Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*Cambridge. Seat of one of England’s great universities, along with Oxford. Cambridge itself figures little in the novel and is presented as an adjunct to the university rather than an entity in its own right. The novel unfolds largely within the confines of the college itself, but from time to time, characters go into the city to visit friends, shop along its various streets, or visit the market place with its church, Great St. Mary’s, whose bells echo over the college walls tolling the passing time.

*Cambridge University

*Cambridge University. One of England’s two great universities, Cambridge is made up of various colleges, in which students and many faculty members live. However, it also exists apart from them, offering lectures, providing laboratories for research, a university library, and a senate, and finally granting degrees. Snow looks at the university primarily as it has an impact on his novel’s unnamed college, as when the university supplements the income of the college through the academic work its fellows undertake outside the college.

Students of Cambridge, along with those of Oxford University, produced most of prewar Britain’s leaders: its captains of industry, bankers, diplomats, and other functionaries who ran the government and maintained what was left of the empire. Unlike educational systems in most other countries, Cambridge and Oxford exerted considerable...

(The entire section is 592 words.)