sohosquare.jpg
Soho-square in 1816
Soho-square
is in a part of London long associated with the Huguenot community, and more recently with other groups arriving in the capital from all the varied countries of Europe. It has handsome buildings, true, and when it was newly-erected was known as King's-square, being then a haunt of the fashionable and rich. Those days are gone. Thus it is a little surprizing that Jonathan Strange should have chosen such a place for his residence, the whole area being one which has never quite attained the respectability of neighbouring Mary-le-bone or Mayfair.

And yet, his choice perhaps is not so surprizing; it is of a piece with the general whimsicality and wildness of his nature to take a house in a district no longer patronized by the noble - or, one might almost say, even by the wholly respectable - portion of society. Nevertheless we can be sure that when Mr Strange and his family lived there it had not then sunk to the depths it has since arrived at. Whimsical as Jonathan Strange might on occasion be, he would never have brought his wife into a milieu where any sight might offend her, or any insult be offered to her strict sense of virtue.