Chapter 10: The denouncement
We now learn the story of Dr. Manette’s paper found in the Bastille.
In 1757, Dr. Manette was called to a country house outside Paris by two
noblemen. They were twins. He was asked to care for a delirious young peasant woman and her dying brother.
The brother tells the Doctor that the noblemen had raped the woman and caused the death of the woman’s husband and father. The man took his younger sister to safety and then returned to try and rescue his older sister from the twin noblemen. He was stabbed by one of the twins and when he died he cursed the brothers and their family line. The peasant woman also died shortly afterwards and the Doctor was instructed to remain silent about the incident. The Doctor decided to write a letter to the court concerning these episodes revealing that the brothers’ names were Evremonde. The surviving younger sister was Mme. Defarge. The Doctor had personally delivered the letter, but the Evremonde brothers had seen it and arranged for the Doctor’s kidnap and imprisonment. After the document had been read in the courtroom, the spectators called for Darnay’s death and this would be performed on the following day.
The reader has wondered throughout the novel what the Doctor’s secret was.
Now that the secret is out, the climax of the book has been reached. The Doctor has moved from being Darnay’s savior to being his denouncer and it is his handwriting that has condemned his son-in-law to death.
Various other things are also explained, i.e. Mme. Defarge’s bitterness
towards the Evremonde line can now be fully understood. She wishes revenge for the annihilation of her family line and the reader is in no doubt that Lucie and her child will be the next victim of her campaign.
Again we see duality in the form of the Evremonde twin brother. Both
are evil and they feed off one another in their excesses.