A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens
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“Reprinted with updated editorial material, revised Dickens chronology and new appendix”—T.p. verso.

Publisher Description

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.

[A Tale of Two Cities] has the best of Dickens and the worst of Dickens: a dark, driven opening, and a celestial but melodramatic ending; a terrifyingly demonic villainess and (even by Dickens standards) an impossibly angelic heroine. Though its version of the French Revolution is brutally simplified, its engagement with the immense moral themes of rebirth and terror, justice, and sacrifice gets right to the heart of the matter . . . For every reader in the past hundred and forty years and for hundreds to come, it is an unforgettable ride. from the Introduction by Simon Schama"

Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
Shortlisted for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.

Author Biography

Charles Dickens (1812-70) was a political reporter and journalist whose popularity was established by the phenomenally successful Pickwick Papers (1836-7). His novels captured and held the public imagination over a period of more than thirty years. Richard Maxwell teaches in the Comparative Literature & English departments at Yale.

Staff Reviews
  • There is a short list of books that everyone knows they should read, but probably never will. Tale of Two Cities is one such book. But please, for the love of god, buy a copy and read it. I promise you won't regret it. The novel follows a few key characters in London and Paris during the French revolution. I can honestly say that the book enticed me through a range of emotions that no other title has so far. The humour, as with any Dickens novel, is rich and sardonic, the drama, wonderful, and the climax just superb. It absolutely deserves it's classification as a masterpiece. I can't recommend the book enough!

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A Tale of Two Cities