Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Château de Couaën (SHAH-toh deh kwah-EH[N]). House about six miles distance from La Gastine, set in more precipitous country near a barren coast. It is equally remote, but even more ancient and forbidding, having served in bygone eras as a fortress. Its tower and ramparts survive, but only two of its floors remain in use, the upper one serving as the marquis’ study, library, and bedroom. The garret is now a rat-infested granary. The château plays host to futile secret gatherings of the antirevolutionary French nobility. Madame Couaën’s room is, however, exceptional; when Amaury first enters it, everything–polished antique furniture, porcelain, Irish crystal–seems to be shining.
Saint-Pierre-de-Mer (sahn-pyehr-de-mer). Mountain chapel overlooking a boulder-strewn bay, maintained by Madame Couaën–who contrasts the wild landscape in which it is set with her native Ireland. The ruins of a stone watch tower stand on the edge of the cliff, where the marquis decides to raise and keep a lighthouse after his wife’s death. Amaury’s obsession with the imagery of water begins at Saint-Pierre; once he has been there he continually thinks of human emotions in terms of their analogy with bodies of water, afflicted by tides and waves. When Amaury imagines the souls of the Couaëns as an allegorical painting whose centerpiece is a calm but misty lake fed by streams overflowing into waterfalls, he is echoing Madame Couaën’s contradictory response to Saint-Pierre. It is significant that when Amaury first sets out for America, the tempestuous ocean drives his ship back to the Portuguese shore.
Madame de Couaën’s childhood home (deh kwah-EH[N]). House situated a mile from Kildare on Ireland’s Curragh River, idealized in Amaury’s imagination on the basis of her description. The library’s arched windows are surrounded by honeysuckle and roses; boxed myrtles and potted carnations decorate the terraced lawn. When the Couaëns’ doomed son Arthur makes a little garden in the woods he calls it “Kildare.”
Vacquerie’s house (VAK-ehr-ee). Country house situated about one mile from the Château de Couaën; although it is surrounded by woodland, reached by sinuous paths, it is an intrusion of modernity; its facilities include a Barbary organ, an opticon, and a microscope.
Druid Island. Islet off the Breton coast, reputedly a sacred site of Druid religion, now pockmarked by the ruins of a Christian monastery. Amaury imagines himself living there alone, but finds it intimidating at night.
*Paris. France’s capital city, on whose outskirts Amaury and the Couaëns always remain. They initially stay in a small religious community run by Madame de Cursy near Val-de-Grâce (whose famous convent became a military hospital), and later in Auteuil. Paris seems to Amaury to be ostentatious and feverish; his peregrinations aggravate his sensuality, except for his excursions to the Jardin des Plantes to hear the Chevalier de Lamarck expound his theory of evolution–whose worldview seems to him stark and dolorous. During later visits much of Amaury’s time is spent visiting the marquis at the Sainte-Pélagie prison and the hospice at Passy. He eventually finds solace, however, in a library of religious works on the rue des Maçons-Sorbonne. During Amaury’s brief flirtation with the idea of volunteering for military service, he and Captain Remi avidly trace the progress of one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s campaigns on a map; however, when Amaury leaves Paris it is to go to an unidentified seminary, and then–after a final pilgrimage to Couaën–to America. When he finally achieves peace of mind he envisages himself in a calm sea, approaching the bank.