Literary Criticism / Reference. You’re reading A Tale Of Two Cities for the first time—or the fifth time. But what are gaols, bumpers, farmer-generals, and tocsins? Did all those starving French people mean baguettes when they wanted bread? The Annotated A Tale of Two Cities has over 780 notes about things, people, places, and events mentioned in the text, plus bonus material, to enhance a classic historical novel published 150 years ago.