if not England as a whole, deploys a submarine fleet whose aesthetic design is pretty blatantly copied from the eponymous vessel in the Beatles animated film Yellow Submarine.

Questions and Theories[]

  • Why is "Her Undying Majesty" undying? (Partially answered, she's a "Second Stage" Spark.)
  • Since that map isn't 100% canonical, just how sunken is Britain, anyway?
  • How did Pandorus Omnisiens cause England to start sinking? (If you figure it out, be sure and tell Albia posthaste!)
  • Again, just how strong is Albia's grip on England? A lot has been happening that you'd think she'd want to put a stop to..
  • "Undying Majesty" seems to be a bit of a pun as well: Britain is mostly submerged. "Undine" is the name of a water nymph from German mythology. So you have an extremely powerful Spark who rules an underwater realm and is apparently immortal (or at least long-lived) called, "Her Undying Majesty".
  • Did she try to kill Klaus, and what did he do that time? (Possibly answered: it's been reported they engaged in a Doomed Tragic Romance..)