Cossethay. Tiny Midlands village in which the Brangwens are living when the novel opens. The village is the center of a circle about two miles in diameter that provides all the important settings for the entire novel. The Marsh farmhouse, in which the Brangwens lived prior to the novel’s opening, is next to what was probably the path of the old Nottingham Canal on the embankment at Cossall Marsh, a real place that has been significantly altered by the development of coal mines, roads, and water passages.
West of Cossethay is Ilkeston, a town that Ursula sees as a place with a small, mean, wet street and grimy and horrible buildings. The journey that she takes to get to the school in which she works as an apprentice teacher is based on Lawrence’s tram rides to the Gladstone School where he taught.
Beldover. Town north of Cossethay to which the Brangwens move; closely based on Lawrence’s birthplace, Eastwood. Ursula sees Beldover as a stupid, artificial, and “exaggerated town.” However, the omniscient narrator describes it more objectively as a sprawling colliery village, a “pleasant walk-round for the colliers.” Ursula’s grandfather Will Brangwen measures his financial success by his ability to buy a large house in a new redbrick Beldover neighborhood. Ursula, however, would prefer to live in nearby Willey Green, which she thinks is “lovely and romantic.”
(The entire section is 518 words.)