*Bideford. English town in north Devon in which the novel’s protagonist, naval hero Amyas Leigh, was born and to which he returns after each of his voyages. Bideford was an important port in southwest England during the time in which the novel is set. It slopes upward from the broad tidal river Torridge, which the town bridge, with its twenty-four arches, has spanned since the Middle Ages. The hills above the town are covered by oak woods, through which can be seen fern-fringed slate outcroppings. Below the town, the land flattens into salt marsh and sand dunes. Kingsley knew Bideford well, as part of the book was written in the Royal Hotel in the town. Bideford Bay, into which the Torridge flows, is one of the places in which Amyas likes to bathe. The bay protects the fertile alluvial fields from high tides. Clovelly, Will Cary’s home, is at the western end of the bay. The westernmost headland is Hartland Point on which an abbey stood until the dissolution of the monasteries. This site is now the site of a minor stately home.
Burrough Court. Bideford home of the Leigh family; it nestles on a wind-swept down amid a ring of oaks. From the gray stone gateway is a view westward of a wide bay bounded to the south with purple cliffs. Lundy Isle is dimly visible out to sea. Below and to the right, the River Torridge flows westward to its estuary. On the other side of the river is Tapeley Park.
Stow house. Home of Sir Richard Greville, located near Moorwinstow (now Morwenstow) on the west coast between Bude and Hartland Point. The house is a huge, rambling building, part dwelling house, part castle, on the north side of a wooded valley.
*West Indies. New World archipelago stretching between the southern tip of Florida to the mainland of South America—the Spanish Main—that separates the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. At the time in which the novel is set, most of the islands and surrounding landmasses were Spanish colonies, which were subjected to English raids during time of war. The novel depicts the islands and the northern coast of South...
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