A Tale of Two Cities

Summary of the Novel
A Tale of Two Cities is concerned with events in Paris and London before and during the French Revolution. The story focuses on Charles Darnay, the self-exiled nephew of French nobility, and his wife, Lucie Manette, daughter of Dr. Alexandre Manette. As the first of the novel’s three sections begins, Jarvis Lorry is on his way to Paris to reunite Dr. Manette with the daughter who thought he has been dead for the past 18 years. Over this time Dr. Manette has forgotten his past life; he sits in a small attic room and makes shoes. Slowly, Jarvis and Lucie Manette “recall (him) to life.”

The novel’s second section starts five years later. Lucie Manette marries Charles Darnay. Darnay confesses a secret to Dr. Manette on the eve of the wedding. This secret turns out to be that Darnay is really Charles Evremonde, a member of the French ruling class. Darnay has renounced his past and wishes to settle in England. Meanwhile, unrest is growing in the Paris suburb of St. Antoine. The center of this unrest is a wine-shop owned by the Defarges, who are shown leading the storming of the Bastille.

The final section of the novel opens with Darnay on his way to Paris at the entreaty of a former servant who is endangered. Darnay is arrested and sentenced to die. The Manettes and Lorry hurry to Paris and succeed in freeing Darnay, but he is soon arrested again. He is sentenced to the guillotine. Sydney Carton, who bears a striking resemblance to Darnay, sneaks into the prison and switches places with Darnay. Carton is on his way to the guillotine, willing to die for the love of Lucie, while Darnay, the Manettes and Lorry flee to London.

Estimated Reading Time

Like most Victorian authors, Dickens could be verbose. At roughly 400 pages, A Tale of Two Cities is actually one of his shorter novels. While the optimal way to read this novel would be to read one weekly installment at a time, this is impractical. As the novel is broken into three sections, a better reading plan would be to read the first section in one sitting, while devoting two sittings each to the final two longer sections. Total reading time should be approximately 12 hours.

A Tale of Two Cities Summary (Critical Survey of Literature for Students)

The early rumblings of the French Revolution are echoing across the English Channel when, in Paris, an old man waits in an attic for his first meeting with a daughter whom he has not seen since she was a baby. With the aid of Mr. Jarvis Lorry, an agent for the Franco-British banking house of Tellson & Co., the lovely Lucie Manette is brought to Paris to be reunited with her father, who was imprisoned for eighteen years in the Bastille. Above the wineshop of Madame and Monsieur Defarge, Dr. Manette is kept secretly until his rescuers can take him safely back to England. Day after day, Madame Defarge sits outside her wineshop, knitting into a long scarf strange symbols that will later spell out a death list of hated aristocrats and enemies of the Revolution.

Five years later, Lucie sits beside her father in the courtroom of the Old Bailey, where Charles Darnay, a teacher of languages, is on trial for treasonable activities that involve his passing between France and England on secret business. A man named John Barsad brings charges against him. Lucie and her father testify that they met Darnay on the boat when they traveled from France five years earlier. The prisoner was saved when Mr. Stryver, the prisoner’s counsel, pointed across the courtroom to another man, Sydney Carton, who so resembled the prisoner that legal identification of Darnay was shaken and Mr. Stryver was able to secure an acquittal for the prisoner. Carton’s relationship to Stryver is that of the jackal to the lion; the alcoholic, aimless Carton writes the cases that Stryver pleads in court.

Lucie and her father live in a small tenement under the care of their maid, Miss Pross, and their kindly friend, Mr. Lorry. Jerry Cruncher, the porter at Tellson & Co. and a secret resurrectionist, is often helpful. Darnay and Carton become frequent callers in the Manette household, after the trial that brought them together.

In France, the fury of the people grows. Monseigneur the Marquis St. Evrémonde is driving in his carriage through the countryside when he carelessly kills a child of a peasant named Gaspard. The nobleman returns to his castle to meet his nephew, Charles Darnay, who is visiting from England. Darnay’s views differ from those of his uncle. Darnay knows that his family committed grave injustices, and he begs his uncle to make amends. Monseigneur the Marquis haughtily refuses. That night, the marquis is murdered in his bed.

Darnay returns to England to seek Dr. Manette’s permission to court Lucie. In order to construct a bond of complete honesty, Darnay attempts to tell the doctor his true French name, but Manette fearfully asks him to wait until the morning of his marriage before revealing it. Carton also approaches Lucie with a proposal of marriage. When Lucie refuses, Carton asks her always to remember that there is a man who will give his own life to keep a life she loves beside her.

In France, Madame Defarge knits the story of the hated St. Evrémondes into her scarf. Gaspard was hanged for the assassination of the marquis; Monseigneur’s house must be destroyed. Barsad, the spy, brings news that Lucie will marry Darnay, the nephew of the marquis. This news disturbs Defarge, for Dr. Manette, a former prisoner of the Bastille, holds a special honor in the eyes of the revolutionists.

Lucie and Darnay are married. Carton becomes a loyal friend of the family. Time passes, and tiny Lucie arrives. When the child is six years old, in the year 1789, the French people storm the Bastille. At the Bastille, Defarge goes to the cell where Dr. Manette was a prisoner and extracts some papers hidden behind a stone in the wall.

One day, while Darnay is talking to Mr. Lorry at Tellson & Co., a letter addressed to the Marquis St. Evrémonde is placed on Mr. Lorry’s desk. Darnay offers to deliver it to the proper person. When he is alone, he reads the letter. It is from an old family servant who is imprisoned by the revolutionists. He begs the Marquis St. Evrémonde to save his life. Darnay realizes that he must go to Paris. Only Dr. Manette knows of Darnay’s family name, and the doctor is sworn to secrecy.

Darnay and Mr. Lorry go to Paris, the latter to look after the French branch of Tellson & Co. Shortly after his arrival, Darnay is seized as an undesirable immigrant after Defarge orders his arrest. Mr. Lorry is considerably upset when Lucie and Dr. Manette suddenly arrive in Paris. Some of the doctor’s friends inform him of Darnay’s arrest. The old man feels that his own imprisonment in the Bastille will win the sympathy of the revolutionists and enable him to save his son-in-law.

After fifteen months of waiting, Darnay is brought to trial. Because he is able to prove himself innocent of harming the French people, he is freed but forbidden to leave France. A short time later, he is again arrested, denounced by Defarge and one other person whose name the officer refuses to disclose.

While shopping one day in the Paris market, Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher, who are in Paris with Lucie and Mr. Lorry, meet a man who causes Miss Pross to scream in amazement and Jerry to stare in silent astonishment. The man is Solomon, Miss Pross’s lost brother. Jerry remembers him as Barsad, the man who was a spy-witness at the Old Bailey. Carton arrives on the scene at that moment, and he is able to force Barsad to come with him to the office of Tellson & Co. for a private conference. Barsad fears detection of his duplicity, for he is now an employee of the Republican French Government. Carton and Jerry threaten to expose him as a former spy for the English government, the enemy of France. Carton makes a deal with Barsad.

When Darnay is once more brought before the tribunal, Defarge testifies against him and names Dr. Manette as the other accuser. Defarge produces the papers that he found in Dr. Manette’s cell in the Bastille. Therein the doctor wrote the story of his arrest and imprisonment because he learned of a secret crime committed by a St. Evrémonde against a woman of humble birth and her young brother. His account is enough to convict Darnay. Sentenced for the crimes of his ancestors, Darnay, the young St. Evrémonde, is condemned by the tribunal to the guillotine.

Carton now begins to visit the Defarge wineshop, where he learns that Madame Defarge is the sister of the woman ruined by St. Evrémonde years before. With the help of the false Barsad, he gains admittance to the prison where Darnay was taken. There he drugs the prisoner and, still aided by the cowed Barsad, has him carried from the cell, himself remaining behind. The resemblance between the two will allow him to pass as Darnay and prevent discovery of the aristocrat’s escape.

Madame Defarge goes to the lodgings of Lucie and Dr. Manette to denounce them. Only Miss Pross is there; the others, including Darnay, are already on their way to safety. To keep Madame Defarge from learning of their escape, Miss Pross struggles with the furious woman when she demands admittance to Lucie’s apartment. Madame Defarge is killed when her pistol goes off. Miss Pross is deaf for the rest of her life. Lucie and Darnay return safely to England. Carton dies at the guillotine, giving his own life for the happiness of those he loved.

A Tale of Two Cities Summary

Many critics consider Dickens the greatest novelist of the English-speaking world. Historically he is probably the most popular. Dickens is one...

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A Tale of Two Cities Chapter Summary and Analysis

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Book the First, Chapters 1, 2, and 3 Summary and Analysis

Book the First: Recalled to Life
Chapter 1: The Period
Chapter 2: The Mail
Chapter 3: The Night Shadows

New Characters
Jerry Cruncher: messenger who becomes valet and personal messenger for Jarvis Lorry

Jarvis Lorry: lifelong bachelor and clerk at Tellson’s Bank; he is a friend of the Manette’s and Charles Darnay

The year is 1775. France is described as on the verge of revolution; England is said to be “scarcely” better. A coach is taking the mail to Dover. Jarvis Lorry is a passenger on this coach. It is late at night, and a horse is heard approaching at a quick pace. The passengers and driver fear...

(The entire section is 335 words.)

Book the First, Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis

Book the First: Recalled to Life
Chapter 4: The Preparation

New Character
Lucie Manette: daughter of Alexandre Manette

The mail safely arrives at Dover; Jarvis Lorry is the only passenger left on the coach, the two other passengers having been dropped off earlier. Lorry checks into the Royal George Hotel, has a haircut, eats breakfast, and takes a nap. Upon waking, he reserves a room for a young woman he is expecting to meet there. He meets this woman, Lucie Manette, and we learn that he is to accompany her to France to settle some business concerning property of her father.

Miss Manette believes that her father is dead....

(The entire section is 392 words.)

Book the First, Chapter 5 Summary and Analysis

Book the First: Recalled to Life
Chapter 5: The Wine-Shop

New Characters
Ernest Defarge: owner of wine-shop in Paris suburb; along with wife, a leader of the revolt in Paris

Therese Defarge: wife of Ernest Defarge and co-leader of the revolt; she knits the names of those to be killed when the revolution comes

The three “Jacques”: followers of the Defarges who participate in the revolt in Paris

Dr. Alexandre Manette: Lucie’s father who is freed after 18 years in a French prison

The scene is a street in the Paris suburb of Saint Antoine. A cask of red wine has been dropped and broken. All of...

(The entire section is 589 words.)

Book the First, Chapter 6 Summary and Analysis

Book the First: Recalled to Life - Chaper 6: The Shoemaker

Dr. Manette is a feeble old man, nearly destroyed by physical weakness. Defarge wants to let more light into the room, and the old man is indifferent. Dr. Manette tells them that he is making “a young ladies walking-shoe.” When they ask him his name, he replies “One Hundred and Five, North Tower.” Dr. Manette returns to the shoe. He slowly begins to recall his daughter and Mr. Lorry. Lucie holds him and kisses him, and he remembers her and makes an impassioned speech. It is decided that they should leave for England immediately. Mr. Lorry makes another reference to “business.” As they are leaving, Lorry...

(The entire section is 330 words.)

Book the Second, Chapters 1 and 2 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 1: Five Years Later
Chapter 2: A Sight

New Characters
Mrs. Jerry Cruncher: wife of Jerry Cruncher

Master Jerry Cruncher: son of Jerry Cruncher

Charles Darnay (a.k.a. Charles Evremonde): self-exiled member of French ruling class society

Members of the British Court: the spectators, the judge, and the attorney-general who is prosecuting Darnay

Five years have passed since the end of the first section of the novel. Tellson’s Bank is described as an old-fashioned place, proud of its smallness, darkness, and ugliness. We learn...

(The entire section is 648 words.)

Book the Second, Chapter 3 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread - Chapter 3: A Disappointment

New Characters
Mr. Stryver: lawyer who defends Darnay in England; he wants to marry Lucie Manette

John Barsad: a spy also known as Solomon Pross; Miss Pross’ brother

Roger Cly: killed as a spy in England

Sydney Carton: physical double of Charles Darnay who secretly does Stryver’s legal work

The Attorney-General tells the jury that the prisoner has been conducting secret business between France and England for at least five years. He describes, in glowing terms, a patriot who has figured out the devious nature of the spy. A second...

(The entire section is 465 words.)

Book the Second, Chapters 4 and 5 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 4: Congratulatory
Chapter 5: The Jackal


Dr. Manette, Lucie, Lorry, and Stryver are congratulating Charles Darnay in a passageway outside the courtroom. Darnay kisses Lucie’s hand. Dr. Manette gives Darnay a mysterious look of “distrust,” “dislike,” and even “fear.” The group leaves the courthouse and encounters Sydney Carton. Lorry and Carton discuss business. Lorry says that he puts his bank ahead of himself; Carton says that he has no business whatsoever.

Carton and Darnay dine at a nearby inn. They drink a toast to Lucie. Carton gets drunk and...

(The entire section is 353 words.)

Book the Second, Chapter 6 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread
Chapter 6: Hundreds of People

It is four months later, and the trial is forgotten. Lorry is on his way to have Sunday dinner with the Manettes, whom he has befriended. The Manettes live in a quaint London house, where Dr. Manette receives his patients. Lorry arrives at the Manette house and talks with Miss Pross as he awaits the Manettes’ return. He is surprised to see that Dr. Manette still has a bench and tools from his shoemaking days. Miss Pross tells Lorry that “hundreds of people” come to visit “Ladybird,” her pet name for Lucie. She says that all of these people are unworthy of Lucie; Miss Pross believes that only...

(The entire section is 389 words.)

Book the Second, Chapters 7 and 8 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 7: Monseigneur in Town
Chapter 8: Monseigneur in the Country

New Characters

Monseigneur: a French nobleman

Monsieur the Marquis: French nobleman and Uncle of Charles Darnay

A tall man in a nightcap: the marquis’ coach runs over and kills his child

The mender of roads: a French peasant

Monsieur Gabelle: servant of the Marquis

The scene is a reception in Paris thrown by the Monseigneur. The scene is decadent; the Monseigneur has four people serving him chocolate. He is ironically called noble...

(The entire section is 448 words.)

Book the Second, Chapter 9 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread - Chapter 9: The Gorgon's Head

The Marquis’ chateau is said to be made of stone “as if the Gorgon’s head had surveyed it.” The Marquis sits down to dinner; he thinks he hears something outside, but a servant assures him that it is nothing. The Marquis’ nephew finally arrives; he is indeed Charles Darnay. Darnay and his uncle have a strained relationship. Darnay feels that the family name is detested all over France. His uncle replies, “Detestation of the high is the involuntary homage of the low.” They continue to argue, with Darnay saying that the family has done “a world of wrong.” The Marquis argues that class...

(The entire section is 383 words.)

Book the Second, Chapters 10 and 11 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 10: Two Promises

Chapter 11: A Companion Picture

It is one year later. Charles Darnay is now a tutor of French and French Literature in England, as well as a translator. He has made a success of himself by finding a labor and dedicating himself to it. Darnay meets with Dr. Manette and reveals that he loves Lucie and wants to marry her. Darnay assures Dr. Manette that this marriage will strengthen the bond between father and daughter, a bond formed after 18 years of imprisonment. Dr. Manette tells Darnay that Lucie may have two other suitors, Mr. Stryver and Sydney Carton....

(The entire section is 412 words.)

Book the Second, Chapters 12 and 13 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 12: The Fellow of Delicacy

Chapter 13: The Fellow of No Delicacy

Mr. Stryver decides to tell Lucie of his intentions, “to make her happiness known to her.” He sees his desire to marry her in terms of a legal case that he has a good chance of winning. Stryver decides to stop into Tellson’s Bank to tell Mr. Lorry of his intentions. Lorry exclaims “Oh dear me!” when told of Stryver’s plan. As a businessman, Lorry says that he has no opinion on the matter; as a friend of the Manettes, he advises against it. He tells Stryver that “the young lady goes before all,”...

(The entire section is 371 words.)

Book the Second, Chapter 14 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread - Chapter 14: The Honest Tradesman

Jerry Cruncher is sitting on his stool outside Tellson’s Bank. A funeral procession passes by; it is the funeral of Roger Cly, Charles Darnay’s former servant. There is a mob following the funeral vehicles, shouting “Spies! Pull’em out, there!” The narrator writes, “A crowd in those times stopped at nothing, and was a monster much dreaded.” Jerry Cruncher joins the crowd as they proceed to the cemetery. The crowd becomes violent, proceeds to window-breaking, and then engages in looting, before breaking up. Cruncher and his son return home. His wife asks him if he is “going out...

(The entire section is 310 words.)

Book the Second, Chapter 15 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread - Chapter 15: Knitting

The scene is the Defarges’ wine-shop, where there has been much activity of late. Ernest Defarge brings the mender of roads to the wineshop and introduces him as “Jacques” to the other “Jacques.” The mender of roads tells what he knows about the tall man in the nightcap: how he first saw him hanging on to the Marquis’ carriage, how he next saw this man, with his arms bound to his sides, being taken somewhere by soldiers. The mender of roads says that he does not know what became of this prisoner. He has heard a rumor that a petition has been presented to the King explaining that the man was in great...

(The entire section is 507 words.)

Book the Second, Chapter 16 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread - Chapter 16: Still Knitting

The mood in St. Antoine has changed; it now bears a “cruel look of being avenged, which they would henceforth bear for ever.” The Defarges make a trip to Paris to speak with “Jacques of the police.” He informs them that there is a spy in their quarters: John Barsard, a “rather handsome” man whose nose has “a peculiar inclination towards the left cheek.” The Defarges return to the wine-shop. Various Jacques are sitting around talking when a man enters the wine-shop. Madame Defarge puts a rose in her hat; the conversations break up, and the Jacques slowly disperse. This man speaks with Madame...

(The entire section is 365 words.)

Book the Second, Chapters 17 and 18 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 17: One Night

Chapter 18: Nine Days

It is the night before Lucie’s wedding. She and her father are sitting in the moonlight, under the plane tree. They are both very happy as they assure each other that Lucie’s marriage will not change their close relationship. Dr. Manette says to Lucie, “my future is far brighter, Lucie, seen through your marriage, than it could have been … without it.” Dr. Manette speaks to Lucie of his imprisonment for the first time; he tells her that he thought often of his daughter who did not know he was alive. He says to her, “My...

(The entire section is 439 words.)

Book the Second, Chapters 19 and 20 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 19: An Opinion

Chapter 20: A Plea

On the morning of the tenth day, Dr. Manette has regained his senses. Mr. Lorry decides not to confront Dr. Manette directly about his problem; he speaks to Manette of “a curious case in which I am deeply interested.” Dr. Manette has no recall of the past nine days. He tells Lorry that “the relapse was not unforeseen by its subject.” He tells Lorry that the “subject” is greatly burdened, yet unable to speak about this burden. Manette assures Lorry that the worst is over. Lorry convinces Manette that the shoemaker’s bench...

(The entire section is 400 words.)

Book the Second, Chapter 21 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread - Chapter 21: Echoing Footsteps

New Character
Little Lucie: daughter of Charles and Lucie

Time passes. Lucie hears the echoes of distant footsteps. On occasion this seems ominous, but for the most part she hears “in the echoes of years none but friendly and soothing sounds.” She has one child, a daughter named Lucie. She has a boy child who dies but even this is not a terribly sad occasion, as “the rustling of an Angel’s wings got blended with the other echoes.”

Six years pass, and various changes take place in the lives of the characters, but nothing shocking happens. Then, one...

(The entire section is 494 words.)

Book the Second, Chapters 22 and 23 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 22: The Sea Still Rises

Chapter 23: Fire Rises

New Characters
The Vengeance: follower of Madame Defarge who participates in the revolt in France

Foulon: a French nobleman killed during the revolution

One week has passed. Madame Defarge and one of her “sisterhood” are knitting. This woman has “already earned the complimentary name of The Vengeance.” Ernest Defarge comes into the wine-shop, shouting that “old Foulon, who told the famished people they might eat grass,” has been captured.

A crowd gathers to...

(The entire section is 445 words.)

Book the Second, Chapter 24 Summary and Analysis

Book the Second: The Golden Thread - Chapter 24: Drawn to the Loadstone Rock

Three years have passed. Royalty and the court are gone from France. Mr. Lorry decides to go to France to help at the unsettled Paris branch of Tellson’s Bank. Darnay says that he wishes he was going to France. Lorry leaves, taking only Jerry Cruncher with him. The French ruling class has become exiled in England, planning how to get the country back. Charles Darnay is uneasy. Stryver suggests that the whole peasant class in France should be wiped out. It is revealed that only Dr. Manette knows Darnay’s true connection to France. He secretly gets a letter addressed to the Marquis’ nephew. It...

(The entire section is 369 words.)

Book the Third, Chapter 1 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm - Chapter 1: In Secret

New Characters
Various French patriot-citizens: members of the peasant class who are now in power

Charles Darnay meets difficulty on his way to Paris. He is stopped in every small town that he passes through and forced to show his papers before he can proceed. He quickly realizes that he cannot go back “until he should have been declared a good citizen at Paris.”

In one small town, it is decided that Darnay will be provided an armed escort to Paris. Darnay notices that all the citizens are wearing red caps. He reaches Beauvais: he is called “a cursed emigrant”...

(The entire section is 519 words.)

Book the Third, Chapters 2 and 3 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm

Chapter 2: The Grindstone

Chapter 3: The Shadow

Tellson’s Bank in France is in the house of a member of the nobility. The house has been seized by the newly formed republic and marked by the tricolor flag. There is a grindstone within the gates of the house. Mr. Lorry says, “Thank God that no one near and dear to me is in this dreadful town tonight.”

Just as he says this, Dr. Manette and Lucie show up. They tell him that Charles is in a prison in Paris. A crowd of 40 to 50 people pours into the courtyard; they sharpen their various weapons at the grindstone....

(The entire section is 481 words.)

Book the Third, Chapters 4 and 5 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm

Chapter 4: Calm in Storm

Chapter 5: The Wood-Sawyer

Dr. Manette returns four days later; he assures Lucie that Charles was not killed during the violent attack against the prisoners. He does not tell Lucie that 1,100 other prisoners were not so lucky. Dr. Manette uses his status as “a notable sufferer under the overthrown system” to enter a plea before “the lawless court” to free Charles Darnay. While the court refuses to free Darnay, they allow Dr. Manette to stay around the prison to assure that Darnay is safe. Soon, using his influence, Dr. Manette becomes the...

(The entire section is 450 words.)

Book the Third Chapters 6 and 7 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm

Chapter 6: Triumph

Chapter 7: A Knock at the Door

Charles Darnay is called before the new republic’s court: “a dread Tribunal of five judges, public prosecutor, and determined jury.” The court is described in less-than-glowing terms; it looks as if “the felons were trying the honest men.”

The trial begins; Darnay proceeds to present his case as Dr. Manette has directed. He tells the court that he is the son-in-law of Dr. Manette and that he has come back to France voluntarily, to save a citizen’s life. He addresses the crowd that has gathered: “Was that...

(The entire section is 487 words.)

Book the Third, Chapter 8 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm - Chapter 8: A Hand at Cards

Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher, unaware of Darnay’s arrest, continue to shop for dinner and wine. They enter a wine-shop; Miss Pross is shocked to be standing face to face with her brother, Solomon. He tells her not to call him Solomon and quickly leads her outside. Solomon tells Miss Pross that he is now an official and very busy because of it. Cruncher interrupts the conversation to ask Solomon what his name was “over the water,” in England, when he was “a spy-witness at the Bailey.”

Before Solomon can answer, another voice says that Solomon’s name was “Barsad.” This voice...

(The entire section is 609 words.)

Book the Third, Chapter 9 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm - Chapter 9: The Game Made

This chapter begins with Mr. Lorry asking Jerry Cruncher, “What have you been, besides a messenger?” Cruncher explains, in his colloquial accent, just why he has sometimes been a grave robber. Lorry threatens to end his friendship with Cruncher; he reconsiders when Jerry tells him that it is only the odd jobs from Tellson’s that prevent grave-robbing from being his full-time profession. Carton returns and tells Lorry, “If things should go ill with the prisoner, I have ensured access to him, once.” Lorry does not see how this could help Darnay; Carton implores Lorry not to tell Lucie of these...

(The entire section is 486 words.)

Book the Third, Chapter 10 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm - Chapter 10: The Substance of the Shadow

Dr. Manette’s letter is produced in this chapter. In it, he explains how he has come to be in prison. He writes that he keeps this letter in the wall of the chimney, in a place of concealment that he has dug out, hoping that “Some pitying hand may find it there, when I and my sorrows are dust.”

Dr. Manette’s story begins in December 1757. He is stopped on the street by a carriage. Two men insist that he enter the carriage as they have a patient who needs his attention. The men are armed; Dr. Manette enters their carriage. These two men take Dr. Manette to the patient: a...

(The entire section is 733 words.)

Book the Third, Chapters 11 and 12 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm

Chapter 11: Dusk

Chapter 12: Darkness

These chapters open with Lucie imploring the crowd that has gathered to let her embrace her husband one last time. They allow it; Darnay and Lucie say their farewells. Darnay is taken away and Lucie collapses at her father’s feet. Sydney Carton carries her to a coach and then up to her apartment. There he sees Little Lucie, who says to him, “Now that you have come, I think … you will do something to save Papa!” Carton kisses Lucie, says, “A life you love,” and goes into the next room. Dr. Manette leaves to make a final attempt to...

(The entire section is 493 words.)

Book the Third, Chapter 13 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm - Chapter 13: Fifty-two

Fifty-two prisoners are awaiting the guillotine, “From the farmer of seventy … to the seamstress of twenty.” Charles Darnay, after some deliberation, resigns himself to his fate and writes loving notes to Lucie, Dr. Manette, and Mr. Lorry; he never thinks of Sydney Carton, “never once.” He falls asleep, knowing that he is to be executed at two o’clock the next day. A little after noon, Sydney Carton comes to his cell. Carton tells Darnay he comes with a “most earnest, pressing, and emphatic entreaty” from his wife. Carton insists that Darnay switch boots with him. Carton subtly passes his hand...

(The entire section is 446 words.)

Book the Third, Chapters 14 and 15 Summary and Analysis

Book the Third: The Track of a Storm

Chapter 14: The Knitting Done

Chapter 15: The Footsteps Die Out For Ever

While Carton is waiting to die, Madame Defarge is holding counsel with The Vengeance and Jacques Three. She is explaining to them that as a member of the Evremonde family, Lucie and her daughter must die. Madame Defarge does not trust her husband to join her in these feelings; she even thinks that he may warn Dr. Manette of these plans. For this reason, Madame Defarge says that the arrest of Lucie and her daughter must be carried out without delay. Madame Defarge also decides that Dr. Manette will be...

(The entire section is 559 words.)