A STEP BEYOND
- Prison of the French monarchy, used by the Revolutionaries to jail aristocrats.
- Member of a fictional Persian family (in The Arabian Nights), who treated
a beggar to a mock feast. Dickens' reference- "Barmecide room"-
emphasizes that no dining ever occurred at Tellson's.
- French fortress used to confine state prisoners; the Bastille was much
hated by the people.
- Shortened form of Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane. In the 18th century
visiting Bedlam was a popular London excursion; in our own day the term
has become general for lunacy or chaos.
- Prison attached to the Palace of Justice in Paris. Marie Antoinette,
Robespierre, and other famous prisoners of the Revolution awaited execution
here; between January 1793 and July 1794 nearly 2,600 prisoners left for
- Group of French religious enthusiasts given to wild dancing and fits;
in fashion somewhat before the time Dickens describes.
- FLEET STREET
- London newspaper and business district, well known to Dickens.
- LA FORCE
- Old debtors' prison of Paris; during the Revolution it held political
- In Greek and Roman mythology, minor deities who relentlessly pursued
- Official government publication in England, containing bankruptcy and
other notices; to be "driven into the Gazette" is to be published
- GORGON'S HEAD
- Reference to Medusa, the Gorgon, a monster of Greek mythology. All who
looked at Medusa were turned to stone. The hero Perseus succeeded in cutting
off her head.
- HILARY TERM
- Sitting of the English High Court of Justice, extends from January to
just before Easter.
- HOTEL DE VILLE
- French term for any city hall; here, the Paris City Hall.
- Originally applied to a French peasant revolt in the Middle Ages, the
term came to mean any uprising of the common people. Jacques was the old
collective name for French peasants, which Defarge and his revolutionary
friends co-opt, proudly, as a password: "How goes it, Jacques?"
- LEONORA, BALLAD OF
- Ballad of Gothic horror, composed in 1773 and popular among European
- MICHAELMAS TERM
- Fall sitting of English High Court of Justice, beginning after September
29 (the Feast of St. Michael).
- Infamous London prison, now demolished; held prisoners awaiting trial
at the Old Bailey, next door.
- OLD BAILEY
- London court of law, remodeled into the Centre Criminal Court, but still
widely called "Old Bailey."
- Suburban pleasure garden popular with mid-18th-century Londoners, but
falling out of favor when Stryver proposes inviting Lucie Manette there.
- SAINT ANTOINE
- Suburb (faubourg) of Paris that supported primitive manufacturing; its
impoverished residents were the backbone of the Revolutionary mob.
- Greek name for king of ancient Assyria, made proverbial by his lavish
display of wealth.
- Periodic sittings or meetings of English justices of the peace; the Sessions
deal with certain crimes and statutes.
- Cosmopolitan district of central London.
- TEMPLE BAR
- London gateway dividing Fleet Street from the Strand; the heads of executed
traitors were displayed on it. Designed by Christopher Wren in 1670, Temple
Bar was removed to a private estate in 1878.
- TOWER OF LONDON
- Fortress where those imprisoned for treason awaited trial.
- TUILERIES, PALACE OF
- Paris residence of the French kings, and hated symbol of the monarchy.
Burnt down by French Revolutionaries of 1871.
- London gallows called "Tyburn tree," until 1783 for hanging
felons. Public executions became festivals, drawing large crowds.
- VAUXHALL GARDENS
- Popular suburban resort, opened in 1660, closed in 1859- the year A Tale
of Two Cities was printed.
- WALTON, IZAAK
- Author of The Compleat Angler, 17th-century treatise on fishing.
- London district between Thames and Fleet Street, long a haunt of fugitive
debtors and criminals and so an appropriate address for Jerry Cruncher,
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