Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Woodley. Country estate of Thomas Holbrook, whom Miss Matty might have married except for her sister’s disapproval of his modest social rank. When Miss Matty and Mary visit the estate in June after a chance encounter only a few months before Mr. Holbrook’s death, readers are treated to roses, currant bushes, feathery asparagus, gilly-flowers, and an old-fashioned but comfortable house. Here is a setting for a wider and fuller life than Miss Matty can live in Cranford, whose social strictures are so stiff and precise that Holbrook for many years made Misselton, four or five miles in the opposite direction from his estate, his market town after Miss Matty refused his offer of marriage.
Drumble. City about twenty miles away from Cranford. It is probably modeled on the large industrial English city of Manchester, which bears the same relationship to Knutsford that Drumble bears to Cranford. In contrast to Cranford, Drumble seems to be an almost entirely masculine destination, although Mary Smith does shop there after returning to her father’s house and before coming back to visit Miss Matty again. The city is never pictured directly but is often spoken of, albeit with a certain ambivalence, a place to be viewed both warily and respectfully.
*Paris. France’s capital city, like Drumble, remains a distant, even more remote presence, and again primarily a masculine one. In the minds of the Cranford ladies, Holbrook’s death is probably a consequence of his having visited there. In a later episode set in Cranford, the former Jessie Brown and her husband visit Paris and send as a gift to a Cranfordite a newly chic hoopskirt; the local residents are so baffled by the alien elegance of the metal framework that they believe it to be a parrot cage.