Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*London. Great Britain’s capital is the home of most of the novel’s main characters. Most of its scenes are set within the homes of Adam and Charlotte Verver, Prince Amerigo and Maggie, and, less frequently, their friends Bob and Fanny Assingham. James provides little description of these interior spaces, but instead focuses almost exclusively on the contents of the characters’ thoughts. As is typical of James’s later novels, the characters do not voice their most important thoughts and learn, not from hearing, but from seeing one another. Long passages detailing their thoughts contain much of the motivation for the plot development. The reader is typically reminded of where a passage is set after the passage has begun.

The setting in London is significant because it is the true home of neither the Ververs nor Prince Amerigo. The Ververs are free of Adam’s business and financial and business concerns; the prince is free of family and aristocratic tradition.

*Bloomsbury Street

*Bloomsbury Street. London street that is the location of the shop in which Charlotte and the prince—and later Maggie—find the golden bowl of the novel’s title. Here, Maggie learns that her husband spent time with Charlotte on their wedding day; from this information, she comes to understand that they had been much more intimate than she had realized.


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(The entire section is 584 words.)