A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

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Book the First, Chapter 4 Summary and Analysis


The mail coach arrives safely in Dover. Jarvis Lorry is the only passenger left, as the other passengers were dropped off at earlier stops. He reserves a room at the Royal George Hotel. After eating breakfast, dozing, and having his hair cut, he books an additional room for a young lady who is supposed to meet him there. He idles in the hotel’s coffee room all afternoon, drinking wine and staring anxiously at the “live red coals” in the fireplace.

The young lady, Lucie Manette, arrives at last. Lorry meets her in her room, and we learn that he is supposed to accompany her to Saint Antoine in Paris to settle a business matter concerning her deceased father. Lorry reveals, however, that Lucie’s father is not actually dead; he has been in prison for eighteen years. He has been released and is now in need of Lucie’s care and Lorry’s guidance. Lucie is greatly shocked and becomes unresponsive. Her servant arrives to care for her, and Lorry departs.


The parallel between the two cities is further solidified by the introduction of...

(The entire section is 358 words.)