The Setting

The setting for the story is Queen Victoria’s residence of Osborne House in the year 1862, and also the village of St Helens. Both are located on the Isle of Wight – a small island off the south coast of England. There are also numerous references to places in 19th-century France, namely the châteaux of Chantilly and St Leu. Here is a selection of scenes that evoke those settings, as they were at the time.

Firstly a selection of scenes from Sophie’s birthplace, St Helens, mostly as seen in the Victorian/Edwarian era.

Two views of the old ruined church – the Seamark – as it was in Sophie’s day.


Next, some old illustrations/paintings of Osborne House and nearby town of Ryde


Some of the places in France that Madame de Feuchères would have known


Some additional images of interest to readers of the story …

And finally, some relevant images of St Helens as it is today

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