a tale of two city

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  • In 1775, Mr. Lorry, a London banker, is meeting a woman named Lucie Manette to take her to see her father, a French doctor, who has been released from prison after 18 years. The novel moves forward to 1780 where a man named Charles Darnay is being tried for treason. Lucie and Lorry are both witnesses for the prosecution, but when defense attorney Mr. Stryver points out the strong resemblance between his assistant Sydney Carton and Darnay, the jury acquits Darnay on reasonable doubt.
  • Darnay and Lucie quickly fall in love, and he endears himself to Dr. Manette. Darnay, however, is not who he says he is: he is actually a French nobleman, the son of the Marquis St. Evrémonde, but he has renounced his family name. While Darnay is building a family and home in England with Lucie, the French peasants continue to revolt. In particular, Saint Antoine wine shop owners Ernest and Madame Defarge are leaders in the revolt.
  • On July 14, 1789, the revolutionaries storm the Bastille fortress. Defarge goes to the cell where Dr. Manette had been held and searches for something. Shortly after, the Marquis’ chateau burns down and the peasants arrest Monsieur Gabelle, the tax collector and caretaker. He writes to Darnay asking for help. Darnay decides to return to France in secret so as not to worry Lucie.
  • Darnay is arrested in France and imprisoned in La Force. The revolutionaries figured out that he is actually the Marquis St. Evrémonde. Lucie and Dr. Manette arrive and visit Mr. Lorry at the Tellson’s location. Dr. Manette is a martyr for the cause because of his time in the Bastille. He uses this to try to get Charles out of prison, but he remains there for another year and three months. He is acquitted of his charges, but is soon re-arrested before he can go back to England.
  • Miss Pross and Jerry Cruncher come across Miss Pross’ brother Solomon, who now goes by John Barsad. Sydney Carton appears and blackmails Barsad into helping him get in to see Charles in prison. He knows that Roger Cly is still alive and that Barsad is spying for both the revolutionaries and the English government. At the next trial, Charles is sentenced to death because his father and uncle raped Madame Defarge’s sister, and killed her brother-in-law and brother.
  • Dr. Manette was asked to help save Madame Defarge’s sister and hears the story, so he writes a letter about the Marquis’ crimes to the Minister of State. He is imprisoned after. Madame Defarge tries to kill Lucie and her daughter but is shot by Miss Pross. Meanwhile, right before Charles’ execution, Carton drugs him and switches places with Charles, sacrificing his own life instead, finally finding a sense of purpose in his life.
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