The Corner of Grosvenor Square and South Audley Street appears in Chapter 12 of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Here, Basil Hallward pursues Dorian for his portrait before Basil himself is taken back to Dorian’s house and shown the horrifying truth behind it.
Due to the fact that the location itself is a corner, I thought that it would be most appropriate to show the two other locations that it sits on. Maps provided by The Charles Booth Online Archive show that North Audley Street and Grosvenor Square were considered very wealthy areas to live and frequent. Information from the Proceedings of Old Bailey show that most crimes committed here were thefts, some violent.
The corner could be looked at as a crossroads, possibly foreshadowing the events that are about to transpire. Across many different cultures, crossroads symbolize an important choice to be made, usually with a supernatural being. Interestingly, Dorian has already made a pact with Devil for eternal youth and beauty. Dorian’s choice to share his darkest secret and then murder Basil Basil’s murder could fulfill Dorian’s end of the bargain. Such as in the case of Faust, pacts with the Devil (or Mephistopheles) require something from both parties. Murdering a friend (and creator of the portrait) would definitely suffice.
Upon learning the truth about his portrait, Dorian had the option to seek help about his portrait or revel in the gifts that he had been afforded (i.e. eternal youth and beauty).
Thus, The Picture of Dorian Gray could be understood as a novel of ‘extremes.’ Had none of the characters been as extreme as they were, most of the events in the novel would not have transpired. For example, Dorian’s naivete combined with Henry’s toxic influence and Basil’s unadulterated idolatry led Dorian down the dark path of hedonism and corruption.
Grosvenor Square: http://booth.lse.ac.uk/cgi-bin/do.pl?sub=view_booth_and_barth&args=528337,180732,1,large,0
South Audley Street: http://booth.lse.ac.uk/cgi-bin/do.pl?sub=view_booth_and_barth&args=528346,180437,1,large,0
Crime in South Audley Street: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/search.jsp?foo=bar&form=searchHomePage&count=0&_divs_fulltext=south+audley+street&kwparse=and&start=0
Crime in Grosvenor Square: https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/search.jsp?form=searchHomePage&_divs_fulltext=grosvenor+square&kwparse=and&_persNames_surname=&_persNames_given=&_persNames_alias=&_offences_offenceCategory_offenceSubcategory=&_verdicts_verdictCategory_verdictSubcategory=&_punishments_punishmentCategory_punishmentSubcategory=&_divs_div0Type_div1Type=&fromMonth=&fromYear=&toMonth=&toYear=&ref=&submit.x=0&submit.y=0&submit=Search