Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Morton Hall also has symbolic significance for Stephen–the very feel of the soil, the old Georgian, redbrick house with circular windows, the stables and especially the horses, the schoolroom where she receives private tutoring in preparation for Oxford University, the two large lakes on the grounds, and the flora and fauna on the estate and around it. Even the love between her parents adds up to a definition of home for Stephen.
Battlefield. French battlefield on which Stephen ferries wounded French soldiers to the hospital as a volunteer ambulance driver during World War I, She thus proves that “sexual inverts” also can lead useful lives and contribute to society. This is the setting in which Stephen meets Mary Llewellyn, an innocent Welsh orphan and another volunteer, with whom Stephen is to have a long affair.
*Paris. Capital of France, where Stephen tries to jump-start her and Mary’s social life to relieve Mary’s boredom and loneliness. Now that Stephen has become a famous author, her demanding writing schedule has left Mary feeling neglected (in reality, Radclyffe Hall did not become famous until she was in her forties). Through Valerie Seymour, a wealthy American writer engaged in multiple lesbian affairs, Stephen and Mary are introduced to Paris’s homosexual society. In due course, they visit the seamy Parisian lesbian bars populated by unhappy misfits leading tortured lives–women drowning in alcohol, poverty, and self-loathing. Stephen contributes their lack of self-respect to social disapproval. In fact, it is to make this point forcefully that Hall omits mentioning the lively salons and cafés, equally familiar to her, where lesbians were less mortified and apologetic.
Paris is also the place where the youthful Canadian Martin Hallam, who, through neighbors in England, has met Stephen Gordon and innocently proposed marriage, now resurfaces. At that time, Stephen herself had not yet understood the underlying reason for her rejection of Martin, with whom she had shared a love of nature.
Martin Hallam now becomes romantically involved with Mary Llewellyn. Stephen decides to sacrifice herself for Mary’s happiness after a bitter contest with Martin and after Stephen’s deeply religious experience in a Montmartre church, in which she identifies with the crucified Christ (Hall was a voluntary convert to Catholicism). Thus, feigning an affair with Valerie Seymour, Stephen drives Mary into Hallam’s arms and a conventional heterosexual future on his farm in British Columbia. This is the last of her renunciations, which had started with her giving up Morton Hall, her cherished family home.
35, rue Jacob. Paris apartment in which Stephen sets up a household with Mary, and they vow to weather the world’s harsh judgment of their same-sex “marriage.”