Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Linden-hope. Family farm of Gilbert Markham, where he lives with his mother, sister, and brother. The farmhouse is portrayed as typical of a gentleman farmer, where good manners and etiquette are combined with open hospitality and unpretentious living. The farmlands are situated in a fertile valley and run up the sides of the moorland. The nearby village is not well described apart from the parish church and its vicarage, where Gilbert’s first love lives. The setting corresponds to Yorkshire, the home county of Anne Brontë.
Linden-Car Bay. Nearest seaside place to the village, the overlooking cliffs being five miles away. A group excursion is made here through the summer countryside. The location is probably Scarborough, where Brontë spent several holidays. It is also featured in her earlier novel, Agnes Grey (1847).
Staningly Hall. The first place mentioned in Helen’s narrative, it is the country residence of her aunt and uncle, with whom she lives. It contains extensive grounds and woods, to which Mr. Maxwell invites a party of Helen’s suitors to enjoy the hunting, symbolic of Helen’s being hunted, she being heiress to the estate. At the end of the novel, Gilbert and Helen take up residence there, after it has been made clear that class differences and financial inequality are no bar to true love.
Grassdale Manor. Country residence of Arthur Huntingdon, where Helen spends her married life. It is not dissimilar to Staningly in location or architecture, both being vaguely described, and probably both being based on Thorp Hall, Yorkshire, where Brontë was a governess. The contrast is in Helen’s treatment at both places. Near Grassdale stands the Grove, another country house belonging to their neighbor, Mr. Hargrave, one of Huntingdon’s “friends.” Hargrave lives at the Grove, with his mother and sisters, who become friends to Helen. It lies a day’s coach ride from Staningly and a similar distance from Wildfell Hall.
*London. Capital of Great Britain whose fashionable life is described by Helen and consists of a series of meeting grounds, where young women may find a suitable husband in the presence of chaperones. Such meeting places consist of balls and dinner parties. Brontë’s descriptions are necessarily vague and derivative as she had hardly ever left her native Yorkshire village. Another side of fashionable London emerges through the novel: that of dissipation. Arthur retreats to various drinking and gambling haunts with his companions, escaping the domesticity Helen seeks to create for him.