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A Tale of the Two Cities summary | Charles Huffam Dickens

A Tale of the Two Cities summary | Charles Huffam Dickens

Writer’s Intro:

Charles Huffam Dickens (1812–1870), a Victorian novelist (pseudonym: Boz) (his first novel was “Oliver Twist,” written in 1837, and his last novel, “Our Mutual Friends,” was written in 1864. A Tale of the Two Cities is one of his famous works. As a result, the summary of “A Tale of Two Cities” is critical for honors fourth-year students.


Setting: London and Paris.

Protagonist: Charles Darnay antagonist: French Revolutionaries: Madame Defarge

Divided into three books: Book I: Recalled to Life Book II: The Golden Thread Book III: The Track of a Storm.

Theme: Exploitation, Resurrection, Love, and Sacrifice.

The plot revolves around the French Revolution, which began in 1789 and ended in 1799.



A Tale of the Two Cities complete summary

First part:

Lucie Manette traveled to Paris in 1775 with Mr. Jarvis Lorry, a Tellson’s Bank employee in London. He is aware that her father, Dr. Alexandre Manette, who vanished 18 years ago, is still alive. Against his will, he was taken to the Bastille and allowed to perish there. The fact that Lucie’s father is still alive astounds her. When they arrive in Paris, they pay a visit to Monsieur Defarge, a wine dealer.He looked after him after he was released from prison and worked for Dr. Manette.

The appearance of Doctor Manette astounds both Mr. Lorry and Lucie. He’s gotten too old since he’s forgotten everything and lost his common sense. He earns a living by making shoes. Defarge and his pals become even more fervent about revolution and enraged at injustice when they see this broken guy who was wronged by the nobility. Along with Mr. Lorry and Lucie, her father departs for London. With love and care, Lucie aspires to restore her father’s health and sanity.

Charles Darnay and a teenage Frenchman, is charged with being a spy and a traitor five years later, in 1780. Although they encountered the man while traveling from Calais to Dover, Lucie and her father do not want to testify for the prosecution. Lucie discusses the positive aspects of the accuser throughout her testimony. Numerous witnesses for the prosecution have testified under oath that he is a spy.


Second part of the summary of A Tale of the Two Cities

There is a lot of proof against him in this. In their views, the people who are watching him are equally guilty, and they are anticipating the imposition of the death penalty. Sydney Carton, a witness in the trial, is the one who informs Mr. Stryver, the defense attorney, that the prisoner resembles him. As a result, the jury releases Darnay after concluding that it may have been a case of mistaken identity.

Darnay and Carton have developed romantic relationships with Lucie Manette over time. Carton is a lawyer who only drinks and lounges around. Because Lucie doesn’t like him, she marries Darnay. He is a French aristocrat who forewent his inheritance and is currently residing and working as an instructor in London using a fictitious identity. His uncle, Marquis St. Evremonde is known for his cruel and ruthless behavior towards others.. He has had a carefree life and has little regard for other people’s lives.

Two events that occur to him on his way home from a royal party demonstrate this. He murders a youngster on the street and refuses to assist a destitute widow who needs a gravestone to mark her husband’s burial. In the same night, he is also found dead in his bed.

The French Revolution officially begins when the Bastille is taken by force. Lucie and Darnay have been married in London for eleven years. They had a beautiful daughter together. Darnay sneaks back to Paris to free Gabelle after learning that his loyal employee has been wrongfully imprisoned. He become apprehended and detained. When Lucie discovers that her husband has been kidnapped. So, she rushes to Paris with her daughter, Dr. Manette, and Mr. Lorry to save him.



Third part of the summary of A Tale of the Two Cities

Dr. Manette, who also has endured mistreatment, persuades the populace that his son-in-law is innocent and Darnay is released. However, Madame Defarge is motivated to harm the Evremonde family because the vile Marquis murdered her brother and mistreated her sister.

Mostly as a result of her, Darnay is once again detained, convicted, and sentenced to death. There isn’t a way to assist him. Because ardent revolutionaries like the Defarges aim to assassinate everyone with aristocratic links, even Lucie and her daughter’s lives are in jeopardy.

When Sydney Carton chooses to step in for Darnay in order to save his life, the narrative comes to a thrilling conclusion. With the aid of Mr. Lorry, he enters the prison, provides Darnay with medicines, and rescues him from peril.

The Darnay family flees to England, and Carton, who resembles Darnay, sacrifices his life to save Darnay. He makes the sacrifice in order to fulfill a promise he made to his beloved Lucie. Carton is proud of himself for what he accomplished and is aware that the Darnay family will never forget him.



Character List:

Sydney Carton is a London lawyer who had great potential but has fallen into a life of alcoholism and vice. He serves as an informal legal advisor to Stryver, and he looks remarkably like Charles Darnay.

Roger Clyde is a British spy who swears that his only motive is patriotism.

Jerry Cruncher is an odd-job man for Tellson’s Bank whose side job is to act as a “resurrection man,” which involves digging up dead bodies and selling their parts to scientists.

Monsieur Ernest Defarge, a former servant of Doctor Manette and currently a revolutionary, helped orchestrate the French Revolution from his wine shop in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Antoine. He assumes the name of Jacques Four when engaging in revolutionary activity.

Monsieur Theophile Gabelle is a French postmaster whose harassment by revolutionaries causes Charles Darnay to return to Paris.

Gaspard, a resident of Saint Antoine, is executed for the murder of Monseigneur.

Jacques One, Jacques Two, and Jacques Three—French revolutionaries associated with Defarge

Jarvis Lorry is a respectable elderly gentleman who is a confidential clerk at Tellson’s Bank. He is also an old friend of Dr. Manette. After imprisoning her father, he transported Lucie Manette back to London.

Dr. Alexander Manette, a Parisian doctor who was imprisoned in the Bastille for eighteen years, is a loving father to Lucie Manette.

Solomon Pross, a.k.a. John Barsad, is a spy and informer who serves as a turnkey in the Conciergerie in Paris and is the brother of Miss Pross.

Monseigneur, a.k.a. Marquis Evrémonde, is a proud and brutal French aristocrat who shows no regard for the lower classes. His twin brother (now deceased) was Charles Darnay’s father. If the revolutionaries kill the Monseigneur, Darnay becomes the new ruler.

Charles Saint-Evrémonde, a.k.a. Charles Darnay

A French emigrant to England who renounces his French title and inheritance. After his release from spying charges, he marries Lucie Manette.

Mr. Stryver is an ambitious London lawyer with a large ego. He is an old friend of Sydney Carton’s, who informally pays him to assist him.

Tom, coachman of the Dover mail coach.

Mrs. Cruncher, the wife of Jerry Cruncher, is a religious woman whose husband accuses her of praying against him.

Madame Thérèse Defarge was Monsieur Defarge’s ruthless wife and the ringleader of the Saint Antoine female revolutionaries. She constantly keeps a register of those who deserve to die at the hands of the revolution.

Lucie Manette, Doctor Manette’s daughter, was born in France but brought to London at a young age. She was a ward of Tellson’s Bank and thought she was an orphan until Mr. Jarvis Lorry took her to Paris to meet her father. She marries Charles Darnay.

Miss Pross-Lucie Manette’s loyal, red-faced maid

Marquise Sainte-Evrémonde, wife of Monseigneur’s twin brother and mother of Charles Darnay

Charles Darnay and Lucie Manette have a daughter named Lucie Saint-Evrémonde_Young.

The Vengeance, a nickname for a friend of Madame Defarge, who is a leading revolutionary in Saint-Antoine.


You can read more summary on:

Arms and the Man
Riders to the Sea
As You Like It



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