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Questions tagged [setting]

For questions regarding the physical location and time period in which a work of literature takes place.

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Why is John Betjeman's poem set on the A30 in particular?

John Betjeman's poem "Meditation on the A30" is about a man who is fuming at his wife and driving recklessly. Everything described in the poem itself is fairly universal, could take place anywhere, so ...
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How many of the original Sherlock Holmes stories are fixed in time?

While re-reading this Q&A, I was wondering how we know that, for example, the story "The Final Problem" is set in 1891. Presumably it's mentioned somewhere in the story. I recall the occasional ...
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Where do the events take place in “Afternoon of an Author” by F. Scott Fitzgerald?

"The bus went past a pale Athenian railroad station brought to life by the blue shirted redcaps out in front". This is the description that gives the name of the place Athens. There's also a ...
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Did Shakespeare err in using Ephesus as a port setting?

Shakespeare's play The Comedy of Errors is set in the town of Ephesus, which is apparently a seaport with ships within walking distance of where the action takes place: DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: Master,...
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Where was the Odyssean Ithaca?

It's well known that the home of Odysseus, as described in Homer's Odyssey, was the island of Ithaca. There's a modern-day Greek island called Ithaca, and according to Wikipedia: Modern Ithaca is ...
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Where is Momo set?

Every time I start to read the opening paragraphs of Michael Ende's Momo, I think for a moment "wait, is this set thousands of years ago and I forgot?" before realising those paragraphs are only ...
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Where is the setting of “A Hawk in Silver” based on?

The sci-fi/fantasy author Mary Gentle's first novel, A Hawk in Silver, is set in the small town of 'Surcombe' on the south coast of England. Although Surcombe is fictional, the description of it is so ...
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Vonnegut's “Address at Rededication of Wheaton College Library, 1973”

This essay was published in (perhaps among other places) in "Wampeters Foma and Granfalloons". There are two Wheaton Colleges in the U.S., one in Norton MA and the other in Wheaton IL. Does anyone ...
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Are any of the countries in Hard to Be a God based specifically on particular real-life countries?

Arkanar, Irukan, Soan, ... there are several countries mentioned and given at least some description and fleshing out in the book. Are any of these intended to be direct parallels of specific real-...
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Do Holmes and Challenger coinhabit the same fictional world?

Doyle published The Lost World well after both killing off and reviving Sherlock Holmes. He wrote about Professor Challenger and Holmes concurrently for about fourteen years, and continued to write ...
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Where is the start of Treasure Island set?

Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novel Treasure Island opens somewhere in Britain, at and around the Admiral Benbow inn. Where exactly is this meant to be? It seems to be relatively near to Bristol, ...
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Can W.G. Sebald's walks in “The Rings of Saturn” be traced?

In W.G. Sebald's 1995 novel The Rings of Saturn, the author describes different walks he takes. In some paragraphs, he describes the paths he takes very carefully, while in others he only mentions ...
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Why Did Doyle Choose 221B Baker Street?

221B Baker Street. One of the most famous addresses in literature. But why? Was there any reason Sir Arthur Conan Doyle chose this particular address as the residence of his famous protagonist? Did ...
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Why don't the Assassin's Creed novels include present day events?

The Assassin's Creed games mostly have a present-day component, where the protagonist's descendent enters the Animus, reliving the protagonist's life. Since this is merely replaying memories, we don't ...
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408 views

Where are the white folks in The Expanse?

I'm three books (and three short stories) into Corey's "The Expanse" series, and I've noticed an interesting trend. When Corey describes the ethnicity and inherited culture of individual characters ...
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Could you actually go around the world in 80 days?

Around the world in 80 days is a novel be Jules Verne about an Englishman who makes a bet with some fellow club members that he can travel around the world in 80 days. Nowadays with modern flight, ...
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Is The Lord of the Flies set on a real island?

It is a well-known fact that the author of Lord of the Flies William Golding was an officer in the Royal Navy, and that some of the sights he saw inspired him to write Lord of the Flies. The boys are ...
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683 views

When do the events in The Valley of Fear take place?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's final Sherlock Holmes novel, "The Valley of Fear", is notable for being the only story other than the short story The Final Problem where Professor Moriarty plays a direct ...
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Is Strattenburg, Pennsylvania based on a real town?

The Theodore Boone book series by John Grisham takes place in the fictional town of Strattenburg, Pennsylvania. Is Strattenburg, Pennsylvania based on a real town?