Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Castlewood (England)

Castlewood (England). Great house in southern England’s Hampshire County where Henry Esmond is raised by his cousins in the Castlewood family. There Henry is first succored by Rachel’s solicitude, and there he falls in love with Beatrix. The house stands for all that is valuable in Henry’s heritage. Henry is the rightful heir to Castlewood, but he stands in an oblique relationship to the Castlewood family inheritance. Castlewood has an art gallery containing portraits by Van Dyck and Dobson. It is in this room where an unhappy Henry is first taken into the bosom of the family.

The Esmond family came into possession of Castlewood in the sixteenth century, when a page named Esmond married the lady of the house. This line gave rise to the viscounts of Castlewood. Neglected by the second viscount, Castlewood Manor was damaged during the civil wars of the seventeenth century, when its clock tower was attacked. Thomas, the third viscount, embarked on an ambitious program of refurbishment, whose residue is still evident in Henry’s day.


*Chelsea (CHEL-see). London neighborhood, near Kensington and north of the Thames, where the dowager Viscountess Castlewood maintains her residence. It is the third leg of the Castlewood-Cambridge-Chelsea triangle on which Esmond’s family relationships are based.


*Cambridge. University town northeast...

(The entire section is 472 words.)