Matching Priory. Ancestral home of the Palliser family, in the county of Yorkshire. Its owner, Plantagent Palliser, is devoted to politics. Matching Priory is the scene of political and social gatherings, and its description is sparse, save for a mention of one room, which is “small warm [and] luxurious.”
Portray Castle. Castle in Scotland owned by Lizzie Eustace, who has inherited it from her husband. It is a large stone building, “really a castle,” with battlements, tower, and gateway. The public rooms are magnificent but uncomfortable, and the bedrooms are “small and dark.” The grounds are “sombre, exposed, and in winter, very cold.” The castle is formal, showy, and stiff. This impressive but comfortless place is an apt setting for Lizzie, whose outward beauty masks inward selfishness, and who is herself disastrously influenced by people who are glib, rich, or titled but whose morals and manners are debased. A superbly funny moment at Portray occurs when Lizzie gazes out of a window at the sea and gushes to Miss Macnulty that the shining water reminds her of her dear, deceased husband. Miss Macnulty utterly fails to respond to Lizzie’s affected romanticism, muttering that the “light is too much for my poor old eyes.” The castle’s name suggests a “portrayal,” in particular one that is all surface show with little true substance or genuine worth....
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