The Seamstress (A Tale of Two Cities)
- The Seamstress (A Tale of Two Cities)
The Seamstress is a character in Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. She was an unnamed twenty-year-old woman, a desperately poor peasant accused of plotting against the French Republic by Robespierre's Committee of Public Safety during the Terror of the French Revolution in 1793.
Found guilty of this imaginary crime, she was condemned to death by beheading. She became acquainted with Charles Darnay during her imprisonment in La Force Prison, and was the only person to recognize Sydney Carton as an imposter as the two of them rode to their execution together.
When she realizes that Sydney has sacrificed himself for Darnay, she calls him courageous and brave, the sole character of the book to overtly do so (the other characters had only alluded to Sydney's "potential" for goodness, not his actual act of doing it).
She asks Sydney Carton to hold her hand as she prepares to die, a request to which he readily acquiesces. Though they share only a moment together, their relationship is one of the most profound and certainly the most moving of the entire novel. Some believe that the two fell in love in their last moments of life, though this is not explicitly stated in the book. Carton has redeemed himself in this moment and this is what is so powerful.
In the end, Sydney Carton gave this "dear child" the strength she needed to face the guillotine and whatever lay beyond with grace and dignity.
Cinematic and Theatrical Portrayals
In the 2008 Broadway adaptation of 'A Tale of Two Cities,' the Seamstress is played by MacKenzie Mauzy.
* [http://www.talemusical.com/biographies.php?action=1&type=character&id=17 Character Profile of the Seamstress]
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