Mardis-Holland Place (Location Key)


"Two thousand acres of some of the best land in the county" - that's how "Smoke" describes the property at the heart of this story's conflict (21). It originally belonged to the father of Cornelia Mardis; after his death it remains in her name, but on her death her husband, Anselm Holland, comes into "full possession" of it (3). However, he only holds it "in trust" for their twin sons (5). When Anselm and Cornelia married, it was a thriving place, with both "white and negro tenants" (3), and an unspecified number of "Negro servants" who work in the house (5), but "year by year," after Anselm drives his sons away, it deteriorates: at the time of his death, "the good broad fields" have gone "back to jungle and gully," and "the very house was falling down on his head" (9). A location in both "Fool about a Horse" and The Hamlet is the large farm that belongs to Anse Holland, and it is possible that Faulkner imagines "Anse Holland's Place" (which has its own entry in the index) and Anselm's place as the same site. But the earliest of those other two stories, "Fool about a Horse," clearly locates its Holland place in Frenchman's Bend, and the place in "Smoke" seems to exist in a different section in the county and - as a decaying plantation - a different place in Faulkner's imagination.

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