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A Tale of Two Cities > Book III Chapters 01-07

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Tristram Shandy I know it's not Sunday yet, but I have just finished our recaps for the week and don't know if I'll have some computer time tomorrow, and so I am going to open this thread today in the hope that too early is not as bad as too late ;-)


message 2: by Tristram (last edited Oct 01, 2016 08:24AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tristram Shandy Dear Pickwickians,

More quickly than I thought we have arrived at the beginning of the Third Book, which is called “The Track of a Storm”. A title that sounds quite encouraging, not so much for Charles Darnay and Lucie but more for the readers, who expect to be thrown into the Revolution’s deepest end.

In Chapter 1, “In Secret”, we learn that the time is the autumn of 1792 when Charles Darnay is on his way to Paris. Travelling is not as simple anymore since those who are on the road are checked and counter-checked at every post-station and turnpike, and sometimes even halfway down the road. The narrator makes sure that we get the contradiction between France now being a Republic, a country of Liberty, and the high-handedness of any self-appointed official. Apart from that, the mention of a “shrivelled tree of Liberty” in one of the villages indicates that our narrator is more than sceptical about the achievements of the Revolution.

Charles Darnay before long has to submit himself to an escort – of course, just for his own security, and that’s why he is made to pay the two men – to Paris, and before even much longer, it becomes obvious that he is no longer escorted to Paris but taken to prison there, a development which is cleverly foreshadowed in the following passage:

A very few French leagues of his journey were accomplished, when Charles Darnay began to perceive that for him along these country roads there was no hope of return until he should have been declared a good citizen at Paris. Whatever might befall now, he must on to his journey’s end. Not a mean village closed upon him, not a common barrier dropped across the road behind him, but he knew it to be another iron door in the series that was barred between him and England. The universal watchfulness so encompassed him, that if he had been taken in a net, or were being forwarded to his destination in a cage, he could not have felt his freedom more completely gone.


In Paris, Darnay is brought before a revolutionary tribunal, where he learns that he is regarded as an enemy of the state and the people on the grounds that he is an emigrant, i.e. an aristocrat who has left France. Emigrants who return to France are, according to a new law, to be imprisoned. Bad luck for Darnay that that law did not yet exist when he started his journey to France. Be that as it may, Charles has to resign himself to being taken to the Prison La Force, where he is led by none other than Defarge, who has already concluded that the young nobleman must be Lucie Manette’s husband.

Question: What do you make of Defarge’s behaviour and of his treatment of Charles?

In the prison, Charles is ushered into a bigger room where all sorts of aristocrats – men, woman, and even children – have been put and are waiting for their trial. As misery connects people, they are very kind to Charles but unfortunately, Charles is “in secret”, which means that he is to be confined into a cell of his own and that he does not have the right to communicate with anyone. Even though this might remind us of how we first met Charles Darnay, we also find a lot of foreshadowing of evil events in this context, as the following quotations show:

The horrible massacre, days and nights long, which, within a few rounds of the clock, was to set a great mark of blood upon the blessed garnering time of harvest, was as far out of his knowledge as if it had been a hundred thousand years away. The “sharp female newly-born, and called La Guillotine,” was hardly known to him, or to the generality of people, by name. The frightful deeds that were to be soon done, were probably unimagined at that time in the brains of the doers. How could they have a place in the shadowy conceptions of a gentle mind?


Likewise, the assembled aristocrats are compared to ghosts, which has an ominous effect:

So strangely clouded were these refinements by the prison manners and gloom, so spectral did they become in the inappropriate squalor and misery through which they were seen, that Charles Darnay seemed to stand in a company of the dead. Ghosts all! The ghost of beauty, the ghost of stateliness, the ghost of elegance, the ghost of pride, the ghost of frivolity, the ghost of wit, the ghost of youth, the ghost of age, all waiting their dismissal from the desolate shore, all turning on him eyes that were changed by the death they had died in coming there.

It struck him motionless. The gaoler standing at his side, and the other gaolers moving about, who would have been well enough as to appearance in the ordinary exercise of their functions, looked so extravagantly coarse contrasted with sorrowing mothers and blooming daughters who were there—with the apparitions of the coquette, the young beauty, and the mature woman delicately bred—that the inversion of all experience and likelihood which the scene of shadows presented, was heightened to its utmost. Surely, ghosts all. Surely, the long unreal ride some progress of disease that had brought him to these gloomy shades!


So it is not surprising that he himself calls out, “Now I am left, as if I were dead.” (Let’s hope then that he will be recalled to life!)

One last thing about Chapter 1, I liked the following detail for its twisted humour:

The gaoler’s wife, being provided with no answer to the question, merely replied, “One must have patience, my dear!” Three turnkeys who entered responsive to a bell she rang, echoed the sentiment, and one added, “For the love of Liberty;” which sounded in that place like an inappropriate conclusion.


In the second chapter, with the dark name “The Grindstone” we learn that Mr. Lorry is installed in the French office of Tellson’s and that he can see a grindstone that somebody has taken into the yard. We also learn that Doctor Manette and his daughter have followed Charles to Paris, and that they have even taken little Lucie with them. I cannot help thinking that in some way, Charles is to blame for this because if he had not left without talking matters over with his wife, she would not have travelled after him, thus endangering their daughter. In this chapter, the narrator gives an account of the September massacres, in which an hysterical populace stormed the prisons in Paris and butchered some 1,200 people – partly aristocrats, partly clergymen who had objected to taking an oath on behalf of the Republic, but very often also criminals or people who had been imprisoned because they failed to show the required degree of Republican enthusiasm. Dickens once more gives an impressing description of an infuriated mob that gathers around the grindstone in order to whet blood-sullied weapons, of an infernal dance of death in which RED seems to be the dominant colour but what we do not really learn is what was behind that mass hysteria that led to the September massacre. We are left strangely ignorant of the mechanisms of paranoia and violence – the massacres have to be seen in the context of the war France waged against the European monarchies, of an announcement made by the Duke of Brunswig and of the Prussian-Austrian army setting foot on French ground. In A Tale of Two Cities, however, all violence seems to be a result of the mass of the people having shaken off their proper government.

What is your impression of Dickens’s treatment of mob violence?

One more thing, Doctor Manette now finds that his status as an ex-prisoner of the Bastille endows him with great social capital among the revolutionaries and allows him even to ask them to lead him to Charles Darnay – and to plead that his life be spared.

Chapter 3 introduces us to “The Shadow” – in the form of Mme Defarge, who visits Lucie together with M. Defarge and her friend The Vengeance, allegedly in order to take a look at her and her daughter and to prevent any harm from being done to them by the revolutionaries. One cannot help thinking, though, that Mme Defarge’s looking at and inquiring about Charles’s only daughter forebodes evil to the little girl:

“Is that his child?” said Madame Defarge, stopping in her work for the first time, and pointing her knitting-needle at little Lucie as if it were the finger of Fate.

“Yes, madame,” answered Mr. Lorry; “this is our poor prisoner’s darling daughter, and only child.”

The shadow attendant on Madame Defarge and her party seemed to fall so threatening and dark on the child, that her mother instinctively kneeled on the ground beside her, and held her to her breast. The shadow attendant on Madame Defarge and her party seemed then to fall, threatening and dark, on both the mother and the child.

“It is enough, my husband,” said Madame Defarge. “I have seen them. We may go.”

But, the suppressed manner had enough of menace in it—not visible and presented, but indistinct and withheld—to alarm Lucie into saying, as she laid her appealing hand on Madame Defarge’s dress:

“You will be good to my poor husband. You will do him no harm. You will help me to see him if you can?”

“Your husband is not my business here,” returned Madame Defarge, looking down at her with perfect composure. “It is the daughter of your father who is my business here.”


Again, what do you think about the relationship between M. and Mme Defarge as described in this chapter?


Tristram Shandy I will now give a more concise recap of events happening in Chapters 4 to 7, and start with Chapter 4, „Calm in Storm“. Despite its name, the chapter is not really soothing at all. We learn that, of course, the full knowledge of what really happened in the prisons is kept from Lucie by her father and Mr. Lorry in order not to fill her with terror – and one may ask the question how naïve Lucie must be taken for (or wished to be by the narrator) that she does not notice what is going on around her.

Doctor Manette is growing more and more self-confident as he sees that he wields considerable influence among the revolutionaries thanks to his being an ex-prisoner of the Bastille. In a way, however terrible current events are, yet they recall him to life in a way in that they make him feel that his past sufferings have not been completely in vain, and that he is good for something special now.

We are also given an impression of the fickleness of the mob, whose members are ready to tear apart those prisoners who find themselves condemned but shed tears of joy and compassion over those prisoners who are acquitted. And last not least, we are given another instance of dark foreshadowing:

Above all, one hideous figure grew as familiar as if it had been before the general gaze from the foundations of the world—the figure of the sharp female called La Guillotine.

It was the popular theme for jests; it was the best cure for headache, it infallibly prevented the hair from turning grey, it imparted a peculiar delicacy to the complexion, it was the National Razor which shaved close: who kissed La Guillotine, looked through the little window and sneezed into the sack. It was the sign of the regeneration of the human race. It superseded the Cross. Models of it were worn on breasts from which the Cross was discarded, and it was bowed down to and believed in where the Cross was denied.

It sheared off heads so many, that it, and the ground it most polluted, were a rotten red. It was taken to pieces, like a toy-puzzle for a young Devil, and was put together again when the occasion wanted it. It hushed the eloquent, struck down the powerful, abolished the beautiful and good. Twenty-two friends of high public mark, twenty-one living and one dead, it had lopped the heads off, in one morning, in as many minutes. The name of the strong man of Old Scripture had descended to the chief functionary who worked it; but, so armed, he was stronger than his namesake, and blinder, and tore away the gates of God’s own Temple every day.


It seems as though we are approaching a decisive moment in the story, and I am quite sure that the sharp female La Guillotine will play her part in it.

Chapter 5: “The Wood-sawyer”
Like the grindstone, the wood-sawyer is another element of evil forebodings. Lucie has now been waiting for her husband to be released from prison for one year and three months, and the Guillotine has now become a quite common sight. Doctor Manette told Lucie that Charles can sometimes snatch the opportunity of seeing her from a window in the prison wall if she happens to be standing at a certain street corner. Here she can be found quite often, either alone or with her daughter. However, she soon becomes the object of curiosity of a wood-sawyer (who is none other but our mender of roads) who has his shop on the corner. The following scene might give us an impression of what can be expected from the wood-sawyer:

“Ah! But it’s not my business. My work is my business. See my saw! I call it my Little Guillotine. La, la, la; La, la, la! And off his head comes!”

The billet fell as he spoke, and he threw it into a basket.

“I call myself the Samson of the firewood guillotine. See here again! Loo, loo, loo; Loo, loo, loo! And off her head comes! Now, a child. Tickle, tickle; Pickle, pickle! And off its head comes. All the family!”


As if to confirm our suspicions, one day when Lucie waves a kiss to Charles, or to the prison window behind which she suspects Charles, Mme Defarge happens to walk by and notice what Lucie is doing.

Chapter 6: “Triumph” and Chapter 7: “A Knock at the Door”
These two chapters can be dealt with in conjunction because the triumph that gives its name to Chapter 6 is nullified by the knock at the door mentioned in Chapter 7. The day of Charles’s trial has finally come, and we might already have a bad feeling at seeing Mme Defarge – with a spare piece of knitting in her arm – and her husband sitting amongst the audience. The Doctor manages to use his reputation in Charles’s favour so that the jurymen finally acquit him and he can leave the tribunal as a free man – accompanied by the cheers, and tears of joy of the fickle crowd, except for two faces which remain sombre. It’s not difficult to guess whose these faces are. Not only for Charles, also for the Doctor it is a field-day because he has saved his son-in-law, a circumstance he in the course of events never gets tired of mentioning or alluding to.

By the way, what do you think of the Doctor’s development within the last few chapters?

Nevertheless, happiness will not dwell long among the newly-reunited family. Miss Pross has scarcely left the household in the company of Jerry Cruncher in order to buy victuals when suddenly there is a knock at the door, and three revolutionary guards barge into the living-room in order to arrest Charles Darnay. The Doctor is aghast and when asking what the matter is, he learns that Darnay has been denounced. The Doctor’s influence goes so far as to make the guards also tell him that it was Citizen and Citizeness Defarge who denounced his son-in-law, but when the guard tells him that there was also another who denounced Darnay, the Doctor asks, who, and is asked the strange question, “Do you ask, Doctor?” before the guard announces that he will remain dumb until the next day.
Why could the guard have stressed the word “you” in his question?

It’s really hard to keep waiting until Thursday and not to read on … but we might fill our time with a vivid discussion of the novel up to Book III Chapter 7.


message 4: by Peter (last edited Oct 02, 2016 11:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Peter Tristram wrote: "I will now give a more concise recap of events happening in Chapters 4 to 7, and start with Chapter 4, „Calm in Storm“. Despite its name, the chapter is not really soothing at all. We learn that, o..."

I really enjoyed the recap Tristram. We are now in the eye of the storm. The first question concerning Defarge's treatment and behaviour towards Darnay is very interesting. In general, I felt that Defarge had a moticum of regret that Darnay had returned. While Defarge had in the past taken some perverse pleasure in exhibiting Dr. Manette to the Jacques, I feel Defarge did hold some respect and empathy for Dr. Manette's plight. Still, with a wife like Madame Defarge I am sure he had little room for any private moments of sympathy for anything or anyone.

The dialogue between Defarge and Darnay is very powerful and brimming over with foreshadowing and reflective commentary. We note that Defarge speaks with "knitted brows." Darnay's comments about his feelings of being in France where he says "Indeed I am lost here. All here is so unprecedented, so changed, so sudden and unfair, that I am absolutely lost. Will you render me a little help?" are, I think, key lines. If we step back to Dr. Manette's circumstances, surely these words could also be exactly his. We have not as yet learned why Manette was in jail. Darnay also does not know the precise details of why he is in jail. What occurred so suddenly to Dr. Manette has also happened to Darnay. An arbitrary event occurs or law is passed and a person's entire world is completely overthrown.

Darnay then questions Defarge by saying "I am not to be buried here, prejudged, without any means of presenting my case?" Here our motif of being buried alive is again echoed. Here again we have Darnay in a situation where he is seen as an enemy of the state. What is so ironic is earlier in the novel he was seen as being a spy from France and a threat to England; now Darnay is seen as an enemy to France because he is French.

M. Defarge will only answer with the phrase "[y]ou will see." The repetition of this same response drives home the fact that what is in the past cannot be changed. Only the future will count, and Darnay's future is indeed bleak.

Near the end of the chapter Darnay comments "Now am I left, as if I were dead." Surely these lines further echo back to the thoughts Dr. Manette would have uttered during his incarceration. Now these lines propel us forward. How can Darnay possibly be recalled to life?


message 5: by Peter (last edited Oct 02, 2016 11:32AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Peter The chapter "The Grindstone" is one that presents the reader with wild swings of emotion. On their arrival in Paris to try and help Charles Darnay we have Dr. Manette proclaim that "I have a charmed life in this city." On the other hand, there is the "awful work" of the grindstone. The word choice that Dickens uses renders the grindstone as an object from hell that is operated by legions of devils. There are "horrible and cruel" faces of the "wildest savages in their most barbarous disguise." They are " hideous ... all bloody and sweaty." Dickens increases the horror with the phrase "howling, and all staring and glaring with beastly excitement." The successive words with the repetitive iamb pulse of "howling"' "staring", "glaring" and "beastly" introduce a primitive drum sound to their deathly preparations. As Dickens comments "such awful workers, and such awful work."

Can there be a much greater irony than when Dickens pairs the gentle white-haired Dr. Manette with the "awful workers" whose "long hair flapped back when the whirling of the grindstone brought their faces up ... more horrible and cruel than the visages of the wildest savages."

And so this weird and strange pairing, at this point in the novel, are aligned in their desire to recall to life Charles Darnay.


Tristram Shandy Peter wrote: "In general, I felt that Defarge had a moticum of regret that Darnay had returned. While Defarge had in the past taken some perverse pleasure in exhibiting Dr. Manette to the Jacques, I feel Defarge did hold some respect and empathy for Dr. Manette's plight."

Yes, exactly, Defarge seems to be less bent on destroying Darnay than his wife is. I always had the feeling that he frequently looked at his wife in order to see how she reacted, maybe hoping for a more relenting attitude in her, which never was shown. By the way, I think that Defarge showed the Doctor in his most miserable state of mind to the other Jacques because he thought that this way he would enrage his comrades more against the Ancien régime; so maybe this detail can already show that overthrowing the old authorities meant more to Defarge than respecting the privacy of his former master. On the other hand, he was there for his former master when he needed him.

One paradox is, though, that in the earlier Chapter Defarge pointed out the consequences of unjust imprisonment and implied that a government using these means would have to be overthrown, whereas now he is one of those who have established a system of control, surveillance and imprisonment.

You also mentioned Defarge's "knitted brow"; is the "knitted brow" not a typical sign of Lucie? Can we expect a connection here, or is it just a coincidence?


Peter Tristram wrote: "Peter wrote: "In general, I felt that Defarge had a moticum of regret that Darnay had returned. While Defarge had in the past taken some perverse pleasure in exhibiting Dr. Manette to the Jacques, ..."

There certainly is lots of knitting going on. I wonder if Madame Defarge's brows are also knitted?


message 8: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Peter wrote: "There certainly is lots of knitting going on. I wonder if Madame Defarge's brows are also knitted?"

I can't think of anything to say about this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uU5gs...


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Lovely nails. Insomnia cure. ;-)


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Love the Christmas wool too, Kim. I seriously wish we could get that here. Mind you I haven't tried.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) I haven't read the comments yet, but I shall do so. Thank you again for all your work and suggested questions, Tristram!

I was so shocked at the knocking at the door! Yet again this story has drawn a stifled gasp from me. And still Madame La Guillotine has not yet made her presence felt other than in the background. I must have been overwhelmed by the horrors, as I've said before, on a first reading, since I remembered this story as being constantly under the shadow of the guillotine.

Oh how I hate les Defarges! What pillocks! What is this about Madame D. looking threateningly at little Lucie? I can't imagine what that's about. I can now read the next section. I had great difficulty staying my hand from continuing on to the next chapter.

Dickens is very careful not to detract from Lucie's angelic image when he reports that she cannot entirely rejoice in her husband's initial rescue owing to the poor victims who had to face such a violent and gruesome end. Indeed this is the response that one would ideally have, but how many of us would have such a laudable reaction? I confess that I'm pretty sure that I would be so relieved that my husband had been 'recalled to life' that I would have no room for such worthy thoughts. I certainly do not want to be put to such a test, however.


message 12: by Kim (last edited Oct 03, 2016 12:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I didn't even notice the Christmas yarn. I only watched long enough to make sure I had the video I wanted. When we were in Michigan we saw a report on the news about a town crosswalk, where people.......cross the road. That's all they do all day long, and yet it made it on to You Tube for no reason at all other than people seem to like watching other people walk across the road, they just sit at their computers and watch. The commentator said it seemed like such a silly thing to do, but watching people knit is now popular, so the cross walk thing doesn't seem that dumb after all. Our Madame Defarge reminded me of it all.

http://thenextweb.com/socialmedia/201...


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Not quite an answer to your question on mob violence, Tristram, but Dickens is very much aware of the fickleness of the mob. One second their eyes are like daggers when anticipating the death of Charles Darnay and the next they are cheering him. Even when the mob changes favourably there is a sense of uneasiness born from a nagging expectation of a returning to the dark side. It is reminiscent of the crowds who welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday with "Hosanna" on their lips only to turn in a relatively short time to "Crucify Him!". The maxim 'Never trust a crowd' was not founded on a vacuum.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) It seems to me that The Knitter very definitely has the upper hand where her husband is concerned. She definitely is the brains of the outfit. Whatever she says goes; a scary woman indeed.


Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "Peter wrote: "There certainly is lots of knitting going on. I wonder if Madame Defarge's brows are also knitted?"

I can't think of anything to say about this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?..."


A very strange video indeed, and not her only strange video, it appears. It's not really soothing to me, but, quite on the contrary, it makes me feel impatient. But then, different folks, different strokes, and she seems to have a lot of followers.


Tristram Shandy Hilary wrote: "Dickens is very careful not to detract from Lucie's angelic image when he reports that she cannot entirely rejoice in her husband's initial rescue owing to the poor victims who had to face such a violent and gruesome end."

Don't worry, Hilary! I think that most people would first of all focus on their beloved ones and use up all their empathy in the care for them. What Dickens gives is here is one example of why Lucie Manette comes over as so bloodless and bland a character to me.


Peter I have just started the FutureLearn course "How to Read a Mind." I believe it might be of interest to anyone who has an interest in how we engage with the fictional characters we read.

Check it out.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Was there a link, Peter?


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Kim, maybe the statement of boredom 'it's like watching paint dry' is really a very pleasant pastime if we only look at it the right way! :p


message 20: by Peter (last edited Oct 04, 2016 05:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Peter Hilary wrote: "Was there a link, Peter?"

Hilary

Here is the link that will take you to the registration page. I have taken many FutureLearn courses and they are excellent. I think you will enjoy many of their offerings. All are completely free and no other hassles.

The course title is How to Read a Mind. It is a two week course and just started a couple of days ago.

Enjoy!


https://www.futurelearn.com/


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Thanks so much, Peter. :-)


Tristram Shandy Thanks, too, from me, Peter. I learn to appreciate the Internet more and more, although I am normally a hidebound conservative when it comes to technology.


Peter I think FutureLearn is one of the great gems of the Internet.


message 24: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Book III Chapter 1 - Phiz - November 1859




Before the Prison Tribunal

Book III Chapter 1

Phiz

Text Illustrated:

"He accompanied his conductor into a guard-room, smelling of common wine and tobacco, where certain soldiers and patriots, asleep and awake, drunk and sober, and in various neutral states between sleeping and waking, drunkenness and sobriety, were standing and lying about. The light in the guard-house, half derived from the waning oil-lamps of the night, and half from the overcast day, was in a correspondingly uncertain condition. Some registers were lying open on a desk, and an officer of a coarse, dark aspect, presided over these.

"Citizen Defarge," said he to Darnay's conductor, as he took a slip of paper to write on. "Is this the emigrant Evremonde?"

"This is the man."

"Your age, Evremonde?"

"Thirty-seven."

"Married, Evremonde?"

"Yes."

"Where married?"

"In England."

"Without doubt. Where is your wife, Evremonde?"

"In England."

"Without doubt. You are consigned, Evremonde, to the prison of La Force."

"Just Heaven!" exclaimed Darnay. "Under what law, and for what offence?"

The officer looked up from his slip of paper for a moment.

"We have new laws, Evremonde, and new offences, since you were here." He said it with a hard smile, and went on writing."



message 25: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Book III Chapter 7 - Phiz



The knock at the Door

Book III Chapter 7

Phiz

Text Illustrated:

"I thought, my father," said Lucie, excusing herself, with a pale face and in a faltering voice, "that I heard strange feet upon the stairs."

"My love, the staircase is as still as Death."

As he said the word, a blow was struck upon the door.

"Oh father, father. What can this be! Hide Charles. Save him!"

"My child," said the Doctor, rising, and laying his hand upon her shoulder, "I have saved him. What weakness is this, my dear! Let me go to the door."

He took the lamp in his hand, crossed the two intervening outer rooms, and opened it. A rude clattering of feet over the floor, and four rough men in red caps, armed with sabres and pistols, entered the room.

"The Citizen Evremonde, called Darnay," said the first.

"Who seeks him?" answered Darnay.

"I seek him. We seek him. I know you, Evremonde; I saw you before the Tribunal to-day. You are again the prisoner of the Republic."

The four surrounded him, where he stood with his wife and child clinging to him.

"Tell me how and why am I again a prisoner?"

"It is enough that you return straight to the Conciergerie, and will know to-morrow. You are summoned for to-morrow."


Commentary:

"Although Browne obviously felt some interest in the six November-December plates that close the pictorial-narrative sequence, "Before the Prison Tribunal" (Book III, chapter ; November) suggests that the graphic artist found this part of the text less than inspiring; certainly, this section offers few "descriptive passages [that are] sparkling and effective" (Edgar Browne). Indeed, the artist's son, perhaps implying a bias towards Dickens's earlier monthly serializations, finds the concluding book of A Tale of Two Cities "huddled up, instead of being spread out and elaborated in the usual Dickens manner". Cayzer notes that in "Before the Prison Tribunal" Dickens had offered little upon which the artist could elaborate:

....."an unadorned catalogue outlining the people, their states and behavior, and the setting that Darnay finds himself in. The monotony of the prose . . . blots out all personality and only gives Browne a few definite objects to include: the oil-lamps, and the registers lying on the desk. He does what he can, though, with this illustration bringing to mind, in its general composition, his depiction of Darnay's first trial in England, 'The Likeness' (Book II, chapter 3). A corresponding indifference and pitilessness. . . is also evident. But whereas in that picture there is a sense of decorum in the courtroom — judge and barristers in wigs, and spectators, in the main, fashionably dressed — Darnay's next ordeal. . .occurs, as Dickens's prose has indicated, under arbitrary circumstances."

Surely the greatest difference between the two scenes lies in the animation of the courtroom spectators and the dramatic juxtaposition of Carton and Darnay in "The Likeness" as opposed to a general lack of drama in "Before the Prison Tribunal," in which Browne depicts over half the figures as totally unconcerned about Darnay's arraignment. Browne has found some pictorial interest in the headgear of the figures, for in addition to the omnipresent revolutionary symbols, the Phrygian "red cap and tri-color cockade" that Dickens mentions, the artist has included several examples of the Jacques Louis David-designed feathered hats [linked costume note] of the revolutionary dignitaries. Darnay's military judge, "an officer of a coarse, dark aspect" as in the printed text, even wears the color-coordinated taffeta sash designed by the great pictorial chronicler of the French Revolution (these details are not mentioned until the sixth chapter, although the artist may, like Dickens, have consulted Thomas Carlyle's The French Revolution III, v, rather than that future chapter). Phiz has chosen to illustrate the precise moment at which Darnay questions the justice of the regime that the fanatics of "The Sea Rises" have installed. Consigned by the magistrate to the old debtors' prison of La Force, now rehabilitated for the reception of political prisoners, the arrested man exclaims as Phiz has him point at the slip of paper on which the sitting officer has been writing: "'Under what law, and for what offence' The officer looked up from his slip of paper for a moment".

However, Darnay seems no more agitated or impassioned here than he does in "The Likeness." While those about smile grimly, whisper, or regard him with glum expressions, he actually seems to smile faintly — but his expression is much the same in "The Knock at the Door." Is Phiz suggesting that Charles Darnay is the epitome of eighteenth-century Rationalism (what Lord Kenneth Clark in Civilization terms "The Smile of Reason"), a French democrat who has rejected the privileges of birth to join the British middle class Phiz's costuming of Darnay in this scene supports an affirmative answer. We note that he is distinguished from the rabble of patriots present by his fashionable English dress: caped travelling coat and top hat, held in the left hand (out of respect for what the judges before him ought to represent).

The officer of "dark aspect" in Dickens's text presides over open registers, surely intended to connected him to other documents memorializing the past and that other dark recorder, Madame Defarge. Unfortunately, Phiz has not followed up Dickens's textual description: no such books are evident. While the novelist merely has "certain soldiers and patriots . . .standing and lying about", Phiz has elected to show them clustered around a table, animatedly arguing while smoking and drinking while utterly oblivious to the arrest of yet another aristocrat. Another detail Browne has added is the fireplace (center), in front of which a uniformed soldier warms himself.

The hanging lamps, however, are consistent with "the waning oil-lamps of the night", although Browne has made the one above the socializing guardsmen clear burning and the other, above Darnay, smoky, an arrangement which Cayzer interprets as intended to "echo the shape of the scales of justice". Certainly, Darnay's fate at this point remains unclear.

The novel's final sequence begins with Darnay's re-arrest by three uncouth figures in "The Knock at the Door" (November). although Phiz's placing two of the arresting party in trousers and clogs rather than the respectable shoes and the breeches of the leader is consistent with the "rude clattering of feet" (Book III, Chapter 7, page 3), why Phiz has depicted three instead of four is problematic. In number (and possibly by implication moral force) the minions of brutality and oblivion are equal to the family of well-dressed, middle- class adults whom they menace. The three armed men (suggestive perhaps of the Three Fates) form a solid block, separating the pyramidal family (like her child, Lucie leans for protection against her husband, who relatively unmoved and tower-like stands head and shoulders above his wife) from the retreat of the roughly sketched-in door behind them. Juxtaposed against the refined furniture and elegant fireplace and mirror of the drawing-room, the heavy-set males seem especially out of place. Phiz depicts the head of the leader as bestial or non-human (implying an absence of both intellect and compassion) and all three as armed to the teeth, the "sabres and pistols" of the printed text augmented by the leader's sword and his followers' shortened spears, which point upward as if denoting the family's fate.

Other, non-Dickensian details that are at variance with the text add to the scene's melodrama. The clock on the mantle piece is set at five minutes to midnight, signaling the doom that threatens to engulf the family. Dr. Manette's candle (in the printed text, the light is clearly described as a "lamp") has gone out, its smoke without light recalling the smoking lamp in the guardroom of the companion plate, "Before the Tribunal." although the scene in the text is indeed lit by the fire, the text implies by the departure of Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher to buy provisions that the hour of the arrest is somewhat earlier. Downstage (and the stage direction is pertinent, considering the tableau poses and the shallowness of the field), nearest us, is Dr. Manette, who will again attempt to intervene, but whose bent figure and gesture towards a reasonable mean (like his snuffed candle) already imply his failure to counteract the anarchic course of events that the Defarges and a mysterious "one other" (still not identified in the letter- press at this point) have set in motion.

Thus, in the final sequence Phiz uses elements of contemporary, domestic melodrama inherited from the Gothic novels of Matthew G. Lewis and Anne Radcliffe ( particularly physical threats to the hero, a child or young woman in distress, and the possible triumph of evil over good and the foreign over the English) to build suspense without giving away the climax and resolution of the conflict. In "Before the Tribunal," as we have seen, Phiz undercuts the melodrama by having the majority of the plate's figures utterly unconcerned about Darnay's plight. Their utter lack of interest in Darnay's arrest and disposition foil the reader/viewer's engagement with text and plate. That Darnay's initial release is but a "red herring" is revealed immediately by the succeeding plate — one need not even scan the letter-press to understand the twist in the plot. The power to influence the outcome has shifted from Darnay (right in "Before the Tribunal"), pointing his finger at the military judge (reflecting the friendly difference of opinion between two of the carousers, right) to suggest his self-confidence, to the shag-eared villain (right) who points accusatorially at Darnay in "The Knock at the Door." The hand that before had lightly held his respectable top-hat now gestures downward, as if he is pleading to remain with his wife and child. At this tense moment, the flame of hope, represented by the smoking taper that Dr. Manette holds, seems to have been irrevocably snuffed. The viewer fully expects that the last, double number will feature a scene depicting either Darnay's being transported by tumbril to his place of execution or his being placed under the ominous blade of Madame de la Guillotine."



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Kim Book III Chapter 1 - John McLenan



Headnote vignette

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, Chapter 1, "In Secret"

Harper's Weekly September 1859

Text Illustrated:

"There were in the cell, a chair, a table, and a straw mattress. As the gaoler made a general inspection of these objects, and of the four walls, before going out, a wandering fancy wandered through the mind of the prisoner leaning against the wall opposite to him, that this gaoler was so unwholesomely bloated, both in face and person, as to look like a man who had been drowned and filled with water. When the gaoler was gone, he thought in the same wandering way, "Now am I left, as if I were dead." Stopping then, to look down at the mattress, he turned from it with a sick feeling, and thought, "And here in these crawling creatures is the first condition of the body after death."

"Five paces by four and a half, five paces by four and a half, five paces by four and a half." The prisoner walked to and fro in his cell, counting its measurement, and the roar of the city arose like muffled drums with a wild swell of voices added to them. "He made shoes, he made shoes, he made shoes." The prisoner counted the measurement again, and paced faster, to draw his mind with him from that latter repetition. "The ghosts that vanished when the wicket closed. There was one among them, the appearance of a lady dressed in black, who was leaning in the embrasure of a window, and she had a light shining upon her golden hair, and she looked like * * * * Let us ride on again, for God's sake, through the illuminated villages with the people all awake! * * * * He made shoes, he made shoes, he made shoes. * * * * Five paces by four and a half." With such scraps tossing and rolling upward from the depths of his mind, the prisoner walked faster and faster, obstinately counting and counting; and the roar of the city changed to this extent — that it still rolled in like muffled drums, but with the wail of voices that he knew, in the swell that rose above them."


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Book III Chapter 1 - John McLenan



"You are a cursed emigrant," cried a farrier

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, Chapter 1, "In Secret"

Text Illustrated:

"Emigrant, my friends! Do you not see me here, in France, of my own will?"

"You are a cursed emigrant," cried a farrier, making at him in a furious manner through the press, hammer in hand; "and you are a cursed aristocrat!"

The postmaster interposed himself between this man and the rider's bridle (at which he was evidently making), and soothingly said, "Let him be; let him be! He will be judged at Paris."

"Judged!" repeated the farrier, swinging his hammer. "Ay! and condemned as a traitor." At this the crowd roared approval.

Checking the postmaster, who was for turning his horse's head to the yard (the drunken patriot sat composedly in his saddle looking on, with the line round his wrist), Darnay said, as soon as he could make his voice heard:

"Friends, you deceive yourselves, or you are deceived. I am not a traitor."

"He lies!" cried the smith. "He is a traitor since the decree. His life is forfeit to the people. His cursed life is not his own!"



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Kim Book III Chapter 2 - John McLenan



Headnote vignette

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, Ch. 2 ("The Grindstone")

Text Illustrated:

"Lucie had, by that time, fallen into a stupor on the floor at his feet, clinging to his hand. Miss Pross had laid the child down on his own bed, and her head had gradually fallen on the pillow beside her pretty charge. O the long, long night, with the moans of the poor wife! And O the long, long night, with no return of her father and no tidings!"

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Book III Chapter 2 - John McLenan



Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, Ch. 2 ("The Grindstone")

John McLenan

Harper's Weekly October 1859

Text Illustrated:

"The people in possession of the house had let them in at the gate, and they had rushed in to work at the grindstone; it had evidently been set up there for their purpose, as in a convenient and retired spot.

But, such awful workers, and such awful work!

The grindstone had a double handle, and, turning at it madly were two men, whose faces, as their long hair flapped back when the whirlings of the grindstone brought their faces up, were more horrible and cruel than the visages of the wildest savages in their most barbarous disguise. False eyebrows and false moustaches were stuck upon them, and their hideous countenances were all bloody and sweaty, and all awry with howling, and all staring and glaring with beastly excitement and want of sleep. As these ruffians turned and turned, their matted locks now flung forward over their eyes, now flung backward over their necks, some women held wine to their mouths that they might drink; and what with dropping blood, and what with dropping wine, and what with the stream of sparks struck out of the stone, all their wicked atmosphere seemed gore and fire. The eye could not detect one creature in the group free from the smear of blood. Shouldering one another to get next at the sharpening-stone, were men stripped to the waist, with the stain all over their limbs and bodies; men in all sorts of rags, with the stain upon those rags; men devilishly set off with spoils of women's lace and silk and ribbon, with the stain dyeing those trifles through and through. Hatchets, knives, bayonets, swords, all brought to be sharpened, were all red with it. Some of the hacked swords were tied to the wrists of those who carried them, with strips of linen and fragments of dress: ligatures various in kind, but all deep of the one colour. And as the frantic wielders of these weapons snatched them from the stream of sparks and tore away into the streets, the same red hue was red in their frenzied eyes;--eyes which any unbrutalised beholder would have given twenty years of life, to petrify with a well-directed gun."



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Kim Book III Chapter 5 - John McLenan



"I call myself the Samson of the fire-wood guillotine"

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, chapter 5 ("The Wood-Sawyer")

Harper's Weekly 1859

Text Illustrated:

"The wood-sawyer, who was a little man with a redundancy of gesture (he had once been a mender of roads), cast a glance at the prison, pointed at the prison, and putting his ten fingers before his face to represent bars, peeped through them jocosely.

"But it's not my business," said he. And went on sawing his wood.

Next day he was looking out for her, and accosted her the moment she appeared.

"What? Walking here again, citizeness?"

"Yes, citizen."

"Ah! A child too! Your mother, is it not, my little citizeness?"

"Do I say yes, mamma?" whispered little Lucie, drawing close to her.

"Yes, dearest."

"Yes, citizen."

"Ah! But it's not my business. My work is my business. See my saw! I call it my Little Guillotine. La, la, la; La, la, la! And off his head comes!"

The billet fell as he spoke, and he threw it into a basket.

"I call myself the Samson of the firewood guillotine. See here again! Loo, loo, loo; Loo, loo, loo! And off her head comes! Now, a child. Tickle, tickle; Pickle, pickle! And off its head comes. All the family!"

Lucie shuddered as he threw two more billets into his basket, but it was impossible to be there while the wood-sawyer was at work, and not be in his sight. Thenceforth, to secure his good will, she always spoke to him first, and often gave him drink-money, which he readily received.

He was an inquisitive fellow, and sometimes when she had quite forgotten him in gazing at the prison roof and grates, and in lifting her heart up to her husband, she would come to herself to find him looking at her, with his knee on his bench and his saw stopped in its work. "But it's not my business!" he would generally say at those times, and would briskly fall to his sawing again."



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Kim Book III Chapter 6 - John McLenan



Headnote vignette, Book III, chapter 6 ("Triumph")

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities

The twenty-fourth installment of the novel appeared in Harper's Weekly (October 1859)

Text illustrated:

"Then, began one of those extraordinary scenes with which the populace sometimes gratified their fickleness, or their better impulses towards generosity and mercy, or which they regarded as some set-off against their swollen account of cruel rage. No man can decide now to which of these motives such extraordinary scenes were referable; it is probable, to a blending of all the three, with the second predominating. No sooner was the acquittal pronounced, than tears were shed as freely as blood at another time, and such fraternal embraces were bestowed upon the prisoner by as many of both sexes as could rush at him, that after his long and unwholesome confinement he was in danger of fainting from exhaustion; none the less because he knew very well, that the very same people, carried by another current, would have rushed at him with the very same intensity, to rend him to pieces and strew him over the streets. . . . [W]hen he and Doctor Manette emerged from the gate, there was a great crowd about it, in which there seemed to be every face he had seen in Court--except two, for which he looked in vain. On his coming out, the concourse made at him anew, weeping, embracing, and shouting, all by turns and all together, until the very tide of the river on the bank of which the mad scene was acted, seemed to run mad, like the people on the shore.

They put him into a great chair they had among them, and which they had taken either out of the Court itself, or one of its rooms or passages. Over the chair they had thrown a red flag, and to the back of it they had bound a pike with a red cap on its top. In this car of triumph, not even the Doctor's entreaties could prevent his being carried to his home on men's shoulders, with a confused sea of red caps heaving about him, and casting up to sight from the stormy deep such wrecks of faces, that he more than once misdoubted his mind being in confusion, and that he was in the tumbril on his way to the Guillotine.

In wild dreamlike procession, embracing whom they met and pointing him out, they carried him on. Reddening the snowy streets with the prevailing Republican colour, in winding and tramping through them, as they had reddened them below the snow with a deeper dye, they carried him thus into the courtyard of the building where he lived. Her father had gone on before, to prepare her, and when her husband stood upon his feet, she dropped insensible in his arms."



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Kim Book III Chapter 7 - John McLenan



The Citizen

John McLenan

Book III Chapter 7 Harper's Weekly October 1859

Text Illustrated:

"My child," said the Doctor, rising, and laying his hand upon her shoulder, "I have saved him. What weakness is this, my dear! Let me go to the door."

He took the lamp in his hand, crossed the two intervening outer rooms, and opened it. A rude clattering of feet over the floor, and four rough men in red caps, armed with sabres and pistols, entered the room.

"The Citizen Evrémonde, called Darnay," said the first.

"Who seeks him?" answered Darnay.

"I seek him. We seek him. I know you, Evremonde; I saw you before the Tribunal to-day. You are again the prisoner of the Republic."

The four surrounded him, where he stood with his wife and child clinging to him.

"Tell me how and why am I again a prisoner?"

"It is enough that you return straight to the Conciergerie, and will know to-morrow. You are summoned for to-morrow."



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Kim Book III Chapter 1 - Fred Barnard



"Some registers were lying open on a desk and an officer of a coarse dark aspect presided over these"

Book III Chapter 1

Fred Barnard

The Household Edition 1870s

Text Illustrated:

"He accompanied his conductor into a guard-room, smelling of common wine and tobacco, where certain soldiers and patriots, asleep and awake, drunk and sober, and in various neutral states between sleeping and waking, drunkenness and sobriety, were standing and lying about. The light in the guard-house, half derived from the waning oil-lamps of the night, and half from the overcast day, was in correspondingly uncertain condition. Some registers were lying open on a desk, and an officer of a coarse dark aspect presided over these.

Citizen Defarge," said he to Darnay's conductor as he took a slip of paper to write on, "is this the emigrant Evrémonde?"

"This is the man."

"Your age, Evrémonde?"

"Thirty-seven."

Married, Evrémonde?"

"Yes."

"Where married?"

"In England."


Commentary:

"Even if we disliked the subjects of the previous illustration — the bullying and hectoring of Stryver and those aloof émigrés who through their negligence of their responsibilities under the L'Ancien Régime, we cannot find the arbitrary law of the new republic and its administrators any more praiseworthy. Since Darnay is calmly answering his interrogator's questions and is clearly not moved to exclaim "Just Heaven!" we know that the officer has yet to consign him to the prison of La Force. Instead of studiously filling out the slip of paper mentioned in the text and recording the prisoner's laconic answers, the officer, slumping over his desk and the large directory — presumably of aristocratic names — studies Darnay assiduously, but also with a distinctly sinister expression.

Whereas John McLenan in the Harper's Weekly series uses the headnote vignette for 24 September 1859 to let the reader know at once that the "heretofore" Marquis St. Evrémonde, Charles Darnay, has been jailed, Fred Barnard in the Household Edition presents a study of the new government's "officials" even as he maintains the suspense by not telegraphing what shortly is about to befall Charles Darnay.

In "Before the Prison Tribunal" in the first of the two illustrations for November 1859, Phiz had provided a rather Baroque visual accompaniment to the text, situating the arraignment of Charles Darnay in a sprawling scene of the new officialdom's amateurish incompetence. In contrast, Barnard focuses the reader's attention on four solid figures in complementary poses: the officer (center), Defarge (right of center), a heavily armed Jacobin (left), and (back turned towards the reader) Charles Darnay himself. Whereas, perhaps appropriately, Phiz loses Darnay in the crowded guard room, Barnard distinguishes him by pose and dress. Whereas Phiz had not been much interested in studying any of the rather multitudinous, cartoon-like characters in the arraignment scene, Barnard gives us a close-up of the swarthy officer, who studies Darnay as a cat would study a canary or a mouse; Citizen Defarge's closed arms and sharp glance suggest that Darnay can expect neither understanding nor compassion from that quarter. The raised cup in the background is a metonymy for the drunkenness of the inmates. In many ways, Phiz's plate is a much better realization of the details mentioned in the text — "the waning oil-lamps", the desk, and Darnay's interrogators — but Barnard captures far better the great seriousness of Defarge and the cool malevolence of the presiding officer. This is not a mere vanity fair, but a kangaroo court that will exact the full penalty of the anti-emigre law without tempering it with compassion or making exceptions for individuals as well motivated as Darnay. Those studied stares betoken implacable resentment of all aristocrats."



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Kim Book III Chapter 2 - Fred Barnard



"The Grindstone"

Book III Chapter 2

Fred Barnard

Text Illustrated:

"But such awful workers, and such awful work!

The grindstone had a double handle, and turning at it madly were two men, whose faces, as their hair flapped back when the whirlings of the grindstone brought their faces up, were more horrible and cruel than the visages of the wildest savages in their most barbarous disguise. False eyebrows and false moustaches were stuck upon them, and their hideous countenances were all bloody and sweaty, and all awry with howling, and all staring and glaring with beastly excitement and want of sleep. As these ruffians turned and turned, their matted locks now flung forward over their eyes, now flung backward over their necks, some women held wine to their mouths that they might drink; and what with dropping blood, and what with dropping wine, and what with the stream of sparks struck out of the stone, all their wicked atmosphere seemed gore and fire. The eye could not detect one creature in the group free from smear of blood. Shouldering one another to get next to the sharpening-stone were men stripped to the waist, with the stain all over their limbs and bodies; men in all sorts of rags , with the stain upon those rags; men devilishly set off with the spoils of women's lace and silk and ribbon, with the stain dyeing those trifles through and through. Hatchets, knives, bayonets, swords, all brought to be sharpened, were all red with it. Some of the hacked swords were tied to the wrists of those who carried them with strips of linen and fragments of dress: ligatures various in kind, but all deep of the one colour. And as the frantic wielders of these weapons snatched them from the stream of sparks, and tore away into the streets, the same red hue was red in their frenzied eyes; — eyes which any unbrutalised beholder would have given twenty years of life to petrify with a well-directed gun."


Commentary:

"In what in a Phiz-illustrated book would be termed a "dark plate" Fred Barnard realizes the moment at which Jarvis Lorry and Alexandre Manette look out upon the courtyard of the mansion that Tellson's has acquired in Paris. What they see through the partially opened blind is the shocking spectacle of a crazed mob preparing to sharpen their weapons on a large grindstone.

Having encountered in Dickens's Carlylean prose in "The Grindstone," and having already witnessed (so to speak) the rough justice administered by the slovenly "officials" of the new regime on Charles Darnay in the previous illustration, the reader of the Household Edition now shudders as he or she inspects the horrid details and swirling energy of the woodcut in which Barnard realizes Dickens's all too vivid description of the mob violence of the September Massacres of 1792, the date given by Dickens being just past the middle of that month.

Whereas John McLenan in the Harper's Weekly series uses "But such awful workers, and such awful work!" for 1 October 1859 had realized the same scene and given a very good representation of the gigantic grindstone, his dozen "patriots" — all looking rather alike, owing to the moustaches that Dickens mentions — seem more human and less deranged than those far more numerous semi-nude maniacs in Barnard's Household Edition illustration, although the massive swords which McLenan's fully-dressed males are sharpening are certainly formidable implements of destruction. Muting the horror, McLenan has but sparingly adorned his figures with the linen mentioned in the text, and only one — the one to the left turning the grindstone — has a hatchet stuck in his belt. Barnard's version of the same scene is a far more grisly but also a far more effective visual rendition of Dickens's nightmarish description of the Paris mob. All the more horrible is the obliqueness of Dickens's description, for he merely suggests the carnage by repetition of the color "red," "blood," and "bloody," implying by references to linen, ribbons, and lace that the victims are helpless civilians. In fact, the mob have been attacking the inmates of such prisons as La Force, where Darnay has been incarcerated, awaiting trial. Dickens seems to be appealing to the reader's prior knowledge of the history of the revolution, for he has situated Tellson's bank in the neighborhood of the converted prison of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, where the massacre of prisoners began in early September, 1792. One needs no such specific knowledge of the liquidation of some 1,200 aristocrats to feel the utter horror and disgust that Dickens's prose and Barnard's illustration convey with such immediacy.

In "Before the Prison Tribunal" in the first of the two illustrations for November 1859, Phiz had commented on the laxness of the justice administration appointed by the new regime, but had not dwelt on the atrocities of the September Massacres. Barnard, however, offers a pair of visual commentaries on the more brutal aspects of the revolution, taking his cue, as we have seen, from Dickens's indignation at the wanton slaughter of women and children by bloody, savage proletarians maddened by wine and years of poverty and neglect. The time, as the darkness of the plate suggests, is night. Lucie, her father, and daughter have just arrived to support Charles Darnay, who they fear has fallen into the hands of violent revolutionaries. Shortly after their arrival at Tellson's banking house in the St. Germaine quarter of Paris, a mob of forty to fifty has turned up in the courtyard to re-sharpen weapons made blunt by slaughter. Ironically, before we encounter the sensational illustration we read the message from Doctor Manette that "Charles is safe"; we doubt that assessment and fear for his safety and that of his family as we turn the page."



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Kim Book III Chapter 5 - Fred Barnard



The Carmagnole

Book III Chapter 5

Fred Barnard

The Household Edition 1870s

Text Illustrated:

"The miserable shop of the wood-sawyer was so small, that its whole surface furnished very indifferent space for this legend. He had got somebody to scrawl it up for him, however, who had squeezed Death in with most inappropriate difficulty. On his house-top, he displayed pike and cap, as a good citizen must, and in a window he had stationed his saw inscribed as his "Little Sainte Guillotine"—for the great sharp female was by that time popularly canonised. His shop was shut and he was not there, which was a relief to Lucie, and left her quite alone.

But, he was not far off, for presently she heard a troubled movement and a shouting coming along, which filled her with fear. A moment afterwards, and a throng of people came pouring round the corner by the prison wall, in the midst of whom was the wood-sawyer hand in hand with The Vengeance. There could not be fewer than five hundred people, and they were dancing like five thousand demons. There was no other music than their own singing. They danced to the popular Revolution song, keeping a ferocious time that was like a gnashing of teeth in unison. Men and women danced together, women danced together, men danced together, as hazard had brought them together. At first, they were a mere storm of coarse red caps and coarse woollen rags; but, as they filled the place, and stopped to dance about Lucie, some ghastly apparition of a dance-figure gone raving mad arose among them. They advanced, retreated, struck at one another's hands, clutched at one another's heads, spun round alone, caught one another and spun round in pairs, until many of them dropped. While those were down, the rest linked hand in hand, and all spun round together: then the ring broke, and in separate rings of two and four they turned and turned until they all stopped at once, began again, struck, clutched, and tore, and then reversed the spin, and all spun round another way. Suddenly they stopped again, paused, struck out the time afresh, formed into lines the width of the public way, and, with their heads low down and their hands high up, swooped screaming off. No fight could have been half so terrible as this dance. It was so emphatically a fallen sport—a something, once innocent, delivered over to all devilry—a healthy pastime changed into a means of angering the blood, bewildering the senses, and steeling the heart. Such grace as was visible in it, made it the uglier, showing how warped and perverted all things good by nature were become. The maidenly bosom bared to this, the pretty almost-child's head thus distracted, the delicate foot mincing in this slough of blood and dirt, were types of the disjointed time.

This was the Carmagnole. As it passed, leaving Lucie frightened and bewildered in the doorway of the wood-sawyer's house, the feathery snow fell as quietly and lay as white and soft, as if it had never been."


Commentary:

"In his second expose of the grim realities behind the slogan "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity," Fred Barnard realizes the moment at which Lucie Manette finds herself entrapped in a bacchanal near the prison of La Force where she has been visiting her husband in "The Wood-Sawyer".

Having already encountered the passage realized in "The Carmagnole" several pages in advance of the actual illustration, the reader is tempted to revert to the passage to see how Barnard has visualized Dickens's riotous street scene which involves the Gothic novelist's suspense-generating device of placing a child or young woman in danger. The place is near Lucie's station outside the walls of La Force, a location that enables her to catch sight of the upper window to which her husband can occasionally gain access at mid-afternoon. Often she has little Lucie with her when, lingering up to two hours at a time, she is often accosted by the wood-sawyer, who calls his saw his "Little Guillotine" because he fancies that in cutting billets he is chopping off the heads of entire family of aristocrats. And so a year and three months of her husband's imprisonment goes by without event — until this winter's day at the little shop of the wood-sawyer.

Whereas John McLenan in the Harper's Weekly series had depicted the wood-sawyer as simple worker in "I call myself the Samson of the fire-wood guillotine" (8 October 1859), Barnard chooses a much more dramatic moment in the same chapter for illustration, showing the wood-sawyer (center) as an ecstatic celebrant in an orgiastic dance of dozens of Saint Antoine "patriots," including a bearded woman in wooden clogs and Jacobin cap whom we may suppose is Madame Defarge's special friend, The Vengeance. Just left of center, trapped in the middle of the circle of dancers, is Lucie, in respectable hat and dress. In the background Barnard has identified the wood-sawyer's shop by two signs in French: to the left, "Marchand de Bois," and just above Lucie's head "Liberte Egalite Fraternite ou Morte" — the latter being a precise translation of what Dickens terms the "standard inscription" for the houses thereabout, "Death" on the wood-sawyer's sign apparently having been worked with some difficulty."



Peter Kim wrote: "Book III Chapter 7 - John McLenan



The Citizen

John McLenan

Book III Chapter 7 Harper's Weekly October 1859

Text Illustrated:

"My child," said the Doctor, rising, and laying his hand upon her..."


John McLenan's work has a much less refined look to it than Phiz's, yet I am coming to enjoy them more and more. McLenan's characters are much more robust and gritty looking. This, I think, is an asset. While Phiz is my favourite illustrator, many of his illustrations seem rather refined, very good, and yet lacking the dark and gloomy mood and atmosphere that hovers over TTC.

I found Phiz's illustrations that contained the Defarge's to have really missed the mark ( or perhaps the image I held in my mind) and his crowd scenes, while striking, seem to lack the grit and granular feeling of McLenan.


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Kim Book III Chapter 2 - Felix O. C. Darley



The Grindstone

Felix O. C. Darley

Household Edition 1863

Commentary

"To add to the horror of the snapshot of revolutionary violence Darley has introduced a severed head on a sabre (upper center), and has a woman jointly commanding control of the grindstone (center). Unlike Fred Barnard, however, in the 1874 realization of the scene, Darley does not exaggerate the size of the grindstone or embellish the figures with grotesque touches to intensify the savagery of the crowd. However, in overlooking the more gruesome aspects of Dickens's description of the mob — "Shouldering one another to get next at the sharpening-stone, were men stripped to the waist, with the stain all over their limbs and bodies — Darley seems to be indulging in a species of censorship, ennobling rather than conveying accurately Dickens's image of these revolutionaries in the bloody September Massacres.

Although all nineteenth-century illustrators of the 1859 novel have at least one scene depicting the atavism of the Saint Antoine mob under the leadership of the Defarges, the original illustrator, Hablot Knight Browne does not depict the grisly scene of the mobile vulgus preparing to slaughter imprisoned aristocrats, the description indicating that the demonic celebrants have already bathed in the blood of their enemies. Savage enough is the behavior the revolutionaries as they seize Foulon at the city hall in Phiz's second illustration for the fifth monthly installment, The Sea Rises. As in the Household Edition illustration entitled The Grindstone, the breakdown of civil authority has liberated the worst impulses of working-class men and women alike.

Two of the book's initial American illustrators, John McLenan and Sol Eytinge, Jr., have included realizations of scenes of mob violence in their narrative-pictorial sequences. Whereas the weekly installments in All the Year Round have no illustrations whatsoever, the weekly installments in Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization have at least two illustrations each, usually a regular wood-engraving (which becomes in the T. B. Peterson volume a full-page illustration) and a headnote vignette, a situation which gave McLenan the flexibility to alert the reader to an important event in the week's installment as well as to realize a significant moment in the action. Thus, for Book Three, Chapter Two ( October 1859), McLenan depicts the weapon-sharpening scene outside Tellson's with vigor, as fully-clothed but burly and uncouth sans-culottes utilize the grindstone, in contrast to the tranquil scene of Lucie and her daughter, possible objects of anti-aristocratic and xenophobic mob violence, in the uncaptioned headnote vignette; on the facing page we have the all-male crowd sharpening sabres (presumably part of the arms cache seized at the Bastille). In particular, one masculine arm holds aloft a blood-drenched blade (center). Using this same organizational strategy, Darley places a severed head atop a sabre or sword blade in much the same position. However, Darley's insurgents, shown against a smoky urban backdrop, are less heavy in limbs and more refined in their features — indeed, the uniformed man in the hat implies the participation of bourgeoisie in the affair. In short, Darley gives us ordinary people, transformed by circumstance and license into sadistic killers, whereas McLenan makes his homicidal horde into more primitive types. Darley's characters are more dynamic, caught in the midst of action, as heads and weapons, emerging in the background, add to the impression of chaos and confusion.

The most emotionally charged version of this horrific scene occurs in Fred Barnard's illustrations for the 1874 Household Edition of the novel. Vividly realizing the scene as Dickens describes it, Fred Barnard surrounds an oversized grindstone with savage, sharp-toothed revelers, half-naked and crazed by drink; such visual distortion amounting to editorial hyperbole also occurs in Sol Eytinge, Junior's image of mob violence, The Vengeance as he has transformed the grocer's drum-beating wife into an ogress, goggle-eyed, fearsome, and blood-thirsty. The reasonable and realistic Darley fails to capture this "night side" of the scene of impending violence and retribution, despite his Rembrandtesque shadows and smoking torch."



message 36: by Kim (last edited Oct 09, 2016 01:51PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Book III Chapter 1 - A. A. Dixon



You are consigned to La Force

Book III Chapter 1

A. A. Dixon

Collins Edition 1905

Text Illustrated:

"Where is your wife, Evremonde?"

"In England."

"Without doubt. You are consigned, Evremonde, to the prison of La Force."

"Just Heaven!" exclaimed Darnay. "Under what law, and for what offence?"

The officer looked up from his slip of paper for a moment.

"We have new laws, Evremonde, and new offences, since you were here." He said it with a hard smile, and went on writing."




Book III Chapter 7 - A. A. Dixon



I know you, Evremonde!

Book III Chapter 7

A. A. Dixon

Collins Edition 1905

Text Illustrated:

"I thought, my father," said Lucie, excusing herself, with a pale face and in a faltering voice, "that I heard strange feet upon the stairs."

"My love, the staircase is as still as Death."

As he said the word, a blow was struck upon the door.

"Oh father, father. What can this be! Hide Charles. Save him!"

"My child," said the Doctor, rising, and laying his hand upon her shoulder, "I have saved him. What weakness is this, my dear! Let me go to the door."

He took the lamp in his hand, crossed the two intervening outer rooms, and opened it. A rude clattering of feet over the floor, and four rough men in red caps, armed with sabres and pistols, entered the room.

"The Citizen Evremonde, called Darnay," said the first.

"Who seeks him?" answered Darnay.

"I seek him. We seek him. I know you, Evremonde; I saw you before the Tribunal to-day. You are again the prisoner of the Republic."

The four surrounded him, where he stood with his wife and child clinging to him.

"Tell me how and why am I again a prisoner?"

"It is enough that you return straight to the Conciergerie, and will know to-morrow. You are summoned for to-morrow."



message 37: by Kim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim I missed poor Harry Furniss:


Book III Chapter 1 - Harry Furniss



"On the Way to Paris"

Book III Chapter 1

Harry Furniss

Charles Dickens Library Edition 1910

Text Illustrated:

"Darnay complied, and was taken back to the guard-house, where other patriots in rough red caps were smoking, drinking, and sleeping, by a watch-fire. Here he paid a heavy price for his escort, and hence he started with it on the wet, wet roads at three o'clock in the morning.

The escort were two mounted patriots in red caps and tri-coloured cockades, armed with national muskets and sabres, who rode one on either side of him.

The escorted governed his own horse, but a loose line was attached to his bridle, the end of which one of the patriots kept girded round his wrist. In this state they set forth with the sharp rain driving in their faces: clattering at a heavy dragoon trot over the uneven town pavement, and out upon the mire-deep roads. In this state they traversed without change, except of horses and pace, all the mire-deep leagues that lay between them and the capital.

They travelled in the night, halting an hour or two after daybreak, and lying by until the twilight fell. The escort were so wretchedly clothed, that they twisted straw round their bare legs, and thatched their ragged shoulders to keep the wet off. Apart from the personal discomfort of being so attended, and apart from such considerations of present danger as arose from one of the patriots being chronically drunk, and carrying his musket very recklessly, Charles Darnay did not allow the restraint that was laid upon him to awaken any serious fears in his breast; for, be reasoned with himself that it could have no reference to the merits of an individual case that was not yet stated, and of representations, confirmable by the prisoner in the Abbaye, that were not yet made."


Commentary:

"Although the illustration is situated at the close of Book Two, "The Golden Thread," the subject matter and the caption point to the opening chapter of the concluding book, when Charles Darnay, having inherited his uncle's title, feels responsible the St. Evémonde family retainer, Gabelle, who has written Darnay from the former royalist prison of La Abbaye. Furniss has resumed the ink-and-wash style which he employed for The Fall of the Bastille and The End of Foulon, a style perhaps suggestive of a photograph, and therefore of an historical recreation rather than a literary realization.

That Charles Darnay is placing himself in extreme danger as, "drawn to the loadstone rock," he returns to Paris to rescue the functionary of the house of St. Evrémonde, Gabelle, from imprisonment in the Abbaye, the reader of the 1910 edition knows before even beginning the third book that Darnay will probably be arrested. The ink-wash drawing transformed into a lithograph clearly shows a cold, stolid Darnay in fashionable hat and riding cloak "escorted" by two armed Jacobins, whose faces we do not see and who remain undistinguished as representatives of an armed and menacing political faction posing a danger to any collaborators of the Old Regime. Prominent in the drawing is the foregrounded Jacabin's enormous cutlass, signifying Darnay's loss of autonomy as he makes his way to Paris. Already his mission is futile, as the men in the red caps with the tri-color cockades (their only salient features) have seized him as their prisoner. Consistent with Thomas Carlyle's description in The French Revolution, of the weather in northern France in the latter part of August 1792 as cold and wet — Dickens describes Darnay's journey "on the wet, wet roads at three o'clock in the morning" — the illustration is indeed "gloomy." The medium permitted Furniss to inject a watery, indistinct quality into the picture, as if one is viewing the three mounted figures in the rain.

Ironically, Darnay has set out from England on 14 August 1792, just the day after the French royal family were consigned to the Prison of the Temple and just four days after the storming of the Tuileries and the new government enacted the forfeiture of all émigré lands. However, that Darnay as a returned emigrant must forfeit his life is not technically correct,

".......for this law was not brought in until 28 March 1793, when the death penalty was introduced for anyone who could not show that he had been in continued residence since 9 May 1792......."

Furniss may not have been aware of the fact that Dickens deliberately shifted Darnay's journey from "the first month of the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety-three" (revised in MS) to precisely this date in late summer 1792 to exploit the irony of his arriving in France under such turbulent and dangerous conditions. In fact, "That night — it was the fourteenth of August" (Book Two, Chapter Twenty-four ) does not occur in the manuscript). Given the dilatory nature of international communications at this time, Darnay could not in all likelihood have heard of this perilous turn of events upon setting out, and only after his consignment to prison could he have learned of the fate of the royal family.

Other illustrators in their coverage of the closing chapter of Book Two and the opening chapter of Book Three do not seem to have been interested in Darnay's journey — indeed, only John MacLenan in his Harper's Weekly headnote vignette for the episode (17 September 1859 installment) depicts a mounted Charles Darnay, a figure riding fast and apparently oblivious to the menacing, leafless trees (surely symbolic rather than literal, given the time of the year) on either side of the road. The other illustrators, following Phiz's cue in the original monthly illustrations, focus on the arrest of Darnay in Paris, a scene which Furniss sketchily realizes next in his sequence as the ardent and handsome young man reasonably pleads his case before a ragtag official in the guard house, which seems to be populated by a drunken mob rather than regular soldiers."



message 38: by Kim (last edited Oct 09, 2016 01:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Book III Chapter 1 - Harry Furniss



Darnay Arrested

Book III Chapter 1

Harry Furniss

Charles Dickens Library Edition 1910

Commentary:

"In the text Darnay expresses his shock and disbelief at being consigned to a prison without first being charged with specific crimes (of which he is completely ignorant, little realizing that to the new regime the sins of the fathers are visited upon their sons). However, the illustration sums up the entire scene prior to the dialogue in the guardroom, whose disreputable inhabitants — heretofore disenfranchised members of the proletariat suddenly empowered by the collapse of the old, autocratic system of privilege for a few and poverty for many — are in no way are inclined to be sympathetic to one of Darnay's background. Ever the humorist, Furniss finds opportunities for comic relief in the postures and attitudes of the drunken, disorderly soldiers who witness Darnay's arrest as a returned aristocrat or "émigré," rather than a "Citizen" like Defarge.

Although the highly ethical Charles Darnay has been "drawn to the loadstone rock" to rescue the functionary of the house of St. Evrémonde, Gabelle, the rough justice that the aristocrat who has renounced his title receives at a military tribunal in Paris shows that the institutions and protocols of the new regime are no more enlightened and no less arbitrary that those of the old regime that led to the imprisonment of the equally ethical Doctor Manette, La Force being but a more efficient version of the Bastille.

As all of these illustrators have recognized, however, it is not what is historically accurate but what is artistically effective that counts in these scenes marking Darnay's inauspicious return to the land of his birth, now an armed camp under the rule savage "patriots" out to right a thousand years of wrongs committed by a greedy and appetitive aristocracy. In order to point out that the new regime is as bad as the old in terms of its abuses of civil rights and in particular of legal protocols surrounding the detention and arrest of citizens, Dickens may well have ignored (rather than been ignorant of) historical fact. Darnay's arrest and detention "in secret" are certainly reminiscent of the fate of the kindly Doctor Manette two decades earlier. To point out the essential injustice of the Samaritan Darnay's treatment by such extralegal authorities as a military official, Phiz has crowded the kangaroo court with a host of cartoon-like ragamuffins, most of whom are too ridiculous or disinterested to pose much of a threat to the man in the riding-coat. In Phiz's 1859 steel engraving Before the Prison Tribunal, the illustrator makes the sideshow of the Jacobin and regular soldier arguing (left) as important as Darnay's defending himself (right), although only thirteen of the figures among the crowded guardroom are explicitly not uniformed soldiers, and only six wear the Phrygian cap of the revolutionary rather than the more elaborate headgear of the regular army. At least half of the men in Phiz's frowzy scene are not attending in the least to Darnay's arrest, notably the figure immediately to the right of "Evrémonde," who is probably Ernest Defarge himself, although not denoted by a Phrygian cap or any other sign of having been a leader in the violent insurrection.

In contrast to Phiz's panoramic treatment of the scene, Fred Barnard in the 1870s Household Edition wood-engraving Some registers were lying open on a desk and an officer of coarse dark aspect presided over these, like Harry Furniss in the present illustration, has moved in for the close-up, depicting with startling clarity the officer who cat-like stares at the noble Darnay as if he were a mouse to be pounced upon at any moment. The swarthy man in the Jacobin hat who stands between these figures, carefully scrutinizing Darnay, must be Defarge. But whereas Phiz had given a clear indication of the disreputable nature of those present (including two comatose figures, extreme left), Barnard merely shows a regular soldier and a Jacobin quarrelling over custody of a drinking cup in the background (upper center); rather, the artist of the 1874 edition draws the viewer's eye towards the gigantic blunderbuss (left) that represents the imminent peril into which Darnay has placed himself by arriving at the French capital at this impropitious time. According to the logic of Barnard's composition, the focal figure is not Darnay, but the captivated officer.

Now, let us consider how Furniss has stage-managed this same scene. Whereas the previous illustrators emphasized the darkness of the ill-illuminated scene (there being no obvious source of light in Barnard's, and twin, fitfully-burning oil-lamps in Phiz's), the interview occurs directly under a large oil-lamp (upper center), and the drunken louts observing the arrest are all clearly visible. The distorted visages of the majority of the men in the guardroom imply that they are Darwinian throwbacks — in particular, the officer conducting the interview has a face reminiscent of a bear. The tallest, most genetically-advanced figure in the room is Darnay himself, whose open palm betokens his open, honest nature. Whereas Furniss has thrust Defarge into the background, apprehensively studying the returned exile, the illustrator has foregrounded three heavily armed men: two regular soldiers, carrying pikes and wearing large cavalry sabres at their hips, who carefully watch the prisoner; meanwhile (far right), in wooden clogs and Phrygian cap, a tall, lean Jacobin of surly aspect and brawny forearms, smokes a diminutive pipe as he overhears the dialogue of the officer and the aristocrat, but looks downward and out of the scene altogether. He, too, wears an enormous sabre, but is armed with a long musket surmounted by a bayonet, perhaps appropriated from a royalist soldier during the insurrection. The large desk (center) is balanced the roistering inebriates (extreme left), so that the artist implies that the bureaucracy and the law are under the administration of the careless, the cruel, the indifferent, and the mentally incompetent. The viewer's restless eye plays over all of these varied elements — none of which occur in Dixon's rather spartan treatment of the arraignment scene, which contains but six figures, and is dominated by the respectably garbed Darnay (left of center), carrying a riding-crop to imply his journey by horseback, the only fully realized, full-length figure — but returns to that phlegmatic Jacobin (right), whose determined gaze and casual posture imply a glancing into the less than hopeful future of this manly aristocrat which such bad timing."



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Kim Book III Chapter 2 - Harry Furniss



"The Grindstone"

Book III Chapter 2

Harry Furniss

Charles Dickens Library Edition 1910

Commentary

"The caption which J. A. Hammerton has provided does not immediately indicate the perspective from which the reader sees the mob sharpening its implements on the night of the third of September 1792, the actual date of the mass slaughter of aristocratic prisoners in the Abbaye, adjacent to the Abbey of St. Germaine, in the vicinity of which conveniently Dickens has located the Parisian branch of Tellson's Bank, a mansion in the midst of a previously aristocratic quarter on the left bank of the Seine. Dickens actually has his readers watch the savage mob from the window of Tellson's through the eyes of bank manager Jarvis Lorry (as opposed to the more biased view that Lucie or her father might provide). Rather than describe the horrific consequences of the blade-sharpening, Dickens reveals the horror of the September Massacres indirectly by focusing on the bits of feminine linen and lace, blood-stained, and the reddened grindstone, utilizing his background reading of Thomas Carlyle's description of this horrific slaughter in The French Revolution and in particular his friend's recounting of the massacre of some eleven hundred prisoners over the course of 2 through 6 of September.

In contrast to Fred Barnard's crazed adult mob, stripped to the waist, Furniss's mob is fully clothed and contains a number of street boys in Phrygian caps, but no figures who are obviously women. Although the composition places the grindstone at the center, Furniss presents most of the figures indistinctly in this lithograph of a pen-and-wash drawing. Whereas Barnard gives little indication of the setting, Furniss has situated the chaotic scene in a specifically urban context. Whereas Barnard's revelers consume bottles of wine as they sharpen knives and sabres, Furniss's boys in the foreground enthusiastically examine the sharpness of a sword and pike, while an ugly patriot races off right, presumably in the direction of the Abbaye.

In contrast to Phiz's avoidance of the sensational scene in the November issue, Fred Barnard in the 1870s Household Edition wood-engraving The Grindstone, unlike Harry Furniss in the present illustration, has moved in for the close-up, depicting with shocking intensity the manic Sans-culottes with wild hair, goggle eyes, and sharpened teeth. Thus, Furniss has subtracted some of the horror that readers of Harper's Weekly would have experienced in encountering the textual description simultaneously with John MacLenan's 1 October 1859 depiction of the weapon-sharpening crew of mustachioed thugs (modern-day Gauls) in But such awful workers, and such awful work!".

The presence of these juvenile Jacobins connects this scene of incipient mob violence on this side of the Channel with the tamer, less violent, and more high spirited pack of street boys who disrupt the spy's funeral by engaging in petty vandalism and unlawful congregation in The Spy's Funeral, the bear-leader and his charge setting the tone for this amiable feast of misrule as in Furniss's model, Phiz's The Spy's Funeral from the September 1859 monthly number. Shortly, ominously testing the sharpness of the blades, these child-soldiers in the French scene will engage in the wanton slaughter of helpless and unarmed civilians as the Revolution deteriorates into lawless homicide on a grand scale. The text's emphasizing the blood on various pieces of trim from fashionable feminine attire clarifies precisely who these victims of mob violence have been, and again will be, as the revolutionary authorities apparently have done nothing to intervene."



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Kim Book III Chapter 5 - Harry Furniss



The Carmagnole"

Book III Chapter 5

Harry Furniss

Charles Dickens Library Edition 1910

Commentary

"The caption which J. A. Hammerton has provided does not immediately indicate the timing of this tribal dance by the frenzied denizens of Saint Antoine, but the action of the novel makes it clear that Darnay has now been detained "in secret" for over fourteen months in La Force, and that the date is now November 1793. Although not realised by the initial illustrators of the novel, this sensational street scene had been the subject of a particularly chilling illustration by Fred Barnard in the Household Edition, so that Furniss's lithograph may be based as much on that highly effective illustration in which the savage revellers engulf Lucie as on Thomas Carlyle's description of surrealistic mob action as "a Pyrrhic war-dance" in The French Revolution and on Dickens's description — and quite likely sensational staging's of the peasant dance macabre in adaptations of the novel.

The staging of The Carmagnole as a combination of folk dance and opera, perhaps in imitation of Beethoven's revolutionary paean in Fidelio (1805), must have been impressive in the July 1860 three-hour dramatic adaptation by Fox Cooper at the Victoria Theatre, London. It is possible that Furniss saw one of the play's revivals, and in all likelihood the 1899 production of the most celebrated stage adaptation of Dickens's 1859 novel, The Only Way at London's Lyceum Theatre; however, the lithograph of Furniss's pen-and-wash drawing of the chaotic melee bears scant resemblance to the grand chorus of Saint Antoine patriots which opens Act Four in Fox Cooper's melodramatic adaptation, but which both musically and lyrically bears little resemblance to the satirical song and Piedmontese peasant dance as these would have been performed in late autumn, 1793, outside the National Assembly rather in the recently completed public square on the site of the notorious prison:

Scene I.— The Place of the Bastille, during the Festival. In the center stands a Tree of Liberty, round which a group are dancing the Carmagnole. At a table, R., sit others, drinking, and the rest of the ground is filled up in a moving group of Citizens, Women, and Children.

Chorus. — "The Carmagnole."

The night of iron rule is gone —
Around, above, the golden birth
Of Freedom, like the light, comes down,
And wild as air our joy goes forth,
But, brother, if again on France
The tyrant's step should dare advance,
We'll die the death — we'll die the death!
So fear not — cheer thy soul —
Come and dance the Carmagnole!

Barsad, Gaspard, Jacques 1, and Vengeance come forward from the Crowd. [Act Four, Scene One, p. 15]

Apparently, the dancing of a much wilder Carmagnole was a memorable feature of Tom Taylor's three-act adaptation, which ran through thirty-five performances at the Lyceum in London during the winter of 1860:

the rousing of the sections, and the dancing of the carmagnole, in particular, were replete with wild groupings and individual characteristics. [unattributed clipping in The Victoria and Albert Museum hand-dated 4 February 1860]

In contrast to Fred Barnard's crazed masculine adult mob, stripped to the waist, Furniss's mob is generally fully clothed, and contains both a significant number of women as well as several children in the foreground (center); moreover, from previous dark plates Furniss incorporates a continuing figure, a brawny-armed woman (right of center) beating a bass drum — The Vengeance. Neither MacLenan nor Phiz in 1859 treated the sensational scene, but Fred Barnard vividly realized it in the Household Edition wood-engraving The Carmagnole; however, unlike Harry Furniss in the present illustration, Barnard has moved in for the close-up, depicting with shocking intensity the manic Sans-culottes abandoning rational control in favor of an atavistic communal rite marked by alcohol consumption and delirium, but without the weapons that characterized the wild scene in which the patriots sharpened their implements in the midst of the September Massacres. Thus, Furniss has realized yet another historical event in a dark plate, his previous dark plates covering such scenes as The Fall of the Bastille and The End of Foulon, as well as the mob's sharpening its weapons in The Grindstone during the September (1792) Massacres, in which The Vengeance with her bass drum is a continuing figure, a spirit of the Revolution, although she looks nothing like Sol Eytinge's hideous virago. Thomas Carlyle places this particular dancing of the Carmagnole by a drunken crowd from St. Denis wearing pillaged clerical vestments as occurring as an ironic adjunct to the National Convention of revolutionary leaders on 10 November 1793 at the Festival of Reason and Liberty, still a little early for the snow flurries described by Dickens. The readers of Harper's Weekly did not encounter a realization of the demonic communal dance to a Provencal tune, but would have imagined MacLenan's street gang engaging in such a dance from the textual description; the American serial reader would likely have connected Dickens's Carmagnole dancers with the illustrator's 5 October 1859 depiction of a roving band of mustachioed toughs as modern-day Gauls in Book Three, "The Track of a Storm," Chapter Six, "Triumph". In keeping with the textual description, Furniss has stationed two small children in the midst of the savage dance, a detail that Barnard omitted, perhaps because he regarded their presence as inconsistent with his demonic and depraved patriots honing their weapons for another round in the mass execution."


I have seen reference to Thomas Carlyle's "The French Revolution" looking through these commentaries so often that I'm going to have to read it.


message 41: by Kim (last edited Oct 09, 2016 02:25PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kim Book III Chapter 6 - Harry Furniss



"Darnay Arraigned before the Judges"

Book III Chapter 6

Harry Furniss

Charles Dickens Library Edition 1910

Text Illustrated:

" Charles Evrémonde, called Darnay, was accused by the public prosecutor as an emigrant, whose life was forfeit to the Republic, under the decree which banished all emigrants on pain of Death. It was nothing that the decree bore date since his return to France. There he was, and there was the decree; he had been taken in France, and his head was demanded.

"Take off his head!" cried the audience. "An enemy to the Republic!"

The President rang his bell to silence those cries, and asked the prisoner whether it was not true that he had lived many years in England?

Undoubtedly it was.

Was he not an emigrant then? What did he call himself?

Not an emigrant, he hoped, within the sense and spirit of the law.

Why not? the President desired to know.

Because he had voluntarily relinquished a title that was distasteful to him, and a station that was distasteful to him, and had left his country — he submitted before the word emigrant in the present acceptation by the Tribunal was in use — to live by his own industry in England, rather than on the industry of the overladen people of France."


Commentary:

"Although a man's life is at stake as a result of the 19 September 1793 Republican law enacted against "Aristocrats, Federalists, [and] Monsieurs" (according to Thomas Carlyle's account of that autumn's events in The French Revolution) - of course only the prisoner himself seems to be fully attending to the proceedings in Furniss's courtroom scene, which does not encompass either the jury in their Phrygian caps or the blood-thirsty "patriots" in the audience.

From Carlyle and Dickens Furniss has produced operetta costumes for the Commissioners of the Convention sitting in judgment on Charles Darnay: "round hat, plumed with tricolor feathers, girt with flowing tricolor taffeta, in close frock, tricolor sash, sword and jackboots". The four plumed "Judges" whom Furniss has placed upper left are hardly pillars of jurisprudence; indeed, only the prisoner, whose manly, upright figure dominates the composition, seems to be attending to the proceedings — in contrast to the utterly bored old soldier in the right foreground, whose cynical expression suggests that he already knows how the accused will fare before so biased a court.

Charles Darnay, having been "drawn to the loadstone rock" to rescue Gabelle, a family retainer, now faces the dread consequences of having left the safety of England sixteen months earlier. However, in Furniss's courtroom scene, the handsome, middle-aged émigré is immaculately dressed and utterly self-possessed, despite his extended incarceration, undoubted privation, and lack of exercise. His calm demeanor is all the more impressive in the context of the audience's cries for his decapitation as an enemy of the Republic, and his having suffered the loss of all acquaintances made over his months in La Force, for they have now all perished on the guillotine.

The other figures in the illustration are an ill-kempt, bleary-eyed, and generally disinterested pack of functionaries whose ill-fitting uniforms suggest that, until just recently, they have been accustomed to much plainer garb. In particular, Furniss's Public Prosecutor, seated immediately below the judges, seems both dull-witted and heavy featured; however, the corpulent judges are little better, although not as "low, cruel, and bad" as the unseen jury and audience, among whom sits Madame Defarge and her husband. Thus, in moving in for the close-up in order to contrast Darnay and the officials, Furniss has missed an opportunity to show the attitudes of the Defarges to Darnay's arraignment as an "emigrant."

Whereas Furniss offers a close-up that eliminates the jury and the audience to focus on Darnay, Barnard offers a panoramic treatment in which the figure of the accused is almost lost in the congested courtroom. Whereas Barnard reveals his mistrust of revolutionary justice through the general tawdriness of the scene and the grim, animal-like expressions of that portion of the jury wearing Phrygian caps (right), Furniss makes his prisoner a paragon of both manliness and fashion and those who are in charge as slovenly, heavy-set, dull-witted, and bored — mere appetitive animals in contrast to the more intellectual type who stands before them as an enemy of the state. Like Carlyle and Dickens, Furniss implies that the revolutionary tribunal is merely another instance of mob rule and retribution."



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Kim Book III Chapter 7 - Harry Furniss



"A Knock at the Door"

Book III Chapter 7

Harry Furniss

Charles Dickens Library Edition 1910

Text Illustrated:

"My child," said the Doctor, rising, and laying his hand upon her shoulder, "I have saved him. What weakness is this, my dear! Let me go to the door."

He took the lamp in his hand, crossed the two intervening outer rooms, and opened it. A rude clattering of feet over the floor, and four rough men in red caps, armed with sabres and pistols, entered the room.

"The Citizen Evrémonde, called Darnay," said the first.

"Who seeks him?" answered Darnay.

"I seek him. We seek him. I know you, Evrémonde; I saw you before the Tribunal to-day. You are again the prisoner of the Republic."

The four surrounded him, where he stood with his wife and child clinging to him.

"Tell me how and why am I again a prisoner?"

"It is enough that you return straight to the Conciergerie, and will know to-morrow. You are summoned for to-morrow."


Commentary:

"The essential difference between Furniss's impressionistic treatment of the celebrated scene of Darnay's second arrest by the Revolutionary authorities and earlier treatments by Phiz and MacLenan is a shift in emphasis. Whereas the earlier illustrators have focused on Darnay, his wife, and child, Furniss has placed them in the background and foregrounded the sanguinary fourth Jacobin, who smokes his pipe and smiles as if this were a routine call rather than an apprehension in a capital trial.

Most significantly, Furniss's Doctor Manette is barely visible, as if his presence can do nothing to prevent his son-in-law's being found guilty of an (as yet) unspecified charge. The unexpected turn of events makes so dramatic a reversal in the fates of Darnay and his family that both John MacLenan in his illustrations for Harper's Weekly and Hablot Knight Browne in his illustrations for the monthly parts independently recognized the scene's narrative power and effectively realized it, Phiz in a panoramic, theatrical treatment, MacLenan in a telling close up of the Jacobin agents surrounding the Darnays. Again, Charles Darnay's life is threatened, despite his having evaded the 19 September 1793 Republican law enacted against "Aristocrats, Federalists, [and] Monsieurs" (according to Thomas Carlyle's account in The French Revolution
- we know). Darnay, having been "drawn to the loadstone rock" to rescue Gabelle, an Evrémonde family retainer, but through the eloquence of his father-in-law already acquitted of charges of being a returned emigrant, now is unexpectedly rearrested, not by legitimate functionaries of the court, but by four thugs in Phrygian caps whom Dickens does not dignify with uniforms.

Most significantly, Furniss's Doctor Manette is barely visible, as if his presence can do nothing to prevent his son-in-law's being found guilty of an (as yet) unspecified charge. The unexpected turn of events makes so dramatic a reversal in the fates of Darnay and his family that both John MacLenan in his illustrations for Harper's Weekly and Hablot Knight Browne in his illustrations for the monthly parts independently recognized the scene's narrative power and effectively realized it, Phiz in a panoramic, theatrical treatment, MacLenan in a telling close up of the Jacobin agents surrounding the Darnays. Again, Charles Darnay's life is threatened, despite his having evaded the 19 September 1793 Republican law enacted against "Aristocrats, Federalists, [and] Monsieurs". Darnay, having been "drawn to the loadstone rock" to rescue Gabelle, an Evrémonde family retainer, but through the eloquence of his father-in-law already acquitted of charges of being a returned emigrant, now is unexpectedly rearrested, not by legitimate functionaries of the court, but by four thugs in Phrygian caps whom Dickens does not dignify with uniforms."



Peter Kim, you are a treasure. Thank you for all these various illustrations from so many illustrators.

At the possible annoyance of everyone, I will again say that Hablot K. Browne is my favourite illustrator. This week, however, I can say with confidence that after Browne, Harry Furniss has become my second favourite. In some illustrations ( such as Book III Ch 7 Kim's post 42 ) his work shows a delicate touch; the lines are thin, almost whispy, and an individual character is highlighted. In others, such as Book III Ch 5 (Kim's post 40 ) we have a rollicking riot of people who swirl about the illustration with ghastly cadaverous faces. And then there is the face of the older, obviously bored soldier in the front right of the illustration in post 41. The soldier's face creates such a stark contrast to Darnay who stands before the three stooge-like judges with his body straight, his head up, his chin thrust forward in a pose of both pride and defiance. What a great tableau in that illustration. Great work.


Linda | 712 comments I knew the chapter title "Triumph" was too good to be true. Upon reading the title of the chapter, I actually wondered if it was to be, as Admiral Ackbar would say, "a trap!", or some cruel play on the word where the triumph would be for the new lady in town, La Guillotine. The next chapter set me back into the depressing atmosphere I've come to expect from this novel.


Linda | 712 comments Oh, I now realize that Vengeance is a different woman from Madame Defarge. I'm not sure how I got that wrong in the first place.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Linda, I found that quite confusing too. I'm still not sure who she is or when she graced us with her beatific presence. :O)


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Kim Hilary wrote: "Linda, I found that quite confusing too. I'm still not sure who she is or when she graced us with her beatific presence. :O)"

I've always meant to go back to see if I'm missing where the Vengeance came from, or go search for it at other places, but I'm usually too depressed by the end of the novel to want to return to it - for a while anyway.


Hilary (agapoyesoun) Kim, I know


Hilary (agapoyesoun) I mean I know what you mean about depression. I'm hoping it's not so bad by the end this time!


Linda | 712 comments As much as I wanted to finish up the book last night, I stopped myself for two reasons. One, so I could read the last section just before next week's discussion. And two, because I really needed a break from the depressed subject matter. Three weeks was a lot to take in all in one day.


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