Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Razumov’s dwelling. Modest set of rooms in a Russian apartment building. There is an outer room with a couch, table, and similar furnishings and an inner room with a bed. As described by Joseph Conrad, the apartment is small, sparsely furnished but functional; it is a reasonably comfortable place for a student such as Razumov to live and work. In the novel, its major importance is to serve as the physical setting where the terrorist Haldin intrudes to draw Razumov into his revolutionary circle. The decisions made in this unremarkable apartment set the story in motion.
*Geneva. City in Switzerland traditionally known for its hospitality to exiles and revolutionaries. Its major physical feature is its lake ringed by mountains. Aside from the unnamed narrator, all the characters in the novel are exiles from the repressive Russian regime, living and plotting in the section of Geneva known as “Little Russia.” Conrad’s descriptions of the city are ironic and less than favorable; while it provides protection for the homeless, it is a city of “deplorable banality,” which appears more beautiful than it actually is. The underlying cause, Conrad implies, is the famous tolerance of Geneva itself, which accommodates any and all philosophies.
Nathalie Haldin’s apartment. Thoroughly middle-class apartment in a good but modest hotel in Geneva, where Nathalie lives with her mother. It is here that the mother and sister of the executed revolutionary live and, through their meetings with Razumov and others, learn the facts about his death. Conrad is slight on the physical descriptions, since the important point is what happens to the people inside these rooms.
Château Borel. Ugly, decrepit mansion on the outskirts of Geneva. The château is the home of the terrorist conspirator Madame de S––, whose dubious reputation is known to all Europeans of a certain political affiliation. Like the revolutionaries within its walls, the château is a grimy, run-down place, not at all respectable and in the end not really serious. It is filled with a wild assortment of characters who preach strange doctrines.
Cosmopolitan Hotel. Geneva home of Peter Ivanovitch, escaped Russian political prisoner and revolutionary. Like the Château Borel, this is a nest of revolutionaries intent on the violent overthrow of Russia. The conspirators’ appearance and conduct and the disorderly confusion of their surroundings are repellent; however, the danger and threat of violence are real.