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A Tale of Two Cities
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HISTORICAL FICTION > 4. A TALE OF TWO CITIES ~ February 27th - March 4th ~~ BOOK THE SECOND ~ V, VI, VII, VIII ~ (93 -122) No Spoilers Please

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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited Feb 23, 2012 07:40PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bentley | 44168 comments Mod
Hello Everyone,

For the week of February 27th - March 4th, we are reading Book the Second (V,VI, VII, VIII) of A Tale of Two Cities.

The fourth week's reading assignment is:

Week Four: February 27th - March 4th (2012)::

Week Four - February 27 - March 4
(pages 93 - 122)
V. The Jackal 93
VI. Hundreds of People 97
VII. Monseigneur in Town 109
VIII. Monseigneur in the Country 118


We will open up a thread for each week's reading. Please make sure to post in the particular thread dedicated to those specific chapters and page numbers to avoid spoilers. We will also open up supplemental threads as we did for other books.

This book was kicked off on February 6th. We look forward to your participation. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell's and other noted on line booksellers do have copies of the book and shipment can be expedited. The book can also be obtained easily at your local library, or on your Kindle. And to make things even easier; this book is available "free" on line as either an ebook download or an audiobook.This weekly thread will be opened up either during the weekend before or on February 27th.

There is no rush and we are thrilled to have you join us. It is never too late to get started and/or to post.

Becky will be leading this discussion. But since this is Becky's first time moderating a book in the History Book Club; Bentley will be co-moderating this selection.

Welcome,

~Bentley

TO ALWAYS SEE ALL WEEKS' THREADS SELECT VIEW ALL

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens by Charles Dickens Charles Dickens

REMEMBER NO SPOILERS ON THE WEEKLY NON SPOILER THREADS

Notes:

It is always a tremendous help when you quote specifically from the book itself and reference the chapter and page numbers when responding. The text itself helps folks know what you are referencing and makes things clear.

Citations:

If an author or book is mentioned other than the book and author being discussed, citations must be included according to our guidelines. Also, when citing other sources, please provide credit where credit is due and/or the link. There is no need to re-cite the author and the book we are discussing however. For citations, add always the book cover, the author's photo when available and always the author's link. If mentioning simply other author's, please cite the author's photo and the author's link.

If you need help - here is a thread called the Mechanics of the Board which will show you how:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

Glossary

Remember there is a glossary thread where ancillary information is placed by the moderator. This is also a thread where additional information can be placed by the group members regarding the subject matter being discussed.

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/7...

Bibliography

There is a Bibliography where books cited in the text are posted with proper citations and reviews. We also post the books that the author may have used in his research or in his notes. Please also feel free to add to the Bibliography thread any related books, etc with proper citations or other books either non fiction or historical fiction that relate to the subject matter of the book itself. No self promotion, please.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens by Charles Dickens Charles Dickens


message 2: by Becky (last edited Feb 23, 2012 10:15PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Chapter Overviews and Summaries

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 5 The Jackal


Carton has fallen asleep over his drink and when the bartender wakes him at 10 pm he goes to Stryver's chambers. There he and Stryver are supposed to go through the upcoming cases, but Carton fixes a little meal for them both. They talk and Stryver starts moralizing to Carton essentially telling him he's lazy. Then the subject changes to Lucie Manette and how pretty she is according to Stryver, but Carton disagrees. In the early morning gray, Carton leaves for home where he cries into his pillow.

Chapter 6 Hundreds of People

On Sundays Mr. Lorry walks over to visit the Manettes. Lucie has decorated very simply and thriftily but the rooms are quite cheerful. Lorry notices the doctor's shoe making kit in a corner.

The Manettes are not in yet. Miss Pross discusses her jealous worries about Lucie and "hundreds" of people trying to win her affections. The only man worthy of Lucie, in Miss Pross' view, is her brother Solomon, a scoundrel who conned Miss Pross out of all she had.

They also discuss the doctor and if he ever thinks of his "shoe-making time" and the cause of it. Lucie believes the doctor does think about it. Miss Pross thinks he's scared of the subject and tells of his late night pacing.

The house is located on a corner which produces echoes, especially the echoes of approaching feet. The Manettes arrive home and the small group eats dinner and then go out to sit under the tree.

Darnay comes to visit. He asks about London's Old Tower and Doctor Manette starts talking and remembering, but a rainstorm interrupts them. They go back inside where they listen to the rain, people rushing and echoes. They discuss the echoes and their imaginations about them.

Jerry Cruncher comes to pick up Mr. Lorry and after discussing the downpour a bit they all go their own ways.

Chapter 7 Monseigneur in Town

In Paris, 1780, the very rich and powerful Monseigneur holds receptions at his grand hotel in Paris where he sits in his inner room drinking chocolate while his guests wait outside. The Monseigneur does not like tending to the affairs of state. He believes he is rich and powerful because the world was made for him (and other aristocrats).

But Monseigneur's wealth has been shrinking and he married his sister to rich suitor, a Farmer-General. The guests all fawn except one who tells him to go to the devil.

The Monseigneur leaves in his carriage, racing through the streets until a bump causes the horses to stumble. A child is dead and a man is crying and comes charging at the Monseigneur.

Monseigneur the Marquis throws a gold coin for him. Defarge comes and comforts Gaspard, the child's father. The Monseigneur throws another gold coin and goes to leave but the coin is thrown back at him. He stops the carriage to find who did that and sees the knitting Madame Defarge among the others.


Chapter 8. Monseigneur in the Country

The Monsieur the Marquis is traveling home to the countryside in his carriage. The countryside is beautiful but poor, broken, The village is small and poor. The people are poor. This was all due to the taxes which were swallowing it all up. The people look miserable and small.

The Marquis stops by the fountain and asks a road mender why he was staring. The man tells him there was an unknown man, swinging by the chain on the drag (brake) of the carriage. The man faced up, was whiter than white and tall as a spectre.

The Marquis assumes it was a thief and hands him over to the Postmaster, Gabelle. warning Gabelle to be cautious with the man. The villagers peer under the coach.

The Marquis drives on up the hill to his own residence where there is a small burial grounds. A woman is there with to beg for a name to be put on a stone for her husband, the forester, who has died of starvation. She advises that more will die of "want," including herself. The Marquis is driven quickly home where he asks if Charles has arrived from England.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments From Chapter 5: The Jackal:
“The old Sydney Carton of old Shrewsbury School,” said Stryver, nodding his head over him as he reviewed him in the present and the past, “the old seesaw Sydney. Up one minute and down the next; now in spirits and now in despondency!”
“Ah!” returned the other, sighing: ”yes! The same Sydney, with the same luck. Even then, I did exercises for other boys, and seldom did my own.
“And why not?”
“God knows. It was my way, I suppose.”


So what do you think of Sidney Carton at this point? What is his relationship with Stryver based on? Do the nicknames (Lion and Jackal) suit them?


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments I was liking Carton less and less at this point. I was confused at the trial - who the heck is this strange person? Then he went out with Darnay and got drunk and felt sorry for himself. Now he's over at Stryver's chambers doing the same thing while Stryver berates him. Do not like this person he has some serious problems.

I guess he's been friends with Stryver since school days and it's always been the same. Stryver has strived to get ahead, Carton acts like a box of rocks. He's smart and good looking, he just has no ambition or self-worth at all.


Ruthbie | 18 comments Yes Carton is definitely a very unsympathetic character, I too couldn't understand what was his purpose at the trial, and it's still a puzzle to me why Stryver really has anything to do with him.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments I think I've known people like Carton. (lol)


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Chapter 6 is complex, it has the Manettes living in a "quaint" house in a quiet area on the outskirts of London. Per the book:

"The Doctor occupied two floors of a large stiff house, where several callings purported to be pursued by day, but whereof little was audible any day, and which was shunned by all of them at night. In a building at the back, attainable by a courtyard where a plane-tree rustled its green leaves, church-organs claimed to be made, and silver to be chased, and likewise gold to be beaten by some mysterious giant who had a golden arm starting out of the wall of the front hall—as if he had beaten himself precious, and menaced a similar conversion of all visitors. Very little of these trades, or of a lonely lodger rumoured to live up-stairs, or of a dim coach-trimming maker asserted to have a counting-house below, was ever heard or seen. Occasionally, a stray workman putting his coat on, traversed the hall, or a stranger peered about there, or a distant clink was heard across the courtyard, or a thump from the golden giant. These, however, were only the exceptions required to prove the rule that the sparrows in the plane-tree behind the house, and the echoes in the corner before it, had their own way from Sunday morning unto Saturday night."


What the heck does this mean? What kind of a house is this? Are there other businesses in the house?

And of course, what are the echoes from?

It was a cool spot, staid but cheerful, a wonderful place for echoes, and a very harbour from the raging streets."

I'm inclined to believe that the Manette's live in an area which is what we would call "industrial" or "business" in terms of zoning. And it's hard telling about the echoes just yet. Echoes made by feet and the doctor's shoemaking tools ...

"... there, in a corner, stood the disused shoemaker’s bench and tray of tools, much as it had stood on the fifth floor of the dismal house by the wine-shop, in the suburb of Saint Antoine in Paris."


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments b> Book II, Chapter 6: "Hundreds of People"'

There is so much in this chapter with "hundreds of people" and echoes and Miss Pross discussing Doctor Manette. I'll just start with Miss Pross.

We see the "... wild-looking woman,... (with) red hair..." of Book I, Chapter 4 a bit more clearly here, maybe enough to answer Scott's question about why she's single:

" Mr. Lorry knew Miss Pross to be very jealous, but he also knew her by this time to be, beneath the service of her eccentricity, one of those unselfish creatures—found only among women—who will, for pure love and admiration, bind themselves willing slaves, to youth when they have lost it, to beauty that they never had, to accomplishments that they were never fortunate enough to gain, to bright hopes that never shone upon their own sombre lives. "

We know her jealousy from Book 1, Chapter 4, but what about the rest of the paragraph?

" … she had acquired such wonderful arts, that the woman and girl who formed the staff of domestics regarded her as quite a Sorceress, or Cinderella's Godmother: who would send out for a fowl, a rabbit, a vegetable or two from the garden, and change them into anything she pleased."

This is an allusion to the story of Cinderella - Miss Pross is the fairy godmother who transforms pumpkins to carriages - or souffles in this case, perhaps. (heh)

Here again Mr. Lorry’s inquiries into Miss Pross’s personal history had established the fact that her brother Solomon was a heartless scoundrel who had stripped her of everything she possessed, as a stake to speculate with, and had abandoned her in her poverty for evermore, with no touch of compunction. Miss Pross’s fidelity of belief in Solomon (deducting a mere trifle for this slight mistake) was quite a serious matter with Mr. Lorry, and had its weight in his good opinion of her."

She has no money or assets, has been conned by her brother yet Mr. Lorry admires Miss Pross -

And she has the "jerks."

"She was not unfrequently the victim of this disorder, and she called it, in familiar conversation, “a fit of the jerks.”
and
Tea-time, and Miss Pross making tea, with another fit of the jerks upon her,

What could this be - this "fit of the jerks" ? Any ideas? I was thinking maybe a really mild form of epilepsy but I really wouldn't know.

MIss Pross is obviously a flawed but very strong character, Any ideas about Miss Pross, would you admire her?

What other "flawed" characters have we come across so far?


Ruthbie | 18 comments I think you have to admire Miss Pross's loyalty to Lucie Manette, even though she is quite obsessive! I reckon the "fit of the jerks" probably is something like epilepsy, or maybe Tourette's?


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Yes, although they are flawed, these are some of Dickens' most memorable characters! Jerry Cruncher and Miss Pross sometimes provide some comic relief but they are strong.

In fact, there are three very strong but incredibly different female characters in A Tale of Two Cities - Lucie, Miss Pross and Madame Defarge.


Ruthbie | 18 comments Have to admit I'm finding Lucie slightly irritating at the moment, hoping that will change! Madame Defarge is especially intriguing.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments I couldn't stand Lucie the first time I read "A Tale of Two CIties" but then I read some of Dickens' other works and the next time I tried "Tale" she wasn't so bad.

This time I actually think she's rather sweet - she has an enormous sense of duty and love for her father. She so wants to make a home for him and them. Perhaps that's from not having anyone but Miss Pross for so long - I'll bet she dreamed of having parents to love and then to find one in so much trouble. Uffda, as my grandmother would say.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments And in Chapter 7 we're given a glimpse of the riches of the aristocracy and the wealthy at the time - After Monseigneur manages to eat his chocolate we get ... :

So polite and so impressible was Monseigneur, that the Comedy and the Grand Opera had far more influence with him in the tiresome articles of state affairs and state secrets, than the needs of all France....

...Of his pleasures, general and particular, Monseigneur had the other truly noble idea, that the world was made for them.

...Farmer-Generals were rich, and Monseigneur, after generations of great luxury and expense, was growing poor.

...A sumptuous man was the Farmer-General. Thirty horses stood in his stables, twenty-four male domestics sat in his halls, six body-women waited on his wife.

...For, the rooms, though a beautiful scene to look at, and adorned with every device of decoration that the taste and skin of the time could achieve, were, in truth, not a sound business; considered with any reference to the scarecrows in the rags and nightcaps elsewhere...


Any impressions of this? Can you imagine what it would be like to be a scarecrow with this kind of lord in your neighborhood? This has gone on for generations - I'm personally rather disgusted - and I think that was DIckens' point.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Is Dickens justifying the Revolution here?


Darcy (drokka) I don't know if he's justifying the Revolution, though I would think he is very supportive of this 'equalizing' within a population.

It did strike me as his usual passive-aggressive approach of describing class injustices. I always wondered if it wasn't his way of provoking the reader into action. Though it kind of backfired, the work became popular, but the movement...not so much.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments LOL! I'd never thought of Dickens as being "passive aggressive" but you have a point. I rather think he used every tool available to him as a social reformer and author. His reform activity included articles in reform minded journals (the True Sun - fairly radical - and Household Words) and starting his own "All the Year Round." He published his serialized stories in those papers. But he was hoping England would not have to go through a "bloody" revolution to get the reforms he supported into law.

I'm curious, how do you think it backfired?


Darcy (drokka) I guess what I meant was that although the serial/book became and has always been very popular, I'm not certain it did much to propel people to find ways to improve the plight of others. At least not initially.
While there were some changes enacted during Dickens' lifetime, there wasn't a great deal that changed for the poor in economic terms.
Grassroots movements helped to shorten the work week and to remove young children from the labour force, but it wasn't until after WWI that significant changes occurred legislatively to help the poor.


message 18: by Becky (last edited Mar 02, 2012 02:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments I suppose that's true enough - there were a lot of conservatives around who really opposed any change to the status quo. And some who actually wanted to go backwards with harsher laws for the poor.

But perhaps members of those grassroots movements had read Dickens - Household Words and All Year Round as well as the stories.

It may have been hard for the English in 1859 to see how their situation resembled that of the French peasants prior to the Revolution - the differences are enormous. Dickens has to stretch back to Charles II (Stuart) in Chapter 7 Monseigneur in Town :

"So polite and so impressible was Monseigneur, that the Comedy and the Grand Opera had far more influence with him (Monseigneur) in the tiresome articles of state affairs and state secrets, than the needs of all France. A happy circumstance for France, as the like always is for all countries similarly favoured!—always was for England (by way of example), in the regretted days of the merry Stuart who sold it."

I think the Industrial Revolution was supposed to change things for the better but it didn't do much for the women or the poor. (I think I'm agreeing with you now.) (heh)


message 19: by Darcy (last edited Mar 02, 2012 02:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Darcy (drokka) That is a good point about the Grassroots groups, and if they didn't read Dickens, they might have been aware of his stories through word of mouth.

You do touch on something there with the Industrial Revolution - something that hardly any impact in France at the time. Most of the country was still agricultural at the time. The Magna Carta changed all that for England, so in a sense, I think that while change was important in England, the changes required in France were completely different. (Which means I also agree with your point about Dickens not wanting a 'bloody' revolution).
What there was of a middle class was small, and quite powerless politically. Whereas in England, the middle class held far more influence in politics. The last paragraph you noted gets right at the centre of it: As far as the nobility and the King in particular, where concerned they saw themselves as the embodiment of France, and the peasants/poor as a means to that end.
I think I'm straying though.


message 20: by Becky (last edited Mar 02, 2012 04:35PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Straying is so easy when you're looking at an historical novel through historical lenses - finding the connections, the pieces.

However- what do you (anyone!) make of the echoes - could they be the political ramifications of what is happening in France? Are they echoing right into the homes of Dickens' readers? Or are they Doctor Manette's memories? Or maybe they are foreshadowing something - building tension? I'd say we have to keep on eye on this element of the story.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Dickens uses imagery almost as though he knows film is coming:

Chapter 7:
"With a wild rattle and clatter, and an inhuman abandonment of consideration not easy to be understood in these days, the carriage dashed through streets and swept round corners, with women screaming before it, and men clutching each other and clutching children out of its way. At last, swooping at a street corner by a fountain, one of its wheels came to a sickening little jolt, and there was a loud cry from a number of voices, and the horses reared and plunged."

The chapter continues in what is, to me, this highly visualized vein. Does it work for you? Do you see all you want to see in the picture Dickens has painted?


message 22: by Cleo (last edited Mar 03, 2012 07:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 40 comments Becky wrote: "The chapter continues in what is, to me, this highly visualized vein. Does it work for you? Do you see all you want to see in the picture Dickens has painted? ..."

Dickens descriptions are brilliant; they draw the reader completely into the scenes. At times, he overdoes it but, I think, it's all done to get his point(s) across.

I am still noticing that every time Mr. Lorry enters the scene there is continually something about "business" mentioned. I think this bears noting. Is it indicating that he is not able or willing to become emotionally involved in anything? Is Dickens stressing this to enhance a dramatic change in Lorry's character later in the novel? Is there some other reason? This is really fascinating me; I can't wait to find out the purpose for this continual description of him.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments I think "business" is the backbone of Lorry's life - he really doesn't have anything else, no wife, no children, only his job, business. And business was a hugely important thing in England at the time, what with the Industrial Revolution creating wealth instead of only land.

Also, like you said, it gives what he says and does a very rationale basis rather than emotional.

Relatedly, I hear Jerry Cruncher describes himself as an "honest tradesman." Are these identifiers for Dickens' contemporary readers? Are they little one or two-word stereotypes, and will the bearers uphold the descriptor?

Good question - I know I'll be keeping a lookout for Lorry, the Man of Business and Jerry, Mr. Honest Tradesman.


message 24: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott | 134 comments Becky wrote: "Dickens uses imagery almost as though he knows film is coming:

Chapter 7:
"With a wild rattle and clatter, and an inhuman abandonment of consideration not easy to be understood in these days, t..."


Is it possible that Dickens meant the newspaper story to be read out loud to those who could not afford a paper? In the 1950's, I rember a TV show where a man read the funnies and other parts of the paper to the audience, with no comment. I thought it was because some could't afford a paper.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments That's very easily possible. And Dickens focused on what people wanted to read, not what would impress the critics of the time. Very interesting insight, Scott!


message 26: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott | 134 comments Cleo wrote: "Becky wrote: "The chapter continues in what is, to me, this highly visualized vein. Does it work for you? Do you see all you want to see in the picture Dickens has painted? ..."

Dickens descriptio..."

I think that Mr Lorry is keeping his distance as a policeman or attorney would keep for the good of all concerned. Lorry needs to assert that distance because his 'business' is more just paperwork; it includes getting peoplein and out of physical and financial danger.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Very true - he was entrusted with Lucie when she was a baby and then he worked to get her father back home. Now he is being a personal friend but he has to keep thinking logically - Maybe repeatedly calling himself a "businessman" the reader is set up to see him as the rational one, the balanced one of the group.

How are the English portrayed here in comparison to the French? Would there be any French businessmen types?


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments And I suppose that brings us to Chapter 8 - Monseigneur in the Country.

A beautiful landscape, with the corn bright in it, but not abundant. Patches of poor rye where corn should have been, patches of poor peas and beans, patches of most coarse vegetable substitutes for wheat. On inanimate nature, as on the men and women who cultivated it, a prevalent tendency towards an appearance of vegetating unwillingly—a dejected disposition to give up, and wither away.

What is going on in the country - the home of the Monseigneur? Why? From that paragraph alone it's not immediately apparent to me - I needed the subsequent lines to understand how poor and used up everything had become.

A bit later...
"The sunset struck so brilliantly into the traveling carriage when it gained the hill-top, that its occupant was steeped in crimson."

Does that sound like it's going to be good news?


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Becky wrote: "How are the English portrayed here in comparison to the French? Would there be any French businessmen types?
"


I think there may be a bit of prejudice on the part of Dickens here - the French are portrayed as either evil and scheming or severely oppressed and possibly subversive. There could be no "upstanding" French businessmen at the time? Maybe later we'll find one.


message 30: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott | 134 comments D wrote: "That is a good point about the Grassroots groups, and if they didn't read Dickens, they might have been aware of his stories through word of mouth.

You do touch on something there with the Indust..."


One of the keys points of the Magna Carte was that everybody, including the King, was subject to the law. The King could make laws, but even he had to obey them. This does not seem to be the case in France, where the Monseigner can run over a child, with no-one even suggesting that he be taken to court to answer for his actions.


message 31: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott | 134 comments Becky wrote: "From Chapter 5: The Jackal:
“The old Sydney Carton of old Shrewsbury School,” said Stryver, nodding his head over him as he reviewed him in the present and the past, “the old seesaw Sydney. Up o..."


What is the point of Carton even being in the story? He adds nothing to the plot, and just seems to get in the way of the other characters.


message 32: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott | 134 comments Becky wrote: "Straying is so easy when you're looking at an historical novel through historical lenses - finding the connections, the pieces.

However- what do you (anyone!) make of the echoes - could they b..."


Dickens describes the French as operating in groups: royals and clergy, or the faceless shadows at the DeFarges' tavern. However,the English are portrayed as individuals, each having some independence, while acting interdependently for the greater good. The only example of mob action in England so far in the novel, are the 'flies' that buzz around the Old Bailey, looking for cheap thrills.


message 33: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott | 134 comments Becky wrote: "And in Chapter 7 we're given a glimpse of the riches of the aristocracy and the wealthy at the time - After Monseigneur manages to eat his chocolate we get ... :

So polite and so impressible was ..."


If the wife asks Monseigner to help her bury her husband, she must have had some hope that he would give her something for her trouble. Apparently, some of the poor still clung to the idea that the church and state cared about them, in spite of all their experience to the contrary. Why some of the poor still felt this way, I can not fathom.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Scott wrote: "What is the point of Carton even being in the story? He adds nothing to the plot, and just seems to get in the way of the other characters.
."


That's certainly true at this point although he did get Darnay off the hook in Chapter 4.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Scott wrote: "Dickens describes the French as operating in groups: royals and clergy, or the faceless shadows at the DeFarges' tavern. However,the English are portrayed as individuals, each having some independence, while acting interdependently for the greater good. The only example of mob action in England so far in the novel, are the 'flies' that buzz around the Old Bailey, looking for cheap thrills."

So very true - there are precious few "individuals" in the French scenes, although some go out of their way to maintain a certain ominous anonymity. I suppose the story is about an English encounter with the French Revolution.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Scott wrote: "If the wife asks Monseigner to help her bury her husband, she must have had some hope that he would give her something for her trouble. Apparently, some of the poor still clung to the idea that the church and state cared about them, in spite of all their experience to the contrary. Why some of the poor still felt this way, I can not fathom.

Desperate times require desperate measures?


message 37: by Aparajita (new)

Aparajita | 29 comments I really like those two chapters on Monseigneur, the imagery is very very vivid. Very alive. Dickens describes the background to the French Revolution very effectively.


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments I like them, too. They're very different for some reason from the other chapters and yes, very vivid. I've never seen a movie of this book but I'll bet these scenes would stunners.


message 39: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott | 134 comments Becky wrote: "I couldn't stand Lucie the first time I read "A Tale of Two CIties" but then I read some of Dickens' other works and the next time I tried "Tale" she wasn't so bad.

This time I actually think sh..."


Becky wrote: "And in Chapter 7 we're given a glimpse of the riches of the aristocracy and the wealthy at the time - After Monseigneur manages to eat his chocolate we get ... :

So polite and so impressible was ..."


Becky wrote: "Chapter Overviews and Summaries

Book the Second: The Golden Thread

Chapter 5 The Jackal

Carton has fallen asleep over his drink and when the bartender wakes him at 10 pm he goes to Stryver's cha..."




The Entity Five Centuries of Secret Vatican Espionage by Eric Frattini Eric Frattini Eric Frattini

This book sheds light on the relationship of the Marquis and Monseigner. Starting under Louis XIV, absolute power was given to the king, who taxed the nobility without the the approval of the French Parliament. The money was put into the coffers of the Cardinal, who was head of the Church in France.
Louis XIV also enacted the Four Principles, which included:
1)The King had full authority in temporal matters.
2)French church authorities could override the Pope.


message 40: by Scott (new) - added it

Scott | 134 comments Charles Darnay has a shadowy past. I don't know how much Dickens used peoples' names to represent other people. However, 'Darnay' is close to 'Darnley'.
Dickens mentions how the Stuarts misused the English crown. Henry Darnley was the the husband of the Stuart Queen of Scotland. Darnley was also a spy for the English crown.
When they were first married,
he was given equal rights to the royal seal, but then the Queen took away those rights, and even took away his tiltle of "King", after she fell in love with David Rizzio, an envoy from the Vatican.
Pope Pius V had recently created the Holy Alliance in order to get rid of Elizabeth of England and re-establish Catholicism in England. To make a long story short, Darnley's residence is blown up to hide that he was strangled in a way that used by the Holy Alliance. You can read the details in this book:

The Entity Five Centuries of Secret Vatican Espionage by Eric Frattini Eric Frattini Eric Frattini


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments But Darnay is not a spy in A Tale of Two Cities - simply accused of being one. The name is so strikingly similar though - I kept thinking of one side of Charles Dickens when I saw the name Charles Darnay. The other side might be Sidney Carton?


message 42: by Cleo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cleo (cleopatra18) | 40 comments Scott wrote: "after she fell in love with David Rizzio, an envoy from the Vatican.
Pope Pius V had recently created the Holy Alliance in order to get rid of Elizabeth of England and re-establish Catholicism in England. To make a long story short, Darnley's residence is blown up to hide that he was strangled in a way that used by the Holy Alliance...."


I thought this was assumed and not concrete fact ........????

The more history I read, the more I realize how little we actually know. Even when there is documentation you are always dealing with human viewpoint and speculation.

I'm going to put this on my "to-read" shelf but I do notice that the reviews on it are kind of "spotty". Not that that means anything either. :-)


Becky (httpsbeckylindrooswordpresscom) | 1217 comments Hmmm.... At this point it might be an idea to mention the Glossary at:

Glossary

The first page of the Glossary goes through Book 2 Chapter 9, the first of next week's Chapters, so if you haven't got that far and are, like myself, allergic to spoilers just stop at "Chapter 7 Continued."

Also, I'd like to invite Scott to post the information in message 40 above over there. :-)


Vincent (vpbrancato) | 1245 comments Becky wrote: "Scott wrote: "What is the point of Carton even being in the story? He adds nothing to the plot, and just seems to get in the way of the other characters.
."

That's certainly true at this point al..."


I think that Carton may well be the strategist, the planner for the lawyer and his role may well expand.

I also note that thru these chapters, but especially illustrated aobut Dr. Manette there is much consideration given to the psycological well being of the individuals - virtually all of them are permitted attitudes and oddities.

I agree the writing is good and the descriptions real - but Dickens had no photos etc and he had to entertain or lose his work I assume.


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