The Guy de Maupassant short story, "The Piece of String," tells the story of an old peasant, Maitre Hauchecorne, whose decision to pick up a useless article in the street one day will haunt him for the rest of his life. The story takes place during the 1880s in Goderville, a French village in Normandy. The main action takes place in the town square on market day, and the village is filled with people and livestock of all types. The market smells "of the stable, of milk, of hay, and of perspiration, giving off that half-human, half-animal odor which is peculiar to the men of the fields." One of the most popular businesses is the inn, Jourdain's, whose "great room was filled with eaters."
Goderville is apparently one of the larger villages in the vicinity, since the market patrons come from many nearby towns, including Manneville, Beuzeville, Breaute and Montivilliers.