3 de abril de 2009

"A TALE OF TWO CITIES", Charles Dickens

As most of you know by now, you have chosen to read this novel during the Summer Term. Please buy it before Easter (I have already spoken with Tana from Pasajes Bookshop, in Genove St. to order copies for you) and start reading it, so that during the first week of the term we can do the two first chapters. I hope that you can arrange it between yourselves and distribute the four first chapters, use your lists to contact each other.

311 comentarios:

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Carmen dijo...

5B and 5C, you have your instructions above so please we need four voluneers to prepare the first four chapters in each group.
I´m sorry for James and Mercedes who have already read it, but this story is so wonderful that they should have the opprtunity of reading it, please as always IT IS VITAL NOT TO DISCOVER THE PLOT so even if you have read it stick to the schedule!!!!! We´ve done it really well with three novels so let´s not muck it up with this one.
DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED if you are a little lost at times you have to get used to his Dickens´style.
Good luck and enjoy it very much, you will.

Carmen dijo...

You HAVE TO BUY TICKETS FOR AT LEAST ONE OF THE PLAYS IN ENGLISH. This is AN ORDER. You can get them for 6e which is nothing, and it is a wonderful opportunity, a unique one to see a play in English for so lottle money!! I already have mine for 21 and 28.

María dijo...

I am a volunteer and I also have two tickets. I´m looking forward to reading the tale!

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

Hi! I have tickets for the Winter Tale, I'm thinking maybe I should read it before going so as not to be totally lost... By the way, the director of both plays is Sam Mendes, Kate Winslet's husband, and the director of the film Revolutionary Road, so I think it looks very promising...

Mercedes Muñoz dijo...

Carmen, don't worry at all, I have just begun to read the novel again and I am sure I will find many interesting aspects that the first time I did not realize but for new readers only the first lines are so good:
"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........." Please tell me something, in my opinion ¡it is fantastic! we can think about it, don't you think? Well mates have a good time in your holidays. Kind regards.

María dijo...

Don´t go to Pasajes till next week or the following. There are not books... So Fnac is the place. Mercedes, the beginning is fantastic indeed! Have a nice Easter!

Alessandro 5º B dijo...

To whom it may concern: I bought today the book (Wordsworth Classics Edition, €3.5, complete and unabridged) at the sin tarima book store www dot sintarima dot es
They will open ALL these holydays till one o'clock in the night! Tel 91 420 37 65 Principe 9, very near Puerta del Sol. So there is no excuse for not starting reading the book during Easter. By the way you can walk a little further and buy your tickets at the teatro Español 11 to 13:30 and 17 to 19 the ticket office is open for advance sell. And by the way the book is great!

Carmen dijo...

Thanks for the information, Alessandro. It is available in Pasajes,calle Génova, as well.
you have to start reading it quickly

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

Chapter one

“It was the best of times, it…” This paragraph was written by Mercedes Muñoz days before. Nevertheless, I would like to come to an end with it. This chapter tells us about England and France in one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. The lords take for granted that things are settled for ever and, according to the author, it was clearer than crystal. France is rolling down the hill, making paper money and spending it. Its society is cruel: a youth will be put to death for he did not kneeled down to honour a procession of monks fifty yards away of him. The wood the equipment for cutting heads off will be made of has already been elected; the carts for the final travel are ready on the outskirts of Paris. The Woodman, Fate, the Farmer, Death, do not stop working but no one hears them. But if anyone had entertained any suspicion that they were on the spot, he would have been considered an atheistic and a traitor.
In England, daring burglaries, highway robberies take place every day. The highway-man in the dark is a City tradesman in the light. The Lord Mayor of London is despoiled by one highwayman in sight of all his retinue. Prisoners in London gaols fight battles with their turnkeys and the law fire them. Thieves find place to work at Court drawing-rooms. Musketeers are fired by the mob when they have a go at searching contraband goods. And everything is common practice. The hangman does not stop. The King and the Queen are on a blue moon and millions of creatures are conducted along the roads that lay before them.

By the way, I’ve already have a ticket for the 28th.

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

I am sorry.
It said,
.. I would like to come to and end with it.
it must say,
.. I would like to conclude it.

Roberto dijo...

Hello everyone, at last I am able to write on this new thread. I could not do it before since there is no finding a time when the computer is not occupied here in the hotel where I am spending Easter's Holiday. I brought the novel with me and I'm really enjoying it even though I have no dictionary at all and some times I wish I would have one to look up many words which are new for me. However, you can keep going without needing to si it, never getting lost.

Roberto dijo...

By the way, I will be glad to do the chapter whenever Carmen wants us to do.

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

Chapter 2

The Dover mail was lumbering up Shooter’s Hill, a well-known place not only for its steep incline, but for its association with armed robbery. The travel conditions were so hard that the three passengers, one of them is a character of the novel, were walking through the mud to make it easier. Despite the whip and reins, the horses had several times come to a stop. In the end, the horses would come to its duty. The guard of the Dover mail, who was armed to the teeth, suspected the passengers, the passengers suspected one another and the guard, they all suspected everybody else, and the coachman was no sure of nothing but the horses. When the mail got the summit, they could hear the sound of horse at a gallop in the mist. The guard was in full watch, just in case he saw something suspicious. It was a messenger asking for a Mr. Jarvis Lorry, whom he gave a dispatch from Tellson’s Bank in London that said: “Wait at Dover for Mam’selle.” Then he read it aloud. Mr Jarvis Lorry, who already knew who the messenger was, Jerry was his name, gave him the answer, “Recalled to live,” to take it back, and give it to them as a proof that the message had been delivered properly. Of course, no one else in the mail made up what the message and the answer meant.
I will round off the chapter with some ironic phrase the author writes: Jerry shook “the wet out of his hat-brim, which might be capable of holding about half a gallon.” Might it not?

Carmen dijo...

Please Luis, do not summarize the chapter, we have to give the opportunity of reading it to those who have not done it yet!!! Comments yes but summary HAS TO WAIT UNTIL WE´VE READ IT IN THE CLASS.
I´m really glad that you have manged to read without using a dictionary, just proves how good you are, Roberto

Pilar Cabello 5ºC dijo...

Hi dear classmates, thank you so much for all the information about where to find the book. I finally managed to get it and started reading it.
And of course, I cannot but agree with all of you about the greatness of the opening of the book. It grasps your breath!
I am not sure if Roberto and I are at the same class, but before reading his entry, I was also going to say that I would mind volunteering to do the first chapter next Monday (not because I had had the time to prepare it so well, but because I know that April will be a terrible hectic month for me at my work and unfortunately I will have to skip some classes).
Anyway, never mind, we’ll see. Enjoy the read!!
Pilar Cabello 5ºC

RAquel dijo...

I haven't been able to find the book, neither in Pasajes, nor in Fnac nor in Casa del Libro. In Pasajes, I was told they will not have the novel until the 20th of April. Do you know where I can find it?

José Alberto dijo...

RAquel, Please read my previous post, number seven in this blog.

Alessandro 5ºB dijo...

RAquel, Please read my previous post, number seven in this blog.

SONIA 5ºB dijo...

I've just bought a ticket for The Winter Tale and I bought this morning the novel in PASAGES (3.33 EUROS). I´ll try to read as fast as I can. See you on Wednesday

Paloma dijo...

I’m here, at last!! I’ve found the new novel in Booksellers. Mine was the only copy in the shop, so, don’t go there.
Hitherto I’ve read the two first chapters. I agree with you, the beginning of the novel is impressive. The ambience described in these chapters has made me think how things improved in England after that time. I can’t imagine Jane travelling by herself in the Dover mail. I haven’t found the language as difficult as I expected, perhaps things will worsen later.
I’m willing to do any chapter, please, tell me which one. No one has tried to contact me on that subject so far .I have a good story about the Cock Lane ghost, so, if you wish, I can do the first chapter.

Carmen dijo...

ok do the first chapter Paloma. Pehaps you can do the second as well as the first is very short. I´m glad you have not found it difficult, the first chapter is quite so.

Esther Martin 5b dijo...

Hello everybody!
I already have my book, so It would be a pleasure for me to do a chapter. Carmen, you can count on me too.
See you on wednesday!

Silvia Ruiz 5º B dijo...

Tomorrow I go to the EEUU, where I bought my book($5),if anyone needs it I could try to find another one.My copy was edited by Barnes and Nobel ,the library.Just send me a mail or an sms to:
.- sruizh@iberia.es
.- 609005062(more likely to receive it)
I´ll go to class next monday the 20th.

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

Hi! I was reading the first chapter yesterday, and wow, I found it quite difficult!! I suppose it is because it's totally descriptive. I believe the followings will be a bit easier to understand, won't they?

Roberto dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Roberto dijo...

Having being unable to pick up what Dickens wanted to express in "The Period", today I failed in summarizing the chapter. Neither could I express my point of view properly. Anyway, I really like it how Dickens describes both the atmosphere and the characters always bestowing on the scene funny elements so as to soften the hardship of situations, which, on the other hand, keep the mystery perfectly well. It is also very interesting to notice his talent when criticising in such subtle way.

María dijo...

Yes, I agree. Reading so impressive a beginning you can notice Dickens´ accuracy describing and telling tales. He introduces you in an environment so well that you seem to be there, surrounded by the characters, feeling like them, the mistery, the mist... A very good beginning of a much better novel, I guess and hope.

Sonia 5B dijo...

Audiobook

http://mediateca.educa.madrid.org/audio/buscar.php?q=a+tale+of&m=s

mercedes muñoz dijo...

Hello mates, I and Carmen told you that the novel is really good but the vocabulary and some grammar expressions sometimes are complicated, anyway, we are reading Dickens one of the best English author over the world so it is normal to find it difficult but your comments show me that in general people are agree with the election. Luis's summary is very good. Paloma gave us yesterday in class a very interesting information about the first chapter. Well mates, we'll see in next chapters. Kind regards. See you on Monday.

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

Sonia, thanks for the link. I found some sonnets of Shakespeare there too:
http://mediateca.educa.madrid.org/audio/reproducir.php?id_audio=uhamkm3qexk2glpw

Roberto dijo...

Reading the beginning of Chapter 3, “The Night Shadows”, I cannot help getting surprised when, in just a paragraph, I see Dickens explain such a deep feeling about which we all think at least once during our lifetime. I dare say there is not any single person who should admit not having secrets. Even those with whom we share our life, either relatives, acquaintances, neighbours or whoever, will never show themselves as they really are beyond that portrait created before the world. However, it is the second part of the paragraph itself that makes me spellbound by both its meaning and significance. What is your perception of the issue?

Paloma dijo...

I want to thank both, Mercedes and Sonia, for you kindness. I’ve already heard the audio book and found it very interesting, although with a bit odd accent.
Could you feel the cold and fear in chapter 2nd? I could. In my opinion the chapter is very descriptive and succeeds in conveying the ideas so that you are able to “feel” the scene. When I was 10 years old (more or less), I read the book in Editorial Bruguera, half written, half drawn (do you remember?). Now I’m nearly 51 and I’ve forgotten everything except that I liked it; reading the two first chapters I knew why: you don’t need to read more to see it's a master piece. In fact, it is possible you only need the first paragraph, which is breathtakingly beautiful. Roberto I’m going to read the 3rd. chapter and then I’ll try to answer your question.

Carmen dijo...

Roberto, you are absolutely right when you say Dickens gets t the core of feelings and has the aility of describing them. He kind of focusses his eyes on something, on anything and goes into it, deep down. It is very easy to see oneself in the same situation. He is the best at this.
I´m glad you are impressed with the beginning!
Paloma, it´s impossible to guess what you say you guessed the other day in class!!!! So you KNEW IT. You may have forgotten the book since you read it when you were 10, which is too early in my opinion to read it, but you must have read the information when you were preapring the chapter, come on you even said the name of La Bastille!!!! So you have forgotten an unforgetable book but not that name??? Let´s leave it at this but do not give information in advance. Roberto has not given any information in his post about chapter 3, we can do it like him!!!
Title of next composition
"A journey" but like Mr. Lorry´s I want to be cold, scared, wary, etc.

Alessandro 5º b dijo...

What I tried to explain during the last class was that Shooter’s Hill is in the Greater London, on the Dover Road, not in the town of Dover. In most towns all over the world many streets take their names from the towns they are directed to (right here in Madrid we have Toledo street, Segovia, Alcalá, Ciudad Rodrigo , Zaragoza, Fuencarral, etc.) So the Dover road was simply the highway that started at the south east of London and continued until it reached London. This is the reason which made it possible for Jerry the messenger to reach Jarvis Lorry, the Dover mail was just out of London town, not arriving to its destiny. According to the Wikipedia it takes its name from the practice of archery there during the Middle Ages, although the name is also commonly linked to its reputation as a haunt for highwaymen. I knew the existence of this place because thirty years ago I wanted to go to the Horniman Museum at Forest Hill to visit its superb collection of historical musical instruments. I got completely lost and arrived to Shooter’s Hill, which today is a very nice place despite its terrible reputation in the past.

Alessandro 5º b dijo...

British novelist and short story writer James Graham Ballard died this morning. Most of us probably remember Spielberg’s film The Empire of the Sun, based on his autobiographical novel, or the controversial Crash, which also has been adapted to film. He was a prominent member of the New Wave in science fiction.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/8007331.stm

Roberto dijo...

Quite interesting a report! Thank you, Alessandro.

I love the film “Empire of the Sun”, what a pity!

I get astonished when dwelling on Chapter 1, “The Period”. You must be talented so that you may give such complete information about a specific epoch of history in just three pages, as Dickens does. I daresay there is much more to think about than merely by contemplating the surface.

Carmen dijo...

Thank you Alessandro for the information about the road, I was not aware that people thought they had arrived at Dover..the next chapter is the oen that supposedly entertains us during the journey!
In these first two chapters we already see Dickens:the way he describes or makes a person,situation noticeable, by focussing on something small, apparently unimportant:reread the meeting between the messenger and the mail, that´s Dickens all over.
Dickens, Roberto, was not a historian, he knew what was going on, but he was not a scholar, he did not go to university!

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

Very interesting, Alessandro - So they still were in the surroundings of London...

I have to recount today what happens in Chapter 3. Roberto, it's true that the first paragraph is very impressing. I have had to reread it several times to get to understand something, and still, I think I do not fully get to the core of it. Anyway, the podcasts that Sonia sent us the link to have revealed to be very useful to me. After having read a chapter, if you listen to the mp3, the musicality of it helps you get the meaning...

Roberto dijo...

Ok, thank you for the advice Elena. By the way, did you know that the sentence “very useful to me” is often used in Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” by its protagonist?

Anyway, I realise that I have overlooked plenty of interesting descriptions so far by trying to progress in the novel, thus, I think it better to go back and start it again so that I may make good use of the analysis we do in class.

What have you discussed today about Chapter 4?

Carmen dijo...

I´m afraid I have to switch off the computer, I´ll write tomorrow

Alessandro 5º b dijo...

Roberto, it seems that Dickens was very found of Carlyle’s book about the French revolution. There is a book called companion that sounds to be very interesting.
Elena, I think you did it very well today, Chapter 3 looked to me very difficult, what a pity we had not enough time to discuss it more.
I love the way Dickens adds details end facts that constantly open a door but show us another one closed. In chapter three I still feel as if who is repeating “almost eighteen years” could be a ghost. For instance, I never felt satisfied with the use of details that Conan Doyle put in the mouth of Sherlock Holmes: he mentions them and immediately explain their reasons, giving to the reader not enough time to feel neither the enigma nor the solution. Dickens instead, is so photographic in his descriptions that one knows that every detail con have a meaning in future chapter, or may be not; he tells us everything, he tells us nothing, he makes us know everything, he make us know nothing…
And the comic details are so funny that refresh any reader right in the middle of a tragedy.

Alessandro 5º b dijo...

The companion book to a tale of two cities is by Andrew Sanders.

Paloma dijo...

All your comments are really interesting, Reading the blog has become a great pleasure lately.
I need your help, I’m serious, and without you I cannot follow any more. I need your encouragement because I’m totally downhearted, the reason being that I’m unable to avoid the spelling mistakes. Whenever I write a composition I read it again and again. I write it one day and read it the following ones at different times. Nevertheless, when Carmen gives the composition to me I realize I had missed a lot of mistakes. If it is like that with something so hard worked, what happen when I write here? I do it quite quickly and only read it twice. And, even more important: what is going to pass in the exam?

María dijo...

Roberto, I had not understood very well the sentence you said last day in class either ("No more can I turn the leaves of this dear book that I loved , and vainly hope in time to read it all", at the beginning of chapter III). After rereading it I think I understand and like it very much, the metaphor. I´d like to comment it, but I´m going to the theatre right now!!! I´ll do it tonight or tomorrow.

Alessandro 5º b dijo...

Paloma: and then, suddenly, as a rabbit and a dove coming out from a magicians hat, your today’s post has not a single spelling mistake… even if I would prefer to write “what is going to HAPPEN in the exam” instead of “what is going to PASS in the exam”. Have you tried to alternately write in MSWord or any other word processing program and use the Spelling Check Tool? I find it very good to learn. And what is going to happen in the exam? That you will get a very good result…

Susana 5ºC dijo...

In chapter V; it foreshadows the blood to be spilled in the Revolution.Hunger and want are the conditions that fuel the revolutionary fire.

Carmen dijo...

Paloma, i´ve told you that your problem is not spelling!!! Nobody fails an exam for this reason particularly beccause you do not make many spelling mistakes; another thing is verbal mistakes, those you make and have to correct, but if you see your last post it is very accurate!! When you are writing DO NOT TRANSLATE work from English and use the grammar you know (which you know very well) when you are going through it again. You´ll do well in the exam, DO NOT WORRY.
Dickens is great, the capacity he has on focussing on detail and the usage he does of it to get to the core of feelings and situations is amazing that´s why he is a favourite with all writers. I´m glad you find him so Alessandro.
Now let´s go a little into the chracters. What do you think of Mr. Lorry? Do you see hhim as a good kind-hearted person? And what do you expect of Miss Manette? She is very differrent to Jane, isn´t she? Can you imagine her as passionate? Strong? Independent?
María I ´m very interested in your interpretation of that sentence, I also think it is very good. I associate it with the passing of time and the impossibility of recovering, recapturing the past. the inevitability of changing what is, or rather has been.

María dijo...

I like your association, Carmen. Mine goes through a different way, a different interpretation. Let´s see if you agree.
Many times we think people to be as open books. We like them or not, a sort of feeling based on what people show. We show ourselves as we want us to be seen, not as we really are, sometimes. I mean, we know us, everything in us, both what is good in ourselves -which we show to the rest-, and what is not so good -which we conceal-.
The real thing is that the plot of those "books" usually surprises us. Unexpected things happen and the fact of discovering them makes us be dissappointed. Therefore, the more we spend time with people, the less we know them (if you accept the paradox; I am trying to give a meaning to what Dickenks wants to say). We always want to finish "the book", however we are not able to do it ("No more can I turn the leaves..."). Some barriers in human souls are insurmountable, whether we like it or not.
As for characters: Mr. Lorry always says that what he does is a matter of business. However, I think that he is unable to keep himself far from feeling. I think he will get involved with the situation more than he would desire.
Mss Manette is weak, first being afraid, then confortable; she is fickle, malleable. That´s a first impression, I don´t know her yet very well.
Alessandro, you are totally right when saying that Dickens tells and doesn´t tell at the same time. I think it the most difficult work.

Lidia 5º C dijo...

Why was the French Revolution so violent, so bloody? An interesting question Carmen. I'm agree with the arguments done in class but I'd like to add another one.
Perhaps, when we talk about French Revolution, we should say "Paris Revolution". This city, at 18th century was a big city, a crowded town, and Hunger is more terrible at big cities than in rural commnunities. A lot of people very hungry. Besides, the opulent Court was in Paris. The Bourgeois wanted the power and people wanted revenge.

Roberto dijo...

I am really enjoying Carmen’s explanation about the information hidden “behind the surface” and wish to reread the chapters again to notice it, however, so far I have been unable to do so. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I cannot speak in class at all!

María, I have been dwelling on such a paragraph many times and the more I try to understand it the more puzzled I am. I think that we might get to know our relatives, acquaintances, or whoever; sometimes reaching their real thoughts but in the end we cannot ever know who they really are and nobody will ever do after they set off bound for “the undiscover’d country from whose bourn no traveller returns”.

Paloma dijo...

I’m enjoying this novel very much. In spite of being sometimes quite difficult to understand, I find it particularly superb the description of hunger in chapter 3rd, it can almost be felt, can’t it? And, what about people drinking wine mixed with mud? I’ve never seen want and poverty so vivid described. In my opinion this is the best novel we have read so far, the only trouble being that it takes a long time and a great effort to understand it properly , I mean, not to learn what it’s happening, but to appreciate the beauty in the descriptions.
Carmen you ask about the characters. In my opinion, Mr. Lorry seems to be a man with good feelings, but he doesn’t like to show them, and also someone you can trust. Miss Manette is the typical young woman at that time, is she not? I mean, women “in society” were very frail then, or at least they act as if they were so. In films settled at that time there always appear women asking for their smelling salts. (Is this last construction right, with there as a subject?). Perhaps those women were brought up so protected and out of the world that they were highly shocked at unexpected events or news.

Carmen dijo...

María I like waht you have said about the booka nd the inability to know the plot and the real character of a person, there is something in this because the paragraph deals with this issue of impossibility of knowing our fellows.
Paloma, no mistakes again so you see when you are careful you get it right. "There" can be used with verbs of state and motion so it is perfectly correct.
Mr. lorry is indeed a good person and will be involved in the story because he has been so since Miss Manette was very young and it is he that takes her back to England.
Mrs. Manette, Paloma, is not a woman you would find mising in society, she is neither rich nor fashionable, but she is the sort of woman that Dickens liked and possibly his contemporaries..I will add that she is still popular currently, men DO NOT LIKE indepedent women who have a say and shine more than they. the problem with occidental women is serious, in a few years nobody is going to want to marry us!!!! They marry southamericans or asians BEWARE girls, feminism has done good and BAD too, don´t you think?
I like Miss Pross too, I think she is a woman who has made her life worthwhile by being devoted to her darling, is this common? Is it a characteristic that we have? See men doing this?
I agree with Paloma that is possibly the best novel so far, but Jane Eyre is very good too, It´s difficult to say which is.
What is remarkable is that you ARE READING it!!! "We´ve come a long way me and my fifths"

Carmen dijo...

IMPORTANT

GO TO THE FILM SECTION AND SEE INFORMATION ABOUT

"THE DUCHESS"

They are going to see it on Monday

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

From chapter VI. The Shoemaker

Why was the “recalled to life” locked in the garret of a five-storey building in the slums of Paris? Besides himself, the three other people there were Monsieur Defarge and two visitors: Miss Monett and Mr Lorry. The One Hundred and Five, North Tower looking at Mr Lorry, he sees for a single moment the face he once knew so well. Regarding Miss Monett, been asked if she is the gaoler’s daughter, she says, “No.” Nevertheless, he will compare the girl’s hair with two golden hairs which, having belonged to his wife, have always been with him. In addition, it is the girl’s voice that makes him ask her what her name is. Although she says she can not tell, lest he get worse, she let him touch her, bless her, and kiss her. Miss Monett apologizes, “Why? She tells the old man with the white hair that her mother had hidden her father’s torture from her. Should Mrs Manned have not lied to her?
As far as Mr Lorry is concerned, when Defarge tells Mr Lorry, “Shall I hire a carriage”, the answer is, “That is business, and if business is to be done, I had better do it.” Not only is Mr Lorry a business man, but also a wary man.
What did Defarge say to Monsieur the Officer at the guard-house that enables the carriage with our three characters in it carry on with its travel? Who is that Monsieur Defarge?

Carmen dijo...

Well, Luis Defarge was Dr. Manette´s servant before he was imprisoned, and I think he liked and respected him for two reasons: he takes him in when he is set free and he greets Miss Manette with respect and reverence as daughter of her father.
Luis I think that you´ve pointed out something important about mr. Lorry: "business" is what has taken him along life and what has prevented him from becoming sentimental, so when he has to react he focuses on this, to keep cool.
In my opinion the presentation of the characters is very good, think of what we´ve been told and he has ised them to give "drops" of information. How much do we learn of Dr.Manette from the scene with his daughter? He is sensitive, strong, loyal, tender. By the way who of our men, currently, would keep his wife´s hair as a treasure??........................
NONE. Sometimes I wish the men we read about could be met with in real life..WHERE ARE THEY? Certainly not in Two-Three, Second floor...

María dijo...

Certainly not, they don´t exist. ;)Dr. Mannette is so tender that you can feel very sorry for him. Poor man! I think that, whatever happened, he was treated unjustly. I´m glad his daughter has found him.
As Monsieur Defarge is concerned, I agree with Luis that there must be something dark in him. Mysterious as he is, he has hidden Dr. Mannete for years and even has shown him to people called like him, "lucky Jacques". Why is Dr. Manette in his garret? Why didn´t Defarge try to find his daughter or another relative to care for him after his leaving the north tower? Everything is very strange! I guess he is not simply Dr. Manette´s servant... Who knows...
As for Madame Defarge, we have to be aware of her movements, she is always there, though Dickens says: "knitting, she saw nothing"... Ah ah ah.

Carmen dijo...

I have two tickets to sell for the 28th "the winter´s tale". 28€ each. does anyone want them???

Carmen dijo...

I do not know what is wrong with Monsieur Defarge but... he is a man who does not turn round in a narrow path, would you like to meet such a man in difficult circumstances???
As to Madame Defarge personally I distrust women who are so secretive, me being the sort that when I see a spade I call it a spade...i´m so clear, that anything dark, misterious is always like:Be careful!
We´ll see

CARMEN dijo...

THE TICKETS FOR TUESDAY´S SHAKESPEARE ARE SOLD.

mercedes m. dijo...

Carmen !what a pity¡ for the tickets, I have been in a wedding in Palencia and it was impossible for me to know your news, well maybe next time. Luis your comment about chapter six is really interesting, I agree with you when you say that Mr. Lorry is wary man, of course, he must be very wary I am sure all people in that time were wary and what about all mistery around Monsieur Defarge and her husband?, I think it is a very good question that we are going to resolve reading next chapters. !Go on mates¡

mercedes m. dijo...

Sorry it is not her husband uffff it is her wife.

Alessandro 5º B dijo...

Off topic:April 23, in occasion of the Book's day, there were book crossing in many places; Esperanza Aguirre went to one and picked up one by our admired Alvaro Pombo.

Plaoma dijo...

This post is to recommend you an exhibition. It’s the retrospective of Juan Muñoz in the Reina Sofía. It’s shown from April 22th to August 21th.
It’s worth seeing it for many reasons. In spite of being Spanish, Muñoz worked in England most of his life and English is present all around. The brochures are in English or in Spanish (but not both) and the titles of the works are first in English and then in Spanish.
There is a play entitled “The Wasteland” and also you can find a lot of “open mouths” but quite different from that of Bacon.
There are also some records in English. You may sit in a sofa and listen to one of them. It’s a good exercise in order to practise. The exhibition, which is placed in two different storeys, is free on Sundays, but you have to get there quite soon to avoid the queues. I arrived about 11 and it was right.
In addition to what I said, the sculptures and the drawings are beautiful, you know I usually don’t like modern art, but I loved this exhibition. Take care, it’s very easy to miss some rooms, you have to see two and the garden in the first floor and the balcony, both its sides and the rooms placed behind it in the third floor.
I hope you like it.

Roberto dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Roberto dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Roberto dijo...

I am looking forward to posting again, however, it is taking me time to read the novel carefully so as to notice all those details I had overlooked in a first reading. I have reached just “The wine shop” Chapter, and up to now there are two issues which have puzzled my mind. The first one has been already mentioned, that we all have secrets that nobody will ever find out; the other refers to Mr Lorry’s dream which makes me confused. I feel there is something I am missing.

Anyway, I have do a little bit of catch in up so as to reach you. And sorry for not answering your comments yet.

By the way, what “to have a run in the mail” does it mean?

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

Thanks Paloma for the recommendation, it sounds interesting.

Regarding "A tale of two cities", wow, it's being much more difficult than Jane Eyre!! I can barely follow the rhythm of 4 chapters a week, though I think we are going to learn a lot with Dickens, and we must see it as facing up a new challenge. However, I confess I saw the book in Spanish today and was tempted to buy it, for it seemed so easy to read... :)

Carmen dijo...

Elena, NO SPANISH!!! you have to do it in English and if you miss something, so we do when we read "El Quijote". Persevere, the rythm slows down now. You have to get used to the way he jumps from reality to thought and viceversa, as we saw with the mirror shining light on Mr. Darnay.
What do you think of Darnay? Does he like the Manettes? Are you interested by him? is he a traitor?
TREASON: what is the meaning of this word?: "the betrayel of a trust" Humans tolerate this with difficulty, I have a friend, and she said something nasty about another friend of mine in front of someone who is not a friend of either; I have stopped seeing her ever since!!!! It is now 6 months. thinking about this I´ve come to the conclusion that I associated her comment with teachery!!!! As you can probably understand it was not a very terrible thing to say, but consider my reaction. Now I´m beginning to forget (and forgive)...however I will talk it over with her sometime, there´s a breech beween us until this is discussed, let me also explain that I´m forgeting/forgiving because I think that she spoke hastily, if I discover that "her heart is black" I would be through with her.
Any other instances of this?

Carmen dijo...

betrayal, sorry

Paloma dijo...

By his description, Darnay seems to be a gentleman. I don’t think him a traitor; first because his surname is French, so he would be a spy at the most, but, in spite of still knowing very few things about him, he doesn’t seem to be anything of the sort. Of course I’m speaking on the basis of a description and I might be wrong.
I am very intrigued by Jerry. There is something dark surrounding him. I mean, not only he ill-treat his wife, but something else. In chapter 1 and 2, second part, we are given some clues. It’s him , not Darnay, that is suspect for me.
Reading this novel I’m getting to a conclusion: according to the description of hungry made in chapter 3, first part, and the one in chapter 1, second part, about people putting to death, life was very hard in XVIII century. I thought people more civilized at that time.

María dijo...

I also suspect Jerry, with his rusty fingers and his muddy boots...
As for "Whatever is is right", I think it must have been the sentence more pronounced in the history of humanity. There have been always conservative people, more than progressive, that thought and think like that. It is like a strong conviction of that if something is and has been like that, for years, it must be right -like a impossibility of being mistaken, they only renewed by its long life-. However, this thought could be a handicap as well. People who stick to such convictions usually are intolerant and deeply against changes, which are needed ocassionally. So I think that we have not to be extrem, and to know what must remain and what to be changed.

Carmen dijo...

One has to be very careful with this idea that anything which implies change is negative, it´s always good to advance. However sometimes we lose many nice things on the way. It´s all very difficult.
There is something mysterious in Jerry, for sure and the son is definetly aware that there is something his father does not tell, however do you think that Mrs. Cruncher is aware of this? I would also like to know why she prays all the time. Is she that religious?
Darnay, well he is being tried for treason!!!! possibly he has not done all he is accused of, but at that time anything little could have you beheaded. Read carefully the paragraph..They hanged at Tyburn....

Paloma dijo...

I’ve been reading chapter 3rd and I’ve been highly surprised for some points.
In spite of the fact that the evidence could not be proved to be in the prisoner’s handwriting and in spite of the fact that the main witness for the prosecution owned money to the prisoner and was a rascal, his testimony was admitted in Court. Surprising, mainly taking into account the terrible punishment. Sometimes, then as today, it seems more important to have a guilty than to find out the truth.
Who is Mr. Darnay? By the things said about him and the way in which he and his attitude are described, he seems to be a Gentleman, polite, amiable concerned by people etc. Nevertheless we are told he was travelling under an assumed name, so, who is he? and what are those family matters so important? Is he a royal? However, the French revolution has not started yet.
And, What about Mr. Carton? He seems to be absentminded but he sees everything. He must be very intelligent, don’t you think?

Belén (Int 2 B) dijo...

Roberto, I wish to thank you for lending me your Lady Windermere´s tape.Having reading the O. Wilde´s play beforehand, it is very easy to follow and undestand it, besides the accent is so good. I will give you back on Thursday, by means of Carmen.
Thanks again.

Alessandro 5º b dijo...

Carmen and María,
I think the problem of not meeting in real life the men we read about comes from the fact that you have not still read the books that talk about the men you met in real life.

Carmen dijo...

Alessandro, we do not wnat to read about those men because we know them too well!!!!! Moreover those men exist because they are taken from real life, take for instance Leonidas, the king who misjudged his good Queen, he missed her for sixteen years and kept faithful to he rmemory....or did he not? perhaps he was getting off with lots of women and we are not told about this!!!! I have not met one single man who is faithful to a woman for ever and ever!!! and I´ve met MANY. I have met women who stick to a lost boyfriend for life. I would like to believe I´m wrong, explain why you are frail if you can!!!
Mr.Carton is aware of everything, you are right, Paloma, what do you think of him?

Paloma dijo...

Carmen in your last post you remind me of this very same conversation between Anne Elliot and Captain Harville in Persuasion. In such an occasion Captain Wentworth proved Ann to be wrong. Is this something happening only in a novel, or, on the contrary, it's a reality? You don’t think men should be faithful to a woman for ever but, what does Roberto think? for instance. He seems to be the kind of man able to love a woman for good. Roberto, Am I wrong? What is your opinion? And yours Alberto? And Alessandro’s? Please tell us, it would be very interesting for us, women, to know your opinion on that subject, since you are modern men but with very different characters, professions, concerns and backgrounds.

Roberto dijo...

Little by little I am trying to keep up with the classes but the there is such amount of information in just a paragraph that I get delighted by analyzing it once and again and I don’t progress as I should. I have just reached the Wine shop Chapter (yes, I am rather behind you) and it is amazing to see not only Dickens’ description of the scene but also how he describes the wretched condition in which people are involved in that epoch.

So, I hope I can reach you this weekend, read your comments all and give you my point of view.

Paloma, I can just say that, why should I look for another person if I have already found the right one? It makes no sense.

María dijo...

Neither Captain Wentworth nor Leontes exist nowadays. But well, let our boys give their points of view.
I have not an opinion of Mr Carton yet! He has just been mentioned a bit, looking at the ceiling (what was there?), noticing that Miss Mannete was feeling sick...

The Bandit dijo...

Hi everyone.
Carmen, I´m going to answer your question about men and their uncapability of being faithful.
When we speak about love and sex, FOR ALL MEN (I repeat it, FOR ALL MEN) fidelity goes against their nature. We (all human beings) are animals and we´ve got primitive/animal instincts and for men, sex is a powerful one (maybe the most powerful). On the other hand, fidelity is a powerful moral principle. So, there is a conflict between the primitive instinct and the moral principle. It depends on every person to give priority one over the other. If you are capable of being faithful, you are repressing that animal instinct but every day we repress instincts(when we bit our tongue to avoid insulting our manager, when we eat a piece of fruit instead a delicious piece of chocolate........).
A man, ALWAYS (again, I repeat it, ALWAYS) is going to feel attrated to many women. It´s up to you. You have to put in a balance what you have and what you desire. After that, you make a decision. You know the limit. You know the risk. Maybe you can lose an excellent person just for an adventure......

Carmen dijo...

Thanks for your honest answer, bandit, there you are girls, very well explained too, the Church protects women because otherwise men GO a-chasing "new material";however I do not think that people necessarily know the limit and they rarely think of the consequences of taking the risk. in this I speak for myself. Roberto does not change if he likes what he has...very happy to have in my class, the exception!!

Paloma dijo...

This is the opinion on the subject of my son Javier (thirteen!!!):
Jav.-“It must bore you to dead being always with the same woman, you must get very bored in the end”
Me-“So, Do you think your father is bored of being with me?”
Jav. – “That’s different, he’s married”
Me. - “However we are still the same man and the same woman”
Jav.- “Yes, but when you are married, and you have children you control yourself FOR YOUR CHILDREN SHAKE, but if you are unmarried, you’ll get bored, for sure”
This not has been the first time I heard my boy saying this. We have had some arguments on the subject. I usually tell him: “you say this because you aren’t in love” but he argues with me…
Children and mad people are said to tell the true, SO, careful!!! those of you who are living with a man and are without children and unmarried!.
Carmen is very right when saying that Church protect women. Religions ALWAYS protect people, for instance, do you know why pork is so strictly forbidden in Judaism and Islam? Because the trichina, a mortal worm for people, which enter your body by eating pork, is an endemic parasitic of pigs in those countries. Forbidding pork they were saving many lives. In the same way, Catholic Church, was protecting women and children by forbidding adultery or divorce.

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

Book the Second. From Charter III


As almost everything has already been said either in class or posted on the website, there is very little left to be added.
We are in the trial. Mr. Attorney-General is informing the jury, that…. How many? If I am not wrong there are at least twenty-two of them. In one of these items Mr. Attorney-General not only says that he prefers, in a general way, that admirable servant to his brothers and sisters, and honours him more than his parents, but he calls with confidence on the jury to come and do likewise. What such a compulsion! In another “that”, it is said that despite the fact that the lists have not been handwritten by the prisoner, that makes no difference.
The speaker said about how much the wigged gentleman who had all that time been looking at the ceiling, Mr. Carton, looked like the prisoner, and how much the witness got embarrassed at it, but it is worth saying that the jury being considering, the rest of the people were excited but Mr. Carton, who was sat leaning back, his hands in his pockets, his eyes on the ceiling, and that there was something reckless in his demeanour that gave him a disreputable look making it difficult to understand that the two were so alike
Despite his eyes on the ceiling, Mr. Carton must have been on the ball as it was him who asked to help the young lady when she got fainted.
Feeling sorry for having caused Miss Manette’s agitation, Mr. Darnay asks Mr. Carton to send her his acknowledgements, and although he accepts, his manner is so careless as to be almost insolent. Time will tell why.
Why does Mr. Lorry ask Mr. Cruncher, the quickest messenger he knows, to take the verdict to the bank in such a hurry?

Carmen dijo...

Mr. Carton definetly interests me more than Mr. Darnay. Why? we know that Darnay is handsome, he is a gentleman too, and it is difficult to believe that he be a spy, since his accusers are two scoundrels, as has been proved by the prisoner´s counsel. He may be a criminal, indeed, we do not know, yet, for the law, but I hardly think he is one for the reader, however, he has not interested me as much as Carton with his careless ways and his unexpected sincerity...read on the next chapter is really funny. Perhaps we could do two chapters, on Monday to advance a little. Otherwise we are going to miss all the fun together, we´ll have it on line but it´s never the same.

Paloma dijo...

How curious, Carmen, I’m Reading chapter 20 “a plea” and I’ve been thinking the same for a time. Carton is, by far, more interesting than Darnay and has more strength. He’s more human, so to say. There is something in him which attracts me more than Darnay does.
By the way I’m thoroughly enjoying this book, I’ve been got hooked and I cannot stop reading. This morning I’ve been in Aranjuez, and I want to come back so as to have time to read!!

mercedes m. dijo...

Hello mates, it is a pity to lose some classes, I have had a lot of work. A lot of comments about the novel and about religion, marriage, women protection and so on are really interesting but I am sorry I do not agree with the idea that if you are married it is better than if you are not married and more safe about love and fidelity, sometimes love married and fidelity go together but many times not. I know people "happiness married" and adultery and people don't married and faithful, I think people decide what they want, in my opinion the problem about boredom in love relations are simply the pass of time, the luck and the fate. Anyway Mr. Carton is so interesting or more than Mr. Darnay and completely different. They are two main characters and we can learn a lot of things from them. Have a good week end. See you on monday.

Carmen dijo...

Marriage and fidelity do not go together at all!!!! What I meant when I said that the Church protects women and Family is that because it forbids divorce the couple have to stick together, another thing is preventing infidelity. Of course there is a lot against having to stay with someone if you want to leave, this can ideed be a tragedy, but from the point of view of the woman, what would a woman do if her husband left her, years ago? how could she survive? No education, no means, no work, think, it is only at the end of the twentieth century that women started to be educated in this country!!!! It seems a long time ago but it is just at the previous turning!!! Then, what is better, to put up with your huband or with poverty?? Has anyone been poor??? me NO, but i can see that it is terrible!!!!As to deciding what they want, only people ECONOMICALLY INDEPENDANT, DECIDE WHAT THEY WANT, THE OTHERS TAKE WHAT THEY CAN!!!
I´m so glad that you are enjoying the novel, Paloma, I told you it was great.

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

About your last comment, Carmen, it reminded me of a report I saw in TV about the situation of AIDS in Africa. It was really dramatic. One of the reasons was that many husbands cheat on their wives without taking any precaution and thus bring the AIDS to her and sometimes their children become infected too. But the worst thing is that when they get to learn that their wives are infected, they blame them, saying it is her who got it first and afterwards abandon her with her children! So the women end up blamed, infected, with some of their children infected too and normally with no means to earn money!!!!! And it seems this is a really common situation...

María dijo...

Paloma, say to your son that marriage doesn´t mean to be in safe! Reading what you say about Church´s protection, I think that was addressed women, ingratiating with dependent women to whom the fact of losing their husbands meant the end of their lives. I´m glad we are developed our possibilities of surviving.
I am in chapters 4 and 5 and I am more interested in Carton because it is of him that Dickens speaks more. Darnay is scarcely mentioned. He is almost a dimwit.
I suppose he is the hero, though he is a drunkard and described as a jackal and a lion (so confusing a part)? But you can notice that he is clever, mysterious... He fits the role of a genius, capable of solving troubles, interesting indeed, a hard nut, and with bad habits... A perfect man who would ruin woman´s life. We´ll see.

María dijo...

"we are DEVELOPING", I wanted to have written, sorry

María dijo...

Sorry, I just know that the lion was Stryver. I didn´t pick up either the fact of the difference between both lawyers as for social status is concerned. Carton is really interesting, and a difficult person to have in front of. I think Darnay believes himself to be superior, but it is normal, many people believe so. However, he tried also to be polite when he says: "yes I think you have been drinking"... instead of "I know you have been drinking". So there we see that Darnay doesn´t know how to behave in front of Carton. I think Darnay also dislikes Carton, but the fact of feeling in debt with him, prevents him to be rough (except for the famous sentence in which he says to Carton that he must have done it better in life.
I continue thinking that Carton is the perfect man that would make woman´s life wretched. Because he has strong capacities of catching people´s (women) attention, but we have seen in that chapter his inability of changing. Is he depressed or satisfied with the life he has? In my opinion, whatever connected with Mr. Carton will be doomed to the deepest failure.
In few chapters we see that Lucie Manette is having lots of suitors: Lorry, Darnay, Carton. Will she choose well???

Roberto dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Roberto dijo...

Mr. Carton is certainly quite interesting a character, don’t you think? The sort of person who has the means to succeed but unable to make good use of his “talents” so as to reach the sky, letting another person take such a desirable power. However, why does he help others and not himself?

I have not caught you up yet and I realize that I am missing the chance to comment the chapters as we read them in class. What a pity!

carmen dijo...

María is right when she says is the perfect man to ruin a woman´s happiness!!!! Why? Because he is incapable of bettering himself and because he has an incapacity of thrift, he is in a kind of whirlpool out of which he cannot get and I wonder if he wants to, I think he has what my cousin terms an adictive personality. Or perhaps it is just weakness... However Dickens grants him two very good things in his description: A man with good abilities and good sentiments, something like this, can you think of anything better in a man??
Roberto, you must be very busy since you are finding it so difficult to catch up!!! but you are certainly misssing the comments and we are also missing yours...

Paloma dijo...

I’ve already finished the novel. I’ve enjoyed it very, very much, you know, historical novel has always been, by far, my favorite literary genre, and this being one, I’ve not been able to stop reading. It’s a very god one, full of information about the epoch and how things developed, and, as it’s written very few years after the facts it relates took place, it has a “live” inside it that other text speaking on the subject , I mean more modern ones, don’t have.
Regarding Carton and Darnay I prefer, by far, the first one. Darnay is such a perfect gentleman that I think he’s boring. Carton is much more real. You can find him walking in the streets every day. He has faults, no doubt, and very serious ones, but he has also wonderful qualities and a noble soul. In addition, his faults are only damaging to him. Many people have only a fault, but this is harmful to others. Some of the faults Carlton have I’ve found in myself, perhaps that’s the reason why I like him.
In chapter 4th we read: “Nobody had made any acknowledgement of Mr. Carton’s part in the day’s proceedings; nobody had known of it.” He does the job, another harvest the fruits. No matter whether you are paid, this is terrible. Think about you.

María dijo...

I hope that to know these things you tell us doesn´t spoil the plot...
I have laughed very much reading the conversation between Miss Pross and Mr Lorry. Both are very funny! The more I read the novel, the more I understand! Characters are really wonderful!

Carmen dijo...

I wonder, Paloma, whatever you mean when you say that some of Mr.Carton´s faults you have found in you!!!! I cannot see any two people more different than you and Mr.Carton both in vice and virtue you seem to me to be opposite poles, perhaps as we read on a bit you can explain yourself a bit better, I´ll be eager to know!!!!
María, I´m glad that you are grasping humour because this means that you are understanding the novel better. Yes, Miss Pross and Mr. Lorry are really funny together, does anyone think that there cuold be something else developing between them? And what about Solomon Pross? How can women be so confoundedly stupid with men, brothers of all species...any of our ladies so infatuated about your brothers?? Personally I used to think that my brother was great..then I discovered one or two things...(joke!!)

Paloma dijo...

Only one example, although I could bring you many others. Chapter 5th, Carton says: “you were always driving and riving and shouldering and pressing, to that restless degree that I have no chance for my life but in rust and repose”
When I was at university and my husband became my boyfriend, he used to study so hard and for so much time that I used to tell him: “I get so tired seeing you to study that I can’t help but resting” however, using Dickens’ words I could have said: “You were always studying to that restless degree that I have no chance for my life but in rust and repose”

Paloma dijo...

What is Dickens trying to convey to us about Darnay? What does he want us to think about him? In chapter 6th we are told: “Mr. Lorry detected on his face (Dr. Manette’s) as it turned towards Charles Darnay, that same singular look that had been upon it when it turned towards him in the passages of the Court House”. So, not only uses Darnay a false noun, but also DR. Manette has looked at him twice with dislike, distrust and fear.
Maria, you are right in what you say about the meeting between Miss Pross and Mr. Lorry, this passage is worth reading carefully. I’ve found another funny thing, the way in which Dickens repeats “and yet no hundreds of people “, “Still, the Hundreds of people did not present themselves”, “dinner time and still no hundred of people”….

Lidia 5º C dijo...

Thanks Carmen by offer us the oportunity to listen the Damaso's confference. Interesting and pleasant. Not only is Damaso an excellent expert in English Literature but he is an wonderful speaker in our language. Nowadays it is not very common to find someone with a so high level.

Carmen dijo...

I´m so glad, Lidia that you enjoyed it. I also had a really great time, this putting together of the novel after all the work of the year is ever so nice, such a feeling of fullness, of plenty, we surely have done our bit of work!

Paloma dijo...

After yesterday’s lecture I’ve been thinking something about Jane Eyre. There is no forgetting this book is a self-biography, something narrated in the first person. I don’t know the reason why Charlotte Bronte chose this option, perhaps to provide Jane with more strength. Whatever the reason, I wonder something: Is there anybody that writing his or her biography speaks badly about himself or herself? I don’t know the answer, I haven’t read many self-biographies and I don’t know whether when speaking about themselves, people recognises their own faults, this is why I ask you.
It seems that very few people in the auditorium liked Jane, but, the story been narrated in the first person, could things have been really different? I mean, as the novel is written, we see, although she doesn’t tell us, what Jane’s faults are, and this makes her more human, so to say. However, if Charlotte Bronte had made Jane a “better” person, perhaps she would have been unreal and twee. What do you think?

Roberto dijo...

After reading your last comments, I would like to add my point of view concerning both Chapter 6 and Mr Carton’s character. Mr Lorry and Miss Pross made me laugh, mainly because the former keeps doing his best so as to sympathize with Miss Mannete’s “ward” by means of gestures or brief statements, avoiding so vexing the lady.

What about Mr Carton? He is certainly a vulnerable man. Thus, I guess that you, women, are interested in such a man, however, I think his weaknesses, and therefore his incapacity to overcome them, to be his own fault. It is always very easy to say, “I can’t do this” or “I can’t not be so”, leading yourself to the path of laziness and self victimization.

You have not mentioned the courtyard description and I must point it because I was unable to understand the following paragraph: “In a building at the back, attainable by a courtyard where a plane-tree rustled its green leaves, church-organs claimed to be made, and silver to be chased, and likewise gold to be beaten by some mysterious giant who had a golden arm starting out of the wall of the front hall—as if he had beaten himself precious, and menaced a similar conversion of all visitors.”

The story of Darnay’s is quite trilling, is it not? Dickens masters perfectly the narrative skills, for in just one page we get anxious to know what is going on within Mr Mannet’s mind and eager, as well, to find out what happened in the past.

By the way, I did not attend the lecture and I know I will regret it. I hope you can tell the highlight moments of such an event.

Roberto dijo...

I meant, "I hope you can tell US"

Roberto dijo...

Having revised my last comment I realize that I did not express myself properly.

Yesterday, I was unable to attend the lecture and I know I would have enjoyed it a lot. That is the reason why I am ashamed. However, I had a more important meeting to attend to and by making a balance between both, the second choice was better.

I beg your pardon.

Paloma dijo...

At the back of the courtyard there was another building, not to live but to work inside. In this building there were three different workshops. The first one was a place where church-organs were made, and in the second one, gold and silver were shaped. Hanging in the front hall there was a golden arm and you might think it used to belong to a giant working the gold and silver, who would have gilded this arm before hanging it. And every visitor there could be gilded in the same way as the arm. The plane-tree is scientifically called Platanus hispanica, I think this is a clue about what tree is it. I hope this might help you.

mercedes m. dijo...

Paloma your last comment is fantastic I do not know where you have got the information but it is really very interesting, you can imagine the place better. I bought yesterday "the woman in white" and I read the introduction about the novel and the author yesterday night and I am sure it will be an interesting novel.

María dijo...

Once more we were privileged for having had the opportunity of hearing Dámaso López. It was absolutely fantastic. I value very much his capacity of being objective, his ability in critical and cultural topics, connecting threads in the novel... It was a pleasure indeed. Thanks to the Department.

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

I wanted to say how much I liked Chapter 5, The Jackal. The two characters, Stryver and Carton are wonderful there. And, above all, I think the last paragraph is beautifully written:

Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; and it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.

I think I am going to enjoy very much this book. As Paloma, I used to like very much historical novels, though it has been some time since I read the last one.

Roberto, I see your point regarding the repetition of "Hundreds of people", which I find rather funny. Miss Pross is great! When Dickens talks about her devoting to her Ladybird, a common thing amongst women, I was reminded of Marian Halcombe. Do you remember we were discussing this women's devoting to others then?

Paloma dijo...

Mercedes I don’t understand what you mean, what I have written is what I have understood. Read the paragraph again and then what I say, I think it’s quite clear, isn’t it? The only “extra” information I have, so to say, is the scientific noun of the tree, this I know by my profession. I am a chemist and we study botany in our degree course.

FILM CLUB dijo...

GO TO THE FILM CLUB

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

Book the second. Chapter the sixth

Here are some aspects from the chapter. The action takes place at the Doctor’s house, placed at a quiet-street corner, not far from Soho-square. Mr Lorry asking Miss Pross if the Doctor has any theory of his own relative to the cause of his being oppressed, even to the name of his oppressor, she answers that Ladybird has. Miss Pross says that the Doctor is afraid; that sometimes he gets up in the dead of the night and walks up and down in the room; that Ladybird hurries up to him walking up and down together. Being mentioned as a wonderful corner for echoes, it is that one that begins to echo so resoundingly to the tread of coming feet. It seems as though the very mention of that weary pacing to and fro has set it going. What such a quiet street-corner!
As the day has been so oppressive, they go out under the plain-tree. Mr Darnay having arrived, he asks the Doctor if he knows much of the Tower. He keeps talking about the subject in such a way that makes the Doctor look ill, but, apparently, he is not ill. It is heavy rain that makes them get into the house, and at this very moment, the business eye of Mr Lorry captures a singular look that the Doctor gives to Mr Darnay’s face, a similar situation to that in the Court House, four months before. Mr Carton has just arrived; there are six of them now, not hundreds of them. There are lots of footsteps everywhere, and the street-corner keeps working but there is not even one within in sight. It is Mr Carton that says that one day a great crowd will be coming in their lives. Mr Darnay having asked Miss Manette about the footsteps, he deserves Miss Manette’s attention though she tells him in a similar way as Mr Carton has just said. Despite Miss Pross’s idea about imagining, we, readers, have to have some imagination. Fortunately, the author ends the chapter saying that “Perhaps, see the great crowd of people with its rush and roar, bearing down upon them, too.”
In my opinion, reading this novel is a complex and time-consuming process no matter how absolutely fantastic the novel is.

Roberto dijo...

Thank you Paloma, I understood something similar but I do not know why I feel there is something behind such a description that I am missing. Anyway, the time when the characters are contemplating from by the window how the storm is to start is certainly a marvellous scene, perfectly described in my opinion. I could feel the stillness of the moment and how the characters, spellbound with the overwhelming atmosphere, speak to each other slowly.

I have just finished Chapter 7, “Monsieur the Marquis in Town”, and I dare say it is the best episode so far, showing the wretched condition of population in France and how the wealthy is just granted to a few, who care not for the country even though they are supposed to be working for it, living in other sphere and motivated by their “duty”, so to say, reaching pleasure by killing other's hope to keep going. So distressing is the man who has lost his child that the reader feels his anger and powerlessness to ask for justice.

Great!!!!

Paloma dijo...

Roberto I agree with you, chapter 7th is fantastic. I’ve particularly liked two things, the first one is how Dickens describes how little suitable for their jobs were people at the reception of Monseigneur, and the second one the metaphor of the Fancy Ball and the rats. It makes you be conscious of the great differences of class in France at that time, not only in money but also in rights. Two different worlds lived together, touching each other. This is making me thing. With the new globalization, another world, previously very far from us, is now also touching ours, what will be happen in the future? What have happened always in History when the same situation had taken place? Peoples who forget their history are said to be condemned to repeat it. Think about this, we now are the Roman in front of the Barbarians, the Fancy Ball in front of the rats….

María dijo...

I write quickly only to ask you if it is possible that Monsieur le Marquis is called sometimes Monseignor. I know that there are two people, one Marquis and the other Monseignor (the king?)-when they are introduced-, but reading the next chapter, I am confused.

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

Maria, could be it possible that Monsieur the Marquis were considered like a king by the people living in the area owned by him?

Luis Martínez Salinas 5C dijo...

Sorry, a big mistake. I should have said, could it be possible..
Sorry again.

Paloma dijo...

Chapter 8th is a beautiful comparison between life, in Paris and in the French country. All people were impoverished then and starving. No wonder what happened, no wonder people finished the servitude in such a bloody way. Everywhere was the same, everywhere this kind of situation finishes with blood. What has made me think is the reason why people were so poor: the taxes. Perhaps there is no comparison between them and now, but, in spite the fact that I don’t understand anything about economy, I’m hearing voices calming for a tax cut. I wonder whether….

Roberto dijo...

It is amazing how people may become really wretched just because of a few. I can see some parallelisms between that epoch and theses days even though I know we are not suffering as population did in France, however, there is the same lack of scruples by some people who do not care at all if their acts devastate thousand of people’s life, living surrounded of luxury and privileges which are the result of stealing what it is not theirs. You might wonder why this kind of situation keeps repeating through human history. I dare say that the poor endeavours the oppressor’s whip because of his fear of suffering a worse condition. The oppressor, on the other hand, will do his best so as to keep his condition, we can see perfectly well this attitude in the novel, blind to any ethical belief. Only when the poor has nothing else to loose and comes close to the edge of death will face the former.

María dijo...

I have been thinking of Monsieur The Marquis and I agree that I am "Madamme The Marquis". And I feel sorry for people like me, as all of us are going to the hell for our consciouness of our inactivity. However, I don´t feel sorry for Monsieur The Marquis because he doesn´t do the evil with his inactivity but with his activity. Carmen said something like "he was educated like that". But I think that when you get consciousness of injustice, you can take the other way, stop to think and act better. You can´t save yourself under an excuse of having received such education. If so, you are the same as your predeccesors. The Marquis makes poeple´s life be worst, while we don´t push the unfavoured people´s improvement nor development. There is a difference, with the same bad result.

Carnen dijo...

A very interesting time reading all your comments, which are, mostly very well written, I´m glad to see that you are understanding the novel quite well and can even help the others. Well done. Paloma, your explanation is very accurate and so are Luis´summaries.
Hello, Elena, it´s good to see that you are still with us, though not physically present, we would have missed you, indeed.
María, Monseigneur, is Sir therefore it could be the King, or the Marquis himself, as is the case. You would be surprised to find that we, even if aware of the difficulties of our fellow citizens, do very little to help!!! I´m sorry to have to disagree with you, people do not react!!! We find excuses, we forget to get better, we do nothing. what I find inexcusable in the Marquis, is that he behaves like that with his own servants. We´ll see what Darnay does when he can do something about it, if he can.
What is clear is We are the Marquis and secondly, it is difficult to fight against injustice always, take what the socialists have done with your level of proficiency and what have you done NOTHING. And this affects everyone of you!!!
the situation in France was horrible, and what is the situation here currently? Some people are hungry or will be in a short time....Nor as hungry, i admit..but what are our politicians doing...tossing the coin??

María dijo...

People don´t react that is what I was saying! Th difference between us and the marquis is that we do the evil with our blindness, but The Marquis does the evil with his acts. Our sin is allowing The Marquises to do that, looking around, the other way. I think that Darnay is going to have good intentions, but as always, good intentions are not enough.

mercedes m. dijo...

Well I agree with Carmen that sometimes we do not nothing but we can not compare the situation in France near the revolution with our level of English I think this matter is another story..... In my opinion the problem is the hipocresy in all over the world and the submmision of illiterate and poor people against rich people. In France they resolve in part the problem, cutting heads but this happen only when the people are too starving, anyway the slavery is nowadays the same that before and the human behavour have not change very much, always there have been people dominating another and the egotism has prevailed over poverty and in my opinion all of us are guilty and we are all a little marquis.

Paloma dijo...

How right you are, Maria! I hope this be a mitigating factor in the scales …

Carmen dijo...

I hardly think we are blind, Tv is a great help towards opening our eyes...however many times it is difficult to do things..we are trying to survive ourselves, mentally, in most cases

María dijo...

I totally agree with you Mercedes. We are hypocrite. Knowing we are equal under God´s eyes, we actually don´t believe it from the bottom of our hearts. We are blind because we want to be so!! We do see injustice and unreasonableness on TV, but we turn it off, we think it is not our problem, or think we can´t do anything for solving things. We are only fond of ourselves. We complain about News because they show awful, sad, bloody tragedies. We don´t want to see the dreadful reality. Is there more blidness in such universal behaviour?

mercedes m. dijo...

Maria after reading your realistic comment I have feel a strong pain in my heart, really we would try to change some things even I know it is very difficult, I consider that in my case I always try to help people and this behaviour has been considered for people around me as a defect not a virtue ¡it is a pity! but I am too old to change my mind, if I can help I do it but sometimes it is impossible and for me it is very frustrating. Anyway Maria thanks for your reflection.

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

There's not much to add to the debate regarding ourselves the Marquis. It's true we are too busy worrying for ourselves and for our family to worry for other people who are suffering, near of far. Also, TV, advertisements add to this so that we are always feeling not beatiful enough, not rich enough, not thin enough... so that we keep focusing on ourselves and what we lack. Still, we are to blame. We could do something, or more (depends on the case). But, I would like to add that governments should make more for people in our country and in others. Me, as a person, will make a difference, but governments can do a lot more!! We should encourage them to do it (with the 0.7% thing, etc).

By the way, thanks Carmen, I miss all of you and I miss going to the lessons and talking about the book! But I keep checking the blog!

CArmen dijo...

Governments should help but all things considered it is their own governments and their people that should do the fighting, we are to blame under most circumstances but do not allow this to fustrate you too much because we are very little. Mostly we should look around us and lend a hand here or there.

Carmen dijo...

María hurting people and then saying that you did it unconsciously is also an excuse, don´t you think. Lots of people say, after the wrong is done I think it could come to that, and regret it. A bit like Judas...

María dijo...

Much people are Judas indeed. That´s our hypocresy. So let´s be better now that we are conscious of that!! Let´s start with whom are around us!!
The novel is getting more and more interesting! It´s very curious that we are not interested in Darnay after his proposal as he must love Lucie very deeply... On the other hand, we have Mr Stryver, "the good match", but the one who is not going to be chosen, I daresay, though I may be mistaken as we don´t know anything of Lucie´s likes... And finally we have Carton, the perfect man capable of ruining women´s life. But remember that women like suffering the most! We are like that... ;)
What will happen???
Hello Elena!! I´m glad you are with us online!

Roberto dijo...

You all are quite right however it seems to me as if you were overlooking something of the utmost importance. Monsieur the Marquis is striking against the poor, consciously and purposely, stealing their bread to become himself more and more powerful. It is true that we usually turn away when other’s problems claim for help because we do not want to do any sacrifice, we are naturally selfish. However, it does not mean neither that you do not care for those who share your life; relatives, acquaintances or whoever nor you act hurting people. There is no struggling for every single suffering creature in the world or every injustice.

I just try to be kind and honest. Sometimes I am selfish and do not sacrifice myself for others but later, I feel repentant and try to compensate it doing something good.

María dijo...

I agree with you. The Marquis is wicked; but what Dickens does is making us reflect and ask ourselves if we act as we must. I believe you are not THe Marquis, Roberto!! ;)

Carmen dijo...

You may not be The Marquis yourself, but consider,Roberto, how many are currently stealing the bread of the poor to become richer and more powerful themselves?? How about paying millions for a house, which are never that expensive, so that the politicians and the builders make more??
María, yes the novel is becoming interesting, isn´t it? who will be the chosen? A Marquis is around..castle and all...the new comer who thinks a lot of himself, rough and quite vulgar, and the disappointed drudge...It is very clear for me that the winner is going to be.............think who you girls would go for, for marriage...clear, isn´t it

Paloma dijo...

It’s high time I finished my work today, it’s five past one in the morning and I’ve been working since 8 o’clock without stopping. I haven’t had time to take off my pyjamas!!!!! I’d liked to write something about today’s chapter, but I cannot. I’ll do it tomorrow. Now I don’t exist anymore.

The Bandit dijo...

Hi,
I have read most of your comments about The Marquis´s behaviour and how you compare it to ours on our daily life.
In my opinion, you are a little unfair and too hard with our way of behaving. The Marquis is a wicked and selfish person. He doesn´t mind anybody´s life. He is only worry about himself, his position and welfare. And the most important thing he needs other´s suffering to mantain his status and welfare, and that is what makes us different.
We have to admit our society is suffering a continuous values, standards and moral principles loss. It´s true that the new slogan, the higest maxim of our days is the more money you win and the less effort you make, the more intelligent you are. It´s obvious that there is a lack of comunication in our society (we only say "hello" and nothing else to our neighbours in the lift of our block, for example). What a pity.
But on the other hand, we have to admit that we don´t trample on anybody in our daily life. We don´t take advantage of other´s suffering. On the contrary, we try to do good deeds to the people who surrounded us (relatives, friends, classmates, etc). We behave in a good way with those who are near us. The problem is that current society keeps us under pressure, subjects us a high labour rhythm and gives us a huge leiuse time offer that is very difficult to realize other people´s problems.

Paloma dijo...

Alberto, you have written your post at 6.33 in the morning, my God!!!!
I partially agree with you, you say we don’t take advantage of the Third World, and that’s untrue, we actually do. For instance: where do most people buy their household goods and furniture today? IKEA. Why are its products so chip? Because they are made in South Asia, many times by children. Do you eat chocolate and coffee purchased in fair price shops? Most people don’t. Are we buying wheat and other raw materials to the Third World, the price of which is quite low, by the way, and then selling them manufactured products much more expensive? Are we selling weapons to them? And don’t tell me these things are done by our governments because WE CHOOSE THEM. Be it wanted or not for us, our way of life is based in taking advantage of those who are poorer than us. This is a fact, there is no denying it.

María dijo...

Don´t you agree, Bandit, that there are much more The Marquises than you think around us or even inside us?? We do trample! We see it at works every day! False people stabbing in the back!! I don´t understand what you mean with the lack of comunication. Have you noticed that you have found an excuse of our bad behaviour (your last paragraph)?? That is what I was saying in my other comments. We want to be blind...
I could guess who will be the chosen... Lucie will fall in love with Carton, but as he is not a good match unless he changes (improbable, because to change is very difficult, almost impossible), she will finish with Darnay. Bets, bets!
I would marry Darnay as well I think... Though I would remember Carton very much... ;)

Roberto dijo...

Turning back to the novel, I have just finished Chapter 10 and cannot help feeling anxious to disclose the mystery surrounding Dr Manette’s pass. Now we know there is certainly a link between the former and Mr Darney; and this is very intriguing indeed. I ask myself whether the latter knows something which Dr Manette does not. I recall that in “The Woman in White” we followed the mystery by means of its protagonist, Marian Halcombe, finding out secrets as she discovered them. However, A Tale of Two Cities seems to grant us extra information which the protagonists ignore and I dare say Dickens leads us along the path he pleases. Well done!

Carmen dijo...

I cannot agree with you, Bandit at all!!! As María says we trample on our colleagues, friends, relatives, we want to get to the top and stay there and it is because we think about being successful in life, we are materialistic, and mercenary and having money and connections means success, so that´s what we try and get.Simple grey lives are not in, so we do anything to avoid them. I have to agree with Paloma, come on those who admit it to ourselves, even though we do it privately are further than those of us who say that the Marquis is horrible and we are not like him!!! And we, in Europe, as Paloma points out, earn money exploiting the poor,in other less fortunate countries. And let me add that we feel superior to them, into the bargain.
Roberto, you are very right, in "The Woman in White" we discover things with Marian in this one we are given information in a broader way, and we have a much wider story, since we see different stories as we go along with our friends.

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

Book the Second. Chapter IX

On Wednesday, regarding this chapter, I was asked what I thought of Mr Darnay. I said that he was a good man. Noticing that that answer was not expected, I tried to support my statement by saying that Mr Darnay was sympathetic to social problems; that he was different to his uncle; that were he to inherit the château that very night, he would give it to the peasants in order that they improve their situation; that his mother urged that he clear the name of the family; that he wanted to make a living from working. Despite these arguments, I got the feeling that what I had said was not convincing, so I added that, within the last four months, Dr Manette had given Mr Darnay two unexpected fearful looks, which meant that there was something strange about Mr Darnay.
Thinking about it, I decided to reread the second half of the chapter, which not only is it difficult to understand, but also to get the message. It is said that that night, at a given time, the grey water of the two fountains began to be ghostly, and the eyes of the stone faces of the château were opened. In the glow, the water of the château fountain seemed to turn to blood, and the stone faces crimsoned. On the window of the bed-chamber of Monsieur the Marquis, one little bird sang with all its might. …the nearest stone face seemed to stare amazed… Afterwards, the sun was full up; the movement began in the village as everyday. The château awoke later as usual and activities took place, but it was not an ordinary day. The ringing of the bell of the château, the running up and down the stairs, the hurried figures… Now, all the people of the village were at the fountain showing curiosity and surprise. Some people of the château, some of the posting-house, and taxing authorities were armed. What all these things portended? The author says that there was one stone face too many, up at the château. It was the Gorgon that had added the one stone face that night. It lay back on the pillow of Monsieur the Marquis. It was like a fine mask suddenly petrified. Driven home into the heart of the stone figure attached to it, was a knife with a piece of paper, on which was written:
“Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from Jacques.”
Has Mr Darnay played any role in this episode? Do not forget there is a missing man round there. I now realise that the question above may be crucial, that is a very good one, but its answer, I must say, could be difficult.

Raquel dijo...

I agree with you Carmen we all have a lot of the Marquis in us, but what is hard and inadmisible to see is the contempt of this character for his subdits and the impunity of his acts, even though these lead to kill someone.

Paloma dijo...

Reading chapter 10th there have been something which has attracted my attention powerfully. For some reason Dr. Manette is afraid or doesn’t want the love affair between Darnay and Lucy. And this is quite strange. So far, we have seen him to look at Darnay in an odd manner but never has been this fact as evident as it is in this chapter. I’ve underlined some sentences and I’d like to share them with you as a prove and, also, to ask your opinion on the subject:
“His constraint was so manifest, and it was so manifest, too, that it originated in an unwillingness to approach the subject”
“He offered his hand; but, his eyes did not go with it”
“A struggle was evident in his face; a struggle with that occasional look which had a tendency in it to dark doubt and dread””Will open all my heart – or nearly”
“If it where – Charles Darnay – if it where…….anything whatsoever, new or old, against the man she really loved…..more to me than wrong, more to me – “
This last paragraph is quite enlightening, I think there is something in Darnay wrong for Dr. Manette, not bad enough to make him reject the man and his friendship but painful enough to have him as a son in law, but WHAT? Any idea?

Paloma sobre Fuente ovejuna dijo...

Yesterday I went to “Teatros del Canal” to see “Fuente Ovejuna” I strongly recommend you to go and see this play, it’s really worth watching it. The acting is, as usual, quite variable. And, in my opinion they shout a lot some times, but the mise en scene is really good as it is the exploitation of the stage resources. The atmosphere and the costumes, as well as the music, are fantastic and the text is respected and very easy to understand. I went with my son Javier, who is 13 and didn’t know anything about the play, and he understood it perfectly well and liked it very much. The director is an English man, I don’t remember his name, who usually works with the Royal Shakespeare Company and, in addition, is an expert in our Golden Century theatre.
The plot is quite related with our novel. In some scenes you can't help thinking in it.
Only one warning: The prices are 26 or 18 Euros, but the theatre is really big. The tickets from “Atrapalo” cost 12 Euros but are the ones from 18 and I don’t recommend them because you may be very far from the stage even though the view is quite good. It’s better to look at the theatre map when booking your tickets.

Luis Martínez Salinas 5c dijo...

Mr Manette does not want full confidence on Mr Darnay part now. If Mr Darnay were accepted by Lucie, he should tell Mr Manette on his marriage morning. By the way, it is noticeable how much Mr Manette’s mind has been disturbed by Mr Darnay today!

Carmen dijo...

Thanks, Paloma, for this information about Fuenteovejuna, I´d like you to tell us what you saw in the play to be connected with our novel.
A very good post, Luis. thanks to you too.
I´ve also thought the wuotes you copied are interesting, Paloma, it is quite clear that there is something disturbing in Mr.Darnay and Dr. Manette has some misgivings about this lover of Lucie´s, he certainly is prepared to overlook any wrong done to him...what could that be? When he speaks to the doctor he really seems to be the perfect match and partner for any woman. Think, what father could object to such a son-in-law? Yet, I cannot forget his haughty attitude to poor Carton, who seemed to be so downcast, so defeated, so crushed. His lack of compassion is absolutely shocking, under the circumstances, remember that Carton has just saved his life and in those circumstances anyone would have been more compassionate, don´t you think?
And what of Mr.Stryver? How many men think like that when they consider marrying a girl?

María dijo...

I´ve just read chapters XII and XIII and I am amazed. There are three different kind of men, each is a vertex of a perfect triangle, Lucie being inside it. Stryver and Carton are opposite poles, extremes, one, by excess, and the other one, by default (I don´t know if it is well said...). On the other hand, Darnay seems to be the virtue, in the middle of his rivals. But he hides something strange which, as you say, doesn´t allow him to be the perfect match nor the desired son-in-law.
Thanks Paloma for sharing it with us. Which of the play made you remind of the novel?
I look forward to commenting Carton´s unusual declaration!!

Paloma dijo...

Both plays tell us the revolution of the lower classes against their noble oppressors. In France the reason was hunger and poverty, in Fuente Ovejuna indecent assault and theft, but in both situations the reaction is the same and blood is the result: we see in this play a head in a pike, the same as in the French Revolution. In the play the scenes in which the commander is killed are very well achieved and I couldn’t help remembering the French Revolution. In A Tale there is also a woman reacting with “great strength” so to say (not everyone has read the novel yet) and in Fuente Ovejuna the character with more strength is also a woman. In both plays, when men hesitate whether to act or not, there is a woman pushing them and in both plays they are moved by the same emotion: revenge.

Carmen dijo...

I agree with María as to the three types of men that we see in the novel, we have to start thinking who we like and what we respect more / less in a man.
Rachel, it is sad to see that as you say the Marquis gets away with a lot of ill-treatment towards his fellow creatures, but don´t we all? And what is worse wouldn´t we do it if we could? those feelings exist within us and if allowed they would come through us and out into the world and our behaviour. We are capable of doing ANYTHING, this is what is so frightening, that we consider oursekves better and thus superior...like the Marquis.

Paloma dijo...

Reading chapter XII and XIII we see how reality has many faces. Striver is arrogant but, if you consider his point of view, in a sense he is right.
I agree with Maria and Carmen but I see in Carton the perfect lover: he gives everything and asks nothing. Miss Manette knows she can count on him, and this is the most. In chapter XIII we are also given a lesson, appearances can be deceptive. Dickens doesn’t tell us the reason why Carton behaves like that, but it would have been interesting to know it. A man capable of such a love has to have some powerful reason for being so self-destructive.
Since I read the chapter for the first time, I’m thinking in Romeo. If you ask who the best lover in literature is, I’m sure most people would say: Romeo; but I wonder whether Carton is not even better. Romeo expects Juliet’s love in return, Carton doesn’t expect anything. Carton is so miserable that he is also unknown for most people, while everyone knows who Romeo is. Is it not sad? Dickens succeeded in every sense making him a human waste (I don’t know whether this construction is correct) I mean, very few people know him as a great lover, not also is he miserable in the novel, as a character, but also in the reality, since he is unknown as what he really is: one of the greatest lovers in Literature. Do you understand what I mean?

María dijo...

Paloma, I agree with you when saying that Carton is the perfect lover, but not the perfect one to fall in love with. His declaration just means that he will love Lucie for ever, and that he will always look at her closely, caring for her and her family. But as you said he doesn´t expect to be loved by her, as he believes himself a hopeless case.
Carton knows that he has to change, but doesn´t think he is able to do it. He knows he would ruin Lucie´s life!! Thank youuu, not all men warn us and then hurt us!!
Warning her, he is saving her: "I am in love with you, but don´t marry me, I´ll give you misfortune". His incapacity of changing, which differs from Rochester´s ability, is very painful and Lucie catchs it when she feels sorry and even believes that Carton´s unhapinness is her fault.
As Carmen has said, Carton is a loser, and which woman would marry a loser? However, his capacity of sacrificing himself, his own life, could make a woman fall in love with him or at least never forget him.
It´s funny your insatisfaction, Paloma. Apart from the fact that Shakespeare´s characters are more known than Dickens´, Romeo embodies the lively love, while Carton embodies the deathly love. It could be an explanation of people´s consideration.

Elena Gil - 5B dijo...

Hi! I've continued reading the book, which I'm liking very much. In fact, Carton is very interesting. Still, I don't agree with you, Maria. I was once discussing with some friends about winners and losers, and not everyone likes the winning type. I must confess some losers seem very attractive to me. On the other hand, the winners... not that much. Anyway, Carton is quite an extreme loser. I'm talking of a moderate one. They are quite nice :) For example, most of Haruki Murakami's characters (whose novels I recommend very much, though they are very melancholic) or the characters of Nick Hornby's novels (which I remember Carmen did not like, but I still find them quite moving).

Roberto dijo...

Having finished Chapter 13, at length I am able to keep up with the classes. You are very right when analyzing the different attitude these three men embrace towards the woman they love. However, I want you to see my perspective: Mr Carton is certainly sincere and brave; showing his weaknesses and conscious that there is no possibility at all that his love for Miss Manette succeeds. That is the reason why I consider him selfish, for his relief by telling her all about his sentiments seems to transfer Miss Mannet a "dreary fardel to grunt and sweat under a weary life"; and that it is unjust from my point of view.

Let us now dwell on Mr Striver’s condition. We can see how difficult is to accept we are wrong, always becoming ourselves proud and blind before beliefs which do no suit ours. On the other hand, he is quite practical and in spite of the fact that he does not seem interested in Miss Mannet’s feelings, he sees but advantages in such a proposal. It is like Mr Collins, in Pride and Prejudice. I do not see anything wrong in his conficende about the issue but his odious self-sufficiency.

Mr Darney seems to me the sort of man with whom women fall in love and in the end he does nothing else but letting them down.

Have you noticed that we do not know nothing about Miss Mannet except she is beautiful, kind with his father and fond of faints? We lack of any information about her character nor even if she deserves such amount of attention.

Carmen dijo...

Paloma, you say some very interesting things about Carton which I share and it is very exciting that a man tells you something like Carton tells Lucie, it flatters a woman, definetely, but Carton is not the "perfect lover", take his slovenly appearance: Women like men to dress well, be clean, to behave well, to say "all that was right"(what Darcy said to Lizzy!)and Carton does nothing to please men or women, only Stryver seems to get on well with him.
As to the comparison with Romeo, Dickens is not Shakespeare!! If Shakespeare had meddled with Carton, he would have been immense, like all his characters. Romeo says and does all the correct things to impress and captivate Juliet´s heart. Juliet loves him since she saw him, which is not the case with Carton either. Romeo is justly the symbol of the perfect lover, and justly so moreover because that love existed, while Carton could never be because his love is not returned and he does not want it returned!! He says so himself, clearly.
Elena, Losers like Carton are not interesting at all for marriage!!! They can be good, interesting (?) as friends, but quite honestly Carton has many faults which he himself is unwilling to change and I would go further and say that he is incapable of changing.

Carmen dijo...

Roberto, welcome back after this absence, trying to catch up!! I´ll read your post after.

DINNER: there semms that 12th June for a dinner party is not possible for some people in the other group, I think it´s better if we try to find a new date so that we could all go together like last year, and this is our last time. So how about the 9th, Tuesday? We could meet early and then it would not be too late for those who have to get up early.

The Bandit dijo...

The 9th for me is perfect. So, count on me for that day.

Roberto dijo...

I am not sure what chapters we are supposed to do a week now that classes are over (-> what a pity!), so I warn you that I proceed to comment both Chapter 14, “The Honest Tradesman”, and 15, “Knitting”.

I must admit being a little bit confused when I read Chapter 14. I could not understand why the mob is so “fond” of funerals and willing to spoil such a mournful event if the departed is considered as spy. Spy in what way? Secondly, the more I dwell on the issue the more puzzled I get when analyzing Mr Cruncher’s “fishing”. Was it done just to steal the dead? On the other hand, I really pity Mrs Cruncher; she is doomed to bear injustices whatever she does.

I keep saying that the story followed in the continent is quite more interesting than London’s. Chapter 15 is again marvellous in every way. Firstly, because Dickens describes perfectly well the atmosphere as well the tension, as if you were standing amidst the scene itself. Besides, he has a talent to confer the reader a continuous feeling of anxiety about what is going to happen next. Finally, I love how he tells us the story by means of a character; I mean a narrative into another narrative. Great!!!

Roberto dijo...

Thank you Carmen, you know that I love this blog and the chance we have to reading the Masters.

Roberto dijo...

Chapter 15 grants us, at length, evidences that population in France is preparing itself to strike back against “nobility”. Thus, Madame Defarge both metaphorically and accurately shows how those living in a fancy world are going to see but an endless darkness. I liked it very much as well how “the ignorant” is always useful, letting the high spheres be unconscious at all of what is to come.

What about Madame’s occupation? Amazing indeed, is it not?

carmen dijo...

We will do THREE chapters per week not two as we had said in B.

I would like to know who is charge of the dinner, if anyone is. Is it you Paloma? You were the one to suggest the 12th, which was not a bad date but for the fact that the others could not make it. I hope i do not have to organize it!! In any case let me know. Those wanting to attend could say it here or send your name to whoever volunteers to orginize it.

Carmen dijo...

Roberto, Miss Manette is a very uninteresting heroine, in my opinion, but not in that of her fellow characters!!! Have you seen a woman more admired than her?? Even Jane, who is very successful with men only conquers two, but fails with others, this one is popular with all types. I presume she has qualities that men like in women, like making home a haven where a man can be happy and comfortable. She is quiet and leans on men, makes them feel as if they are in charge..I have to admit that I, personally have NOTHING in common with her: the home bores me to death and all the house chores are, in my opinion a nuisance!!!
Chapter 14 is wonderfully funny.
I´ll continue later, I´m off to El Prado

Paloma dijo...

Acabo de llegar de viaje apenas he podido echar un vistazo rápido al blog, Carmen yo soy la encargada de organizar lo de la cena. La fecha la sugirió Lidia pero supongo que se puede mover fácil si la gente no puede. Decidme lo que sea. Siento lo del español pero tenía que contestar rápido y estoy muy liada.

Lidia 5º C dijo...

The 9th is OK for me. But I couldn't meet early, perhaps I'll arrive later.

Natalia dijo...

The 9th is fine for me!!

Roberto dijo...

I did not find Chapter 14 so funny as Carmen did but singular because up to now, Jerry Cruncher’s character seems to be presented as “disconnected” from the plot and I perceive he is going to participate more actively in the story. I enjoyed however when his child follows him in the middle of the night and how, after seeing his father “fish” , he comes back home terrified.

Raquel dijo...

Regarding the dinner, I would rather go out on friday, because of work the day after. If that is not posible, I would prefer the
10th.

Luis Marínez Salinas dijo...

With regard to the dinner, any day fits me.

Paloma y Elena Gallego dijo...

Elena Gallego is going abroad on the 10th so she cannot came on 9th (she travels very early, at five o'clock in the morning)she suggests a date after the exam and I agree with her because i'd like her to be present.

mercedes m. dijo...

Well, when you were sure about the dinner's date, please write on the blog. I have a lot of work till August but I'll try to read and to write on it, which it is very interesting. Roberto in my opinion I think you do not find funny chapter 14th because the scene is really too hard, "to fish human bodies" ufffff, imagine your were there, Dickens's description is fantastic, don't you think?. Well, I have to work, have a good day.

Paloma dijo...

Chapter 14th:
There have been several things that have interested me for some different reasons. I’ll quote and comment them.
“Mostly of a full habit and past the middle term of life”: When I was a child, many, many years ago, it was the same in Spain, you used to see women over their forties wearing habits, mainly brawn ones, and women over their late sixties wearing black clothes.
“Mr. Cruncher never failed to become so interested in the lady as to express a strong desire to have the honour of drinking her very good health”: Can you imagine the delivery men from supermarkets, for instance, doing this nowadays? I’ve found this way of asking for a tip hilarious.
“The tradesmen hurriedly shut up their shops; for a crowd in those times stopped at nothing, and was a monster much dreaded”: I wonder how many people in the French Revolution, and later after it, acted following their ideals, their hatreds vindictively, or merely as part of a crowd. I also wonder whether something has changed at present: What happened in Barcelona last week when people celebrated the “Liga”, what happened with the windows of the shops in “Las Ramblas”?
“Why, you’re at it afore my face! (And the following paragraph): There is nothing a woman can do to convince her husband about her innocence when he is thinking the opposite. I mean, if a man is a jealous one, everything his wife does is seen by him as a proof of her guilty. In this chapter it is given a very good sample of ill-treatment.
“Do you call yourself a mother, and not know that a mother’s first duty is to blow her boy out?”: Do you think he is right?
“Something had gone wrong with him”: But What? It was in the dead of night, everything was calm and nobody was to be seen. What could have happened?
A wonderful chapter. I’ve quoted only some things but it would deserve a good talk. In my opinion Dickens shows a great sense of humour in it. He even made me laugh in the middle of the mistreatment scene when saying: “The devoutest person could have rendered no greater homage to the efficacy of an honest prayer than he did in this distrust of his wife” or “Mr. Cruncher was out of spirits, and out of temper and kept an iron pot-lid by him as a projectile for the correction of Mrs. Cruncher, in case he should observe any symptoms of her saying Grace”.

Carmen dijo...

well done Paloma, I think you have understood the chapter well!
It is very funny, Dickens sense of humour, once you are capable of understanding him is superb, he is so ironical. It is true that it has been a pity that we cannot comment it in class.
The DINNER: let´s fix a date, if you wish after the exam, something like the 18th?, and then try to make it all of you!!! I think a Friday is not a good idea, because most have plans with family and it should really be us! fix a date via email and then we´ll put it on the blog.Ok?
In this chapter we understand why Mr.Cruncher´s boots were never dirty and why his hands are rusty. I really like the superb description of Master Cruncher´s frightening experience and we understand why poor Mrs. Cruncher is always "aflopping", she must have thought that Mr. Cruncher would not go to Heaven, the profanation of tombs was and is considered a very ugly action. Why has mr. Trillo been critized for the plane accident? Because the corpses were not properly identified!!!! As I have always said we have not changed much,.. in essentials

Roberto dijo...

I keep maintaining that Chapter 14 is not so funny as you believe it to be. I did not laugh at all when Mr Cruncher blames her wife when things turn out bad for him. I really pity her even though Dickens shows with irony so bitter a scene .

Ahhh!! Yes Carmen, I really liked that part of the Chapter, however, I had forgotten that we were told that his boots always were covered of mud but not the reason why they became dirty.

Anyway, I will try to reread it again.

Carmen dijo...

Roberto it is indeed very sad that men treated women like that, and I may add, are still doing it!! I find that whenenver makes a mistake or drops something at home it is because I was calling to him or because I made him nervous, or...my fault!!! I have also found my sister blaming me for her "ocasional" mistakes, my mother, my daughter, and why not admit it, I have done it myself, there I´ve said it. So sad, though it be, it is common in our nature and Dickens just shows it as part of us.
I really sympathize with Mrs. Cruncher, as she embodies all the battered women that existed, exist and will exist, who have patiently and quietly suffered for the benefit of a family, who was never grateful!

Carmen dijo...

Roberto, his wife, as you know in English the possessor is the one used.
Let me tell you about El Prado: there is a new Eshibition featuring Sorrolla, DO NOT miss it as it is wondeful and we can see some paintings that have never before been exhibited in Spain.

Roberto dijo...

What a mistake! Inexcusable indeed.

Thank you, I really want to visit the exhibition as I love Sorrolla's paintings.

Carmen dijo...

I see that the blog is very quiet, tomorrow I´m going to the threatre to see the Pinter.
I have some news for you, Carmen Marchante has very kindly written out the document where you ask for an exam of Ciclo Superior so that you can complete the cicle you already started. We will give it to you to sign on the day of the exam.

Paloma dijo...

Chapter 15th
I agree with you Roberto, the chapters set in Paris are more interesting than the ones set in London.
Reading this chapter I’ve been doing what we could call philosophise. I make myself clear: I have the impression, maybe wrong, that when reading historic books we usually think people from the past were quite different from us, but this is untrue. Even though they used to behave in a different way, or spoke more formally, they felt and thought like us.
I used to know a mender of roads very closely, he was born in 1906 and died in 1996, his way of thinking, behave, and even his political views were the same as the mender of roads in the novel. Both came from a little village and were illiterate, both had a difficult life, one under the Ancient Regime and the other in the impoverished Spanish countryside before the Civil War. So, I think when living conditions are similar, people are too, no matter the epoch.

Roberto dijo...

Paloma, you are right, human nature keeps being the same in essence no matter how much we seem to have “advanced”.

“Still knitting" is certainly a very good chapter. From its beginning, I was completely spellbound by so metaphoric a description about the murder and how the wretched peasant was put to death as vengeance. Let us focus now on Mrs Defarge, she has really interested me and I consider her to be a WOMAN. Have you noticed that it seemed her husband was on command in the wine shop when actually it is herself that plays the most important role? The scene when the spy enters into the shop is memorable, is it not?

The more I read the book, some times having to reread paragraphs to pick up “the subtle message”, the more I enjoy it.

Great!!!

Raquel dijo...

I agree with you Roberto, it is Mrs Defarge that is in command of the situation, especially regarding John Barsad, the spy. She keeps in control, knitting steadily, even when Barsad commnicates the news about the inminent wedding between Lucie Manette and Mr Darnay, which does make effect in Mr Defarge: "Do what he would, he was troubled and his hand was not trustworthy"
Dickens portraits here a woman, strong, brave and resolute, capable of masterminding a true uprising of the losers.

mercedes m. dijo...

I agree with all of you and I am please you like the novel very much, for me chapter XV is really very good, the way that Mr. Defarge and his wife are moving and in special Mrs. Defarge knitting and knitting, for me that I used to knit many years ago, I can imagine myself in that epoch doing the same, Dickens descriptions are magistral you can enter in the novel as a personage more. Great novel.

Roberto dijo...

“One night”- Recollections of Mr Manette’s dreadful past are at last disclosed and I liked it how he describes his feelings towards the daughter whom he thought he would never see again. Is it not amazing to consider that there should be someone somewhere who really thinks of us but of whom we are not aware?

What about the next quote? Thrilling, is it not?

"See!’ said the Doctor of Beauvais, raising his hand towards the moon. ‘I have looked at her from my prison-window, when I could not bear her light. I have looked at her when it has been such torture to me to think of her shining upon what I had lost, that I have beaten my head against my prison-walls."

Roberto dijo...
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Roberto dijo...

Listening to the audio book at the same time I read the book, I get amazed before such a talent as Dickens has to mix many different characters, places and situations so well that it turns out a perfect single story.

On the other hand and considering Mr Darney’s condition, I want you to tell me your opinion whether people involved in other’s suffering and disgrace might be “acquitted” provided they start a new life, behaving kindly, justly and amicably.

Roberto dijo...

Mr Lorry is becoming one of my favourite characters in the novel and Carmen is right when saying supporting characters are even more important that the leading ones. “Nine days” shows us that this businessman is a proper friend, sacrificing himself for Miss Manette’s sake and doing his best to bring her father back with the living. However, there seems to be no way to help Dr Manette and you can see that some times we must be cautious so as not to get carried away by those who cannot help living in a whirlpool of doom.

María dijo...

Many days since I don´t write here and see that I have to do a lot of catching up!!! I´ve just finished chapter 14, so I cannot read your last comments, but only those referring to chapter 14. I´ve liked it very much. I´s been funny to confirm my suspicion. Carmen Fortea and I usually play to foresee what will happen, and I was right when I guessed Mr Cruncher´s secret trade!!!
I do pity Mrs Cruncher. But I agree that women like her still exist nowadays. Women that allow their husbands to blame them for their own faults. Do you think that she is in love with him or the reason why she is so acquiescent is her religious conviction of keeping her marriage and the family intact?
Sorolla´s exhibition is wonderful indeed! What about the painting in which he painted his wife naked?? He did very well being inspired by Velazquez.

maría dijo...

"those referred to", I meant.

María dijo...

Chapter 15 is really interesting! Secrets are being solved step by step, but the novel always keeps the mystery. Dickens had a gift indeed for catching readers´ attention! It seems as if he had no intention of telling, but he gives relevant clues, since the very beginning, more often than we can imagine. Details are creating a great story full of intrigue which involves so bright and well-built characters!
Perhaps I don´t remember what has been already told, but do we already know why all they are called "Jacques"????
It may be a nonsense, but when reading in this chapter mender of roads´ narration, I couldn´t help thinking of JC being driven to death by soldiers, they laughing, he being bound, pushed, beated, imprisoned and executed; the difference, in this novel, being that crowds begged his life to be spared, and also the reason why his death.
I adore Mrs. Defarge, who is the cleverest, I daresay, the brains of the team!

Paloma dijo...

As many of you know I’ve been in Paris for the last five days. I’ve focused my attention in everything related with the Revolution; I’ve been in Ste. Antoine and made the route the carts did once. What I’ve learned about that time has surprised me quite a lot, because I’ve had never been conscious before of how much damage these facts caused in the city itself. I mean, I’ve always been aware of what happened with people, but never before had I thought what revolutionaries did (apart from the palaces) in Paris. Of course the Defarges , the Vengance and all the Jacques were illiterate people, they were only moved by hatred, and destroyed everything without actually knowing what were they doing (Like those who killed Jesus) Notre Dame, for instance, become a wine warehouse and has to be rebuilt in the XIX century. When visiting its “treasure” you realise there is nothing belonging to the time before the Revolution. Can you imagine? it was one of the most important cathedrals in the world!, in all likelihood, it would contain fabulous richness, not only from the Middle Ages, but also from Louis XIV, etc. The Defarges destroyed everything. In the name of freedom what they actually did was vandaliced. Poor ignorant people, destroying their city, their patrimony, they were knitting their own end; they were sending their children to die in Russia or Bailen, they were calling Napoleon.
But, Had it not been for Napoleon, how Paris would have been today? No that beautiful, for sure.

Paloma dijo...

what they were doing, sorry.

Paloma dijo...

Carmen’s idea of keep practicing our writing by means of a new novel was great. In my view it’s necessary for us to practice so as to not forget our skills. But, if nobody writes there’s no point in trying to do it alone, is it?

Paloma dijo...

Oh, my God, I'm asleep, sorry after preposition -ing, you know, this hour is terrible.

carmen dijo...

IMPORTANT: Go to the threatre thread, we are organising EDIPO FOR THE 25TH JUNE, 16.50€.

Roberto dijo...
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Roberto dijo...

I must say that I prefer reading the novel during the weekend for I can do it carefully and quietly. So, it is on Monday that I will probably post new comments on the blog, nevertheless, I am always willing to discuss your points of view and, as Paloma says, if we all do not make an effort, this will become boring.

Paloma, I am glad you went to Paris. However, I am afraid I do not agree with you when saying population destroyed everything and the city was vandalized since they were illiterate and ignorant. They did so but I consider it as an act of pure vengeance and revenge against every single thing which had been making their life wretched until then. Dickens expresses it metaphorically by describing the mod as a sea devastating every single thing with its waves and force.

María, despite not knowing what sentiments rules Mrs Cruncher’s pitiable condition, whether she really loves her husband or is just scared of him, I think she is submissive mainly because of her religious beliefs.

I am not sure at all how many chapters we are supposed to do a week; so you will have to overlook this paragraph unless you have reached chapter 21. Another excellent way of granting mystery to the plot: Mr lorry is certainly cunning when he endeavours to disclose, come what may, Dr Manette’s past. I really enjoyed how both characters draw the issue always referring to a third person. I get amazed, again, by noticing Dickens’ talent to keep us thrilled all the time. “Echoing steps” brings back France to the story and the rise of its inhabitants occurs at last!!

Roberto dijo...

By the way, I have listened to Obama’s speech, when he visited Egypt, and I enjoyed it a lot even though he made some mistakes when pointing events occurred long time ago in our country. Nevertheless, the more I listen to “the president elect” the more I like him and how he makes us believe that every single citizen is vital to overcome these dark times we are involved in. Besides, he keeps maintaining we must look at the present and future but not at the past as well as focus our principles on those being the foundation of the nation.

Roberto dijo...

Yesterday I forgot mentioning Chapter 20 “A Plea”. It made me dwell on the fact that people usually behave patronisingly when they meet others whose condition is worse, pitying them instead of giving support and sympathizing with such a misfortune; for Mr Carton was right when saying: “Don’t let your sober face elate you, however; you don’t know what it may come to”

María dijo...

Roberto, I listened to Obama´s words as well, and I totally agree with you. It is remarkable his capacity of transmiting peace and unity with his words, he persuades any audience with his statements, and I think it is relevant that he pronounces his speech by heart, which gives more credibility.
Mrs. Defarge is an admirable woman. She fights against what she thinks is wrong, defends her rights and her fellows´, even without knowing how long the revolution will take to form. On the contrary, her husband shows himself to be doubtful, sceptical, distrustful. She believes nothing they do is done in vain. That means hope and it is her conviction that they are going to win, very necessary as far as figths are concerned, and I am not meaning just violent fights, but any fight. In fact, a life is a fight, don´t you think?

Carmen dijo...

Well I see that there have been lots of interesting comments and here are mine. First I would like you to think about vengeance. Madame Defarge is obssesed with it and she is the one who has to remind her husband that she has knitted all the names who have wronged her and she will never rest of offer truce to anyone until she achieves her gaol. Women can be horrible, I think that men can be more forgiving..or they kill you straight away, as Jacques did, but women have this horrible quality gnawing inside them which prevents them from forgeting or forgiving, it´s an eternal isssue with them. I find it rather frightening!! Personally I forgive but...I never forget, thus I could have been a Madame defarge easily, thank God I was brought up a Catholic and receiived a good eucation!!!
Roberto i agree with you that Mr. Lorry is definitely a nice man and a very nice character. Dickens is very fond of having in his novels this sort of old man, a bachelor, who is very good and kind and understands friendship. We DO NOT currently behve like friends to our fellow creatures. I was very impressed when one of the victims from the terrorist attack in Madrid said that he ahd lost all his friends!!!! They had drifted a part because they did not want to see him like that!!! I know that it can be difficult to be with people who are not able any more, but it is also very rewarding and even if it isn´t, if you have to spend one afternoon, evening with your parents, grandparents, a friend who is in bed, what is that in the rest of your life??? How amny of us do it????Mr. lorry SACRIFICES himself for his friend and let me tell you that this he ahd not done before...so there is still hope for you get HELPING!!! why don´t we go somewhere for two weeks and HELP? WE ARE CLEVER, WE ARE YOUNG...AND WE SPEAK ENGLISH??? think about it..

carmen dijo...

The dinner is being organised by me.

The restaurant "El Dragón" C/ Gil de Santibañes 2, near Colón.

The prize 25€, I´ve chosen the menu, Asian food and chopstiks, very English, so get practising knife and fork are out of bounds

The day 18th June.

The question HOW MANY ? I NEED TO KNOW BY SATURDAY.

The conclusion, if I do not have close numbers by then I´ll call it off, they know me in the restaurant!!!

mercedes muñoz dijo...

Carmen, I am completely lost about chapters even I read the novel last time but I have a lot of work in the office but I hope to write in the blog very soon. I am really sorry. About the dinner I will go so if you need the number you can count on me. See you on 16th. Regards.

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Wilkie Collins

Wilkie Collins