HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Arrr! (Celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day) Thar be a hunt for treasure, Mateys!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Loading...

A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
26,10934370 (3.93)4 / 1069
  1. 180
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (krizia_lazaro)
  2. 110
    The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy Emmuska (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. 10
    The Glass Blowers by Daphne du Maurier (buchstabendompteurin)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (326)  Spanish (10)  Swedish (2)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (343)
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)
There is much that is typical Dickens in this book, most especially the childlike Lucie with her blond curls and her hands clasped before her, that is not surprising. By this book, though, the bits of literary brilliance that are shown in "Little Dorrit" and "Hard Times" come to the fore. The opening paragraph and the final chapters are this brilliance: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" and "It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done" are some of the miracles of the English language and the primary reason that I have undertaken this journey of reading Dickens' corpus with a F2F group.

Looking at this book with a 21st Century mindset, there is much that I find lacking: the lack of true character development until the very end with Sydney Carlton (who is mentioned so seldom) and the letter of Dr. Manette that sheds light on his story; the opening of the book with a carriage ride that leaves so very, very much out as any sort of action; and a plot other than people caught up in the bloody part of the French Revolution. But within itself and its time, it does much that would appeal to generations of readers: bringing characters into existence that help explain the human toll of the French Revolution and Reign of Terror, including the years leading up to the storming of the Bastille. The Revolution did not happen in a vacuum, and Dickens explains this peripheral damage very well and without holding back. ( )
  threadnsong | Aug 25, 2018 |
The novel was originally serialized in Dickens' own circular, All the Year Round, in 31 weekly episodes. I can imagine its appeal during a time when grandiloquence on the page was the draw. Sorry to say I had a very difficult time with this. There are passages, scenes, which held me, only to be smeared by wordiness and fuzzy context. Too bad, because the tension built around the fate of one Charles Darnay, "free traveller and French citizen", in the menacing air of revolution, showed promise. This was my first Dickens novel, so I'm curious how Bleak House, et al, will hold up. Maybe in time.. ( )
1 vote ThoughtPolice | Aug 14, 2018 |
I read this one on a plane on the way to England and actually enjoyed it. It isn't my favorite of all the Dickens I've read but it was valuable in and of itself. Everything really leads up to the last moments, which are insanely devastating in so many ways but touching. It didn't bring tears to my eyes - it didn't touch me on a deeply emotional level - but it was good. Definitely recommend. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 1, 2018 |
I have a Ph.D. in literature with a focus on the Victorian era, but I could count the number of Dickens novels I've read on one hand. This seems to me somewhat criminal. Part of the problem is that no one assigns Dickens in courses if they can help it because he's so long (I think across four years of combined M.A. and Ph.D. coursework, I read two Dickens novels for classes), and partially my own academic interests don't often intersect with the kinds of things Dickens wrote about (the closest he gets to a "scientist novel" is The Pickwick Papers). I once complained about this to my advisor, and he told me that when he was in graduate school, he read a Dickens novel every summer and winter break until he'd read them all. So I didn't do that, but when I finished graduate school, I decided that I'd read one I hadn't read before every summer. Partially this was spurred on by my great-uncle giving me a set of Walter J. Black "classic editions" of several Dickens novels. I decided to work my way down the list of his novels on LibraryThing, which sorts by popularity: it seems more important that I have read Great Expectations than that I have read Barnaby Rudge. Great Expectations is his most owned novel (according to LT, anyway), but I've read it before, and so my journey starts with his second-most famous, A Tale of Two Cities.

I must admit that I found this a bit of a struggle. It opens great, of course. I imagine there's not a Dickens novel that doesn't open great; he knew how to set a scene. Mysterious riders in the night, cryptic messages, well-observed humor about people taking public transit. I was totally into it.

But then things jump ahead and after a fun trial sequence, the narrative energy just fizzles. At this point, I seriously had no idea what the book was supposed to be about. Dickens novels can take in a broad sweep (I really like Our Mutual Friend, which doesn't meaningfully have a main character), but I could not tell what was supposed to be driving my interest in this one. It was just a lot of people... doing stuff. Like, what are they all trying to accomplish? What am I rooting for? I had no clue. Who cares which one of these people marries whom? Do they have life goals? How does this all tie together? I was very disappointed, and the middle of the book was a huge struggle. (Our Mutual Friend might be diffuse, but there's a precipitating event that touches everyone, directly or indirectly, and you also know what each character is trying to accomplish and how they relate to the other characters.)

Once the action moves to revolutionary Paris for the climax, it did pick up. I loved Miss Pross's bravery in standing up to Madame Defarge, and the last chapter itself is both moving and chilling. But man, what a slog to get there. Maybe it's partially my own fault (I read it somewhat piecemeal at a very busy point in my life), but if it wasn't for Hard Times, this would be my least favorite Dickens novel thus far. Hopefully when I tackle David Copperfield next summer, it's better than this.
  Stevil2001 | Jul 20, 2018 |
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of 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 roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.
  Cultural_Attache | Jul 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 326 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (170 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Abernethy, Julian W.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Arbonès, JordiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ben Sussan, ReneIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bordoy Luque, SalvadorTranslatorsecondary 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
Woodcock, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

Is contained in

Is retold in

Has the adaptation

Has as a reference guide/companion

Has as a student's study guide

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Quotations
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the main work for A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Please do not combine with any adaptation, abridgement, etc.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Book description
Haiku summary
Two men look alike.
They love the same good woman.
They’re all in danger.
(marcusbrutus)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141439602, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:50 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the aging Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of 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 roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine. This edition uses the text as it appeared in its first serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens's vision, and includes the original illustrations by H.K. Browne ('Phiz'). Richard Maxwell's introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.… (more)

» see all 101 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.93)
0.5 5
1 110
1.5 19
2 344
2.5 54
3 911
3.5 170
4 1800
4.5 191
5 1700

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.

» Publisher information page

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.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 128,802,428 books! | Top bar: Always visible