Mystick Alley

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This is a lesser street in upmarket Ankh. It near-diagonally links Scoone Avenue to Brookless End. It is interesting in this context that its near-neighbours are Caroc Alley(C2-D2)* and Runecaster Way*(D3). There are two possible explanations for this:-

  • Some commentators, especially those looking at references in The Colour of Magic and other very early Discworld books, have associated this area with the Wizards' Quarter which the protaganists watch burning with multicolour flame and explosions, from a very safe distance. This might make factories and workshops in this area - assuming they have not relocated to the Thaumatological Park - a "service industry" for the University, perhaps the alchemists. (If the magical industries have moved on, the street names remain as a memorial?)
  • This may well be a sly and hidden homage, or parody, of the whole "Diagon Alley" business that provides a hidden "wizards' quarter" to magic-users in the Harry Potter world of J.K. Rowling.

Neighbouring streets on the revised and updated version of The Streets of Ankh-Morpork included with The Compleat Ankh-Morpork include Dwimmer-Craft Lane*(D3), Mandrake Mead*(D3), Rue-Magie*(D3-D4), and Nine-Bean Row*(C3-D3). This supports the hypothesis that this area was - perhaps still is - the "Wizards' Quarter of The Colour of Magic.

(Think of the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk: Jack traded a cow for exactly nine beans which generated a magical and possibly dimension-crossing Beanstalk. A Catbury experiment in genetics and Extreme Horticulture that went woefully wrong? This could be a folk-memory of the Beanstalk Event.) Conversely and possibly more relevantly, it could be a lift from William Butler Yeats' poem, The Lake-Isle of Inisfree:-

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade?

  • streets too minor on the map, or never used as locations in the books, therefore not significant enough to merit a separate entry of their own. For those interested in looking them up on the The Compleat Ankh-Morpork map - which has grid-references where The Streets of Ankh-Morpork doesn't - the map reference is quoted in brackets.