Norton Bury. Small town in the county of Gloucestershire in the west of England; it lies on the flood plain of the River Avon. The River Severn and its estuary can be seen from the nearby Cotswolds Hills. There, Phineas Fletcher, the novel’s narrator, is brought up, his Quaker father owning a tanner’s yard and, later, a mill. The main historical features of the town are the abbey, now in ruins, and its gardens. The nearest large town, Coltham, a center of fashion, lies ten miles away.
Longfield. Second home of John and Ursula Halifax, who earlier live in a modest house in Norton Bury. Located some six miles from Norton Bury, Longfield is a small farmhouse that is periodically enlarged. It is the house to which John and his friend Phineas attach the greatest emotional warmth. John and Ursula’s dream is to retire there—a dream cut short by their relatively early deaths. It is “a nest of love and joy,” a place of blessing, where “liberty, fraternity and equality” are practiced. In fact, it is seen as Arcadia, the ideal pastoral setting in which to bring up a young family.
Enderley. Town in the Cotswold Hills, most of which is owned by the earl of Luxmore, where John Halifax leases a stream-driven mill that he tries to develop into a profitable cloth-weaving business. Lord Luxmore’s refusal to upgrade the mill or workers’ tied cottages...
(The entire section is 592 words.)