Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*River Thames (tehmz). England’s greatest river and London’s connection to the sea. Jimson refers to the river as “the old serpent, symbol of nature and love,” suggesting its timeless allure, as well as its primal power and its capacity for engendering the strongest emotional response. The river’s serpentine course through London is suggestive of Jimson’s peregrinations through the city, and its Greenbank section, near the city’s center, is the location of Jimson’s home. Familiar London landmarks, such as the fabled Tower of London and the London Bridge, are just upriver from Greenbank. What Jimson calls his old studio is actually a deserted boathouse down by the water.
Greenbank. Maps of London list the section that Cary calls “Greenbank” as two words, and while he is clearly using the geographical facts of that site, his adjustment of the name is designed to permit a degree of imaginative alteration. His intention is to draw on fundamental features that his British readers would recognize to highlight his rendition of the neighborhood. Not far from many world-famous tourist spots, Jimson’s Greenbank is a working-class realm, gritty and blunt, where the homeless shelter Elsinore is placed. Cary gives it an Ellam Street address, another invention as there is no Ellam Street in London, and also places his friend Plantie’s cobbler shop there in a basement off Greenbank.