Places Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Places)
Tantamount House. Home of the Tantamount family in one of the most fashionable addresses in London—on Pall Mall Street, between the Reform Club and the Traveller’s Club, not far from St. James Palace. Designed in 1839 in an ostentatious Italianate style by the architect Charles Barry (who also designed London’s Houses of Parliament), the house retains most of its original features—including a statue of Venus by Antonio Canova that decorates the marble staircase. However, part of the top floor has been converted into a biological laboratory by the scientifically inclined Lord Edward Tantamount.
The house became the home of the Tantamounts when their northern England estates, between Leeds and Sheffield, were despoiled by the Industrial Revolution. Unlike the tenants of Crome in Huxley’s earlier Crome Yellow (1921), who cling to the old custom of entertaining on weekends in the country, the thoroughly modern Tantamounts hold social evenings to which representatives of London’s intellectual, artistic, and political elites—which are in the process of superseding and displacing the aristocratic elite represented by the Tantamounts—are generously invited. Tantamount House is thus the nucleus of an extensive web of social relationships, whose guests gravitate there from less fashionable London addresses and maintain significant contacts with elements of the British Empire as far-flung as India and...
(The entire section is 676 words.)
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Bibliography (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Baker, Robert. The Dark Historic Page: Social Satire and Historicism in the Novels of Aldous Huxley, 1921-1939. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1982. Presents four of the novel’s main contrapuntal plot lines, which are centered around relationships with parents, lovers, death, and God. Argues that Spandrell is central to each of these plot lines.
Bedford, Sybille. Aldous Huxley: A Biography. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1973. Detailed biography based primarily on oral sources that traces Huxley’s intellectual and moral development from early childhood on. Presents a fascinating insight into the Huxley family. Discusses the novel’s theme, characterization, and critical reaction.
Bowering, Peter. Aldous Huxley: A Study of the Major Novels. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. Presents Huxley as a novelist of ideas who uses minimal plot and character development so as to focus on theme and satire. Discusses Huxley’s relationship with D. H. Lawrence and its influence on the themes and ideas in the novel.
Meckier, Jerome. Aldous Huxley: Satire and Structure. London: Chatto & Windus, 1969. An excellent introductory source that isolates major themes of Point Counter Point and provides the clearest overview of its structure. Includes a detailed analysis of Rampion’s central...
(The entire section is 327 words.)