Excellent Women Setting & Symbolism

This Study Guide consists of approximately 35 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Excellent Women.
This section contains 536 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)

Mildred Lathsbury's Flat

Mildred Lathbury lives in a rented flat on the second story of a brick apartment building in London. There is a second flat located on the same floor and business offices located on the first. Although Mildred only works morning hours at the Censorship, the rest of her days are busy with church work so that the noise from the business offices hardly ever reaches her ears. The location of the building is in a less that superior part of the city, however Mildred is satisfied with the rental payments.

The apartment is on the small side but suitable for Mildred, who lives alone. The only real complaints Mildred has about the flat are that the tenants must share a bathroom as well as dustbins and the basement. The bathroom is the most annoying to Mildred, who ends up doing a great deal of the work in order to keep it neat and tidy.

The interior of the flat is also tidy, particularly since Dora moved out. The décor is modest. Mildred transported most of the furniture from the vicarage in the country. The rest of the items were purchased here and there, including some of the church jumble sales and bazaars.


"Excellent Women" takes place in London in the 1950s. As the capital of England, London has a variety of opportunities to offer to a woman like Mildred Lathbury. Mildred came to London to escape the sameness of the country life which she had been living since the day she was born. To Mildred, London was a foreign and exciting place, full of adventure and opportunity. London was, however, a bit scary to Mildred since she had little or no experience living in the city.

In order to establish herself in London Mildred made arrangements with an old school friend, Dora Caldicote. Together, the women rented a flat in a two story brick apartment building. There is another flat located on the second floor and a business office located on the first.

Although Mildred declares that the apartment is not in the best part of London, the women seem to feel safe and protected by watchful neighbors and members of Mildred's church.

Unlike many London residents, Mildred doesn't flee the city in the summertime although she may take jaunts on occasion. Everything Mildred wants seems to be located in the city, from her work at the Society of Aged Gentlewoman, to the church, and her friends.

Even after Dora moves to the country to accept a teaching position, Mildred is content to live alone in the city.

The Napiers' flat

Second floor flat belonging to Helena and Rockingham Napier, Mildred's downstairs neighbors.

St. Mary's Church

Mildred's church of choice; parish supervised by Julian Malory.

Malory House

Home to Mildred's pastor, Julian Malory, and his older sister Winifred.

St. Ermin's Church

Church close to Mildred's work.


Location of Mildred and Dora's vacation and home to Helena's mother.

Napier country cottage

Where Rocky goes after the breakup and the place where the Napiers eventually live.

The Learned Society

Organization that Helena and Everard belong to and the site of their talk on Africa.

Society for Aged Gentlewomen

Mildred's workplace.

This section contains 536 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Excellent Women from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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