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A Book In Every Home (A Tale of Two Cities)

Hey has anyone explored the idea that A Book In Every Home is a reference to A Tale of Two Cities?

To start with they both have 16 letters in the title and A Tale of Two Cities is the bestselling book of all time.

They are also both divided into 3 sections and have the main theme of duality.

I also found a bunch of other similarities including that the character names in a Tale of Two Cities are mostly anagrams in English and French, related to chemistry…

I’m curious if anyone else has explored this option and would love to compare notes! :)


  • Interesting @knowend9 Great Exceptions has always been my favorite and don't recall too much About A Tale of Two Cites. Can you elaborate on some the character name anagrams?

  • edited October 2018
    Sure, for example, one of the main characters is Charles Darnay, who has several names used in A Tale of Two Cities.

    Charles Darnay is an English anagram for Larches, Anadyr.
    The Larch tree (Larix gmelinii) is a species of larch native to eastern Siberia. Anadyr is a city in Northeastern Siberia. The Larch tree is used for its resin as well as its bark which contains a high concentration of the astringent tannin.

    Charles Darnay’s French name in the book is Charles D’Aulnais. Aulnais is a French anagram for Alunais (to alum). Alum is an astringent salt, usually occurring in the form of pale crystals, much used in the dyeing and tanning trade and in certain medicines, and now understood to be a double sulphate of potassium and aluminum (K2SO4.Al2(SO4)3.24H2O).

    All of the characters have names like this, all related in some way to chemistry (alchemy). If you have trouble with a certain name just ask.

    A Tale of Two Cities appears to me to be a guide for making the Philosopher’s Stone, which is often associated with duality.

    We know Ed worked a lot with chemistry as well, so maybe A Book In Every Home is not directly explaining how to move rocks, but is explaining how to make Ed’s version of the Philosopher’s Stone.

    Much of Ed’s vocabulary is also chemical related and I believe the numbers typically refer to an elements (or compounds) periodic number or atomic weight.

    I think Ed was possibly using a similar but different tree native to Florida known as the American Sweetgum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua), also known as liquid amber.
  • edited October 2018
    I had a little time to write a few more of the character anagrams:

    Doctor Manette: Manette is a French anagram for étament, which means to tin plate (metal, etc.).

    Sydney Carton: Sydney is an English anagram for Dyne(s), which is a unit of force specified in the centimeter–gram–second (CGS) system of units, a predecessor of the modern SI.
    Another character is John Barsad and Barsad is an English anagram for Barad(s), which is a unit of pressure, one dyne per square meter.

    Carton could be a French anagram for Corant, which means current.
    Or could be a French anagram for Ocrant, which means to cover with ochre (an earth pigment containing silica, aluminum and ferric oxide, or slang for gold).

    Jarvis Lorry: Lorry is an English word from Northern Germanic origin meaning to soil, wet shapeless lump, or cow-dung. In A Tale of Two Cities, Mr. Lorry first emerges out of a coach which is described as damp, having dirty straw and a disagreeable smell. And on the following page he is referred to several times as the “gentleman in brown”.

    Cow-dung is a well known source for Methane (CH4). Sweet Methane is methane which lacks the presence of heavier hydrocarbons and also sulfur compounds. Methane has an atomic weight of 16.
    It is also made up of Hydrogen (Atomic Number 1) and Carbon (Atomic Number 6) making it 16, which means one of the many meanings of “Sweet 16” could be Sweet Methane.

    Amber (a girl’s name), which smells sweet when burned and which is famous where Ed was raised in Latvia near the Baltic Sea, and is famous for making electricity when rubbed, is also made up of Hydrogen and Carbon (C10 H16 O).

    When Amber comes into contact with Fresh Air (Fresh Boys), in other words Atmospheric Oxygen (atomic weight 16) (Ed says, “when a boy is 16 he is then fresher than in all his stages of development”), the face of the Amber oxidizes (turns red) and becomes cloudy so it is difficult to see through like a window.

    You can read more about the oxidation of amber and how to protect it here:

    Hydrogen and Carbon are opposing dualities, just like a magnet, as can be seen on Walter Russell’s Spiral Periodic Table.

    This is just an idea, what do you guys think?
  • @knowend9
    Jules Verne had similar methods, originally in french.
  • @dante
    Thanks for the info!

  • Check this out @knowend9 from Dickens and the haunted chemist

    "Dickens was clearly interested in chemistry as more than a plot device. In 1850, he and Michael Faraday corresponded, and Dickens asked Faraday whether he could adapt the latter’s Christmas lectures of 1848, Chemical History of a Candle, for his weekly journal Household Words. Though it is not clear whether he ever attended any of the celebrated lectures at the Royal Institution."

  • @Magnetic_Universe

    Good find! Funny that Dickens journal was also called Household Words, since we are talking about A Book in Every Home :D
  • edited November 2018

    Speaking of Faraday, I found something interesting the other day related to electrochemistry. You know these days many people think the great pyramid was using chemistry to produce energy. Maybe that is what Ed meant when he said he knew the secret of the pyramids.

    I found this article talking about a theory related to how the great pyramid was using sound, specifically the wavelength of hydrogen, which is 21cm, to produce energy. Here is a link to the article:

    You should read the whole thing, but here are a few important passages:

    “The value of the Schumann frequency depends on the position on Earth (the Earth is a flattened sphere) and thus can be calculated that the Schumann frequency for the position of Giza is 8.1 hertz. This is important because the King’s Chamber was built for a resonance frequency of 16.2 hertz (2 x 8.1 hertz). In and around a pyramid in general the frequency is around 8 Hertz, measurable with very sensitive equipment.”

    (16.2 = Approx. Phi)

    “The amplified sound wave that reaches the King’s Chamber is composed of the fundamental frequency or keynote of 8.1 hertz as the first harmonic. The first overtone or second harmonic, which is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency, is then 16.2 hertz."

    Image 7. The King’s Chamber

    "And it is this frequency of 16.2 hertz that, by the dimensions of the King’s Chamber, exactly ‘fits’ and ensures that resonance occurs and a standing wave will form. The other harmonics of 8.1 hertz do not fit in this chamber and will fade away. A standing wave can only occur if there is resonance and resonance can only occur if the wavelength of the sound fits into the confined space as in this case the King’s Chamber. The frequency of 16.2 hertz given by the formula f = v/λ where v is the speed of sound and the overall wavelength λ equal to 2 times the length of the confined King’s Chamber (image 7). In image 7, the total wavelength AC equals exactly 21 meters.”

    “The dimensions of the northern shaft correspond to the waveguide for the passage of radiation having a wavelength of 21 centimeters, or the wavelength of hydrogen gas! “


    Anyway, it kind of reminded me of Ed’s door. Here you can see the number 21, a wave, and a bell.
  • edited November 2018
    J.K Rowling seems to have done the same. From here Wikipedia page: She majored in French and Classics, although she did little work and preferred to read Dickens and Tolkien. Her mother was a science technician. And her first major book was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

    Harry or Harold is also another version of Charles, the main character in A Tale of Two Cities. Charles is derived from the common Germanic name element hari meaning "army, warrior". Ed also speaks of an "Army".

    Another famous book with a main character named Charles is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In this book, Wonka's claim to fame is the Everlasting Gobstopper, a candy which never gets smaller and can never be finished. Sounds quite similar to a stone which burns forever.
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