By Harold Bloom

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Lucie and Charles’s courtship is conspicuously absent from the story—remarkable, considering the Victorian reader’s lust for romance. Like the lovers themselves, the wedding proves to be sweet, modest, and passionless. Joyful tears sparkle as prettily as jewels, the bride’s dress is demure, and the only guests are the faithful Mr. Lorry and Miss Pross. The only hint of unease comes from Dr. Manette. Many affectionate fathers may have qualms about releasing their daughter to another man, but Dr.

Dr. Manette feels the vitality of the revolutionary spirit; when he crosses the Channel to rescue his son-in-law, he comes alive in a way that we have not seen. He never really belonged in England. In London, he only had his family, and was hopeless without them. He was still a man half-dead, a man whose life “was stopped like a clock,” who cowered from the past and hid from the present in his Soho sanctuary. The Dr. Manette of England was a weakling who fell back into his old madness when his daughter left him for her honeymoon.

When Barsad appears and tries to seduce the Defarges into saying something incriminating, Madame’s careful management thwarts him. His only “hit” is Defarge’s reaction to the news that Lucie will marry Darnay, the nephew of the late Marquis. Madame adds Darnay’s name to the register after Barsad’s. It is worth noting that when Barsad greets Defarge as “Jacques,” Defarge denies the name. His name is Ernest. The “Jacquerie” are men who have re-baptized themselves, joining a brotherhood. 45 We return to London for Lucie Manette and Charles Darnay’s wedding (Chapters 17–20).

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