- Mary Anne: "Wonderful! As it happens, I've been eager to tour the Devil's Acre. If you were to escort me, I'd be happy to assist you in your inquiry."
- Jacob: "That strikes me as a dangerous idea."
- Mary Anne: "Then it's settled. Come back here to Downing Street tomorrow night, eight o'clock sharp. Good day, Mr. Frye."
- —Mary Anne Disraeli stating her desire to visit the Devil's Acre, 1868.[src]
The Devil's Acre was a notorious slum in the otherwise resplendent London borough of Westminster. Because of its proximity to Westminster Abbey and the Palace of Westminster, Devil's Acre was seen as a cause to work for by London's philanthropists - unlike the larger borough of Whitechapel, which was some distance away, and could feasibly be ignored.
Ever since medieval times, Devil's Acre had been home to criminals and debtors, whom were housed there by the clergy from nearby Westminster Abbey. In the nineteenth century, the Blighters, operating under Lilla Graves formed one of their strongholds in this location, worsening its reputation even further. This particular stronghold soon became known as the most violent one in London.