Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
The setting in London is significant because it is the true home of neither the Ververs nor Prince Amerigo. The Ververs are free of Adam’s business and financial and business concerns; the prince is free of family and aristocratic tradition.
*Bloomsbury Street. London street that is the location of the shop in which Charlotte and the prince–and later Maggie–find the golden bowl of the novel’s title. Here, Maggie learns that her husband spent time with Charlotte on their wedding day; from this information, she comes to understand that they had been much more intimate than she had realized.
Matcham. Home of friends in which the prince and Charlotte spend a weekend. Away from their spouses, they are free to be together. While they are gone, Maggie realizes that her husband is interested in Charlotte and begins working to keep them apart.
Fawns. Country home of Adam Verver, in southeastern England’s Kent County, which Maggie arranges to visit with the prince, Adam, and Charlotte, at a time when she is trying to keep the prince away from Charlotte. The peaceful estate, which the characters think of as “out of the world,” contrasts with the emotional turmoil of the two women competing for the man’s affection. Maggie’s victory over Charlotte is sealed when, during the stay at Fawns, Adam decides that he and Charlotte should return to American City to live.
American City. American home of Adam and Maggie Verver in which Adam uses his wealth to build a museum. He collects treasures to send to his museum, and it is in the spirit of collecting that he sees the acquisition of his son-in-law, an Italian prince, conspicuously named Amerigo. Although no scenes in the novel are actually set in American City, it is important symbolically in the novel. The city’s very name stresses its differences from Europe. Through Adam’s collecting, European culture is reduced to objects for display in the museum.
Although the Ververs, Charlotte, and many other characters in the novel are Americans, they clearly view their native country as an inferior place to live. Charlotte’s final loss of the prince to Maggie at the end of the novel is accentuated by her move to American City, a decision made by her husband Adam.
*Rome. Italy’s capital city is the home of Prince Amerigo. Although he retains his royal title, his family has lost its wealth; through him, this city is depicted as a place where the aristocracy is in decline. Although no scenes in the novel are set in Rome, both Charlotte and Maggie fondly remember their romances with the prince there. The city thus reminds both women of happy and less complicated times.