• The novel is based on the real-life adventures of three Bavarian brothers—Hermann, Adolph, and Robert Schlagintweit—who arrived in India in October 1854 on a mission to survey the magnetism and other geographical features of India
  • The narrator of  The Museum of the World is a precocious 12-year-old orphan from Bombay, Bartholomew, who can speak in many tongues, including German, which makes him valuable as a translator to the brothers. Bartholomew is a fictional character
  • The museum of the title is Bartholomew’s: he accompanies the brothers on their journeys and records them as they record India
  • Adolph is the most vividly sketched, the derring-do and insouciance of the original lending themselves to the creation of a rounded character, who immerses himself in India and loves Bartholomew