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Mr Prideaux is a Cornishman who has set up an hotel in Lisbon, in Shoemaker-street*. It is here Jonathan Strange stays when first he arrives in Portugal to join Lord Wellington's campaign against the French.

Mr Prideaux has endeavoured to make his hotel as much like an English inn as possible, for most of his guests are officers in the British army and he hopes to win their custom by offering them the comforts of home. To this end he imports all the furniture and furnishings from London, and instructs his cook to offer an English bill of fare. But alas, Portugal intrudes; the food has a tang of the country, and even the Portuguese bootboy somehow transmits the character of the place onto the very boots he is blacking[29].

*Naturally the Portuguese themselves do not call their street by an English name - it is properly the Rua dos Sapateiros.