What story does the doctor relate to Lucie which relates to his wife?"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 6, "The Shoemaker," of A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens paints a very poignant moment as, when Lucie touches the arm of Dr. Manette, a prisoner for fourteen years, he experiences a strange thrill pass over his frame:

Her golden hair, which she wore in long curls, had been hriedly pushed aside, and fell down over her neck.  Advancing his hand by little and little, he took it up, and looked at it.  In the midst of the action he went astray....But, not for long....After looking doubtfully at it, two or three times, as if to be sure that it was really there, he laid down his work, put his hand to his neck, and took off a blackened string with a scrap of folded rag attached to it.  He opened this,...and it contained a very littl quantity of hair:  not more than one or two long golden hairs, which he had, in some old day, wound off upon his finger.

Taking Lucie's hair in his hand, examining it.  "How can it be!  When was it!  How was it!" he exclaims.  Turning Lucie to the full light, he looks at her, telling her that "She had laid her head upon my shoulder, that night when I was summoned out--" Lucie's mother felt a premonition of fear although the doctor did not fear anything.  When he was arrested and taken to North Tower, the turnkeys found the hairs upon his sleeve. Uncomprehending, Dr. Manette asks, "How was this?--Was it you?"  Then, when he hears Lucie's voice, he recognizes the sound.  But, he realizes that Lucie is too young.  However, Lucie is cognizant that Dr. Manette speaks of her dear, departed mother.

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A Tale of Two Cities

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