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Questions tagged [setting]

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

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3 votes
1 answer
87 views

What evidence supports Calypso's island being Gozo (Malta)?

In the Odyssey, the island where Calypso lives is called Ogygia, but what real Mediterranean island is this? One long-standing theory has it as Gozo, the second island of Malta: Ogygia or Phaeacia ...
4 votes
1 answer
670 views

What is the Floor Plan of Hill House in The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson?

What is the floor plan of Hill House in The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson? People who have read it may remember some details. As I remember from reading it decades ago, the rooms ...
5 votes
1 answer
121 views

Which Animorphs books have description of the Yeerk Pool?

I want to refer to descriptions of the Yeerk Pool from K. A. Applegate's Animorphs series. This is for a short story I'm working on which would be set within the main Pool complex. However, there are ...
10 votes
1 answer
493 views

What does its future setting add to Cold Comfort Farm?

Cold Comfort Farm is set gently but irresistibly a decade or two after its original publishing date, with video phones and the Anglo-Nicaraguan War of '46 and so forth. However, setting the action in ...
6 votes
1 answer
883 views

Does "Landor's Cottage" have a real-life match?

I'm currently doing some research on E. A. Poe's Landor's Cottage (1849). This short story—really a description by an unnamed narrator of an ideal(ized) locale—is "a pendant to 'The Domain of ...
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
666 views

What was the location of Hill House in The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson?

What was the location of Hill House in The Haunting of Hill House (1959) by Shirley Jackson? The movie adaptation The Haunting (1963) claims that Hill House was built in the most remote region of New ...
9 votes
2 answers
648 views

Where in the New York City metro area does Ludwik live?

In Tomasz Jedrowski's Swimming in the Dark, set in the early 1980s, the narrator, Ludwik, commutes to midtown Manhattan for work. The text makes clear that he has to cross a river to get there: This ...
4 votes
3 answers
155 views

When is "Mr Pottermack's Oversight" set?

Mr Pottermack's Oversight is a mystery novel by R. Austin Freeman. Freeman invented the inverted mystery in which the crime is first shown, often from the PoV of the criminal, and then the process of ...
3 votes
1 answer
4k views

In what year do the events of The Giver take place?

In which year does The Giver take place?
2 votes
1 answer
194 views

Where is the setting of Millay's poem Renascence?

The first verse of Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Renascence" is as follows: All I could see from where I stood Was three long mountains and a wood; I turned and looked another way, And ...
2 votes
1 answer
90 views

Where is the story "Cages" set?

The short story "Cages" is by Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Tanzanian-born British writer. Where is this story set? One character, Mansur, uses a couple of words, zuwarde and msichana, which might be ...
3 votes
1 answer
144 views

What kind of weapon destroyed Laila's home in A Thousand Splendid Suns?

In the novel, the author describes Laila's family home as having been struck by a rocket and was implied to have been mostly, if not completely, destroyed. What kind of weapon might this have been? ...
2 votes
1 answer
98 views

What is the significance of the ending of this short story "In the Wheels"?

The short story "In the Wheels" (available in full at that link, perhaps a 10-15 minute read) is mostly about car racing with a speculative-fiction twist, but there's a surprising (to me) ...
11 votes
1 answer
957 views

What's the evidence for "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" being secretly set in Edinburgh?

Stevenson's famous novel Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is set in London, but some critics have claimed that it would seem to fit better in Stevenson's native Edinburgh, almost as if he wrote a story set in ...
2 votes
1 answer
294 views

Was the island in Shakespeare's play "The Tempest" inspired by any real islands?

In Shakespeare's play The Tempest, characters sailing from Tunis to Naples are shipwrecked on an island. Sycorax had been banished there from "Argier", which is an old name for Algiers. Did ...
1 vote
1 answer
225 views

Where/what is "C" in Annie Ernaux's short story "Returns"

A girl is going to visit her mother by train. She mentions Motteville and then she talks about her destination that points to as "C": "I travelled there by train. At Motteville, we sat ...
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

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, ...
2 votes
0 answers
27 views

In what year is Santiago murdered in Chronicle of a Death Foretold?

I have seen several analyses and reviews that claim the story is set in the fifties. I think the story is actually set in 1947. Could this be right? Here is my reasoning: The narrator says that he is ...
4 votes
1 answer
615 views

Did the Friends of Narnia die at Harrow and Wealdstone?

In The Last Battle, all of the Friends of Narnia (except Susan - the people from our world who had been to Narnia over the course of the seven books) die in a horrific train accident and end up going ...
3 votes
1 answer
135 views

Is there a term for an item in a period piece that is used as a stand in for a more modern equivalent?

The most obvious example I could think of, was the Flintstone's "car". Obviously cars didn't exist at the time. (Neither did most of the things in the Flintstone's lives - which I think is ...
1 vote
0 answers
32 views

How much can be pieced together of the alternate history in the Bartimaeus series?

The Bartimaeus series is set in an alternate-history world, in which the British Empire is ruled by a council of magicians who bind demons/spirits to their will and subjugate non-magical "...
12 votes
2 answers
5k views

Do the *books* show that Hogwarts is in Scotland?

It's well known among Harry Potter nerds that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is located in Scotland. But the only sources I've found for this are extratextual, e.g. from interviews with ...
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where is Kafka's "The Trial" set?

The novel The Trial by Franz Kafka contains many deliberate omissions of information: for example, the main character's surname and the names of several other characters, the nature of his crime, and ...
1 vote
0 answers
51 views

Is White Deer Park based on any specific nature reserve?

The series of Animals of Farthing Wood stories is best known for the initial story covering their epic journey from Farthing Wood to White Deer Park. The later, lesser known, sequels cover their ...
6 votes
1 answer
270 views

In Longfellow's "Evangeline", during what part of the year is Evangeline exiled?

In Longfellow's Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie, during what part of the year/holiday season is Evangeline exiled from her home? Some details seem to imply Halloween and others Christmas. In the poem ...
7 votes
1 answer
470 views

How is it 1100 miles from Hannibal to southern Arkansas in Huck Finn?

In Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, it says: Well, Aunt Polly she said that when Aunt Sally wrote to her that Tom and SID had come all right and safe, she says to herself: "Look at ...
3 votes
0 answers
40 views

What do the locations mentioned in First Love mean?

Gwendoline Riley's novel First Love (2017) is about the relationship of the female narrator, Neve, with Edwyn, and how the type of relationships she had with her mother and (especially) her abusive ...
7 votes
1 answer
639 views

Is there significance to the location of Lilliput in Gulliver's Travels?

If we look at the map, we can conclude that Lilliput is in the Indian Ocean. Is there any significance to its location in the Indian Ocean? What is that significance, if any?
5 votes
0 answers
142 views

Is the location of the land of the Houyhnhnms significant?

As seen from the below map from the Wikipedia article, which is identical to the version of Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, which I own, the land of the Houyhnhnms is directly below what we now ...
10 votes
1 answer
217 views

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-...
3 votes
0 answers
76 views

Where is the setting of "Time, as it evaporates..."?

I recently read an interesting story that was sought in an identification request on another site: the short story "Time, as it evaporates..." ("Le temps, en s'évaporant") by Jean-...
2 votes
1 answer
127 views

Where is the Kurdish principality of Botan?

The classical Kurdish story of Mem and Zin (which I'm reading online in Salah Saadalla's translation) appears to be set in a principality called Botan, whose prince (Zin's brother) rules from the town ...
5 votes
1 answer
256 views

What is the connection between the Bleak House in Broadstairs and the one in Dickens's novel?

Dickens's novel Bleak House shares its name with an actual house in the English seaside town of Broadstairs. Dickens actually stayed in that house for a while, and wrote David Copperfield there, but ...
21 votes
4 answers
5k views

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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
101 views

How much worldbuilding of Sodor was included in the original Rev. W. Awdry stories?

The famous Railway Series by the Rev. W. Awdry is set in the fictional island of Sodor, situated between northern England and the Isle of Man. Today, reading about Sodor on Wikipedia, I was surprised ...
32 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is Babar an African or Asian elephant?

As a child I remember enjoying the Babar picture books about the eponymous elephant and his escapades. Now, many years later, it occurs to me to wonder what kind of elephants Babar and his people were:...
11 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
52 views

When is the story of Dolphin Island set?

Arthur C. Clarke's short novel Dolphin Island was published in 1963. It's clearly set in a somewhat "future" world, probably quite near future, but can we narrow down its temporal setting ...
1 vote
1 answer
50 views

Where is Dolphin Island?

Arthur C. Clarke's short novel Dolphin Island is set on an island in the Pacific. Although this Dolphin Island itself is fictitious, the novel includes references to real locations such as Tonga. From ...
6 votes
1 answer
286 views

Where is St. Lawrence island in Africa, mentioned in Os Lusíadas

Os Lusíadas chapter 1 verse 42 mentions a certain Saint Lawrence island in Africa. But this name doesn't seem to be used in modern times. What island or other geographical location does this refer ...
3 votes
2 answers
243 views

What is meant by "Nysa" in the Lusiads?

The following verse appears in Book 1 of The Lusiads (William Mickle's translation, 1877 edition; emphasis mine): So spoke high Jove: the gods in silence heard, Then rising, each by turns his ...
3 votes
1 answer
499 views

Where is Thisby in The Scorpio Races?

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater is a novel set in Thisby, a fictional island whose main town is called Skarmouth. The whole thing has a very Scottish or Irish feel, and the phrase capaill uisce ...
24 votes
2 answers
15k views

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, ...
8 votes
3 answers
10k views

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?
3 votes
1 answer
131 views

Are the location inspirations clear from the text of Swallows & Amazons?

Swallows and Amazons, the first book of the eponymous series of children's classics, as well as many of the later books in the series, is set in and around a lake in the Lake District of England. I ...
3 votes
1 answer
117 views

Where is "Keumgang-Gul / Diamond Cave"?

This short poem by Ko Un is entitled, in its English translation by Sunny Jung, "Keumgang-Gul / Diamond Cave". I'm assuming that Keumgang-Gul is the original Korean title and it translates ...
10 votes
1 answer
782 views

Is there a canonical map of Thomas Hardy's Wessex?

Most if not all of Thomas Hardy's novels are set in the fictional(ish) English region of Wessex. He uses many real towns and locations as settings, but gives them fictional names: for instance, Oxford ...
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Where are Greenfield and Silver City in The Boxcar Children?

I was reading The Boxcar Children to my niece awhile back. At one point, they're walking along a road and run into a fork in a road. The fork has a sign pointing to Silver City and Greenfield. Both ...
2 votes
0 answers
99 views

Did Anthony Trollope's Barsetshire inspire the Archers' Borsetshire?

Barsetshire is a fictional county of England, created by Anthony Trollope for his Chronicles of Barsetshire series published in the mid-19th century. The county town is the equally fictional ...