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A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
34,63843665 (3.93)4 / 1273
Relates the adventures of a young Englishman who gives his life during the French Revolution to save the husband of the woman he loves.
  1. 200
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (krizia_lazaro)
  2. 130
    The Scarlet Pimpernel by 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. 21
    The Glass Blowers by Daphne du Maurier (buchstabendompteurin)
  6. 10
    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (harrietbrown)
    harrietbrown: It might be handy to have an understanding of the French Revolution prior to undertaking "War and Peace," because many of the events in Napoleon's wars follow from the French Revolution, which "A Tale of Two Cities" covers.
  7. 10
    Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (harrietbrown)
    harrietbrown: "A Tale of Two Cities" covers the period of the French Revolution, preceding Napoleon Bonaparte's rule of France and subsequent wars, including the war featured in "Vanity Fair." In order to understand how Napoleon came to power, and his domination of Europe, it is necessary to understand the French Revolution.… (more)
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English (412)  Spanish (11)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (433)
Showing 1-5 of 412 (next | show all)
I should have read this classic by Charles Dickens sooner, but I finally made time for it. Old English is hard to read, and sometimes I had to ponder the meaning. Still, Dickens had an excellent understanding of human nature and how to portray unforgettable characters. The revolution in eighteenth-century France was bloody when peasants turned on the ruling class and each other. Dr. Manette and his daughter Lucie are caught in the melee when they travel from England to France to save Lucie's husband, Charles Darnay, from the guillotine. However, Darnay only escapes after another's ultimate sacrifice. It was worth the time invested. ( )
  PaulaGalvan | Apr 28, 2023 |
Read the book, watched several performances, and decided to try as an audiobook. It was still wonderful. Great narration.

FROM AMAZON: From the echo of the first line ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ to the final ‘It is a far far better thing that I do than I have ever done’, Dickens’ classic novel of the French revolution tells a story of the redemptive powers of love in the face of cruelty, violence and neglect.

Set in London and Paris, it shows the plight of the French people under the brutal oppression of the aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, and the corresponding savage brutality of the revolutionaries towards the former aristocrats in the years immediately following. Among the memorable characters are Charles Darnay, a French former aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution, and Sydney Carton, a dissipated English barrister who tries to redeem his ill-spent life out of love for Darnay’s wife, Lucie Manette. In this moving, intricate tale spanning eight tumultuous years, Dickens orchestrates the wider political picture behind the story of Lucie, Darnay and Carton with his customary brilliance. ( )
  Gmomaj | Apr 28, 2023 |
Read many years ago, watched many productions of this classic book, but was amazed how great this book is.

FROM AMAZON: A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel tells the story of the French Doctor Manette, his 18-year-long imprisonment in the Bastille in Paris and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie, whom he had never met. The story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. ( )
  Gmomaj | Apr 9, 2023 |
2.5 stars

Se me hizo un mamotreto difícil de terminar, la grandilocuencia de esta novela termina siendo irritante, en mi opinión. ( )
  Marlobo | Dec 24, 2022 |
I highlighted like crazy (on my kindle-don't worry) while I was reading this. So many great lines and paragraphs that I wanted to go back to and read again. I can't list all of them, but I'll include a few. I like the sarcasm of this one:
...and being a responsible jury...must positively find the prisoner Guilty, and make an end of him, whether they liked it or not. That, they never could lay their heads upon their pillows; that, they could never tolerate the idea of their wives laying their heads upon their pillows; that, they could never endure the notion of their children laying their heads upon their pillows; in short, that there never more could be, for them or theirs, any laying of heads upon pillows at all, unless the prisoner's head was taken off.

I like the wrenching description in this one:

Sadly, sadly, the sun rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.

And I like Mr. Lorry's description of memory and growing old, when Carton asks him if his childhood seems far off:

Twenty years back, yes; at this time of my life, no. For, as I draw closer and closer to the end, I travel in a circle, nearer and nearer to the beginning. It seems to be one of the kind smoothings and preparings of the way. My heart is touched now, by many remembrances that had long fallen asleep, of my pretty young mother (and I so old), and by many associations of the days when what we call the World was not so real with me, and my faults were not confirmed in me.

Besides the quotes that just rang true to me, I loved the dialogue, especially if it involved Sydney Carton.
Oh, Sydney.
And the overwrought conversation between Mr. Cruncher and Miss Pross at the end is something I could read over and over and laugh every time.
I think the weaker part of the book, and maybe it was intentional, was the uneven amount of characterization for the leads. I didn't feel like I knew much more about Lucy than that she was sweet and kind; I didn't know much about her father except that he had serious PTSD; and Charles Darnay, who everyone's concerned about and whose life is saved not once but twice... I knew the least about that guy. We get the most characterization for Sydney Carton, the guy who despises himself, wastes most of his life and is miserable until his one grand gesture at the end . The people who lived good, decent lives had rather lackluster characterization in comparison, with the exception of dear Mr. Lorry. I did feel like I had a good sense of him.
And there were some dull bits, especially at the beginning. If you're tempted to give up on it early on, I encourage you to wait until the first trial to decide. I was glad I stuck with it.
I thought Dickens did a nice job (Good job, Charles Dickens. I'm sure he would appreciate my pat on the back) of presenting the seeds of the revolution and developing sympathy for the oppressed and then contrasting that with the extremes the revolutionaries went to for vengeance, embodied in Madame DeFarge and her cronies.
Overall, I thought it was a thought-provoking book, and well worth my time. ( )
  Harks | Dec 17, 2022 |
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» Add other authors (97 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
Busch, FrederickIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Busoni, RafaelloIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Davidson, FrederickNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haaren, Hans vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hibbert, ChristopherIntroductionsecondary 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
Sève, Peter deCover artistsecondary 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
Wilson, MeganCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winterich, John T.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodcock, GeorgeEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Sometimes an old photograph, and old friend, an old letter will remind you that you are not who you once were, for the person who dwelt among them, valued this, chose that, wrote thus, no longer exists. Without noticing it you have traversed a great distance; the strange has become familiar and familiar if not strange at least awkward or uncomfortable.
Rebecca Solnit
"The Blue of Distance"
A Field Guide to Getting Lost
This tale is inscribed to the Lord John Russell in remembrance of many public services and private kindnesses
For Jodi Reamer, slayer of beasts
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.
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.
This is a book work entry; not a video
ISBN 0140620788 is a Penguin edition of A Tale of Two Cities.
ISBN 0141439602 is a Penguin edition of A Tale of Two Cities.
ISBN 1421808196 is a 1st World Library edition of A Tale of Two Cities.
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Relates the adventures of a young Englishman who gives his life during the French Revolution to save the husband of the woman he loves.

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Book description
Hardcover 7x4 1/2x3/4 397 pp. published by "The Modern Library" signed F.C. Simpson AXE-Beta, stamped ALPHA CHI SIGMA 613 Oak St. S. E. Minneapolis, Minn.
Haiku summary
Two men look alike.
They love the same good woman.
They’re all in danger.

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439602, 0141031743, 0141325542, 0141196904, 0141199709

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