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A Tale of Two Cities > A Tale of Two Cities Book 3 Ch 8-12

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message 1: by Peter (last edited Oct 08, 2016 06:07PM) (new)

Peter Tristram has a couple of family commitments this weekend and I'm sure Kim is busy with Christmas plans after her recent road trip, so ... here I am again.

It is the Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend. To all the Canadian Pickwickians, Happy Thanksgiving! To all international Pickwickians, Happy Thanksgiving from Canada.

There is never a dull moment in this novel is there? The chapters are short in length and propel us ever forward. With a somewhat limited cast of characters, we are not experiencing too many subplots. The swirling horror of the French Revolution has drawn all our major characters to Paris, and Charles Darnay finds himself in grave danger. It's a grave danger, of course, because we wonder if he can be recalled to life. :-)) O.K. A bad pun, I know.

Chapter 8

Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher go shopping. Looking at another patron who is leaving the shop Miss Pross lets out a scream, for there, in front of her, is her supposedly lost brother Solomon. Miss Pross's surprise is equaled by Cruncher's "greatest wonder." Solomon wonders if Cruncher " think[s] me a ghost." Miss Pross says that "I would almost sooner have seen the dear boy lying in his -". We find out that Solomon Pross was called John Barsad at the Bailey Prison in England and gave testimony against Charles Darnay. Barsad, or Solomon Pross, or whoever he is, turns out to be a spy.

Sydney Carton arrives on the scene and, as the title of the chapter title alludes, plays a hand of metaphorical cards with Barsad. Carton draws out Barsad's weak and vulnerable position in Paris. Carton then links Barsad to Roger Cly, who Barsad claims has been dead for years.

Not so quick. Jerry then tells Carton that there was no corpse in Cly's coffin.

Question: In this chapter we have a clear example of a person being recalled to life by the rather simple act of never dying. Carton ascertains the fact that Barsad has free access to the Conciergerie where Charles Darnay is held.

Question:

What/where do you think all these facts are leading us?


Chapter 9

This chapter presents us with the quotation from The Bible "I am the resurrection and the life, saint the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believe that in me, shall never die."

Recalled to Life. We have seen this concept in many shapes, forms and possibilities throughout the novel. Now, at this point, Dickens steps aside and offers his readers a quotation from The Bible. Why would he do this?

We have also witnessed many pairings in the novel: The hateful women The Vengance and Madame Defarge; the spies Cly and Barsad; the lawyers Stryver and Carton; the evil of Madame Defarge balanced against the angelic Lucie Manette; the man of business Mr. Lorry coupled with his old friend Dr. Manette. Only one pairing, however, is a mirrored match, and that is the resemblance of Darnay and Carton.

One Hundred and Five, North Tower. We learn that Defarge thoroughly searched the good Doctor's cell. Next, we will find out that some information that has been buried in the cell for almost twenty years is to be, at last, recalled to life. What delicious suspense. At last, all our foreshadowing is unfolding.

Question: Did you see any possible solution to Darnay's problem coming? If so, when?


Chapter 10.

The title of this chapter is "The Substance of the Shadow."

The "shameful rights" of the Nobles, their total disregard for human life, and the shadows cast by Charles Darnay's father and uncle on Madame Defarge's family explains her desire for revenge and her morbid joy in knitting shrouds. This hatred for the nobility goes far beyond Madame Defarge. It goes also to Dr Manette who wrote that "in my unbearable agony, denounce to the times when all these things shall be answered for. I denounce them [Charles Darnay's family] to Heaven and to earth." Now we know why Dr. Manette regressed to his prison mind after his daughter's marriage.

The court trial is, like the Revolution itself, "fast and furious. " The verdict is "Death within four-and-twenty hours." Charles Darnay is to be killed.

Question: To what degree can we understand Madame Defarge's anger? Is it at all possible to agree with her desire for revenge?

What response to Doctor Manette's letter do you think Dickens wanted to get from his original reading audience?

Chapters 11-12

After parting from Charles Darnay at the end of the trial Lucie faints and is supported by Sydney Carton. In a remarkable piece of symbolic and suggestive writing Dickens writes of Carton that "he lifted her again, and carried her up the staircase to their rooms. There, he laid her down on a couch, where her child and Miss Pross wept over her." Carton then requests of the others in the room "Don't recall her to herself."

In these lines we discover how much of the novel is tightly packed together. Lucie, the angelic pure woman, the golden thread of the family, is carried "up the staircase." Like an angel, she ascends to a resting place where others weep for her. Her guardians, her daughter Lucie and her maid Miss Pross, watch over her and are clearly told not to "recall her to herself." It is if Carton wants her in a state of cocooned safety. There is no need to recall an angel to life, as an angel is immortal.

At the very end of this chapter we are told that Carton " walked, with a settled step, down-stairs." Consider those words as we did the earlier ones. Carton's steps are "settled" as are his plans, some of which he shares with Mr. Lorry. Carton goes "down." As readers, we now know the plan. We now know both the significance of Carton's pledge to Lucie that he would do anything for her and how he will honour that pledge. Lucie's husband will be recalled to life; the horrible cost will be the death of Sidney Carton, his doppelgänger.


Questions

In an earlier question by Tristram we were asked our opinion of The Defarge's. What do you think of them now?

To what extent do you think Carton's plan is (1) foolhardy (2) noble (3) an overly dramatic Dickensian event?


message 2: by Kim (new)

Kim Thank you Peter, I was just working on opening the thread and saw you had opened for me. I was having some trouble opening this thread, not because of Christmas decorations, although we did go look at some of them today, a few stores already have them out, which is wonderful - oh, and it isn't just me, we weren't the only people browsing through the Christmas departments of the stores, other people were there, it just took us longer. Anyway, like I said, I was having trouble with this thread, but I have some things ready so I'll add them. You see, I know what is going to happen, I knew what would happen when we started the first chapter, I knew what was going to happen when I first joined the Pickwick Club, which now that I think of it seems like a long, long time ago, so long it's been since I've had to deal with those two grumps and remain my always cheerful self. The first time I read the book, by the time I got this far I was wondering if it was really Dickens who wrote it, after all, it seemed so dark and depressing, but at least I was sure every one would end up with a bright, happy life ahead of them. The good people anyway, after all it is Dickens - good things happen to good people, bad things happen to the bad people, and they live happily ever after. We'll know soon enough, for now I'll stick to the chapters in this installment. In Chapter 8, we find Miss Pross's long lost brother, Solomon, he hurries her outside not wanting the others to overhear what she may say, and we find then through Mr. Cruncher that her brother is a spy, he remembers him from Darnay's trial in England, but not his name:

“Well, I don’t know all I mean, for I can’t call to mind what your name was, over the water.”

“No?”

“No. But I’ll swear it was a name of two syllables.”

“Indeed?”

“Yes. T’other one’s was one syllable. I know you. You was a spy—witness at the Bailey. What, in the name of the Father of Lies, own father to yourself, was you called at that time?”

“Barsad,” said another voice, striking in."


The person who gives the name we know is Sydney Carton who has come out of nowhere, or it seems so to me anyway. Carton has been there since the night before but he and Mr. Lorry agreed he would not present himself until he is "needed". I'm getting depressed. While contemplating the prison earlier in the evening he had seen Barsad leaving and followed him to the wine shop. He tells Barsad that he wants to see him privately at Tellson's bank saying that he would let it be known Barsad was a spy unless he agreed. Once there Carton informs Mr. Lorry that Darnay has been arrested again and that the doctor was helpless to prevent it. He has a plan to help Darnay, should he be convicted. Here is our game of cards - but I'm not sure who I would consider the winner of this:

“In short,” said Sydney, “this is a desperate time, when desperate games are played for desperate stakes. Let the Doctor play the winning game; I will play the losing one. No man’s life here is worth purchase. Any one carried home by the people to-day, may be condemned tomorrow. Now, the stake I have resolved to play for, in case of the worst, is a friend in the Conciergerie. And the friend I purpose to myself to win, is Mr. Barsad.”

“You need have good cards, sir,” said the spy.

“I’ll run them over. I’ll see what I hold,—Mr. Lorry, you know what a brute I am; I wish you’d give me a little brandy.”

It was put before him, and he drank off a glassful—drank off another glassful—pushed the bottle thoughtfully away.

“Mr. Barsad,” he went on, in the tone of one who really was looking over a hand at cards: “Sheep of the prisons, emissary of Republican committees, now turnkey, now prisoner, always spy and secret informer, so much the more valuable here for being English that an Englishman is less open to suspicion of subornation in those characters than a Frenchman, represents himself to his employers under a false name. That’s a very good card. Mr. Barsad, now in the employ of the republican French government, was formerly in the employ of the aristocratic English government, the enemy of France and freedom. That’s an excellent card. Inference clear as day in this region of suspicion, that Mr. Barsad, still in the pay of the aristocratic English government, is the spy of Pitt, the treacherous foe of the Republic crouching in its bosom, the English traitor and agent of all mischief so much spoken of and so difficult to find. That’s a card not to be beaten. Have you followed my hand, Mr. Barsad?”


Carton says he knows that Roger Cly, the other police spy from England, is now in France. Barsad protests that Cly is dead even showing them a certificate of the spy's death. Jerry surprises everyone by insisting that Cly's coffin contained stones and dirt, although he won't say how he knows. Barsad finally gives in and asks Carton what he wants. Carton asks if he is a turnkey at the prison. Barsad says yes and Carton wishes to speak to him in private, I know why and wish I didn't.

In our next chapter "The Game Made" while Carton and Barsad are in the other room Mr. Lorry stares at Jerry in distrust. Jerry fidgets and looks away. He asks Jerry what he has been besides a messenger. Jerry replies an agricultural person, but Mr. Lorry scolds him for leading a secret life (grave-robbing) outside his job at Tellson’s. Cruncher hints that there may be many doctors involved in grave-robbing who bank at Tellson’s. He then makes this request of Mr. Lorry:

“Now, what I would humbly offer to you, sir,” pursued Mr. Cruncher, “even if it wos so, which I don’t say it is—”

“Don’t prevaricate,” said Mr. Lorry.

“No, I will not, sir,” returned Mr. Cruncher as if nothing were further from his thoughts or practice—“which I don’t say it is—wot I would humbly offer to you, sir, would be this. Upon that there stool, at that there Bar, sets that there boy of mine, brought up and growed up to be a man, wot will errand you, message you, general-light-job you, till your heels is where your head is, if such should be your wishes. If it wos so, which I still don’t say it is (for I will not prewaricate to you, sir), let that there boy keep his father’s place, and take care of his mother; don’t blow upon that boy’s father—do not do it, sir—and let that father go into the line of the reg’lar diggin’, and make amends for what he would have undug—if it wos so—by diggin’ of ‘em in with a will, and with conwictions respectin’ the futur’ keepin’ of ‘em safe. That, Mr. Lorry,” said Mr. Cruncher, wiping his forehead with his arm, as an announcement that he had arrived at the peroration of his discourse, “is wot I would respectfully offer to you, sir. A man don’t see all this here a goin’ on dreadful round him, in the way of Subjects without heads, dear me, plentiful enough fur to bring the price down to porterage and hardly that, without havin’ his serious thoughts of things. And these here would be mine, if it wos so, entreatin’ of you fur to bear in mind that wot I said just now, I up and said in the good cause when I might have kep’ it back.”

“That at least is true,” said Mr. Lorry. “Say no more now. It may be that I shall yet stand your friend, if you deserve it, and repent in action—not in words. I want no more words.”


So hopefully things will work out for Cruncher and his family. Barsad and Carton come out and Carton assures him that his secret is safe with him. Carton tells Mr. Lorry that if things go badly for Darnay, Barsad will allow him access to Darnay once before his execution. Mr. Lorry is disappointed that not more can be done to save Darnay. He begins to weep. I'm about ready to join him. Moved by Mr. Lorry's tears, Carton tells him:

“You are a good man and a true friend,” said Carton, in an altered voice. “Forgive me if I notice that you are affected. I could not see my father weep, and sit by, careless. And I could not respect your sorrow more, if you were my father. You are free from that misfortune, however.”

He's just not the same Carton anymore, I wonder if this could count as him being "recalled to life". There is this:

"Sydney turned his eyes again upon the fire, and, after a silence of a few moments, said:

“I should like to ask you:—Does your childhood seem far off? Do the days when you sat at your mother’s knee, seem days of very long ago?”

Responding to his softened manner, Mr. Lorry answered:

“Twenty years back, yes; at this time of my life, no. For, as I draw closer and closer to the end, I travel in the circle, nearer and nearer to the beginning. It seems to be one of the kind smoothings and preparings of the way. My heart is touched now, by many remembrances that had long fallen asleep, of my pretty young mother (and I so old!), and by many associations of the days when what we call the World was not so real with me, and my faults were not confirmed in me.”

“I understand the feeling!” exclaimed Carton, with a bright flush. “And you are the better for it?”

“I hope so.”

Carton terminated the conversation here, by rising to help him on with his outer coat; “But you,” said Mr. Lorry, reverting to the theme, “you are young.”

“Yes,” said Carton. “I am not old, but my young way was never the way to age. Enough of me.”


Recalled to life, perhaps Sydney doesn't have to continue on in the way he did when we first met him. When Mr. Lorry leaves Tellson's to comfort Lucie and her father, Carton walks the streets all night, at one point he stops in at a chemist's shop - since I have a feeling it is late into the night by this time, chemist's shops must be open late - and makes a purchase. The rest of the night he spends walking the streets and we are told this little bit of his young life, I've been unable to figure out what made him the man that he is:

"Long ago, when he had been famous among his earliest competitors as a youth of great promise, he had followed his father to the grave. His mother had died, years before. These solemn words, which had been read at his father’s grave, arose in his mind as he went down the dark streets, among the heavy shadows, with the moon and the clouds sailing on high above him. “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die.”

In the morning, he goes to the court. Darnay is accused of being part of a family of tyrants who oppressed the people. His three accusers are Mr. and Mrs. Defarge and Dr. Manette.

Dr. Manette is horrified to hear his name called as an accuser of his daughter’s husband, who he has tried to save. The Tribunal tells him that nothing is dearer than the Republic. If it demands him to sacrifice his own child, he would do it like a good patriot.

Mr. Defarge relates how he had worked for Dr. Manette when he was a boy and he knows his writing. When Bastille fell, Defarge examined Dr. Manette's former cell. There he found a paper hidden in the chimney of 105 North Tower. The chapter ends:

" This is the writing of Doctor Manette. I confide this paper, in the writing of Doctor Manette, to the hands of the President.”

“Let it be read.”

In a dead silence and stillness—the prisoner under trial looking lovingly at his wife, his wife only looking from him to look with solicitude at her father, Doctor Manette keeping his eyes fixed on the reader, Madame Defarge never taking hers from the prisoner, Defarge never taking his from his feasting wife, and all the other eyes there intent upon the Doctor, who saw none of them—the paper was read, as follows."



message 3: by Kim (new)

Kim Chapter 10 is titled "The Substance In The Shadow" and it is entirely this paper of the doctor's. The first thought I had was it was long, way too long to be a "paper" it must have been many papers written all in long hand, I'm not sure how many it would take and thought about performing a little experiment by trying to find out by copying the letter on to paper myself, but I didn't. My reason for dwelling on the number of pages it would take is because I kept wondering where he was getting all of it. When Darney is once again thrown in jail he asks if he can have paper and the guard tells him if he can afford it he can. That would leave me believe that Doctor Manette would have been able to buy paper, but he made a place to hide it wanting no one to see what he had been writing, wouldn't the guards wonder what happened to all the paper he was asking for? One day he had twenty sheets (I'm guessing) of it, and now it's all gone? That just popped into my mind. My next thought was some of the most horrible people in the world are in this book and I hope that doesn't carry on to the real world. I have a feeling it does though. I've thought for a while now that the people, the "citizens" of the revolution are horrible, the things they were doing that is, being proud of how many people got their heads cut off each day, things like that. Now we have the aristocrats, who are just as awful, perhaps more so. When we are told what the brother's did to acquire the woman the one saw and wanted I hated them both and I'm not allowed to hate people:

“‘Nevertheless, Doctor, my sister married. He was ailing at that time, poor fellow, and she married her lover, that she might tend and comfort him in our cottage—our dog-hut, as that man would call it. She had not been married many weeks, when that man’s brother saw her and admired her, and asked that man to lend her to him—for what are husbands among us! He was willing enough, but my sister was good and virtuous, and hated his brother with a hatred as strong as mine. What did the two then, to persuade her husband to use his influence with her, to make her willing?’

“The boy’s eyes, which had been fixed on mine, slowly turned to the looker-on, and I saw in the two faces that all he said was true. The two opposing kinds of pride confronting one another, I can see, even in this Bastille; the gentleman’s, all negligent indifference; the peasant’s, all trodden-down sentiment, and passionate revenge.

“‘You know, Doctor, that it is among the Rights of these Nobles to harness us common dogs to carts, and drive us. They so harnessed him and drove him. You know that it is among their Rights to keep us in their grounds all night, quieting the frogs, in order that their noble sleep may not be disturbed. They kept him out in the unwholesome mists at night, and ordered him back into his harness in the day. But he was not persuaded. No! Taken out of harness one day at noon, to feed—if he could find food—he sobbed twelve times, once for every stroke of the bell, and died on her bosom.’


I can now see how all these people hate each other. It's sad and more is coming. Doctor Manette can't save the girl, he can't save her brother, and he can't save himself for when they are dead he is thrown into prison for what he had seen and was dumb enough to write down, that time sending it to the Minister. All it got him was 18 years in prison before being recalled to life. I wonder if we can recall Darnay to live once again. Do you know this is the third time he has been on trial with the death penalty hanging over him? Even if he manages to once again avoid being put to death anyone with luck as awful as his probably won't make it to be an old man.


message 4: by Kim (new)

Kim In the next chapter we find that Darnay has been condemned to death and within 24 hours, they certainly seem to kill people as soon as possible in their revolution. After a touching goodbye between Lucie and Darnay and when the guards take him away Lucie faints and is carried away by Carton. I wonder if I am awful for not being interested in what happens to Lucie anymore, or Darnay, or even the doctor. The one I am now rooting for is Carton. He is the one I now want recalled to life, he seems so changed in the last few chapters I want the change for the good to continue:

"Then, issuing from the obscure corner from which he had never moved, Sydney Carton came and took her up. Only her father and Mr. Lorry were with her. His arm trembled as it raised her, and supported her head. Yet, there was an air about him that was not all of pity—that had a flush of pride in it.

“Shall I take her to a coach? I shall never feel her weight.”

He carried her lightly to the door, and laid her tenderly down in a coach. Her father and their old friend got into it, and he took his seat beside the driver.

When they arrived at the gateway where he had paused in the dark not many hours before, to picture to himself on which of the rough stones of the street her feet had trodden, he lifted her again, and carried her up the staircase to their rooms. There, he laid her down on a couch, where her child and Miss Pross wept over her.

“Don’t recall her to herself,” he said, softly, to the latter, “she is better so. Don’t revive her to consciousness, while she only faints.”

“Oh, Carton, Carton, dear Carton!” cried little Lucie, springing up and throwing her arms passionately round him, in a burst of grief. “Now that you have come, I think you will do something to help mamma, something to save papa! O, look at her, dear Carton! Can you, of all the people who love her, bear to see her so?”

He bent over the child, and laid her blooming cheek against his face. He put her gently from him, and looked at her unconscious mother.

“Before I go,” he said, and paused—“I may kiss her?”

It was remembered afterwards that when he bent down and touched her face with his lips, he murmured some words. The child, who was nearest to him, told them afterwards, and told her grandchildren when she was a handsome old lady, that she heard him say, “A life you love.”


I still believed long, long ago during that first read, at this point in the novel, that it would all end happily for everyone, I knew what Carton was planning, but of course, that wasn't going to work, some miracle would come along and save them all. That's what I thought.


message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim In chapter 12, deciding to make himself known to the local citizens, Carton goes to the Defarge wine-shop. Madame Defarge notices the resemblance between Carton and Darnay, but she is soon convinced that Carton is not Darnay because Carton pretends that he knows very little French. As Carton appears to be absorbed in a newspaper, and because they believe he doesn't understand them, the Defarges, The Vengeance, and Jacques Three continue their discussion. They discuss whether or not they should also denounce Lucie, her daughter, and Doctor Manette. Madame Defarge reveals that she is the younger sister of the peasant woman who was raped by the Evrémondes and demands vengeance for the murder of her entire family. Defarge, however, believes the killing should be limited and that Doctor Manette and Lucie should be spared but his wife is unmoved by what he says.

Carton leaves the shop. He goes to Mr. Lorry’s. Dr. Manette has not returned. Mr. Lorry escorts Lucie home, planning on returning to the bank at midnight. Dr. Manette returns later and has relapsed into his former state. He is looking for his shoe bench.

Carton hands Mr. Lorry his paper that allows him to leave Paris. He also hands him the papers that allow Dr. Manette and Lucie to leave. He tells Mr. Lorry that he fears that Lucie and her child are in danger from Madame Defarge. She is going to have the woodcutter accuse Lucie of plotting against the Republic. Carton tells Lorry to leave with Lucie and her family tomorrow. Lucie probably won't be arrested for two or three days, after Darnay is executed. It is a crime to mourn for, or sympathize with, a victim of the Guillotine, and since Lucie and her father will obviously be mourning, they will be arrested for it. He tells Mr. Lorry to wait for him before they leave Paris, saying:

"Wait for nothing but to have my place occupied, and then for England!”

Waiting to have "his place" occupied, but by whom? And then there is this:

"Though he said it with a grave smile of earnestness, and though he even put the old man’s hand to his lips, he did not part from him then. He helped him so far to arouse the rocking figure before the dying embers, as to get a cloak and hat put upon it, and to tempt it forth to find where the bench and work were hidden that it still moaningly besought to have. He walked on the other side of it and protected it to the courtyard of the house where the afflicted heart—so happy in the memorable time when he had revealed his own desolate heart to it—out watched the awful night. He entered the courtyard and remained there for a few moments alone, looking up at the light in the window of her room. Before he went away, he breathed a blessing towards it, and a Farewell. "

And now I am off to find something happy to read. Anything happy.


message 6: by Kim (new)

Kim Oh, Peter, I almost forgot to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! You are so lucky to have your Thanksgiving in October, after all we all know the official start of the Christmas season is the day after Thanksgiving! :-) Did you have turkey?


message 7: by Linda (new)

Linda | 712 comments Happy Thanksgiving, Peter!! Do you have a similar spread as the U.S. Thanksgiving? turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, gravy, rolls, green beans, pumpkin pie, oh my I'm getting excited for next month.

Besides spending time outside raking the dead grass out of our front lawn and spreading sand over the top (supposed to help with aeration and drainage, we shall see), I spent the other parts of my day catching up in the reading. And what a delight to get to read recaps from both Peter and Kim for this week!

OK, so this section was definitely a page-turner. It was also satisfying to see many questions from previous sections answered.

Reason for empty coffin? CHECK!
Importance of One Hundred and Five North Tower? CHECK!
Connection between Dr. Manett and Charles Darnay? CHECK!
Reason for Madame Defarge's constant and extreme knitting? CHECK!

The story that Dr. Manette had written was horrific, to say the least. Dickens sometimes throws me for a loop when he fills in the details of these backstories, and this was one of those times. This section gave us both a mystery and its answer all in one - the identity of the younger sister of the young woman who died in Manette's recounting. I feel that Madame Defarge's revenge goes much further than she set out to achieve from the beginning, especially given the wife's attempt at finding the young sister to make some sort of amends for her husband's actions. I wonder if Defarge had been knitting for so long, that when she finally achieved what she set out to accomplish, she couldn't help but look for more knitting to be done - in the form of Doctor Manette and Lucie.

I am also curious to see if my suspicions on how this turns out prove to be true, although I detect a few hints that I might be right in some of what Peter and Kim wrote in their posts. My suspicion is that (view spoiler)

I'm still pondering how Lucie's son's death will come into play....


message 8: by Peter (new)

Peter Linda wrote: "Happy Thanksgiving, Peter!! Do you have a similar spread as the U.S. Thanksgiving? turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, gravy, rolls, green beans, pumpkin pie, oh my I'm ..."

Yes, Linda, we had everything on your checklist with the exception of green beans. We had Brussels sprouts instead, but since both are green in colour let's call it a perfect match.

I chuckled when I saw your check list. Nice.

Oh, yes. A check to your spoiler as well. :-))

As to Lucie's son's death. Well, we'll check that out very soon.


message 9: by Linda (new)

Linda | 712 comments Brussels sprouts - nice. I much prefer them to green beans, but not many people in my family agree so we usually go the green bean route.

When I settled into bed last night, it took all my effort not to go ahead and finish up the book. I will wait until this week's discussion wraps up.


message 10: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) I'm really not sure what to say about this section so I am procrastinating. I'm so glad that you had a great thanksgiving, Peter. (Procrastination!). We once unwittingly stumbled into Canada on Thanksgiving. My dear husband and I found ourselves in a straw-on-the floor hostelry, quite literally. It was just what we were looking for: a very friendly establishment. On asking the innkeeper why we were the only customers we were informed that it was Canadian Thanksgiving. We had a lovely thanksgiving meal; probably a basic version of the 'real' thing. The gentleman was very friendly and the fall colours were something to be beheld.

So that's both Canadian and American thanksgivings that I have happened upon. The American one was a family celebration where everyone brought food. The tables were groaning with delicious food and, by the end, our tummies were groaning in sympathy. Both Thanksgivings made me miss the fact that we do not have an equivalent in Ireland. We do have Harvest Thanksgiving, but that is a poor reflection. Well no, it isn't a reflection at all!


message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim This letter is to Monsieur Régnier an actor in the Comedie Frangaise

Gad's Hill Place, Higham by Rochester, Kent,
Saturday, Oct. 15th, 1859.


My dear Regnier,

"You will receive by railway parcel the proof-sheets of a story of mine, that has been for some time in progress in my weekly journal, and that will be published in a complete volume about the middle of November. Nobody but Forster has yet seen the latter portions of it, or will see them until they are published. I want you to read it for two reasons. Firstly, because I hope it is the best story I have written. Secondly, because it treats of a very remarkable time in France; and I should very much like to know what you think of its being dramatised for a French theatre. If you should think it likely to be done, I should be glad to take some steps towards having it well done. The story is an extraordinary success here, and I think the end of it is certain to make a still greater sensation.

Don't trouble yourself to write to me, mon ami, until you shall have had time to read the proofs. Remember, they are proofs, and private; the latter chapters will not be before the public for five or six weeks to come.

With kind regards to Madame Regnier, in which my daughters and their aunt unite,

Believe me, ever faithfully yours.


P.S.—The story (I daresay you have not seen any of it yet) is called "A Tale of Two Cities."



message 12: by Peter (new)

Peter Kim wrote: "This letter is to Monsieur Régnier an actor in the Comedie Frangaise

Gad's Hill Place, Higham by Rochester, Kent,
Saturday, Oct. 15th, 1859.


My dear Regnier,

"You will receive by railway parcel..."


What a find, Kim. This letter gives insight into Dickens methodology and timing in his writing of TTC, his view of how the novel fits within his own canon and the method by which he transports his work to people who are some distance from him.

Absolutely fascinating.


message 13: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 11 comments Peter wrote: "Question: To what degree can we understand Madame Defarge's anger? Is it at all possible to agree with her desire for revenge?..."

I think everyone should understand her desire for revenge, but I would also think that most people would think she has carried it too far. The persons who should pay for the crime of the murder of her family are the people who actually perpetrated the acts, not their descendants. Especially not those who had no part in it and who have taken steps to redress this terrible grievance, as Charles and his mother have. I believe Madame Defarge's hatred has consumed her and warped her mind. She will never be satisfied and feel that justice has been done, as her ever-widening pool of victims demonstrates. She has become, in her terrible quest for justice, as unjust and merciless as those who destroyed her family. The Evremondes felt justified in destroying her family because of their position in life--they were poor and insignificant peasants; who would care what became of them? Madame Defarge, likewise, depends on the fickle finger of fate to target her victims: these innocent people have the misfortune to be born or marry into this family, and despite the fact that they were not even born when this atrocity occurred and are innocent of any evil doings, she is prepared to execute them--even to the child, Lucie. Dr. Manette and his daughter are just as much victims of the same people as Madame Defarge, but she is no longer able to process this, and has lost the ability to reason. All logic is swept away by her bloodlust.

I think Defarge is still sympathetic and loyal to Dr. Manette and his family, but is caught between a rock and a hard place. He has to actually live with Madame Defarge, and she seems pretty rocklike to me! He also has to watch himself with the other revolutionaries. Things have reached such a hysterical pitch that despite his contribution in bringing about the rebellion and his high position in the events after that, no one is safe. All it takes is one accusation to bring him tumbling down, even from his lofty position. I can see him trying to turn his wife from her course of action in a subtle way, but I don't think he is courageous enough to put his foot down with any firmness.


message 14: by Peter (new)

Peter Cindy wrote: "Peter wrote: "Question: To what degree can we understand Madame Defarge's anger? Is it at all possible to agree with her desire for revenge?..."

I think everyone should understand her desire for r..."


Cindy

What a thorough and well-argued analysis you offer. I agree with you. Anger and a desire for justice is one thing; to extend one's feelings through generations is not only futile, unfair and exhausting, but a reason why nothing of importance can be solved if one does not at least attempt to heal the wounds of the past.

As a history professor reminded my class more than once: "History does not repeat itself, but human nature does."


message 15: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 2034 comments Linda wrote: "Happy Thanksgiving, Peter!! Do you have a similar spread as the U.S. Thanksgiving? turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, sweet potatoes, gravy, rolls, green beans, pumpkin pie, oh my I'm getting excited for next month. ."

In our house, add two things. Melted marshmallows on the sweet potatoes, and mince pie as well as pumpkin. And cranberry-orange relish as well as straight cranberry jelly. Other than that, you nailed our T'g dinner.


message 16: by Linda (new)

Linda | 712 comments I make fresh cranberry-orange relish each year. It's a must have, for me at least. I've never tried making a mince pie before. Hmmm....


message 17: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 11 comments It sounds like our dinner, as well. Just add a ham, a brown sugar/pecan glaze on the sweet potatoes, and a jalapeño corn casserole, and you've got it! My family are nuts for chocolate, so we have chocolate pie in addition to pumpkin. We also have whatever delicacy my Cajun sister-in-law contributes!


message 18: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) Oh my word, Everyman, marshmallows on sweet potatoes! I made that for a fake Irish pretend Thanksgiving one year. I'm pretty sure that the recipe was not authentic but it was delicious! Cindy, jalapeño corn casserole. That sounds delectable. Would I find the recipe on Google, I wonder?! Also Linda, cranberry-orange relish! That sounds amazing. Cindy, I had chocolate pie once in Texas, so many years ago. It was baked by my sis-in-law's Grandma. She used to make that and banana cream pie/vanilla cream? My little Irish tastebuds did not know what had hit them!!


message 19: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 11 comments Hilary wrote: "Oh my word, Everyman, marshmallows on sweet potatoes! I made that for a fake Irish pretend Thanksgiving one year. I'm pretty sure that the recipe was not authentic but it was delicious! Cindy, jala..."

I would be happy to send you the recipes. The chocolate pie is an icebox pie so there's no actual baking involved. It's really easy, but everyone always loves it, and I'm usually required to bring it to any work function we have!


message 20: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) Yes Cindy, that would be really kind of you. Is it possible for you to message them??


message 21: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 8 - Phiz - December 1859



The double recognition

Book III Chapter 8

Phiz

Text Illustrated:

"As their wine was measuring out, a man parted from another man in a corner, and rose to depart. In going, he had to face Miss Pross. No sooner did he face her, than Miss Pross uttered a scream, and clapped her hands.

In a moment, the whole company were on their feet. That somebody was assassinated by somebody vindicating a difference of opinion was the likeliest occurrence. Everybody looked to see somebody fall, but only saw a man and a woman standing staring at each other; the man with all the outward aspect of a Frenchman and a thorough Republican; the woman, evidently English."






Book III Chapter 11 - Phiz



After the sentence

Book III Chapter 11

Phiz

Text Illustrated:

"My husband. No! A moment!" He was tearing himself apart from her. "We shall not be separated long. I feel that this will break my heart by-and-bye; but I will do my duty while I can, and when I leave her, God will raise up friends for her, as He did for me."

Her father had followed her, and would have fallen on his knees to both of them, but that Darnay put out a hand and seized him, crying:

"No, no! What have you done, what have you done, that you should kneel to us! We know now, what a struggle you made of old. We know, now what you underwent when you suspected my descent, and when you knew it. We know now, the natural antipathy you strove against, and conquered, for her dear sake. We thank you with all our hearts, and all our love and duty. Heaven be with you!"

Her father's only answer was to draw his hands through his white hair, and wring them with a shriek of anguish.

"It could not be otherwise," said the prisoner. "All things have worked together as they have fallen out. It was the always-vain endeavour to discharge my poor mother's trust that first brought my fatal presence near you. Good could never come of such evil, a happier end was not in nature to so unhappy a beginning. Be comforted, and forgive me. Heaven bless you!"

As he was drawn away, his wife released him, and stood looking after him with her hands touching one another in the attitude of prayer, and with a radiant look upon her face, in which there was even a comforting smile. As he went out at the prisoners' door, she turned, laid her head lovingly on her father's breast, tried to speak to him, and fell at his feet."



message 22: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 8 - John McLenan



Headnote vignette

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, chapter 8 ("A Hand at Cards")

Harper's Weekly October 1859

Text Illustrated:

"Having purchased a few small articles of grocery, and a measure of oil for the lamp, Miss Pross bethought herself of the wine they wanted. After peeping into several wine-shops, she stopped at the sign of the Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity, not far from the National Palace, once (and twice) the Tuileries, where the aspect of things rather took her fancy. It had a quieter look than any other place of the same description they had passed, and, though red with patriotic caps, was not so red as the rest. Sounding Mr. Cruncher, and finding him of her opinion, Miss Pross resorted to the Good Republican Brutus of Antiquity, attended by her cavalier.

Slightly observant of the smoky lights; of the people, pipe in mouth, playing with limp cards and yellow dominoes; of the one bare-breasted, bare-armed, soot-begrimed workman reading a journal aloud, and of the others listening to him; of the weapons worn, or laid aside to be resumed; of the two or three customers fallen forward asleep, who in the popular high-shouldered shaggy black spencer looked, in that attitude, like slumbering bears or dogs; the two outlandish customers approached the counter, and showed what they wanted."


***************************************************************************************************************************

Book III Chapter 8 - John McLenan



"So you put him in his coffin!"

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, chapter 8 ("A Hand at Cards")

Harper's Weekly October 1859

Text Illustrated:

"Here, Mr. Lorry perceived the reflection on the wall to elongate, and Mr. Cruncher rose and stepped forward. His hair could not have been more violently on end, if it had been that moment dressed by the Cow with the crumpled horn in the house that Jack built.

Unseen by the spy, Mr. Cruncher stood at his side, and touched him on the shoulder like a ghostly bailiff.

"That there Roger Cly, master," said Mr. Cruncher, with a taciturn and iron-bound visage. "So you put him in his coffin?"

"I did."

"Who took him out of it?"

Barsad leaned back in his chair, and stammered, "What do you mean?"

"I mean," said Mr. Cruncher, "that he warn't never in it. No! Not he! I'll have my head took off, if he was ever in it."

The spy looked round at the two gentlemen; they both looked in unspeakable astonishment at Jerry.

"I tell you," said Jerry, "that you buried paving-stones and earth in that there coffin. Don't go and tell me that you buried Cly. It was a take in. Me and two more knows it."



message 23: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 9 - John McLenan



Book III Chapter 9

John McLenan

Harper's Weekly October 1859

Text Illustrated:

"While Sydney Carton and the Sheep of the prisons were in the adjoining dark room, speaking so low that not a sound was heard, Mr. Lorry looked at Jerry in considerable doubt and mistrust. That honest tradesman's manner of receiving the look, did not inspire confidence; he changed the leg on which he rested, as often as if he had fifty of those limbs, and were trying them all; he examined his finger-nails with a very questionable closeness of attention; and whenever Mr. Lorry's eye caught his, he was taken with that peculiar kind of short cough requiring the hollow of a hand before it, which is seldom, if ever, known to be an infirmity attendant on perfect openness of character."

*******************************************************************

Book III Chapter 9- John McLenan



"This is that written paper!"

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, chapter 9

Harper's Weekly October 1859

Text Illustrated:

"I knew," said Defarge, looking down at his wife, who stood at the bottom of the steps on which he was raised, looking steadily up at him; "I knew that this prisoner, of whom I speak, had been confined in a cell known as One Hundred and Five, North Tower. I knew it from himself. He knew himself by no other name than One Hundred and Five, North Tower, when he made shoes under my care. As I serve my gun that day, I resolve, when the place shall fall, to examine that cell. It falls. I mount to the cell, with a fellow-citizen who is one of the Jury, directed by a gaoler. I examine it, very closely. In a hole in the chimney, where a stone has been worked out and replaced, I find a written paper. This is that written paper. I have made it my business to examine some specimens of the writing of Doctor Manette. This is the writing of Doctor Manette. I confide this paper, in the writing of Doctor Manette, to the hands of the President."

"Let it be read."

In a dead silence and stillness—the prisoner under trial looking lovingly at his wife, his wife only looking from him to look with solicitude at her father, Doctor Manette keeping his eyes fixed on the reader, Madame Defarge never taking hers from the prisoner, Defarge never taking his from his feasting wife, and all the other eyes there intent upon the Doctor, who saw none of them—the paper was read, as follows:



message 24: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 10 - John McLenan



Headnote vignette

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, chapter 10 ( "The Substance of the Shadow")

Harper's Weekly November 1859

Text Illustrated:

From the narrative of Dr. Mannette:

"One cloudy moonlight night, in the third week of December (I think the twenty-second of the month) in the year 1757, I was walking on a retired part of the quay by the Seine for the refreshment of the frosty air, at an hour's distance from my place of residence in the Street of the School of Medicine, when a carriage came along behind me, driven very fast. As I stood aside to let that carriage pass, apprehensive that it might otherwise run me down, a head was put out at the window, and a voice called to the driver to stop.

"The carriage stopped as soon as the driver could rein in his horses, and the same voice called to me by my name. I answered. The carriage was then so far in advance of me that two gentlemen had time to open the door and alight before I came up with it.

"I observed that they were both wrapped in cloaks, and appeared to conceal themselves. As they stood side by side near the carriage door, I also observed that they both looked of about my own age, or rather younger, and that they were greatly alike, in stature, manner, voice, and (as far as I could see) face too.

"'You are Doctor Manette?' said one.

"I am."

"'Doctor Manette, formerly of Beauvais,' said the other; 'the young physician, originally an expert surgeon, who within the last year or two has made a rising reputation in Paris?'

"'Gentlemen,' I returned, 'I am that Doctor Manette of whom you speak so graciously.' 'We have been to your residence,' said the first, 'and not being so fortunate as to find you there, and being informed that you were probably walking in this direction, we followed, in the hope of overtaking you. Will you please to enter the carriage?' "The manner of both was imperious, and they both moved, as these words were spoken, so as to place me between themselves and the carriage door. They were armed. I was not. "'Gentlemen,' said I, `pardon me; but I usually inquire who does me the honour to seek my assistance, and what is the nature of the case to which I am summoned.' "The reply to this was made by him who had spoken second. 'Doctor, your clients are people of condition. As to the nature of the case, our confidence in your skill assures us that you will ascertain it for yourself better than we can describe it. Enough. Will you please to enter the carriage?'"



**********************************************************************************************************************

Book III Chapter 10 - John McLenan



"I mark this cross of blood upon him, as a sign that I do it"

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, chapter 10 ("The Substance of the Shadow")

Harper's Weekly November 1859

Text Illustrated:

"The room was darkening to his sight; the world was narrowing around him. I glanced about me, and saw that the hay and straw were trampled over the floor, as if there had been a struggle.

"'She heard me, and ran in. I told her not to come near us till he was dead. He came in and first tossed me some pieces of money; then struck at me with a whip. But I, though a common dog, so struck at him as to make him draw. Let him break into as many pieces as he will, the sword that he stained with my common blood; he drew to defend himself—thrust at me with all his skill for his life.'

"My glance had fallen, but a few moments before, on the fragments of a broken sword, lying among the hay. That weapon was a gentleman's. In another place, lay an old sword that seemed to have been a soldier's.

"'Now, lift me up, Doctor; lift me up. Where is he?'

"'He is not here,' I said, supporting the boy, and thinking that he referred to the brother.

"'He! Proud as these nobles are, he is afraid to see me. Where is the man who was here? Turn my face to him.'

"I did so, raising the boy's head against my knee. But, invested for the moment with extraordinary power, he raised himself completely: obliging me to rise too, or I could not have still supported him.

"'Marquis,' said the boy, turned to him with his eyes opened wide, and his right hand raised, 'in the days when all these things are to be answered for, I summon you and yours, to the last of your bad race, to answer for them. I mark this cross of blood upon you, as a sign that I do it. In the days when all these things are to be answered for, I summon your brother, the worst of the bad race, to answer for them separately. I mark this cross of blood upon him, as a sign that I do it.'

"Twice, he put his hand to the wound in his breast, and with his forefinger drew a cross in the air. He stood for an instant with the finger yet raised, and as it dropped, he dropped with it, and I laid him down dead."



message 25: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 11 - John McLenan



Headnote vignette

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, chapter 11 ("Dusk")

Harper's Weekly November 1859

Text Illustrated:

"When he had gone out into the next room, he turned suddenly on Mr. Lorry and her father, who were following, and said to the latter:

"You had great influence but yesterday, Doctor Manette; let it at least be tried. These judges, and all the men in power, are very friendly to you, and very recognisant of your services; are they not?"

"Nothing connected with Charles was concealed from me. I had the strongest assurances that I should save him; and I did." He returned the answer in great trouble, and very slowly.

"Try them again. The hours between this and to-morrow afternoon are few and short, but try."

"I intend to try. I will not rest a moment."

"That's well. I have known such energy as yours do great things before now—though never," he added, with a smile and a sigh together, "such great things as this. But try! Of little worth as life is when we misuse it, it is worth that effort. It would cost nothing to lay down if it were not."

"I will go," said Doctor Manette, "to the Prosecutor and the President straight, and I will go to others whom it is better not to name. I will write too, and—But stay! There is a Celebration in the streets, and no one will be accessible until dark."

"That's true. Well! It is a forlorn hope at the best, and not much the forlorner for being delayed till dark. I should like to know how you speed; though, mind! I expect nothing! When are you likely to have seen these dread powers, Doctor Manette?"

"Immediately after dark, I should hope. Within an hour or two from this."

"It will be dark soon after four. Let us stretch the hour or two. If I go to Mr. Lorry's at nine, shall I hear what you have done, either from our friend or from yourself?"

"Yes."

"May you prosper!"


***************************************************************************************************************

Book III Chapter 12 - John McLenan



"I swear to you, like Evremonde!"

John McLenan

Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities, Book III, chapter 12 ("Darkness")

Harper's Weekly November 1859

Text Illustrated:

"After looking at her, as if the sound of even a single French word were slow to express itself to him, he answered, in his former strong foreign accent. "Yes, madame, yes. I am English!"

Madame Defarge returned to her counter to get the wine, and, as he took up a Jacobin journal and feigned to pore over it puzzling out its meaning, he heard her say, "I swear to you, like Evremonde!"

Defarge brought him the wine, and gave him Good Evening.

"How?"

"Good evening."

"Oh! Good evening, citizen," filling his glass. "Ah! and good wine. I drink to the Republic."

Defarge went back to the counter, and said, "Certainly, a little like." Madame sternly retorted, "I tell you a good deal like." Jacques Three pacifically remarked, "He is so much in your mind, see you, madame." The amiable Vengeance added, with a laugh, "Yes, my faith! And you are looking forward with so much pleasure to seeing him once more to-morrow!"

Carton followed the lines and words of his paper, with a slow forefinger, and with a studious and absorbed face. They were all leaning their arms on the counter close together, speaking low. After a silence of a few moments, during which they all looked towards him without disturbing his outward attention from the Jacobin editor, they resumed their conversation."



message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 8 - Fred Barnard



"Here Mr. Lorry became aware, from where he sat, of a most remarkable goblin shadow on the wall"

Book III Chapter 8

Fred Barnard

The Household Edition 1870s

Text Illustrated:

"While he was at a loss, Carton said, resuming his former air of contemplating cards:

"And, indeed, now I think again, I have a strong impression that I have another good card here, not yet enumerated. That friend and fellow-Sheep, who spoke of himself as pasturing in the country prisons; who was he?"

"French. You don't know him," said the spy quickly.

"French, eh?" repeated Carton, musing, and not appearing to notice him at all, though he echoed his word. "Well; he may be."

"Is, I assure you," said the spy; "though it's not important."

"Though it's not important," repeated Carton in the same mechanical way — "though it's not important — No, it's not important. No. Yet I know the face."

"I think not. I am sure not. It can't be," said the spy.

"It — can't — be," muttered Sydney Carton retrospectively, and filling his glass (which fortunately was a small one) again. "Can't — be. Spoke good French. Yet like a foreigner, I thought?"

"Provincial," said the spy.

"No. Foreign!" cried Carton, striking his open hand on the table, as a light broke clearly on his mind. "Cly! Disguised, but the same man. We had that man before us at the Old Bailey."

"Now, there you are hasty, sir," said Barsad, with a smile that gave his aquiline nose an extra inclination to one side; "there you really give me an advantage over you. Cly (who I will unreservedly admit, at this distance of time, was a partner of mine) has been dead several years. I attended him in his last illness. He was buried in London, at the church of Saint Pancras-in-the-Fields. His unpopularity with the blackguard multitude at the moment prevented my following his remains, but I helped to lay him in his coffin."

Here Mr. Lorry became aware, from where he sat, of a most remarkable goblin shadow on the wall. Tracing it to its source, he discovered it to be caused by a sudden extraordinary rising and stiffening of all the risen and stiff hair on Mr. Cruncher's head.

"Let us be reasonable," said the spy, "and let us be fair. To show you how mistaken you are, and what an unfounded assumption yours is, I will lay before you a certificate of Cly's burial, which I happened to have carried in my pocket-book," — with a hurried hand he produced and opened it — "ever since. There it is. Oh, look at it, look at it! You may take it in your hand; it's no forgery."


Commentary:

"Sydney Carton seizes the opportunity that the unmasking of Miss Pross's long-lost brother, Solomon, as the former English and ancien regime "intelligence-gatherer" and informer John Barsad, "The Sheep of the Prisons," presents him. Carton now threatens to denounce Barsad and his former accomplice Roger Cly as foreign spies in "A Hand at Cards".

Having suddenly discovered the explanation behind the empty coffin that he opened after the funeral of Roger Cly, Jerry Cruncher experiences a sudden shock as he listens to the dialogue between Carton and the turnkey at the Conciergerie (where Darnay has just been consigned after being re-arrested). The figures from left to right in the illustration are the elderly English banker Jarvis Lorry, the alcoholic attorney who speaks perfect French, Sydney Carton (just arrived from London), the "Resurrection Man" and quondam Tellson's messenger, Jerry Cruncher, and in a topcoat of French fashion John Barsad, now an official of the Republic. The scene is Jarvis Lorry's residence, just a few minutes' walk from the little wine-shop by the Pont Neuf where Miss Pross had recognized her brother.

But the certificate is a forgery, of course, leading the reader to wonder how far the trio should place their confidence in such a duplicitous rogue. Carton leans toward his interlocutor, grasping the brandy glass that he has been continually filling and draining, as he realizes he has sufficient evidence to condemn Barsad — unless of course Barsad agrees to assist him in his scheme (as yet undisclosed) to free Charles Darnay. Whereas John McLenan in the Harper's Weekly series had depicted the same group and realized almost the same narrative moment in "So you put him in his coffin!" (22 October 1859), McLenan had made the realization more theatrical by having Jerry rise to denounce Barsad. McLenan's Carton, not confronting Barsad, seems less astute; McLenan's Jerry is much stockier and muscular (note the great hand he lays on Barsad's shoulder); and his Barsad a thoroughly disreputable-looking Jacobin in a Phyrgian cap and drooping moustache. McLenan's realization lacks the dramatic tension that thoroughly informs Barnard's.

Barnard, known for his love of eccentric Dickens characters, cannot resist making Jerry a comic foil — his hair reminding the Household Edition reader of the tonsorial style of Seth Pecksniff in Barnard's illustrations for Martin Chuzzlewit. The illustration thus is an interesting blend of physical humor and growing suspense as the reader laughs at Jerry's reaction but wonders how Carton can blackmail Barsad into helping him break Darnay out of one of the Revolution's most secure prisons.

Phiz in one of the final four illustrations, "The Double Recognition", dealt with the crucial moment in which Miss Pross identifies one of the very French-looking customers of the Pont Neuf wine-shop as her wayward brother, Solomon; the customers in the left-hand register suspect that something is amiss; and Phiz so positions the turncoat spy that Miss Pross can see his face, but the reader cannot. Despite the importance to the plot of "The Double Recognition," the style of the picture is somewhat whimsical, with Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher providing a comic counterpoint to Dickens's text. In terms of its dominant mood, then, Barnard's twentieth illustration is a considerable advance in capturing the essence of the text realized and treating the figures with a seriousness appropriate to the narrative's revelation, a seriousness underscored by the darkness of the scene, the chiaroscuro of the candles in the center, and shadow which seems to engulf the gesticulating figure in the great-coat."



message 27: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 10- Fred Barnard



"Twice he put his hand to the wound in his breast, and with his forefinger drew a cross in the air"

Book III Chapter 10

Fred Barnard

The Household Edition 1870s

Text Illustrated:

"The room was darkening to his sight; the world was narrowing around him. I glanced about me, and saw that the hay and straw were trampled over the floor, as if there had been a struggle.

"'She heard me, and ran in. I told her not to come near us till he was dead. He came in and first tossed me some pieces of money; then struck at me with a whip. But I, though a common dog, so struck at him as to make him draw. Let him break into as many pieces as he will, the sword that he stained with my common blood; he drew to defend himself—thrust at me with all his skill for his life.'

"My glance had fallen, but a few moments before, on the fragments of a broken sword, lying among the hay. That weapon was a gentleman's. In another place, lay an old sword that seemed to have been a soldier's.

"'Now, lift me up, Doctor; lift me up. Where is he?'

"'He is not here,' I said, supporting the boy, and thinking that he referred to the brother.

"'He! Proud as these nobles are, he is afraid to see me. Where is the man who was here? Turn my face to him.'

"I did so, raising the boy's head against my knee. But, invested for the moment with extraordinary power, he raised himself completely: obliging me to rise too, or I could not have still supported him.

"'Marquis,' said the boy, turned to him with his eyes opened wide, and his right hand raised, 'in the days when all these things are to be answered for, I summon you and yours, to the last of your bad race, to answer for them. I mark this cross of blood upon you, as a sign that I do it. In the days when all these things are to be answered for, I summon your brother, the worst of the bad race, to answer for them separately. I mark this cross of blood upon him, as a sign that I do it.'

"Twice, he put his hand to the wound in his breast, and with his forefinger drew a cross in the air. He stood for an instant with the finger yet raised, and as it dropped, he dropped with it, and I laid him down dead."


Commentary:

" In the story-within-a story, Dr. Manette's epistolary denunciation of the St. Evrémonde brothers, his patient (Terese Defarge's brother, in fact), dying, damns the twin aristocrats for crimes against him and his family. In a rather melodramatic manner, Barnard divides the flashback's illustration along class lines, with the brothers St. Evrémonde, standing in their superior postures and wearing fashionable cloaks, wigs, and hats (left), and young Dr. Alexandre Manette supporting his poorly dressed patient, slain while trying to rescue his sister from the twin sexual predators. The peasant boy's sword — an old sabre that once belonged to an ancestor who served in the French army — lies in the foreground, between the two groups.

In this serial historical novel, written and originally illustrated over sixty years after the events it purportedly recounts, it is appropriate that the plot secret lies buried in the Bastille and is liberated on the very day of the prison-fortress's destruction. The 1767 narrative penned by the Bastille prisoner who was once the young physician Alexandre Manette at last brings to light in a French court the heinous deeds (executed a full century before the novel's publication) of the Marquis St. Evrémonde, Charles Darnay's father, and his younger brother and successor, later murdered in his bed by the road-mender Gaspard. Since the lad is pointing at the Marquis, Charles's father is the nobleman leaning forward with his hand on his knee, and the rapist is the other man, whose nemesis comes some thirty years later, after his carriage, careening through the streets of Saint Antoine, crushes the life out of another peasant girl. This testimony, read into the transcript of the trial, causes a sensation in both the Revolutionary court and the mind of the Victorian reader. The abuses of the ancien regime become insistently real as one reads of the younger St. Evrémonde's exercising his antiquated privilege, droit de seigneur, upon Terese Defarge's beautiful sister and then liquidating the rest of the peasant family, except Terese. Ironically, these unspeakable events transpired in Christmas week, 1757.

Barnard's effectively realizing his vision of the remote event makes it as insistently real as any from the period of the two revolutions that are the bookmarks of the story, the American and French risings against the oppressive colonizers. Barnard, as we have seen, has realized the precise moment at which the youth dying in the loft above his family's stable curses the present Marquis St. Evrémonde and all his line in Dr. Manette's blood-and-iron narrative of past wrongs to be avenged by and upon the next generation.

Although Phiz did not attempt to realize this sensational material, John McLenan in the Harper's Weekly series depicted the moment when Defarge reveals to the court the document he retrieved from Dr. Manette's cell in "This is that paper written!" (22 October 1859). McLenan realizes the moment at which the verdict against Darnay is assured as the courtroom erupts at the revelation; Barnard takes the reader back in time to discover in a telling image how such licentious aristocrats as the St. Evrémondes through their utter disregard for law and morality provided the fuel that would eventually supply the justification for the conflagration of revolution."



message 28: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 11 - Fred Barnard



"As he was drawn away, his wife released him, and stood looking after him with her hands touching one another in the attitude of prayer"

Book III Chapter 11

Fred Barnard

The Household Edition 1870s

Text Illustrated:

"The wretched wife of the innocent man thus doomed to die, fell under the sentence, as if she had been mortally stricken. But, she uttered no sound; and so strong was the voice within her, representing that it was she of all the world who must uphold him in his misery and not augment it, that it quickly raised her, even from that shock.

The Judges having to take part in a public demonstration out of doors, the Tribunal adjourned. The quick noise and movement of the court's emptying itself by many passages had not ceased, when Lucie stood stretching out her arms towards her husband, with nothing in her face but love and consolation.

"If I might touch him! If I might embrace him once! O, good citizens, if you would have so much compassion for us!"

There was but a gaoler left, along with two of the four men who had taken him last night, and Barsad. The people had all poured out to the show in the streets. Barsad proposed to the rest, "Let her embrace him then; it is but a moment." It was silently acquiesced in, and they passed her over the seats in the hall to a raised place, where he, by leaning over the dock, could fold her in his arms.

"Farewell, dear darling of my soul. My parting blessing on my love. We shall meet again, where the weary are at rest!"

They were her husband's words, as he held her to his bosom.

"I can bear it, dear Charles. I am supported from above: don't suffer for me. A parting blessing for our child."

"I send it to her by you. I kiss her by you. I say farewell to her by you."

"My husband. No! A moment!" He was tearing himself apart from her. "We shall not be separated long. I feel that this will break my heart by-and-bye; but I will do my duty while I can, and when I leave her, God will raise up friends for her, as He did for me."

Her father had followed her, and would have fallen on his knees to both of them, but that Darnay put out a hand and seized him, crying:

"No, no! What have you done, what have you done, that you should kneel to us! We know now, what a struggle you made of old. We know, now what you underwent when you suspected my descent, and when you knew it. We know now, the natural antipathy you strove against, and conquered, for her dear sake. We thank you with all our hearts, and all our love and duty. Heaven be with you!"

Her father's only answer was to draw his hands through his white hair, and wring them with a shriek of anguish.

"It could not be otherwise," said the prisoner. "All things have worked together as they have fallen out. It was the always-vain endeavour to discharge my poor mother's trust that first brought my fatal presence near you. Good could never come of such evil, a happier end was not in nature to so unhappy a beginning. Be comforted, and forgive me. Heaven bless you!"

As he was drawn away, his wife released him, and stood looking after him with her hands touching one another in the attitude of prayer, and with a radiant look upon her face, in which there was even a comforting smile. As he went out at the prisoners' door, she turned, laid her head lovingly on her father's breast, tried to speak to him, and fell at his feet."


Well that was depressing.

Commentary:

"In the aftermath of the reading into the court transcript of Dr. Alexandre Manette's 1767 epistolary denunciation of the St. Evrémonde brothers, his beloved son-in-law, now indicted as an enemy of the People and the Republic, leaves the courtroom under guard, to be executed the following day.

As in early stage adaptations of the novel, such as Fox Cooper's at The Victoria Theatre, London (7 July 1860) or Tom Taylor's at the Lyceum, London (28 January through 17 March 1860), the crowd scene "The Trial of Evrémonde", concluded and the prisoner by unanimous vote consigned to the Conciergerie and thence to the guillotine, "a notorious oppressor of the People" the liberal aristocrat who turned his back on his aristocratic lineage and wealth now makes his exit. Whether Fred Barnard, only fourteen at time those plays debuted, would actually have attended a performance of a stage adaptation of the novel prior to his Household Edition commission in the 1870s is uncertain, but he conceives of the moment as being theatrically staged. The picture has all the qualities of a tableau vivant.

Whereas Phiz had charged his realization of the scene with melodramatic emotion in "After the Sentence", showing Lucie swooning in her husband's arms immediately after the reading of the dread sentence, as her father tears his hair and Lorry stands helplessly by, here Fred Barnard captures the moment of dignified stillness that follows when, having embraced her husband for the last time (she thinks), Lucie releases Charles. The Household Edition illustrator disposes his figures across the space, directing the gazes of the characters upstage, to the departing Charles Darnay, organizing the characters into two groups of three; downstage right (i. e., the viewer's left), the psychologically shattered Dr. Manette, "draw[ing] his hands through his white hair, and wring[ing] them with a shriek of anguish", Jarvis Lorry, and Lucie; upstage left, a guard, Darnay, and the turnkey or gaoler, identified by his keys — presumably the shadowy profile just outside the door is Barsad's. Like Auguste Rodin's The Burghers of Calais (i. e., Les Bourgeois de Calais), 1889, the six figures convey in their poses and expressions differing responses to a death sentence imposed by an implacable and arbitrary judgment, from Dr. Manette's mental and emotional prostration, to Mr. Lorry's uncertainty as to how to act, to Lucie's tenderly waving farewell (not the attitude of prayer that Dickens specifies), to Darnay's stoical resignation. Foiling these attitudes are the guard's obvious indifference to the emotional parting and the gaoler's stern resolve to do his duty in liquidating a man who, despite his sympathetic domestic circumstances and nobility of character, is "At heart and by descent an Aristocrat", and therefore one to whom no true Citizen of the Republic should show pity. In contrast, all three functionaries of the justice system (left) in Phiz's illustration seem oblivious to the moving scene transpiring just feet away. Darnay turns from profile just slightly to exchange a parting, enigmatic glance."


Can one of you tell me why in the commentary the words wringing and drawing are written like this: wring[ing] draw[ing]. I'm just curious. Oh, here's The Burghers of Calais:




message 29: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 12 - Fred Barnard



"His head and throat were bare, and as he spoke with a helpless look straying all around, he took his coat off, and let it drop on the floor"

Book III Chapter 12

Fred Barnard

The Household Edition

Text Illustrated:

"Mr. Lorry waited until ten; but, Doctor Manette not returning, and he being unwilling to leave Lucie any longer, it was arranged that he should go back to her, and come to the banking-house again at midnight. In the meanwhile, Carton would wait alone by the fire for the Doctor.

He waited and waited, and the clock struck twelve; but Doctor Manette did not come back. Mr. Lorry returned, and found no tidings of him, and brought none. Where could he be?

They were discussing this question, and were almost building up some weak structure of hope on his prolonged absence, when they heard him on the stairs. The instant he entered the room, it was plain that all was lost.

Whether he had really been to any one, or whether he had been all that time traversing the streets, was never known. As he stood staring at them, they asked him no question, for his face told them everything.

"I cannot find it," said he, "and I must have it. Where is it?"

His head and throat were bare, and, as he spoke with a helpless look straying all around, he took his coat off, and let it drop on the floor.

"Where is my bench? I have been looking everywhere for my bench, and I can't find it. What have they done with my work? Time presses: I must finish those shoes."

They looked at one another, and their hearts died within them.

"Come, come!" said he, in a whimpering miserable way; "let me get to work. Give me my work."

Receiving no answer, he tore his hair, and beat his feet upon the ground, like a distracted child.

"Don't torture a poor forlorn wretch," he implored them, with a dreadful cry; "but give me my work! What is to become of us, if those shoes are not done to-night?"

Lost, utterly lost!"


Commentary:

"As a consequence of Charles Darnay's being consigned to the guillotine as a member of the notorious St. Evrémonde family, Doctor Manette had left Tellson's on the same day as the announcing of the verdict, at 4:00 P. M., convinced that as a former Bastille prisoner he could persuade someone in authority to reverse the sentence; just after midnight, he returns, quite out of his senses.

As the novel moves to the culmination of the conflict between Terese Defarge, the sole survivor of her peasant family, and the St. Evrémonde family, Doctor Manette has suffered a double reversal: his attempts to use his status as a former Bastille prisoner as leverage with the officials of the revolutionary regime fail, and he loses his grip on present reality and reverts to his shoemaker identity.

As the original illustrator, Phiz, had suggested in the November 1859 illustration "After the Sentence", Doctor Manette is distraught after the reading of the death sentence upon his son-in-law; however, in the text he is still capable of making one final attempt to save Charles from the guillotine. Vowing to try both the Prosecutor and the President of the revolutionary tribunal, as well as "others whom it is better not to name", Doctor Manette leaves Tellson's in the late afternoon. Lorry and Carton, however, are privately convinced that their friend's mission will be fruitless because the new regime's minions will remain implacable to so notorious an enemy of the People. Now, having traversed the streets of the capital all evening to no avail, the Doctor returns after midnight, broken in spirit, his hair askew: "His head and throat were bare, and, as he spoke with a helpless look straying all around", unable to find his shoe-maker's bench and tools, the long-time properties of psychological survival amidst the wretched conditions of the Bastille. The stress of the state trial and its dread verdict have done their worst, shattering the sanity reacquired in the years of freedom. His raving "I must finish those shoes" bespeaks a mind struggling for balance and control in the face of chaos. He tears his hair and beats his feet upon the floor in impatience and frustration while Lorry expresses alarm, just having risen from his arm-chair by the fire, and Carton springs to support his old friend and prevent his falling. From his wasted frame, baldness, and white hair one would judge Barnard's Doctor Manette to be a man of eighty. However, since the character was likely born about 1730, being a young physician from Beauvais (about fifty miles north of the metropolis) but recently arrived in Paris in 1757, with a young wife and child, he is probably in his early sixties in this scene.

The darkness of Barnard's illustration is appropriate to the temporal setting, the chapter title ("Darkness"), and the desolate mood of the Doctor: "Lost, utterly lost!". In fact, by the time that the reader encounters the desolate Doctor in the text and the illustration, the reader has already witnessed Carton's visit to the Defarges' wine-shop in Saint Antoine, deliberating showing himself to the Vengeance and speaking French like an Englishman. Although Barnard focuses the reader's attention on the pathetic figure of the old man, he has placed Carton upstage so that the eye naturally passes from Doctor Manette to the younger, more active man who moves to support him. The reader, then, becomes aware that this is a new, reinvigorated Carton who expresses his solicitude for the Doctor, stepping forward when most needed. While this is fundamentally the same Jarvis Lorry as the one Barnard described in the third illustration, and this is once again the dysfunctional parent of "What is this?", this is a very different Carton from the alcoholic of "The Lion and the Jackal".

McLenan in the headnote vignette for the twenty-eighth installment of the novel as it appeared in Harper's Weekly (12 November 1859), had dealt with a similar subject, capturing the moment when the deranged old physician enters Lorry's rooms, the door still open as Lorry and Carton study him. But McLenan, working in a much smaller space, fails to distinguish Carton and Lorry as he focuses the reader's attention on the Doctor's disordered hair, suggestive of his psychological collapse."



message 30: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 9 - Harry Furniss



"Dr. Manette Appeals for Justice"

Book III Chapter 9

Harry Furniss

Charles Dickens Library Edition 1910

Text Illustrated:

"Charles Evrémonde, called Darnay. Released yesterday. Reaccused and retaken yesterday. Indictment delivered to him last night. Suspected and Denounced enemy of the Republic, Aristocrat, one of a family of tyrants, one of a race proscribed, for that they had used their abolished privileges to the infamous oppression of the people. Charles Evrémonde, called Darnay, in right of such proscription, absolutely Dead in Law.

To this effect, in as few or fewer words, the Public Prosecutor.

The President asked, was the Accused openly denounced or secretly?

"Openly, President."

"By whom?"

"Three voices. Ernest Defarge, wine-vendor of St. Antoine."

"Good. "Therese Defarge, his wife."

"Good."

"Alexandre Manette, physician."

A great uproar took place in the court, and in the midst of it, Doctor Manette was seen, pale and trembling, standing where he had been seated.

"President, I indignantly protest to you that this is a forgery and a fraud. You know the accused to be the husband of my daughter. My daughter, and those dear to her, are far dearer to me than my life. Who and where is the false conspirator who says that I denounce the husband of my child!"

"Citizen Manette, be tranquil. To fail in submission to the authority of the Tribunal would be to put yourself out of Law. As to what is dearer to you than life, nothing can be so dear to a good citizen as the Republic."

Loud acclamations hailed this rebuke. The President rang his bell, and with warmth resumed."


Commentary:

"Whereas Dickens's original illustrator, Hablot Knight Browne, perhaps in conjunction with the author, elected to realize the moment when Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher discover the true identity of the "Sheep of the Prisons," John Barsad, in The Double Recognition (December 1859 installment), Furniss has opted for yet another scene in a courtroom. However, since this is the crucial moment in the second trial, when Doctor Manette himself is revealed to be Darnay's third accuser, his choice is both understandable and effective.

With a program of thirty-two illustrations to complete and apparently no concern about repeating himself, Furniss offers his third study of Lucie and her father, the other two being The Shoemaker of the Bastille and Lucie and her Father under the Plane-tree. Furthermore, he has run the risk of failing to provide sufficient variety by offering yet another courtroom scene involving Charles Darnay, the others being The Likeness in Court, Darnay Arrested, and Darnay Arraigned before the Judges. In each case, we have a repetition — but with some significant differences. Whereas Furniss's initial study of Lucie and her father emphasizes her caring demeanor and his utter helplessness, as in Phiz's The Shoemaker and Eytinge's Doctor Manette and His Daughter, this latter study shows Manette as a man of action, an animated advocate for natural justice and the release of his son-in-law, whereas Lucie is clearly in a supporting role here, concerned as always about her father's mental and physical well-being, but hardly a dynamic participant in the action.

With a panel of animalistic jurors behind him, the Doctor rises in shock, surprise, and indignation, while his daughter clings to him, concerned for his health, and perhaps feeling that his intervention may do more harm than good at this point. The reader absorbs the illustration proleptically, and must wait a dozen pages to resolve the issue it raises: is the denunciation, as Manette asserts, a "fraud" executed by the Defarges?

Whereas in the scene of his son-in-law's rearrest, A Knock at the Door, Furniss's Doctor Manette is barely visible, as if powerless to prevent his son-in-law's being found guilty of an (as yet) unspecified charge, here Doctor Manette dominates the scene by his active, alert mind, eloquent demeanor, and vigorous gesture, all features which Furniss contrasts with the Darwinian throwbacks in the jury-box behind the elderly physician. The most obvious difference between this and previous courtroom scenes is that Charles Darnay, typically the victim of institutionalized injustice, is nowhere to be seen, a deliberate omission through which Furniss creates the impression that it is now Darnay who is marginalized and powerless to affect the course of historical events in which he has been caught up. In this courtroom scene, moreover, even though Dickens has again provide a possible savior and a possible solution (Doctor Manette here enacting the role previously taken by Sydney Carton in the Old Bailey trial, and the resolution involving the Doctor's accusation being an ingenious forgery), the posture of court, as epitomized by the ten savage, dull-witted, jurors and the curious but by no means sympathetic guard (left), is not tending towards acquittal. Thus, these subtleties in the illustration support the passage some twelve pages later in which the President of the court pronounces the accused "absolutely Dead in Law" at the very outset of the trial.

As foreshadowing Manette's crucial testimony against the Evrémondes in the letter hidden all those years in cell 105, North Tower, the Bastille, the illustration rightly shifts attention from the accused to the victims of his family's oppression. Written in the eleventh year of Manette's imprison, the letter found by Defarge is exhibited in court, as in John MacLenan's serial illustration in Harper's Weekly, 29 October 1859, This is that written paper!" as documentary evidence of the sins of the fathers. The contents of the manuscript, read before the court, unleash a tidal wave of antipathy against Darnay that the Doctor, despite his status as a survivor of nearly two decades in the Bastille, is powerless to stem. Although his intervention and eloquence at the previous trial had been sufficient to secure Darnay's acquittal, as the "heretofore" Marquis St. Evrémonde Charles is by birth a marked enemy of the Revolution. Thus, although the illustration seems to offer the reader hope that Darnay will again escape the clutches of the Defarges, the slightly crazed expression of the Doctor's face reminds the reader of his ordeal as a victim of the injustice of the ancien régime and its letters de cachet, an injustice that prompted him to curse all members of the family who had oppressed him, murdered, and raped — and through their position of privilege had never been called to account for their vicious crimes. Furniss thereby introduces a secondary source of suspense as the reader, studying the illustration before encountering the trial scene in the text, wonders whether Doctor Manette will be able to endure the emotional strain of a second trial in as many days."



message 31: by Kim (new)

Kim Book III Chapter 11 - Harry Furniss



"Farewell!"

Book III Chapter 11

Harry Furniss

Charles Dickens Library Edition 1910

Text Ilustrated:

"The Judges having to take part in a public demonstration out of doors, the Tribunal adjourned. The quick noise and movement of the court's emptying itself by many passages had not ceased, when Lucie stood stretching out her arms towards her husband, with nothing in her face but love and consolation.

"If I might touch him! If I might embrace him once! O, good citizens, if you would have so much compassion for us!"

There was but a gaoler left, along with two of the four men who had taken him last night, and Barsad. The people had all poured out to the show in the streets. Barsad proposed to the rest, "Let her embrace him then; it is but a moment." It was silently acquiesced in, and they passed her over the seats in the hall to a raised place, where he, by leaning over the dock, could fold her in his arms.

"Farewell, dear darling of my soul. My parting blessing on my love. We shall meet again, where the weary are at rest!"

They were her husband's words, as he held her to his bosom.

"I can bear it, dear Charles. I am supported from above: don't suffer for me. A parting blessing for our child."

"I send it to her by you. I kiss her by you. I say farewell to her by you."

"My husband. No! A moment!" He was tearing himself apart from her. "We shall not be separated long. I feel that this will break my heart by-and-bye; but I will do my duty while I can, and when I leave her, God will raise up friends for her, as He did for me."

Her father had followed her, and would have fallen on his knees to both of them, but that Darnay put out a hand and seized him, crying:

"No, no! What have you done, what have you done, that you should kneel to us! We know now, what a struggle you made of old. We know, now what you underwent when you suspected my descent, and when you knew it. We know now, the natural antipathy you strove against, and conquered, for her dear sake. We thank you with all our hearts, and all our love and duty. Heaven be with you!"

Her father's only answer was to draw his hands through his white hair, and wring them with a shriek of anguish."



Commentary:

"Whereas Dickens's original illustrator, Hablot Knight Browne, perhaps in conjunction with the author, elected to realize the moment when Lucie faints and must be supported by Carton (signaling the importance of his reintroduction into the narrative), Harry Furniss has decided to focus, as Fred Barnard had done in the Household Edition, on the moment of parting between the condemned prisoner and his desperate wife.

In this pictorial climax, Lucie clasps Charles about the neck after the court's dread sentence confirmed unanimously by the jurors amidst the roaring approval of the onlookers. Shortly, as the court has decreed (and as, indeed, happened to almost three thousand prisoners during the Reign of Terror), Charles must return to the Conciergerie and face execution upon the public scaffold "within four-and-twenty hours" (last line of Chapter Ten, "The Substance of the Shadow" .

With a program of thirty-two illustrations to complete and apparently no concern about repeating Phiz's illustrations, Furniss again reinterprets one of the original 1859 monthly illustrations, After the Sentence. What distinguishes this reworking of the fifty-year-old steel engraving is Furniss's audacity in shifting the focus from Lucie and the central male figure (Sydney Carton in the 1859 engraving), and their flanking supporters (Jarvis Lorry to the left; Doctor Manette to the right) towards the minor group of Barsad, the gaoler, and one of the arresting officers (he of the Phrygian cap in Phiz's illustration). In the original, Lorry and Carton assume prominence as possible actors in Darnay's release whereas Doctor Manette seems impotent as he is overwhelmed by frustration and descends into despair. Having already parted from her doomed husband, Lucie is now supported by the other male guardians of the Darnay family as Mr. Lorry sympathetically takes her hand, and her father tears his hair to exemplify his sense of his own powerlessness to influence the outcome of events that his secret document, written in his own blood twenty-five years earlier in his Bastille cell.

Whereas in the scene of his son-in-law's rearrest, A Knock at the Door, Furniss's Doctor Manette with his lamp is central although barely visible in the background, as if powerless to avert his son-in-law's fate, here Doctor Manette, with his streaming hair and bulging eyes, is positioned in the extreme upper-right, behind Lucie. The oaffish, coarse-featured, uniformed gaoler in the Phrygian cap, distinguished by his ring of keys (center), dominates the scene by his size and central location, as well as by his casual pose, substantial girth, and gigantic sabre — a leering figure who with his weapon and his keys to the condemned cells in the Conciergerie exemplifies the Revolution at its worst, utterly unmoved by the fate of those consigned to his charge before their public execution.

As unpleasant and crude as Defarge, producing the letter he found and exhibiting in court, in John MacLenan's serial illustration in Harper's Weekly, 29 October 1859, This is that written paper!", the identity of this functionary is undoubted, as are those of the much smaller figures of Charles and Lucie Darnay above him in the prisoner's docket. However, the identities of the other four figures remain problematic. From the letterpress we know that Barsad is one the three others present, and, indeed, that it is he rather than the gaoler who assumes control of the situation by permitting the tearful farewell. His presence here is significant, so that the illustrator should somehow acknowledge his influence here. However, Furniss has (or appears to have) included a despondent Jarvis Lorry in the lower left, but to have left Barsad (readily identifiable by his distinctive nose from Furniss's earlier study, "John Barsad," the Spy) out of the frame altogether.

Accordingly, considering that Furniss has selected for realization an earlier moment than that in Phiz's illustration, perhaps a more useful point of reference for Furniss's composition is not Phiz's (which in fact relates to developments after Charles's exit), but that of Fred Barnard in the Household Edition, As he was drawn away, his wife released him, and stood looking after him with her hands touching one another in the attitude of prayer since it realizes precisely the same scene, albeit in the markedly realistic and theatrical manner of the Sixties style. Although he is well to the right of the composition, Charles Darnay remains the focal character because he is framed by the open door, the light beyond haloing his head. His supporting figures, the Jacobin guard and the dour gaoler, upstage, are balanced by the three downstage figures of Manette (left, giving way to despair), Lorry, and Lucie (center), each distinguished by varying responses to Darnay's departure.

Barnard captures the moment of dignified stillness that immediately follows the general clearing of the courtroom when, having embraced her husband for the last time, Lucie releases Charles — in other words, Barnard's moment illustrated occurs immediately after that which Furniss has selected. The Household Edition illustrator, capturing the expression of inevitability on the faces of Darnay and his lean, well-dressed gaoler (in form and feature utterly different from Furniss's lout), disposes his figures across the space as if it were a narrow stage, directing the gazes of the characters upstage, to the departing Charles Darnay in the doorway, organizing the characters into two groups of three; downstage right (i. e., the viewer's left), the psychologically shattered Dr. Manette, "draw[ing] his hands through his white hair, and wring[ing] them with a shriek of anguish" (Household Edition, Charles Dickens Library Edition), Jarvis Lorry, and Lucie; upstage left, a guard, Darnay, and the turnkey or gaoler, identified by his keys — presumably, then, the shadowy profile just outside the door is Barsad's. Thus, Barnard has maintained Barsad as a mysterious, shadowy figure, even while realizing all the particulars provided in the text.

Organizing his figures on a staircase rather than on a stage, Furniss seems to have felt free to experiment with the postures of all of the figures except those of Charles and Lucie Darnay, even going so far as omitting the ambivalent Barsad, in order to contrast the stoicism of Charles Darnay and the tenderness of Lucie with the surly callousness of the inappropriately jocular gaoler, again a less human and more animalistic figure than the victim of Revolutionary justice and his family and friends. The depiction of the sentimental moment is therefore undercut somewhat by Furniss's more satirical treatment of the turnkey as Furniss thrusts husband and wife into the background, and sets the scene in a space characterized by depth of field, as opposed to the more "stagey" strategy of Barnard and Phiz, who have placed figures of approximately the same size in a horizontally rather than vertically organized plate."



message 32: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Newton | 11 comments Hilary wrote: "Yes Cindy, that would be really kind of you. Is it possible for you to message them??"

I'd be happy to!


message 33: by Peter (new)

Peter Kim wrote: "Book III Chapter 11 - Fred Barnard

"As he was drawn away, his wife released him, and stood looking after him with her hands touching one another in the attitude of prayer"

Book III Chapter 11

Fr..."


Hi Kim

As always, and forever, thank you for posting these delightful illustrations.

In answer to the square brackets, the original text reads "Her father's only answer was to draw his hands through his white hair, and wring them with a shriek of anguish."

When the person who was writing the commentary came to this sentence his grammatical structure required him to use the verbs in another form in order for the sentence to read grammatically correctly. Thus the change.

The rule of quotation notation is that when any of the original words or phrases are altered from the original form of the author, or words or phrases are added to the author's original words, such material will be indicated with the use of the square bracket. ... i. e. [ ].

Now, if that isn't the most boring thing you have encountered today it must have been quite the day for you. :-))


message 34: by Peter (new)

Peter The illustrations are always of interest. From the point of view of the later illustrators, consider that they face the situation of having to render a new view of what Dickens wanted and approved of in the original illustrations of Browne.

How did they re-create what was already established in readers' minds? Should they move far away from the settings and choices made by Dickens and Browne? How much poetic licence would the reading audience allow?

Even if the readers of the subsequent publications of Dickens's novels had never seen the original illustrations, and, in all likelihood, would never see a Phiz, what is the allowable reach of another artist's "poetic licence?"

How do you do another Mona Lisa? OK I'm being dramatic here but I do like Phiz. :-))


message 35: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Peter wrote: "The illustrations are always of interest. From the point of view of the later illustrators, consider that they face the situation of having to render a new view of what Dickens wanted and approved ..."

I don't really know who had a more difficult time of it: The later illustrators, who had as brilliant an artist as Phiz to compete with (even if the reading public might have been ignorant of Phiz's drawings, I am sure that Furniss, Barnard, Eytinge and their brethren were not), or Phiz, who had to work together with Dickens and was possibly limited in his choice as to the scenes he was going to illustrate and how to do this by the author's own ideas. I actually think it quite wise in Phiz not to have picked the most melodramatic moments from the narration because this way, it was left to the readers' own imagination to give life to these moments - I'm thinking, for instance, of Dr. Manette's background story, which must have been much more shocking to Victorian readers than to us still. Phiz's works have shaped many a Dickens character for me, but they have never stood in the way between the text and my own imagination (though they surely have a remarkable life of their own, if you think of Pickwick, or Pecksniff, or of Mrs. Gamp). Phiz works like the director of one of those good old movies: He does not show the most atrocious stuff, thus leaving space for our imagination to fill.


message 36: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy By the way, reading this thread today reminds me that there was also Thanksgiving in Germany a week ago. But like Hilary said about Ireland, German Thanksgiving is hardly on a par with what people on the other side of the Atlantic seem to enjoy. We just went to Church in the morning, where the children of three nursery schools had prepared a little play that was at the centre of the service, but in the afternoon, we had just a normal Sunday dinner, and there was no family apart from the Usual Suspects.

And then, when I read of jalapeños, of chocolate and - one of my favourite vegetables - Bruxelles sprouts, I really do envy you, my friends. Our next really big thing is going to be Christmas, or maybe Halloween, which is becoming more and more en vogue. Well, I hope you all had a wonderful time!


message 37: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy One other word about the illustrations that Kim has, once again, provided so carefully: I actually remember saying that I liked Harry Furniss's works, but when I take a look at the illustration Kim presented in post 30, I think I will have to modify my statement: Here, I think, the figures depicted verge on caricatures because everything is distorted or otherwise exaggerated. The people in the background don't look like real people anymore but like Ogres or like faces painted by Goya (whom I really like, by the way), the guard to the Doctor's left looks like a goblin, and the Doctor himself, who is supposed to come over as agitated and excited, rather reminds me of Major Bagstock during one of his hardest fits of apoplexy. To me, this is an example of how an over-sensationalist approach can mar an overall mood.

In contrast, take Fred Barnard's illustration in message 26 - we have Mr. Cruncher and his shadow (the latter could be the shadow of Mr. Pecksniff alright) but instead of making the whole scene seem ridiculous, this little detail adds to the overall impression of sombreness and conspiracy and counter-conspiracy. Those figures look as though the next moment they would jump out of the picture!

I only wonder what Kyd ... ah well, we'd better leave him in peace.


message 38: by Peter (last edited Oct 12, 2016 09:22AM) (new)

Peter Tristram wrote: "Peter wrote: "The illustrations are always of interest. From the point of view of the later illustrators, consider that they face the situation of having to render a new view of what Dickens wanted..."

Yes. Most other illustrators were very aware of the original illustrations. Both Barnard and Furniss went on to illustrate the entire Dickens canon in later editions.


message 39: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Like Cindy, I would also say that while I can understand Mme Defarge's desire for revenge, because after all, she lost her entire family, the excess to which she is ready to go makes her seem insane. I am quite sorry for her husband, though.

But maybe, we can take M. and Mme Defarge as manifestations of the Revolution as seen by Dickens. Originally, Mme Defarge's thirst for revenge was maybe as understandable and probably also as justifiable as the people's indignation at the privileges of the second and first orders and how they abused them. In the course of events, however, Mme Defarge loses all restraint and extends her hatred also towards those who stand in whatever imaginary connection she may perceive, to her wrongdoers. Likewise the Revolution itself went through its phases of hystery and paranoia; just think of the Jacobin era and the Law of Suspects. - As to M. Defarge, I would say that in his heart of hearts he is an honest man, but (like Mme Defarge's brother) not one who would bear all injustice without defending himself. It is Mme Defarge as well as the general tendency towards radicalization that may lead him into a direction he did not really want to head for.


message 40: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Peter wrote: "Tristram wrote: "Peter wrote: "The illustrations are always of interest. From the point of view of the later illustrators, consider that they face the situation of having to render a new view of wh..."

It would be interesting to see if Furniss often gave in to the awkward tendency of exaggeration.


message 41: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy With regard to Peter's question

"What response to Doctor Manette's letter do you think Dickens wanted to get from his original reading audience?"

I think I can say that maybe Dickens wanted to show that even a mild and fair person such as Doctor Manette could be driven to the extreme of cursing a whole family (and with it, generations unborn as yet) given the unscrupulous use the Evremondes made of their prerogatives - although I am not so sure that something like the ius primae noctis was still practised in the Ancien régime. Now, if somebody like Doctor Manette is not above feeling hatred for certain noblemen, this certainly justifies the anger of lesser-educated people like the Defarges - that's probably what Dickens wanted to imply.

I found myself wondering about another detail, though. Actually, two details:

1) Doctor Manette was not supposed to write anything or communicate with anybody in his prison. He had to make his own ink by mixing blood and soot, and he had to hide his writing utensils away whenever some guard drew nearer. But still, he seems to have been in the possession of quite a quantity of paper. Where did he get the paper from?

2) When Defarge ransacked the Doctor's former cell in the Bastille, he was clearly looking for some notes. We also know that when Darnay told the Doctor the story of a long-term prisoner's notes being found in some prison-cell, he started and looked as though some worry was on his mind. Might we not infer from the Doctor's reaction that he would not want anybody to find his notes, knowing what they contained about the family of his in-law? And yet Defarge seems to know that it is worth his while looking for notes in his former master's prison cell. How come?


message 42: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy I have also been asking myself why Sydney Carton should suddenly have gone to Paris. His friend Darnay, if "friend" he could call him, has been imprisoned for quite a while, all in all, more than one year, but it is now, when matters happen to come to a crisis, that he shows up.

Are there any reasons given for his appearance, anything I overread?


message 43: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy I am already looking forward to discussing the book as a whole, and I must confess that I have read it nearly to the end now, and so I am afraid of spoiling events to come if I go on talking and musing.

I'll not be at the computer this coming weekend, but I know that by the middle of next week, there will be lots of new thoughts and input, judging from the vivacity of this thread's discussion.


message 44: by Kim (new)

Kim Sorry Tristram, so far I can only find one illustration by Kyd for our novel, it's frustrating, why would he only have given us one of his delightful illustrations this time? Oh, here it is, his idea of Madame Defarge:





message 45: by Peter (last edited Oct 13, 2016 08:38AM) (new)

Peter Tristram wrote: "I have also been asking myself why Sydney Carton should suddenly have gone to Paris. His friend Darnay, if "friend" he could call him, has been imprisoned for quite a while, all in all, more than o..."

You have raised so good questions. There seems to be a few loose (golden?) threads to the plot structure and logic. Shall we hold our thoughts to the after text discussion?

I am going to check in our university library to see if it has the complete works illustrated by Furniss. I imagine the illustrators after Phiz had to do some stretching to make their work un-Browne like.


message 46: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Kim wrote: "Sorry Tristram, so far I can only find one illustration by Kyd for our novel, it's frustrating, why would he only have given us one of his delightful illustrations this time? Oh, here it is, his id..."

This does not at all look like Mme Defarge to me, whom I picture as a beautiful woman, the precursor of the femme fatale, a woman who can hold her sway over a man like Defarge and make him go on with an enterprise he does not really support - viz. persecuting Darnay even though he is the Doctor's in-law. The woman drawn by Kyd looks like an aged itinerant actress in the role of Little Red Riding Hood instead.


message 47: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy Peter wrote: "I imagine the illustrators after Phiz had to do some stretching to make their work un-Browne like."

And I can just imagine how difficult it must have been for them not to allow themselves to be visibly influenced by Browne. One might even ask the question if characters like Pecksniff, Gamp, Pickwick would have taken up such a deep-rooted presence in our minds, had it not been for Browne's illustrations.


message 48: by Hilary (new)

Hilary (agapoyesoun) Tristram, you say you see Mme Defarge as the femme fatale type? I think that I must have zoned out at that bit.

I see her more as a heavyset woman with dark, glowering eyebrows and a mop of messy dark hair. Her complexion is adorned with skin tags and pimples. Her legs, if indeed any bit of them is accidentally on display, are dressed in thick stockings or 18th century equivalents, which form rolls around her ankles. She has unattractive, sensible shoes or boots worn down at the heel. Her clothes are generally dowdy and have seen better days.

She would be better served in staying at home and knitting garments for herself rather than dabbling in man's work. :p (Mr Trump would be proud!)


message 49: by Kim (new)

Kim Tristram wrote: "This does not at all look like Mme Defarge to me, whom I picture as a beautiful woman, the precursor of the femme fatale,"

You asked for Kyd, you got him. If he ever managed to draw someone that actually looked like the person he's supposed to be drawing, I haven't seen it.


message 50: by Linda (new)

Linda | 712 comments Thank you once again for all the illustrations, Kim. Since we have not had Kyd illustrations for awhile, I haven't focused on which illustrator I'm looking at in the posts, but am instead trying to pick out who's who in the scene. I do see you posted one Kyd illustration of Madame Defarge. I agree with Tristram (sorry Hilary), that I do not imagine her as Kyd draws her here, but instead I imagine her has having good looks at one time, slim and would-be stylish if she chose to.

I had to go back and look at the people in the message 30 illustration after Tristram's commentary. Those people in the background look like Jim Henson muppets gone bad!

Tristram, you raised some good questions, especially regarding why Carton chose to show up in Paris just at the time he did. I just finished the book today, so I don't want to say anything more at this point and will wait until the final discussion. I am left with a couple of questions of my own that I hope to remember to ask in a few days.


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