Here is a brief overview of A Tale of Two Cities plot. This is a really long, complex novel, so this plot outline reflects only the most important, significant events:
- Setting: Best of times, worst of times. The year is 1775 and tinged with the threat of revolution.
- Dr. Mannette is rescued from the Bastille and brought back to London by Mr. Lorry.
- Charles Darnay stands trial for treason, but is proven innocent by Sydney Carton.
- Marquis de Evremonde runs over a peasant child with his carriage; the enraged peasants murder him.
- Charles and Lucie marry.
- 1789--The peasants storm the Bastille, and the French Revolution begins.
- Gabelle (Darnay's uncle's old servant) writes a pleading letter to Darnay, hoping that he can help rescue him. Charles goes to help at great personal risk.
- Darnay is arrested. The Defarges produce a damning letter at his trial. He is to be executed.
- Sydney Carton hears Madame Defarge plotting to have Lucie and her child executed also.
- Sydney decides to switch places with Charles to help save Lucie's family.
- Lucie, Charles, daughter, and Dr. Mannette escape from Paris.
- Miss Pross and Madame Defarge fight in Lucie's apartment. Defarge is killed in the struggle.
- Sydney Carton goes to the guillotine in place of Charles Darnay, satisfied that he has saved Lucie and her family.