Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Tarniny (tahr-NEE-nih). House of Raphael’s father, situated on the Sandomierian Plateau, to which Raphael returns repeatedly, following his many disgraces. Due to his father’s sternness, Tarniny is a place of punishment and labor. The house acquires a playful aspect only once, on the night of a sleigh party, at which Raphael meets Helena.
*Sandomierz (sahn-DO-myehzh). City in eastern Poland where Raphael attends school until he is expelled, following a risky nocturnal boating expedition on the Vistula River. His daring in face of the raging river provides an early glimpse of his recklessly courageous nature. Later, the adult Raphael returns as a soldier to help defend Sandomierz from an Austrian siege. When the defenders are forced to destroy the chapel of St. Jacob, which is being held by the Austrians, Raphael aids the quixotic Prince Gintult in his attempt to prevent the destruction of the holy site. Wartime and peacetime values are painfully juxtaposed as, in spite of the intervention, the chapel holding sacred ashes is destroyed.
Derslavice (dehr-swah-VEE-tzeh). Home of Raphael’s beloved Helena. Raphael’s secret nighttime escapade through snow-covered woods to steal a brief encounter with Helena in her garden ends tragically with his horse being torn apart by wolves, his own severe injuries, and his consequent expulsion from his father’s home.
Vygnanka (vihg-NAHN-kah). Home of Raphael’s brother Peter, another exile from Tarniny. Peter’s liberal government granted a degree of freedom to his peasants. After Peter’s death, the new owner reverts to the custom of ruthless exploitation.
Grudno (GREWD-noh). Seat of Prince Gintult where Raphael resides after Peter’s death and where he first experiences the powerful attraction of Princess Elisabeth Gintult. For the provincial youth, Grudno provides the first glimpse of aristocratic life.
*Italy. Prince Gintult’s Italian journeys include Venice, where he is appalled by the sight of Polish soldiers being used for pulling down the sculpted horses of Alexander, and Verona, where he complains about the pillage to General Dombrovski. From Italy, Gintult goes on to Paris, and becomes further disillusioned with the Napoleonic ideal.
*Cracow (KRAH-kow). Former capital city of Poland, where Raphael continues his interrupted education thanks to Prince Gintult’s patronage. Under the dubious influence of his schoolmate Yarymski, Raphael comes to value fashion, cards, and drinking.
*Warsaw (war-sah). Capital city of Poland, where Raphael is summoned by Gintult to become his secretary. After an encounter with the fun-loving Yarymski, Raphael briefly becomes involved with the city’s gambling and drinking crowd. He also becomes a member of a Masonic lodge, where he once again meets his beloved Helena, who is now married.
Cottage. House in the wilderness along the Hungarian border, where Raphael flees with his beloved Helena. There they live in a state of paradisal harmony and happiness, which is eventually brutally interrupted by rape and suicide. The author’s neo-Romantic fascination with the sublimity of nature dominates the entire novel. It is exemplified most poignantly by the descriptions of the mountains, forests, streams and lakes surrounding the cottage.
Stoklosy (sto-KWO-sih). Home of Raphael’s friend Christopher Cedro. Raphael stays there cultivating the land, until he and Christopher are stirred by a veteran’s tale and decide to join the war effort. Stoklosy represents the rural ideal of life, which the novel constantly juxtaposes with the powerful but morally ambiguous military ideal.
*Antilles (an-TEEL-eez). Island chain in the West Indies to which the veteran whose tale Christopher and Raphael hear at Stoklosy was sent to fight, to defend Napoleon’s interests. There he and fellow Polish soldiers take part in a ruthless suppression of the rebellion of the enslaved black population after fighting in Bohemia, Austria, Germany, Lombardy, the Italian Alps, and France.
*Saragossa (sar-ah-GOZ-ah). Spanish city in whose siege Christopher takes part, while Raphael remains in Poland. The novel conveys both the energy and ecstasy of war, and the horrors it holds for civilians, particularly women. As in the case of the French campaign in the Antilles, the participation of Polish soldiers in the conquest of Saragossa reveals the bitter irony of their struggle for freedom under Napoleon’s command.