What is historically correct in the final chapters of Spyders:—
NO PLOT SPOILERS!
The modern sport of rugby had indeed been recently invented.
Carbide lamps were not in use in 1869, but they were produced from 1900 onwards.
The details of the building of certain structures described as being in London are accurate.
Davy was indeed a friend of Thomas Wedgwood.
The technical limitations of a device described by Mr. Steel are correct.
The novel called the district newspaper “The Hanley Sentinel”. In actuality in 1869 it was called the Staffordshire Sentinel, becoming the Staffordshire Daily Sentinel in 1873.
The North Staffordshire Infirmary was indeed moved from Etruria to Hartshill in 1869.
A “phonautograph” was an early type of ‘record’ player that existed at the time, although it used the cylinder recordings of the time…
The abandonment spoken of in the final chapter did happen in reality.
The specific references to Buckley Litchfield’s biography of Thomas Wedgwood are correct.