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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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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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
bobble's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
660 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 ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
658 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 ...
M. A. Golding's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
193 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
88 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
142 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? ...
Code Inquisitor's user avatar
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) ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
293 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 ...
tell's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
224 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 ...
Bahram Farhang's user avatar
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 ...
Lies Van Rompaey's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
613 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
879 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 ...
Joachim's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
132 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 ...
Brandon Bratcher's user avatar
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 "...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
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-...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
254 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
David Siegel's user avatar
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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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:...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
verbose's user avatar
  • 29.3k
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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
242 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
497 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
285 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 ...
b_jonas's user avatar
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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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why is "The Vanishing Half" set in Louisiana?

Author Brit Bennett's new novel has hit and stayed on The New York Times fiction best-seller list for months as of now. I have not been able to get a copy. Reading the reviews and synopsis makes me ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
61 views

How can there be an Icnield Way in Hybras?

Jack Vance's Lyonesse trilogy includes some detailed worldbuilding of the island of Hybras (a.k.a. Atlantis), located off the Bay of Biscay and, at least at the time the story starts, divided into ten ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Which London streets mentioned in Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories are fictional?

In the course of the Sherlock Holmes stories, many streets are named. Let's focus here on London streets. Many of them are real, e.g. Baker St., Oxford St., Regent St. and many more. Which of them, ...
Rosie F's user avatar
  • 227
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?
TGB 2007's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
150 views

Do Stevenson's pirates speak in Cornish dialect?

In a literature-related thread on another SE site, I found the claim that the pirates in Robert louis Stevenson's Treasure Island speak in a Cornish dialect. This makes sense only thematically (given ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
954 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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
84 views

Can the social commentary in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" be applied to the present?

Recently, I have picked up "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" after reading glowing reviews of the book. However, as I read the book further, I felt that I have completely misunderstood the points it ...
Mu3's user avatar
  • 183
5 votes
1 answer
423 views

Is Steinbeck's "The Moon is Down" set in Norway?

I recently read The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck and I noticed that the conquerors and the conquered are not defined. Throughout the novel are several allusions that the conquerors are German. They ...
Noosrep's user avatar
  • 153
7 votes
1 answer
466 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 ...
B. Clay Shannon-B. Crow Raven's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
457 views

Is the castle where Mr. Toad is imprisoned a real place, or based on a real place?

In The Wind in The Willows, at the end of the chapter 'VI: Mr. Toad', Toad is convicted and sentenced to twenty years in "the remotest dungeon of the best-guarded keep of the stoutest castle in all ...
Droat's user avatar
  • 69
1 vote
0 answers
232 views

What date does 'Ender's Game' take place?

Does the book ever specify the date of when the story takes place?
Rob Kane's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
315 views

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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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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 ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
523 views

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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.8k
4 votes
1 answer
286 views

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 ...
V.V.'s user avatar
  • 278
5 votes
1 answer
432 views

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,...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
  • 73.8k
10 votes
1 answer
487 views

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 ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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