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A STEP BEYOND

GLOSSARY

L'ABBAYE
Prison of the French monarchy, used by the Revolutionaries to jail aristocrats.

BARMECIDE
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.

BASTILLE
French fortress used to confine state prisoners; the Bastille was much hated by the people.


BEDLAM
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.

CONCIERGERIE
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 the guillotine.

CONVULSIONISTS
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 offenders.

FURIES
In Greek and Roman mythology, minor deities who relentlessly pursued sinners.

GAZETTE
Official government publication in England, containing bankruptcy and other notices; to be "driven into the Gazette" is to be published a bankrupt.

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.

JACQUERIE
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 romantics.

MICHAELMAS TERM
Fall sitting of English High Court of Justice, beginning after September 29 (the Feast of St. Michael).

NEWGATE
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."

RANELAGH
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.

SARDANAPALUS
Greek name for king of ancient Assyria, made proverbial by his lavish display of wealth.

SESSIONS
Periodic sittings or meetings of English justices of the peace; the Sessions deal with certain crimes and statutes.

SOHO
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.

TYBURN
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.

WHITEFRIARS
London district between Thames and Fleet Street, long a haunt of fugitive debtors and criminals and so an appropriate address for Jerry Cruncher, body snatcher.

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