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A Tale of Two Cities (Wordsworth Classics)…

A Tale of Two Cities (Wordsworth Classics) (original 1859; edition 1993)

by Charles Dickens (Author)

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27,97436268 (3.93)4 / 1127
Dickens relates the adventures of a young Englishman who gives his life during the French Revolution to save the husband of the woman he loves.
Title:A Tale of Two Cities (Wordsworth Classics)
Authors:Charles Dickens (Author)
Info:Wordsworth Editions (1993), 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (1859)

  1. 180
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (krizia_lazaro)
  2. 110
    The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy, Baroness Orczy (MarcusBrutus)
  3. 40
    Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini (morryb)
    morryb: The French Revolutionary Mob becomes a character in each novel.
  4. 41
    The French Revolution: A History by Thomas Carlyle (chrisharpe)
    chrisharpe: A main source of inspiration for Dickens in writing A Tale of Two Cities.
  5. 11
    The Glass Blowers by Daphne du Maurier (buchstabendompteurin)

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Men in love with the same woman join the French revolution. It's a love triangle involving a married couple and another man. Madame Dafarge, obsessed with her knitting, presents a sinister character. The far kinder Lucie Manette is devoted to her father. Will those accused of treason keep their heads? Although this is one of Dickens' classic works, it's not a favorite. The memorable opening line is about as good as the novel gets for me. This was a re-read, although it's been several years since I read it. ( )
  thornton37814 | Dec 20, 2019 |
It was the time of the French Revolution — a time of great change and great danger. It was a time when injustice was met by a lust for vengeance, and rarely was a distinction made between the innocent and the guilty. Against this tumultuous historical backdrop, Dickens' great story of unsurpassed adventure and courage unfolds.
Unjustly imprisoned for 18 years in the Bastille, Dr. Alexandre Manette is reunited with his daughter, Lucie, and safely transported from France to England. It would seem that they could take up the threads of their lives in peace. As fate would have it though, the pair are summoned to the Old Bailey to testify against a young Frenchman — Charles Darnay — falsely accused of treason. Strangely enough, Darnay bears an uncanny resemblance to another man in the courtroom, the dissolute lawyer's clerk Sydney Carton. It is a coincidence that saves Darnay from certain doom more than once. Brilliantly plotted, the novel is rich in drama, romance, and heroics that culminate in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.
  Gmomaj | Dec 17, 2019 |
Probably nothing I can say that hasn't been said before: a socially-conscious novel from Dickens full of gorgeous description and startling passages of anger against the inhumanity of man. Particularly interesting to read in 2016, as the Arab world recovers from several years of revolution and the English-speaking Western world faces some surprising outsider politicians.

Coming along in 1859, after Dickens had spent a couple of years primarily enjoying the theatre lifestyle and working for the betterment of sick children, it seems as if CD felt the need to write a historical novel to cleanse some personal creative desires. His 12th novel (and 20th important work), Two Cities doesn't seem to follow logically from the works that precede it. Unlike most of Dickens' novels, the characters here are particularly wooden (Lucie Manette just seems to faint a lot, really, and Dr. Manette and Charles exist primarily for things to happen to them) and the plot rather straightforward. I've seen it likened to Barnaby Rudge but I somewhat disagree; that book still had a lot of typical Dickensian aspects to it, even if it was ultimately a "historical novel" like this one. Still, it's a quick and entertaining read, with plenty of alternating sentimentalism and anger. The two most redeeming characters - Madame Defarge and Miss Pross - make it all worthwhile. How can anyone not adore a woman so English she refuses to cross the Channel? And Sydney Carton's final internal monologue is every bit the equal of that powerful first paragraph. Sydney is not as developed a character as those who came before, but this seems in part because he is seen through other people's eyes so often. Nevertheless, the desire to start him off so unlikable and gradually create his portrait is admirable.

The relatively few bits of humour in the novel are less successful, because Cruncher lacks the human elements of previous grotesques but also lacks the purely "fantastic" elements that allow us to separate our sense of morals from our respect for their self-preservation. Miss Pross is good for a few laughs, admittedly! Still, for the kind of work it is, A Tale of Two Cities is a dashing good read nonetheless. Now on to the final black spot in my knowledge of his books: Our Mutual Friend! ( )
  therebelprince | Dec 14, 2019 |
Things I did not remember about Tale of Two Cities: 1) its unflinching portrayals of violence. Yikes. 2) How critical it is of the English and French aristocracies and how sympathetic it is to the ideals of the revolution. 3) That last confrontation between Madame Defarge and Mrs. Pross. Holy smokes. Loved it in high school and loved it again the past week or two listening to the audiobook. ( )
  jalbacutler | Dec 4, 2019 |
This was definitely not my favorite book. I was required to read this book for my English class, and if I wasn't being tested on it I probably wouldn't have even finished it. The first two-thirds of the book was incredibly slow. The author kept hinting at the French revolution but it was only in the last section of the book that it actually occurred. The whole beginning of the book was so dragged out and for no reason. By the time I reached the end of the novel (the only good part) I was so done with the characters and story and was counting the pages until it was over. The last third of the book was a little bit better than the parts before it. It got into the French revolution and placed the characters in the midst of it. The ending of the book was bittersweet but predictable. Overall this book was not really worth the read. ( )
  eg16 | Oct 30, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (108 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leighton, MarianAdaptormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Abernethy, Julian W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arbonès, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ben Sussan, ReneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bordoy Luque, SalvadorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot K.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Browne, Hablot KnightIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Busch, FrederickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Busoni, RafaelloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haaren, Hans vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keeping, CharlesIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koch, StephenAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lesser, AntonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindo, Mark PragerTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maxwell, RichardEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nord, JulieEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
PhizIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pitt, David G.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rackham, ArthurIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanders, AndrewEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schirner, BuckNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shuckburgh, Sir JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vance, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vries, Theun deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagenknecht, EdwardIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wiggins, Evelina OakleyEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson, A.N.Afterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodcock, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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This tale is inscribed to the Lord John Russell in remembrance of many public services and private kindnesses
First words
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.
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This is the main work for A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
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Haiku summary
Two men look alike.
They love the same good woman.
They’re all in danger.

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Average: (3.93)
0.5 5
1 119
1.5 19
2 355
2.5 54
3 966
3.5 178
4 1895
4.5 196
5 1770

Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439602, 0141031743, 0141325542, 0141196904, 0141199709

Tantor Media

An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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Urban Romantics

2 editions of this book were published by Urban Romantics.

Editions: 1909175919, 1909175439

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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