This map plots the settings and references in Heart of Darkness

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River Thames, England
Nightfall down the Thames (1880)
Public Domain Nightfall down the Thames (1880) - Credit: John Atkinson Grimshaw

In effect, it could be said that Heart of Darkness is set entirely on the River Thames, being a tale within a tale recounted upon a yawl making its way down the English river.

The second longest river in the United Kingdom, the Thames links several towns and cities in southern England, but is best known for flowing through central London. By the 18th century, the Thames was already one of the world's busiest waterways, due to London's position at the centre of the vast, mercantile British Empire. The advent of the railways during the Victorian era reduced commercial activity on the river, but it was not until the growth of road transport and the decline of the Empire, in the years following 1914, that the economic prominence of the Thames was significantly reduced.

 

 

The Thames (1872)
Public Domain The Thames (1872) - Credit: L'illustration Européenne
The Pool, London (c. 1891-1910)
Public Domain The Pool, London (c. 1891-1910) - Credit: Charles Edward Dixon