Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)

Rosette’s house

Rosette’s house. Home of Monsieur d’Albert’s mistress, Rosette. Little is revealed about the location or contents of this house, save for the fact that Rosette’s bath is a large marble tub, and that an odor of lime trees drifts in from the garden. Readers are never told the name of the town in which it is situated.

Avenue of elms

Avenue of elms. First location significant to d’Albert’s affair with Rosette that is described. Significantly, it is only there that d’Albert imagines, for one brief moment, that he loves Rosette. The avenue’s elms are very tall, sifting the light of the setting Sun in such a way as to create strange and striking chromatic effects in the sky and the surrounding terrain.

Mansion

Mansion. House selected for a love nest by Rosette, located twenty miles from d’Albert’s hometown. The mansion is elaborately described, in terms of its quaint surroundings—including the quasi-magical oak forest, in which Rosette and Théodore de Sérannes (who is really Mademoiselle Madelaine de Maupin) go hunting, its eccentrically ornamented architecture, and its internal decoration. There, again Théophile Gautier’s emphasis is on fanciful chromatic effects, and he makes symbolic use of flowers. The mansion’s surroundings are strongly contrasted with the remembered environment in which d’Albert grew up, which is described in terms redolent...

(The entire section is 599 words.)