First published in 1859, A Tale of Two Cities is set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. It depicts the plight of the French proletariat under the brutal oppression of the French aristocracy in the years leading up-to the revolution, and the corresponding savage brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution.
It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events, most notably Charles Darnay, a French once-aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Sydney Carton, a dissipated English barrister who endeavours to redeem his ill-spent life out of love for Darnay's wife, Lucie Manette.
About the Author
Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's most memorable fictional characters and is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. During his life, his works enjoyed unprecedented fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to be widely popular.
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Comments about A Tale of Two Cities:
One of only two historical novels written by Dickens [the other not highly regarded] this masterpiece is an interesting account of the Revolution through the eyes of various participants.
Though sympathising with the down trodden French it rejects the violence and vengeance that marred the transition to a more democratic society. As is typical of Dickens the virtue of the individual is seen as the progenitor of the ideal stable society and personal redemption.
The self sacrifice of Sydney Carton always remains touching and the unfailing loyalty of Mr Lorry. Lucie Manette's love for her father and Charles Darnay are the central themes and the centrepieces around which other characters are finely drafted.
Dickens distaste for the state is etched in his scenes detailing both pre-Revolutionary France and England with their clear similarities.
Series: Arcturus Classics
Number Of Pages: 364
Published: 1st August 2009
Publisher: Arcturus Publishing Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.0 x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.272
Edition Number: 1