What is a summary of "A Tale of Two Cities?"


Quick Answer

"A Tale of Two Cities" is an odd novel, combining a love triangle with a historical recount of the French Revolution. However, it is still a remarkable work of literature, and is still respected today.

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Full Answer

According to sparknotes.com, the book begins with a man named Lorry being summoned by a woman named Lucie Manette. The two meet up, traveling to France to redeem Lucie's father from "captivity" after time at the Bastille. He is sheltered by the Defarge family, who has a large hand in the French Revolution. He has a habit of making shoes, keeping at it until Lucie shakes him awake.

Five years later, a man named Charles Darnay is accused of treason against Britain, and is only acquitted when they see he closely resembles his lawyer's assistant, Sidney Carton. Lucie and her father watch, and congratulate them afterwards. Carton invites Darnay for a drink, and makes it clear he despises Darnay for Lucie's admiration of him once Darnay leaves.

Back in France, a rich Marquis runs over a pauper's child with his carriage. At his destination, he meets with Darnay, who relinquishes his rich family name. Marquis is found murdered soon after with a dagger in his chest. A year later, Darnay marries Lucie, confessing his identity to her father, who returns to shoemaking.

Soon after, the peasants storm the Bastille, led by the Defarges. They capture Darnay's relative, who writes a letter asking for help. Darnay leaves for France and is arrested upon arrival. The Manettes follow to save him. Lucie's father manages to get Darnay a trial, but evidence from Doctor Manette's time at the Bastille incriminates Darnay once more. Carton begins to devise a rescue plan. Carton sends the Manettes home, trading places with Darnay. He dies knowing he has served Lucie well.

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