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By Charles Dickens, Richard Maxwell (editor)
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On ‘French drama’ and ellipses, see Charles Dickens’ Book of Memoranda, transcribed and annotated by Fred Kaplan (New York: New York Public Library, 1981), p. 5. 6. Albert Hutter, ‘Nation and generation in A Tale of Two Cities’, PMLA 93 (1978), 448–62. 7. On this point, see Andrew Sanders, The Victorian Historical Novel 1840–1880 (New York: St Martin’s Press, 1979), p. 88. 8. Tidkins appears in Reynolds’s lurid, lengthy, surpassingly popular and much-condemned serial, The Mysteries of London, 4 vols.
11. J. W. Croker, Essays on the Early Period of the French Revolution (London: John Murray, 1857), p. 519. ‘The Guillotine’ was first published in the Quarterly Review (1843). 12. Cf. Honoré de Balzac’s Les Chouans (1829) and Anthony Trollope’s La Vendée (1849). Even Victor Hugo’s much less conservative Quatrevingt-Treize (1874) is largely devoted to La Vendée. 13. On 17 November 1793, Robespierre proposed: ‘Between the people and its enemies, there has been a constant reaction in which a progressive violence has, in a few years, made up for the work of several centuries’ (‘Séance du 27 Brumaire An 11 (17 November 1793): Rapport sur la situation politique de la République’, in Oeuvres de Maximilien Robespierre, 10 vols.
The novelist is particularly concerned with three men, all obsessed with the same dreamy figure of desire, Lucie Manette. Each of these men illustrates how the book’s economies and abridgements are used to expressive or analytical purposes: Dr Manette’s character is revealed much more fully through actions than by the often extraneous means of dialogue or introspection; Charles Darnay’s ambiguous historical guilt is conveyed through a crucial historical ellipsis; and Sydney Carton’s prophetic powers are released within a tiny or even nonexistent moment.
A Tale of Two Cities (Penguin) by Charles Dickens, Richard Maxwell (editor)