Objects & Places from The Known World

Edward P. Jones
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Manchester County, Virginia

The setting of most of the novel, this place is heavily wooded, prosperous, and largely crime free. Spreading out around the dusty, vaguely described area are plantations, most prominently those of rivals William Robbins and Robert Colfax, who largely determine who will serve as sheriff.

The Townsend Plantation

Henry's death leaves widow, Caldonia, substantial cotton fields, a slave quarter, a still little-used cemetery, and the fine two-story house he and slave Moses built. The Robbins plantation neighbors it, separated by several miles of dense woods.

A Child's Dream

The name refers to Counsel Skiffington's plantation in North Carolina, which he burns down after smallpox claims his family and slaves.

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