NOVEMBER 1775: Jarvis Lorry, banker, and Lucie
Manette, go to Paris to the wineshop of Ernest DeFarge to take charge of
Lucie's father, Dr. Alexander Manette. He is in a confused state from having
been in the Bastille
Prison for 18 years. He identifies himself only as the number of his prison cell, 105 North Tower. Periods of great
stress cause him to relapse into this mental confusion.
MARCH 1780: Charles Darnay is tried for treason
at the Old Baily in London. Lucie, her father, and Mr. Lorry
are called as witnesses because they were on the same boat during the return trip from Paris to London in 1775.
Darnay is aquitted when Carton points out their resemblance, proving that no positive identification can be established.
JULY 1780: On a Sunday evening at the Manette's
residence in Soho, a great thunderstorm breaks.There is the
sound of many footsteps in the street as people seek shelter. Lucie imagines the sound of footsteps as being those
of people who will come into her life. The sound of footsteps and the fury of the storm prefigure the revolution.
SUMMER 1780: While driving through a village,
the carriage of the Marquis St.Evrémonde runs over and kills a child.
The Marquis is concerned only for his horses. Later that evening, his nephew,
Charles Darnay, arrives. In the
course of their conversation, Darnay denounces his inheritance. The next morning, the Marquis is found murdered
in his bed.
SUMMER 1781: Stryver announces to Mr. Lorry
his intentions of marrying Lucie, but soon changes his mind.
Carton confides his true feelings to Lucie, and promises her that he will "embrace any sacrifice" for her, even give
his life "to keep a life you love beside you". Darnay asks Dr. Manette for his daughter's hand, and promises to reveal his true identity on his wedding morning.
There is a funeral for Roger Cly, a spy and a witness against Darnay in the treason trial. Jerry
Cruncher,bank messenger by day, body-snatcher by night, attempts to rob Cly's grave, but finds it is empty.
In France, the murderer of the Marquis is executed. John Barsad, another witness against
Darnay, appears in Paris as a spy for the monarchy.
Charles Darnay marries Lucie Manette. When Darnay reveals his true identity to Dr. Manette,
the Dr. has a mental relapse.
1783: Little Lucie Darnay is born.
July 14, 1789: The start of the French Revolution.
The hated Bastille Prison is stormed, and Ernest DeFarge de-
mands to see "105 North Tower", which he searches very carefully.
All over France, peasants rise up against their arisocratic landlords.The St.Evrémonde chateau is burned
and one of the employees, Gabelle, is taken prisoner.
AUGUST 1792: Charles Darnay receives a desperate
letter from Gabelle, begging for help. Darnay cannot ignore this plea from
a faithful servant, and goes to Paris. He is taken prisoner for being an
and an aristocrat.
SEPTEMBER 1792: Lucie and her father arrive in Paris. This is right at the time of the infamous September massacares. Dr. Manette uses his influence as a former Bastille prisoner to protect Darnay during this time.
DECEMBER 1793: Darnay is tried, aquitted and
released, but retaken the same night. Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher are
gone on an errand, when Miss Pross encounters her long lost brother, Solomon,
alias John Barsad.
Sydney Carton appears and reveals to Miss Pross the fact that her brother is a spy in the prisons. He uses this to blackmail Barsad into doing something for him.
Darnay is tried and DeFarge produces the papers he found at the Bastille, papers written by Dr. Manette. These papers detail the account of 1757, when the Dr. is brought by the St.Evrémonde brothers to treat a peasant girl who had been raped and her brother, who had been wounded trying to defend her. The peasant boy says he has a young sister whom he has hidden from the St. Evrémondes, so they can't get her, too. The boy dies cursing the St.Evrémonde family, and the girl dies soon afterward. when the Dr. tries to report this event to the authorities,
the St. Evrémonde brothers had him imprisoned in the Bastille. Dr.Manette writes this account 10 years into his
imprisonment. He denounces the St. Evrémonde family. It is enough to condem Darnay to death.
This shock sends Dr. Manette into a mental relapse and he can no longer help Darnay. Later that night, Carton overhears Madame DeFarge say that she is the hidden sister, and that Darnay's condemnation should extend to include his family. Carton completes his plans with Mr. Lorry to get Lucie and her father out of
France. He has blackmailed Barsad into getting him into prison to see Darnay. The next day, Carton visits Darnay, drugs him, and has Barsad take him to the coach where Lucie and the others are waiting to leave. Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher are to leave in a seperate carriage. Jerry goes to make arrangments, and Madame DeFarge arrives at the house to see Lucie.She encounters Miss Pross, who will do anything to protect Lucie. They struggle, and Madame DeFarge is accidentally shot to death by her own pistol. The blast has permanently deafened Miss Pross.
Carton takes Darnay's place on the guillotine, thus fulfilling his promise to Lucie "...that there is a man who would give his life, to keep a life you love beside you."
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