Like Henry James's education, that of Victor Cherbuliez was conducted in several countries. After his schooldays at the Ecole Topffer and years as an undergraduate at the University in Geneva, in the 1840s, Cherbuliez's higher education included further periods of study in Paris, Bonn, and Berlin. According to Istrati he had been turned down by the University of Geneva, and no love was lost between him and his native city, after the publication of Paule Mere. Besides his native French, he was able to speak German, English and Italian, and phrases in foreign languages occur in his novels much as they do in those of James. In Le Comte Kostia Gilbert Savile is a Frenchman working as a private tutor to a Russian exiled nobleman in a castle on the Rhine. Marcel Roger, prior to the affair in which he becomes embroiled in Paule Mere, has been travelling in Persia and Egypt.