A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities is a historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel tells the story of the French Doctor Manette, his 18-year-long imprisonment in the Bastille in Paris and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie, whom he had never met; the story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. Dickens' famous opening sentence introduces the universal approach of the book, the French Revolution, the drama depicted within: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
In 1775, a man flags down the nightly mail-coach on its route from London to Dover. The man is an employee of Tellson's Bank in London. Lorry sends Jerry back to deliver a cryptic response to the bank: "Recalled to Life." The message refers to Alexandre Manette, a French physician, released from the Bastille after an 18-year imprisonment. Once Lorry arrives in Dover, he meets with Dr. Manette's daughter Lucie and her governess, Miss Pross. Lucie has believed her father to be dead, faints at the news that he is alive. In the Paris neighbourhood of Saint Antoine, Dr. Manette has been given lodgings by his former servant Ernest Defarge and his wife Therese, owners of a wine shop. Lorry and Lucie find him in a small garret, where he spends much of his time making shoes--a skill he learned in prison--which he uses to distract himself from his thoughts and which has become an obsession for him, he does not recognise Lucie at first but does see the resemblance to her mother through her blue eyes and long golden hair, a strand of which he found on his sleeve when he was imprisoned.
Lorry and Lucie take him back to England. In 1780, French émigré Charles Darnay is on trial for treason against the British Crown; the key witnesses against him are two British spies, John Barsad and Roger Cly, who claim that Darnay gave information about British troops in North America to the French. Barsad states. Up to this point, Barsad has been grilled by Mr. Stryver while Darnay's other barrister, Sydney Carton, has remained silent and aloof from the proceedings. Carton passes a written note to Stryver, whereupon Stryver draws Barsad's attention to the remarkable facial resemblance between Carton and Darnay. Barsad has to admit that indeed the two men look identical. With Barsad's eyewitness testimony now discredited, Darnay is acquitted. In Paris, the hated and abusive Marquis St. Evrémonde orders his carriage driven recklessly fast through the crowded streets and killing the child of Gaspard in Saint Antoine; the Marquis throws a coin to Gaspard to compensate him for his loss. Defarge, having observed the incident, comes forth to comfort the distraught father, saying the child would be worse off alive.
This piece of wisdom pleases the Marquis. As the Marquis departs, a coin is flung back into his carriage. Arriving at his country château, the Marquis meets with Darnay. Out of disgust with his aristocratic family, Darnay has shed his real surname and adopted an anglicized version of his mother's maiden name, D'Aulnais; the following passage records the Marquis' principles of aristocratic superiority: "Repression is the only lasting philosophy. The dark deference of fear and slavery, my friend," observed the Marquis, "will keep the dogs obedient to the whip, as long as this roof," looking up to it, "shuts out the sky." That night, who followed the Marquis to his château by riding on the underside of the carriage and kills him in his sleep. Gaspard leaves a note on the knife saying, "Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from JACQUES." After nearly a year on the run, he is hanged above the village well. In London, Darnay gets Dr. Manette's permission to wed Lucie. Knowing she will not love him in return, Carton promises to "embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you".
Stryver, the barrister who defended Darnay and with whom Carton has a working relationship, considers proposing marriage to Lucie, but Lorry talks him out of the idea. On the morning of the marriage, Darnay reveals his real name and family lineage to Dr. Manette, a detail he had been asked to withhold until that day. In consequence, Dr. Manette reverts to his obsessive shoemaking after the couple leave for their honeymoon, he returns to sanity before their return, the whole incident is kept secret from Lucie. Lorry and Miss Pross destroy the shoemaking bench and tools, which Dr. Manette had brought with him from Paris; as time passes in England and Charles begin to raise a family, a son and a daughter, little Lucie. Lorry finds a sort of family with the Darnays. Stryver marries a rich widow with three children and becomes more insufferable as his ambitions begin to be realized. Carton though he visits, is accepted as a close friend of the family and becomes a special favourite of little Lucie.
In July 1789, the Defarges help to lead the stormi
Elizabeth Bowen, CBE was an Irish novelist and short story writer, notable for some of the best fiction about life in wartime London. Elizabeth Dorothea Cole Bowen was born on 7 June 1899 at 15 Herbert Place in Dublin and baptised in the nearby St Stephen's Church on Upper Mount Street, her parents, Henry Charles Cole Bowen and Florence Bowen brought her to Bowen's Court at Farahy, near Kildorrery, County Cork, where she spent her summers. When her father became mentally ill in 1907, she and her mother moved to England settling in Hythe. After her mother died in 1912 Bowen was brought up by her aunts, she was educated at Downe House School under the headship of Olive Willis. After some time at art school in London she decided, she mixed with the Bloomsbury Group, becoming good friends with Rose Macaulay who helped her seek out a publisher for her first book, a collection of short stories entitled Encounters. In 1923 she married Alan Cameron, an educational administrator who subsequently worked for the BBC.
The marriage has been described as "a sexless but contented union." The marriage was never consummated. She had various extra-marital relationships, including one with Charles Ritchie, a Canadian diplomat seven years her junior, which lasted over thirty years, she had an affair with the Irish writer Seán Ó Faoláin and a relationship with the American poet May Sarton. Bowen and her husband first lived near Oxford, where they socialized with Maurice Bowra, John Buchan and Susan Buchan, where she wrote her early novels, including The Last September. Following the publication of To the North they moved to 2 Clarence Terrace, Regent's Park, where she wrote The House in Paris and The Death of the Heart. In 1937, she became a member of the Irish Academy of Letters. In 1930 Bowen became the first woman to inherit Bowen's Court, but remained based in England, making frequent visits to Ireland. During World War II she worked for the British Ministry of Information, reporting on Irish opinion on the issue of neutrality.
Bowen's political views tended towards Burkean conservatism. During and after the war she wrote among the greatest expressions of life in wartime London, The Demon Lover and Other Stories and The Heat of the Day, her husband retired in 1952 and they settled in Bowen’s Court, where he died a few months later. Many writers visited her at Bowen's Court from 1930 onwards, including Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Iris Murdoch, the historian Veronica Wedgwood. For years Bowen struggled lecturing in the United States to earn money. In 1957 her portrait was painted at Bowen's Court by painter Patrick Hennessy, she travelled to Italy in 1958 to research and prepare A Time in Rome, but by the following year Bowen was forced to sell her beloved Bowen's Court, demolished in 1960. After spending some years without a permanent home, Bowen settled at "Carbery", Church Hill, Hythe, in 1965, her final novel, Eva Trout, or Changing Scenes, won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1969 and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1970.
Subsequently, she was a judge that awarded the 1972 Man Booker Prize to John Berger for G. She spent Christmas 1972 at Kinsale, County Cork with her friends, Major Stephen Vernon and his wife, Lady Ursula but was hospitalised upon her return. Here she was visited by Connolly, Lady Vernon, Isaiah Berlin, Rosamund Lehmann, her literary agent, Spencer Curtis Brown, among others. In 1972 Bowen developed lung cancer, she died in University College Hospital on 22 February 1973, aged 73. She is buried with her husband in Farahy, County Cork churchyard, close to the gates of Bowen's Court, where there is a memorial plaque to the author at the entrance to St Colman's Church, where a commemoration of her life is held annually. In 1977, Victoria Glendinning published the first biography on Elizabeth Bowen. In 2009, Glendinning published a book about the relationship between Charles Ritchie and Bowen, based on his diaries and her letters to him. In 2012, English Heritage marked. A blue plaque was unveiled 19 October 2014 to mark Bowen's residence at the Coach House, The Croft, Headington from 1925-35.
Bowen was interested in "life with the lid on and what happens when the lid comes off", in the innocence of orderly life, in the eventual, irrepressible forces that transform experience. Bowen examined the betrayal and secrets that lie beneath the veneer of respectability; the style of her works is wrought and owes much to literary modernism. She influenced by the filmmaking techniques of her day; the locations in which Bowen's works are set bear on the psychology of the characters and on the plots. Bowen's war novel The Heat of the Day is considered one of the quintessential depictions of London atmosphere during the bombing raids of World War II, she was a notable writer of ghost stories. Supernatural fiction writer Robert Aickman considered Elizabeth Bowen to be "the most distinguished living practitioner" of ghost stories, he included her tale'The Demon Lover' in his anthology The Second Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories. The Hotel The Last September Friends and Relations To the North The House in Paris The Death of the Heart The Heat of the Day A World of Love The Little Girls Eva Trout Encounters Ann Lee's and Oth
Baroness Emma Magdolna Rozália Mária Jozefa Borbála "Emmuska" Orczy de Orci was a Hungarian-born British novelist and playwright. She is best known for her series of novels featuring the Scarlet Pimpernel, the alter ego of Sir Percy Blakeney, a wealthy English fop who turns into a quick-thinking escape artist in order to save ill-fated French royalty from "Madame Guillotine" during the French revolution, establishing the "hero with a secret identity" into popular culture. Opening in London's West End on 5 January 1905, The Scarlet Pimpernel became a favourite of British audiences; some of Orczy's paintings were exhibited at the Royal Academy in London. During World War I, she formed the Women of England's Active Service League, an unofficial organisation aimed at encouraging women to persuade men to volunteer for active service in the armed forces. Emmuska Orczy was born in Tarnaörs, Heves County and was the daughter of composer Baron Félix Orczy de Orci and Countess Emma Wass de Szentegyed et Cege.
Her grandfather, Baron László Orczy was a royal councillor, knight of the Sicilian order of Saint George, her grandmother was the Baroness Magdolna Müller. Her maternal grandparents were the Count Sámuel Wass de Szentegyed et Cege, member of the Hungarian parliament, Rozália Eperjessy de Károlyfejérvár. Emma's parents left their estate for Budapest in 1868, fearful of the threat of a peasant revolution, they lived in Budapest and Paris, where Emma studied music unsuccessfully. In 1880, the 14-year-old Emma and her family moved to London, England where they lodged with their countryman, Francis Pichler, at 162 Great Portland Street. Orczy attended West London School of Art and Heatherley's School of Fine Art. Although not destined to be a painter, it was at art school that she met a young illustrator named Montague MacLean Barstow, the son of an English clergyman, it was the start of a joyful and happy marriage, which she described as "for close on half a century, one of perfect happiness and understanding, of perfect friendship and communion of thought."
They had little money and Orczy started to work with her husband as a translator and an illustrator to supplement his low earnings. John Montague Orczy-Barstow, their only child, was born on 25 February 1899, she started writing soon after his birth but her first novel, The Emperor's Candlesticks, was a failure. She did, find a small following with a series of detective stories in the Royal Magazine, her next novel, In Mary's Reign, did better. In 1903, she and her husband wrote a play based on one of her short stories about an English aristocrat, Sir Percy Blakeney, Bart. who rescued French aristocrats from the French Revolution: The Scarlet Pimpernel. She submitted her novelisation of the story under the same title to 12 publishers. While waiting for the decisions of these publishers, Fred Terry and Julia Neilson accepted the play for production in London's West End, it drew small audiences, but the play ran four years in London, broke many stage records playing more than 2,000 performances and becoming one of the most popular shows staged in Britain.
It was translated and produced in other countries, underwent several revivals. This theatrical success generated huge sales for the novel. Introducing the notion of a "hero with a secret identity" into popular culture, the Scarlet Pimpernel exhibits characteristics that would become standard superhero conventions, including the penchant for disguise, use of a signature weapon, ability to out-think and outwit his adversaries, a calling card. By drawing attention to his alter ego Blakeney he hides behind his public face as a slow thinking foppish playboy, he establishes a network of supporters, The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, that aid his endeavours. Orczy went on to write over a dozen sequels featuring Sir Percy Blakeney, his family, the other members of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, of which the first, I Will Repay, was the most popular; the last Pimpernel book, Mam'zelle Guillotine, was published in 1940. None of her three subsequent plays matched the success of The Scarlet Pimpernel.
She wrote popular mystery fiction and many adventure romances. Her Lady Molly of Scotland Yard was an early example of a female detective as the main character. Other popular detective stories featured The Old Man in the Corner, a sleuth who chiefly used logic to solve crimes. Orczy's novels were racy, mannered melodramas and she favoured historical fiction. Critic Mary Cadogan states, "Orczy's books are wrought and intensely atmospheric". In The Nest of the Sparrowhawk, for example, a malicious guardian in Puritan Kent tricks his beautiful, wealthy young ward into marrying him by disguising himself as an exiled French prince, he persuades his widowed sister-in-law to abet him in this plot, in which she unwittingly disgraces one of her long-lost sons and finds the other murdered by the villain. Though this novel had no link to The Scarlet Pimpernel other than its shared authorship, the publisher advertised it as part of "The Scarlet Pimpernel Series". Orczy's work was so successful that she was able to buy a house in Monte Carlo, "Villa Bijou" at 19 Avenue de la Costa, where she spent World War Two.
She was not able to return to London until after the war. Montagu Barstow died in Monte Carlo in 1942. Finding herself alone there and unable to travel, she wrote Links in the Chain of Life, she held strong political views. Orczy was a firm believer in the superiority of the aris
The Death of the Heart
The Death of the Heart is a 1938 novel by Elizabeth Bowen set in the interwar period. It is about a sixteen-year-old orphan, Portia Quayne, who moves to London to live with her half-brother Thomas and falls in love with Eddie, a friend of her sister-in-law. Bowen called it a'pre-war' novel, "a novel which reflects the time, the pre-war time with its high tension, its increasing anxieties, this great stress on individualism. People were so conscious of themselves, of each other, of their personal relationships because they thought that everything of that time might soon end." At the beginning of the novel, Portia moves in with Thomas Quayne after her mother dies. Portia is Thomas's half sister. Mr. Quayne had an extramarital affair with Irene; when Irene became pregnant, Mrs. Quayne learned of it, she was adamant that he do what was the right thing: so, at his own wife's unyielding insistence, Mr. Quayne divorced Thomas's mother and married Irene. Mr. Quayne and Portia left England and traveled through Europe as exiles from society and from the Quayne family, living in the cheapest of lodgings.
Irene and Portia continued to live in this fashion. Portia was sent to live with Anna after Irene's death; the plan is that she is to stay with them for one year at which time Portia will leave and move in with Irene's sister. Portia is a awkward girl, this aspect of her personality has been intensified by her strange childhood, one of constant travel and strangers, while at the same time being isolating, she is uniquely innocent in her observations of people, is baffled by inconsistencies between what they say and what they do, wonders why people say things they do not mean. She keeps a diary detailing the lives of those around her Anna, trying to understand the key to people she thinks she is missing. Anna reads Portia's diary, it becomes clear over the course of the novel. Anna and Thomas are uncomfortable with Portia in their home but try to make do, they send her to classes. Portia's love interest, if she can be said to have one, is a man named Eddie. Eddie works at Thomas's advertising agency.
He has a flirtatious relationship with Anna prior to Portia's arrival. Eddie does not love Portia. Partway through the novel and Thomas go on vacation to Italy and send Portia to live with Anna's former governess, Mrs. Heccomb, for the duration of the trip; the climax of the novel occurs when St. Quentin, a friend of Anna's, tells Portia that Anna has been reading her diary; as a result of this Portia runs away. She first goes to Eddie who becomes overwhelmed by her and sends her away telling her that he is Anna's lover. Portia takes refuge with an acquaintance of Anna's named Major Brutt. Portia begs him to run away with her and to marry her. Major Brutt calls Thomas and Anna to tell them where Portia is; the novel ends with Thomas and Anna sending their maid, Matchett, to Major Brutt's hotel in order to fetch Portia. The Death of the Heart has been named as one of the 100 best modern novels, both by Time and the Modern Library; the novel was adapted into a 1986 TV serial, starring Patricia Hodge and Miranda Richardson
The Phrygian cap or liberty cap is a soft conical cap with the apex bent over, associated in antiquity with several peoples in Eastern Europe and Anatolia, including Phrygia and the Balkans. In early modern Europe it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty through a confusion with the pileus, the felt cap of manumitted slaves of ancient Rome. In artistic representations it signifies the pursuit of liberty, it is used in the coat of arms of certain republics or of republican state institutions in the place where otherwise a crown would be used. It thus came to be identified as a symbol of the republican form of government. A number of national personifications, in particular France's Marianne, are depicted wearing the Phrygian cap. By the 4th century BC the Phrygian cap was associated with Phrygian Attis, the consort of Cybele, the cult of which had by become graecified. At around the same time, the cap appears in depictions of the legendary king Midas and other Phrygians in Greek vase-paintings and sculpture.
Such images predate the earliest surviving literary references to the cap. By extension, the Phrygian cap came to be applied to several other non-Greek-speaking peoples as well. Most notable of these extended senses of "Phrygian" were the Trojans and other western Anatolian peoples, who in Greek perception were synonymous with the Phrygians, whose heroes Paris and Ganymede were all depicted with a Phrygian cap. Other Greek earthenware of antiquity depict Amazons and so-called "Scythian" archers with Phrygian caps. Although these are military depictions, the headgear is distinguished from "Phrygian helmets" by long ear flaps, the figures are identified as "barbarians" by their trousers; the headgear appears in 2nd-century BC Boeotian Tanagra figurines of an effeminate Eros, in various 1st-century BC statuary of the Commagene, in eastern Anatolia. Greek representations of Thracians regularly appear with Phrygian caps, most notably Bendis, the Thracian goddess of the moon and the hunt, Orpheus, a legendary Thracian poet and musician.
While the Phrygian cap was of wool or soft leather, in pre-Hellenistic times the Greeks had developed a military helmet that had a characteristic flipped-over tip. These so-called "Phrygian helmets" were of bronze and in prominent use in Thrace, Magna Graecia and the rest of the Hellenistic world from the 5th century BC up to Roman times. Due to their superficial similarity, the cap and helmet are difficult to distinguish in Greek art unless the headgear is identified as a soft flexible cap by long earflaps or a long neck flap. Confusingly similar are the depictions of the helmets used by cavalry and light infantry, whose headgear – aside from the traditional alopekis caps of fox skin – included stiff leather helmets in imitation of the bronze ones; the Greek concept passed to the Romans in its extended sense, thus encompassed not only to Phrygians or Trojans, but the other near-neighbours of the Greeks. On Trajan's Column, which commemorated Trajan's epic wars with the Dacians, the Phrygian cap adorns the heads of Trajan's Dacian prisoners.
The prisoner, accompanying Trajan in the monumental, 3 m tall statue of Trajan in the ancient Turkish city of Laodicea, is wearing a Phrygian Cap. Parthians appear with Phrygian caps in the 2nd-century Arch of Septimius Severus, which commemorates Roman victories over the Parthian Empire. With Phrygians caps, but for Gauls, appear in 2nd-century friezes built into the 4th century Arch of Constantine; the Phrygian cap reappears in figures related to the first to fourth century religion Mithraism. This astrology-centric Roman mystery cult projected itself with pseudo-Oriental trappings in order to distinguish itself from both traditional Roman religion and from the other mystery cults. In the artwork of the cult, the figures of the god Mithras as well as those of his helpers Cautes and Cautopates are depicted with a Phrygian cap; the function of the Phrygian cap in the cult are unknown, but it is conventionally identified as an accessory of its perserie. Early Christian art build on the same Greco-Roman perceptions of Zoroaster and his "Magi" as experts in the arts of astrology and magic, depict the "three wise men" with Phrygian caps.
In late Republican Rome, a soft felt cap called the pileus served as a symbol of freemen, was symbolically given to slaves upon manumission, thereby granting them not only their personal liberty, but libertas— freedom as citizens, with the right to vote. Following the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, Brutus and his co-conspirators instrumentalized this symbolism of the pileus to signify the end of Caesar's dictatorship and a return to the republican system; these Roman associations of the pileus with liberty and republicanism were carried forward to the 18th-century, when the pileus was confused with the Phrygian cap, with the Phrygian cap becoming a symbol of those values. In revolutionary FranceIn 1675, the anti-tax and anti-nobility Stamp-Paper revolt erupted in Brittany and north-western France, where it became known as the bonnets rouges uprising after the blue or red caps worn by the insurgents. Although the insurgents are not known to have preferr
Madame Thérèse Defarge is a fictional character in the book A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. She is a tricoteuse, a tireless worker for the French Revolution, the wife of Ernest Defarge, she is one of the main villains of the novel, obsessed with revenge against the Evrémondes. She ruthlessly pursues this goal against Charles Darnay, his wife, Lucie Manette, their child, for crimes a prior generation of the Evrémonde family had committed; these include the deaths of her nephew, brother and brother-in-law. She refuses to accept the reality that Charles Darnay changed his ways by intending to renounce his title to the lands to give them to the peasants who worked on them. After Charles' arrogant and snobbish uncle becomes the Marquis St. Evrémonde, the Marquis' arrogance causes the death of an innocent child, which makes him hated and helps legitimize Defarge's rage, her consuming need for revenge against the Evrémonde family, including the innocent Darnay and his wife, brings about her fatal doom by her own weapon at the hands of Miss Pross.
Defarge symbolises several themes. She represents one aspect of the Fates; the Moirai used yarn to measure out the life of a man, cut it to end it. Defarge symbolises the nature of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution in which radical Jacobins engaged in mass political persecution of all real or supposed enemies of the Revolution who were executed on grounds of sedition to the new republic with the guillotine targeting people with aristocratic heritage. In the 1935 film A Tale of Two Cities, Madame Defarge is played by Blanche Yurka. In the 1958 film A Tale of Two Cities, Madame Defarge is played by Rosalie Crutchley. In the 1980 TV movie A Tale of Two Cities, Madame Defarge is played by Billie Whitelaw. In the 1981 Mel Brooks parody film, History of the World, Part I, Madame Defarge is the chief conspirator in the plot to overthrow King Louis XVI, she has become so poor, she has run out of wool rubbing her knitting needles together. In the 2008 Broadway musical adaptation of A Tale of Two Cities, Madame Defarge is played by Natalie Toro.
In the 2012 superhero film The Dark Knight Rises the character of Talia al Ghul played by Marion Cotillard was influenced by the character of Madame Defarge. In the same movie, the villain Bane can be seen sitting and knitting in the audience of one of the "trials" presided over by Jonathan Crane, The Scarecrow