Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
*Clapham. Village near London in which the colonel’s father settles on first arriving in London. He lives in a cottage with his first wife, but moves into the Hobson family “mansion” when he marries his employer’s daughter and heiress, Sophia Alethea Hobson–after whom, according to the story’s fictitious claims, several local terraces and minor roads are named. When the novel was written, Clapham was in the process of being devoured by Greater London’s expansion, because it had become the site of a major railway junction.
Newcome. Manufacturing town situated between Liverpool and Manchester in the north of England. It is the senior Thomas’s native town, but the junior Thomas finds a cold welcome when he visits (his still-resident brother is nicknamed Screwcome). The town becomes significant late in the story when one of Clive’s cousins attempts to use his family connection to become the town’s member of Parliament. It eventually evolves into Newcome New Town, characterized by a great railway viaduct, and swallows up the nearby village of Rosebury, where Madame de Florac, née Higg, eventually settles (the Higgs hail from Manchester).
Grey Friars. School in the City of London where the notional author first meets Clive. The school plays a key role in a heavily nostalgic scene near the end of the novel, when the colonel attends its founder’s day celebration. The fictional school’s situation corresponds with that of the real Bluecoat School, on the site of Christ’s Hospital, where the Grey Friars (members of the contemplative monastic order also known as the Cistercians) established their abbey in 1223; that abbey was confiscated by Henry VIII in the 1530’s and destroyed by the great London fire of 1666.
*Paris. France’s capital city plays an important role in the plot because the elder Thomas’s beloved Léonore settles there after becoming the comtesse de Florac. Clive becomes re-entangled with the family because he stays in the rue de Rivoli, where the Hôtel de Florac is located, on his first trip to Paris. After experiencing his financial disaster, the colonel–following the fashion of English exiles of the period–takes up residence in Normandy, in Boulogne-sur-Mer.
*Rome. Italy’s capital city is the destination of Clive’s grand tour; the enthusiastic description of the city–where Clive spends his happiest days–is the most detailed in the book, reflecting the fact that William Makepeace Thackeray based Clive on the painter Frederick Leighton, whom he met there. Clive also visits Pompeii in southern Italy and runs into the Kews again at nearby Naples.
*Baden-Baden. Spa town in southern Germany that was a favorite resort of English aristocrats. It is an important setting in the novel. Clive stays there while on tour, running into Lord Kew and the vicomte de Florac before their duel.
*Brighton. Resort town on the south coast of England, where Clive’s aunt has a lodging-house at 110 Steyne Gardens. Clive visits it several times, and other characters occasionally stay there.