(Because I've used Google Notebook, I've retained the format for my comments from there...while I used to indent the quotes, now my own comments are indented. All excerpts from Dickens are in italics. Unless there's something I'm missing, Notebook is a bit tedious for trying to get the bits in order...they're saved from newest to oldest, thus from last to first. I can't find a simple way to flip that around.)
Does some part of her know it should have been Sydney? What if she knew of her husband's secret identity? Will she ever?
I like the plane-tree. What might it signify? It is often mentioned with the echoes. Could it be a harbinger of the past or of the future? Or a symbol of a well-rooted family? She loses her golden-haired boy angel, raises her rambunctious daughter.
Stryver: bombastic as ever. He has his stepsons give a measly wedding gift, and calls Darnay a Beggar. Carton otoh is taken under the wings of the angels of his Angel.
"A bad look, you say, my dear Darnay? Yes, but we don't know what reason there is in it. People are so unreasonable! Some of us at Tellson's are getting old, and we really can't be troubled out of the ordinary course without due occasion."
They're getting old at Tellson's? I thought that was on purpose. For a tale of two cities, London gets more air time...but the echoes of Paris always rumble around Darnay.
In England, a plane-tree, in France, a forest of arms. Such peaceful family echoes in England, such a surreal war scene in France.
Defarge has a purpose, seeks the secret left by Manette.
Madame Defarge is the ruthless one. Mr. Defarge didn't find what he was looking for in Alexandre Manette's old cell. What does he wish to know?
Charles could never be more than a symbol to these people, never mind his rejection of his birthright. Of course this means he will return to France and he will be discovered by the bloodthirsty revolutionaries. It's still hard to say whether we're meant to like him. There's still something that needs resolving about the past.
The revolution has begun. I must look up Saint Antoine.
The drum? I don't remember the drum. So many details.... Everything and everybody gets renamed in a revolution. So will Charles Darnay escape a bloody fate due to his own name change?
Two cities, one devastated by poverty into revolution, the other ordinary lives. I'm trying to keep an eye on the reason for the title...a family's fate threaded through the two cities? The contrast? The historical weight?
...The mender of roads, and two hundred and fifty particular friends, stood with folded arms at the fountain, looking at the pillar of fire in the sky. "It must be forty feet high," said they, grimly; and never moved.
40 feet high...like the gallows for Gaspard. The people put candles in windows to echo the fire of the chateau. How grisly. Was this already a Christmas custom?
Who in this family will be drawn to the other city of their blood? The father, the daughter? Can they resist the pull of the loadstone?
Ain't it always the case that the really rich find refuge via their foreign banks? How many French Aristocrats in England; how many Nazis in Switzerland; how many Americans in offshore island accounts?
"Very pressing. To Monsieur heretofore the Marquis St. Evremonde, of France. Confided to the cares of Messrs. Tellson and Co., Bankers, London, England."
So it is that Charles will go to France...pulled there by Fate.As he walked to and fro with his resolution made, he considered that neither Lucie nor her father must know of it until he was gone. Lucie should be spared the pain of separation; and her father, always reluctant to turn his thoughts towards the dangerous ground of old, should come to the knowledge of the step, as a step taken, and not in the balance of suspense and doubt.