Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*Ireland. Island country west of Britain that Stella visits on family business. Ireland remains neutral throughout the war and is depicted in the novel as representing what is still good and innocent as the war rages elsewhere. When she visits Mount Morris, she finds it a pastoral retreat from the devastation of London. Meanwhile, the British are unable to understand why the Irish do not join the alliance against Germany; to prevent Ireland from supporting Germany, Britain blockades Ireland’s main ports. Stella’s son Roderick claims that Cousin Nettie’s madness is a result of Ireland’s decision not to fight against Germany.
Holme Dene. Foreboding Irish family home of Robert Kelway, the enemy spy, where Stella goes to meet Kelway’s parents. Built around 1910, the house is three stories high and much too large for the four people living in it. It has French windows and three balconies. Begonias grow in flowerbeds under each window, and the grounds have a tennis court, a pergola, a sundial, a rock garden, a dovecote, a seesaw, and a birdbath. The interior of the house has dark furniture, and its heavy draperies allow little light to enter its dark interior. Holme Dene appears to be linked to a horrible and evil power. The surrounding woods seem to be bewitched.
Mount Morris. Rodney family estate in southern Ireland that Stella’s son inherits from her cousin Francis. After visiting Holme Dene, Stella goes to Mount Morris to attend to her son’s interests because he is legally underage and is away in the army. In contrast to what she experiences at Holme Dene, she feels that Mount Morris seems to exist outside of time. Harrison, the British counterspy, describes Mount Morris as a white elephant whose last owner has badly neglected, leaving its heating, lighting, and plumbing systems in almost their original states. Moreover, he claims that the estate’s farm uses equipment known in his grandfather’s day.
When Cousin Francis was alive, he lived much of his life in his home’s library, in which an ancient smell emanates from the books that line the walls, and oil paintings are arranged over the fireplace. To complete the feeling of antiquity, a Shakespearean calendar from 1927 hangs in the room. Despite this antiquated atmosphere, the young and innocent Roderick will put his Irish estate to proper use. It is an illusion of pastoral innocence that to Roderick represents a future of possibilities that other characters in the novel lack; it thus becomes the center of his imaginary life. Roderick understands the obligations of possession and heritage in a way that the inhabitants of Holme Dene do not.