With their public face and communal disposition, the vicarage and the boarding house infl ected by the English idea of home and, in turn, infl icting this idea of home upon its inhabitants, are common, often comic, alternative models of domesticity. The heads of these hybrid households, the vicar and the landlady, too, are familiar, stock, textualized fi gures in English literature, variously farcical, nosy, rigidly authoritarian, kindly and inept. The vicarage, adjacent to but separate from the public and sacred space of the church and the boarding house, usually a former grand private house, mirror the English propensity to consider house and home as a detached dwelling. Through these ‘homes’, Young, like so many of her compatriots, considers domestic reconfi gurations with relish, fi nding in them the occasion to explore a microcosm of society, expose social mores and exercise her ironic touch.