Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*London. Center of the British Empire and home to exiled revolutionaries and refugees from throughout Europe. During the time of the novel, the great latitude and freedom extended by the British government to these exiles was a perpetual source of irritation and concern for more repressive governments on the continent of Europe, especially the unnamed country represented by Mr. Vladimir.

Verloc’s shop

Verloc’s shop. Shabby establishment at 32 Brett Street in the Soho section of London. As a cover to his activities as a secret agent for a foreign government (probably Russian), Adolf Verloc operates a small shop where he sells stationery, inks, and questionable publications, most of them of a vaguely revolutionary or quasi-pornographic nature. During business hours, the shop’s door is left open and the coming and going of customers is signaled by a small, loud bell. Faded magazines, obscure newspapers, a few shabby bottles of ink, and other writing materials are displayed in the glass front of the shop and ranged along the shelves behind the counter. During much of the time, Verloc sits on a stool at the counter, hardly moving.

Verloc’s home

Verloc’s home. Behind the shop live Verloc and his wife, Winnie, along with Winnie’s aged mother and mentally deficient brother, Stevie. The home is furnished with what furniture remains with Winnie’s mother from earlier, more...

(The entire section is 587 words.)