This map plots the settings and references in The Line of Beauty
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The Line of Beauty is largely set in the Fedden family home, situated in Kensington Park Gardens in the Notting Hill area of West London.
Notting Hill is part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Until the 1980s, it was a fairly run-down district, but over subsequent decades it has become increasingly affluent and fashionable. During the 1950s, the area became home to many Afro-Caribbean immigrants, leading to the establishment of the Notting Hill Carnival, a colourful and sometimes controversial event which takes place at the end of August.
Running almost the length of Notting Hill is the Portobello Road. This is the site of one of London's best-known street markets which sells antiques, bric-a-brac, fruit and vegetables, and clothes.
Notting Hill has been the setting for various films including Performance (1970) starring Mick Jagger, and Notting Hill (1999) starring Hugh Grant. Novels set in Notting Hill include G.K. Chesterton's The Napoleon of Notting Hill (1904) and Rachel Johnson's Notting Hell (2006). Johnson's novel, like The Line of Beauty, features communal gardens, which are characteristic of Notting Hill. The largest of the area's many historic communal gardens is Ladbroke Square Garden, next to Kensington Park Gardens.
The Dordogne is a department in the Aquitaine region of southwestern France. It corresponds roughly to the former province of the Périgord, and the four distinct areas of the Dordogne are known as the Périgord Vert (the Green Périgord), the Périgord Blanc (the White Périgord), the Périgord Pourpre (the Purple Périgord), and the Périgord Noir (the Black Périgord). The area is noted for its cuisine, particularly for its duck and geese products and its truffles. The Périgord Noir (so-named because of its heavily-wooded landscape) is the site of many prehistoric remains, including the Paleolithic cave paintings at Lascaux. There are also over a 1,000 chateaux and castles at various locations throughout the Dordogne region, many of which have connections with the Hundred Years' War between France and England.
Périgueux is a commune situated in the Périgord Blanc (so named because of its limestone rocks) and is the main administrative centre of the Dordogne. It has various Roman remains, including an amphitheatre, a temple and a villa. The commune of Périgueux is also the site of the Cathedral of St Front, built during the 12th century and restored during the 19th century.
Notting Hill is situated in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea in central London. Today it is an affluent and fashionable area, but prior to the 1980s, it was fairly run-down. Some of its best known districts are Ladbroke Grove, Notting Hill Gate, and Westbrook Grove.
The area has some very attractive Victorian townhouses, many of which have access to substantial communal gardens. Notting Hill is also within easy reach of three major public parks: Holland Park, Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park.
During the 1950s, low rents made Notting Hill attractive to Caribbean immigrants, leading to the establishment of the Notting Hill Carnival, held annually in August. The area was the setting for the 1999 romantic comedy Notting Hill, starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
The Portobello Road is a street in Notting Hill, in London's Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
It is particularly well known for its street market, which began as a food market in the 19th century. Following the Second World War, the market began to focus increasingly on the sale of bric-a-brac, second hand clothes and antiques. The market continues to trade in these items on Saturdays, while fruit and vegetable sellers also appear on weekdays.
The Dordogne is famous for duck and goose products, for truffles, and for wines such as Bergerac and Monbazillac.
Jack Straw's Castle was a famous pub on North End Way in the Hampstead area of North London. Said to be the highest pub in London, it opened in 1713 and was named after Jack Straw, one of the leaders of the 1381 Peasant's Revolt. Many well-known historical figures are reputed to have frequented the pub, including Charles Dickens, Karl Marx, Wilkie Collins, Charles Darwin and Bram Stoker. The building backs onto the part of Hampstead Heath known as the West Heath, a popular cruising area for gay men.
Jack Straw's Castle was re-built after suffering bomb damage in World War II, and re-built again in 1962 following a fire. It was sold to property developers in the late 1990s and was later converted into luxury apartments.
It's not clear whether 'Oxford Street', as used here, is gay slang or Polari. It does not appear in the on-line dictionaries and glossaries to be found on the Internet.
Oxford Street is a major shopping street in London's West End. It extends from Marble Arch in the west to High Holborn in the east and is home to various department stores and retail chains (including Selfridges, Debenhams, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer), as well as numerous smaller shops.
Its main campus is situated in the Bloomsbury area of London, which is also home to various other important institutions including the British Museum, Great Ormond Street Hospital, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). Bloomsbury is also home to the University of London's administrative centre, the imposing Art Deco building on Malet Street known as Senate House.
In the United Kingdom, civil servants are employees of the crown, and the employing body is known as Her Majesty's Civil Service or the Home Civil Service. In general use, the term civil servant tends to be reserved for those involved at the higher levels of policy administration.
Following the Northcote-Trevelyan report of 1854, Civil Service exams were administered by the Civil Service Commission, the purpose of the exams being to ensure that appointments were made on merit and in an impartial manner. However, since the Second World War, significant changes have been made to Civil Service procedures. Today, the United Kingdom Civil Service runs a Fast Stream programme designed to attract graduates with the potential to become future leaders.
Whitehall is a road in the City of Westminster in central London, stretching from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square. It is the site of numerous government departments and ministries. Used figuratively, therefore, Whitehall refers to high-level central government administration.
The Battle of Jutland, which took place over two days in 1916, was one of the very few naval battles of the First World War.
The picture below shows the British battlecruiser HMS Queen Mary on fire following an explosion; 1,266 crew members were killed in the incident, and only 20 were rescued.
Many of its members have links with the Florida State University College of Music.
Rudolf Kothner appears to be a fictional creation.
Caracas is the capital city of Venezuela in South America.
Radio Caracas Radio (RCR) is a Venezuelan radio station founded in 1930 with the name Broadcasting Caracas.
The Venezuela Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1929. It is based at the Ríos Reyna concert hall in Caracas.
Click here to listen to Irina Kircher and the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra on Spotify, playing Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez for guitar and orchestra.
The Gate Cinema (now officially known as The Gate Picturehouse) is situated at 87 Notting Hill Gate in West London. It has an elegant interior with restored Edwardian features, and specialises in independent films for a niche market.
The cinema has a long history, and was previously known as The Electric Palace and The Embassy. It became The Gate in 1974, and underwent refurbishments in 1985 and 2004.
One unusual aspect of the cinema is that the seats now have little tables between them, and cinema-goers are permitted to take alcoholic drinks into the auditorium.
Hampstead Heath is an area of grass and woodland in north London which extends from Hampstead to Highgate.
There are also about 30 ponds on the Heath. These appear natural, but most were artificially created by dams, some of which are up to 300 years old.
Hampstead Heath, particularly the section known as West Heath, is a popular cruising area for gay men.
This section of the novel is set at the men-only swimming pond on Hampstead Heath.
On the Heath, there are about thirty ponds which were dug originally as reservoirs in the 17th and 18th centuries. Three of these, known as Hampstead Ponds, or Highgate Ponds, are used for swimming. Of the three bathing ponds, one is exclusively for men, one exclusively for women, and one is for mixed bathing.
The Men's Pond, like Hampstead Heath in general, is a popular venue for gay men.
The Y is the YMCA, which stands for Young Men's Christian Association.
The YMCA is a worldwide organisation which was founded in London in the mid-19th century. Its ethos is a Christian one designed to foster a 'healthy mind, body and spirit'. Today, the YMCA is not specifically for young men, its purpose being to provide a range of services and opportunities for young men and women (and others) within their communities.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was one of the major English Romantic Poets, as well as a literary critic and philosopher. Amongst his best known poems are The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan.
From 1817 until the end of his life, Coleridge lived at the London homes of the physician James Gillman, first at 14 South Grove, Highgate, and later at 3 The Grove, Highgate.
The Strand is a street in the City of Westminster in central London, which extends from Trafalgar Square in the west to Temple Bar in the east.
It is one of the oldest banks in the world, having begun life as Campbells Bank in 1692, and become Thomas Coutts & Co. in 1775. Today, Coutts has numerous offices in Britain and worldwide, but its headquarters are still on the Strand in Central London, the location of the original Campbells Bank.
Traditionally, Coutts has been the bank of the British upper classes, and it retains its prestigious image to the present time.
It was opened as a gay club in 1979, but was refurbished in 1998 and re-launched as a mainstream nightclub. However, it continues to attract a large gay clientele.
In 2008, the gay nightclub G-A-Y moved to Heaven. G-A-Y had previously been located at the London Astoria on Charing Cross Road.
Harrods is an upmarket department store situated on the Brompton Road in the Knightsbridge area of London.
It has an opulent and well-stocked Food Hall, where a range of luxury foods and wines are on offer.
The Cabinet Office is the department of the United Kingdom Government whose function is to support the work of the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Cabinet (the decision-making body of the Government consisting of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, and senior ministers).
The Badminton Horse Trials is a three-day equestrian event which takes place annually in April or May.
Originally, the building was the home of the Doge of Venice, the elected leader of the Venetian Republic. Since 1923, the building has been operating as a museum.
It was built between 1632 and 1648 by the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.
The three buildings, built around a central lawn, which are home to the Parliament of Canada are situated on Ottawa's Parliament Hill. All of the buildings are built in the Gothic Revival style, although the design of the Centre Block is more modern that that of the East and West Blocks.
A ridotto, or casino, was a small house or apartment which was used by 18th century Venetian nobility to eat, entertain, relax and gamble. The Procuratoressa Venier was Elena Priuli, wife of the 'procurator' Federico Venier who owned the Casino Venier. Since 1987, the Casino Venier has been the headquarters of the Alliance française in Venice.
The Gritti Palace is a luxury hotel overlooking the Grand Canal in Venice. It is a building in the Venetian Gothic style which was built in 1478 as the home of the aristocratic Pisani family. Later, it became the residence of Andrea Gritti, who was Doge of Venice between 1523 and 1538.
After an extended period as a private residence, the Gritti Palace started to take paying guests in the 19th century, and became an independent hotel in 1948. The hotel, which has recently been extensively refurbished, has had many celebrated guests including Ernest Hemingway and W. Somerset Maugham.
It was built between 1664 and 1675 in the Baroque style, and underwent various modifications during the 18th century.
The Isis is the traditional name for the part of the River Thames which flows through the city of Oxford.
Part of the meadow is used for grazing cattle and part of it is given over to sports fields. At its southeast corner are the University boathouses which are on an island at the confluence of the Isis and the River Cherwell. Christ Church Meadow is open to the public every day between 8.00 a.m. and dusk.
Knightsbridge is a road which has given its name to a district in central London. It is situated in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Albert Gate is a small conservation area set just off Knightsbridge (the road). It is one of the many entrances into Hyde Park.
Rotten Row is a broad thoroughfare less than a mile long which leads from Hyde Park Corner to Serpentine Road within Hyde Park.
It was created by William III at the end of the 17th century, and given the name Route de Roi, which became corrupted to Rotten Row. In the 18th century, it was an important meeting point for London society who would ride on Rotten Row, or drive in carriages along the South Carriage Drive which runs close by.
In 1876, Rotten Row was given a brick base, and sanded, to make it more suitable for horseriding, and it remains in use as a bridleway up to the present day.
Click here to see an interactive map of Hyde Park.
This is a reference to the 'Physical Energy' statue, a bronze sculpture by the sculptor and painter George Frederic Watts (1817-1904). It is located in Kensington Gardens, a Royal Park situated to the west of Hyde Park, and immediately adjacent to it.
Watts's statue depicts a naked man on horseback. It is based on an equestrian memorial that Watts made in 1870 of Hugh Lupus, an ancestor of the Duke of Westminster. Two castings of the 'Physical Energy' statue were made in 1902 and 1905. The first became part of the Rhodes Memorial in Cape Town, South Africa, and the second was placed in Kensington Gardens. A third, slightly modified, casting was made in 1959 and is currently in the grounds of the National Archives in Harare, Zimbabwe.
Baalbek is home to the Baalbeck International Festival, an annual event held in July and August, which features a range of music, theatre, and dance.
The château was commissioned by Louis XV for his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. However, she died before its completion, so it was transferred to Madame du Barry, her successor as Maîtresse-en-titre (official mistress of the king).
The Petit Trianon is in the grounds of a larger building known as the Grand Trianon, which was built by Louis XIV.
St. Basil's Cathedral is the anglicized name for the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St Vasily the Blessed (also known as Pokrovsky Cathedral) which was built in the 16th century, and is situated on Moscow's Red Square in Russia.
In 1915, Rachmaninoff wrote a piece of music called All-Night Vigil Op. 37, which consists of settings for the Russian Orthodox All-night vigil service. Two pieces from the All-Night Vigil are repeated in the finale of his Symphonic Dances.
Listen here to part of Rachmaninoff's All-Night Vigil on Spotify.
Downing Street is located in the Whitehall area of Central London. The official residence of the British Prime Minister is at no. 10 Downing Street, and the official residence of the Chancellor of the Exchequer is next door at no. 11.
The Banqueting House is situated on Whitehall in Central London. It was built in the early 17th century in the Neo-classical style to a design by Inigo Jones, and represents what is known as Palladian architecture.
Today, it is preserved as a Grade 1 listed building, and is open to the public.
The Google map below shows the location of the Banqueting House.