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A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

by Charles Dickens

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
29,08537668 (3.93)4 / 1142
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.
  1. 180
    Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (krizia_lazaro)
  2. 110
    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. 11
    The Glass Blowers by Daphne du Maurier (buchstabendompteurin)
  6. 00
    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. 00
    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 (356)  Spanish (9)  Swedish (2)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (373)
Showing 1-5 of 356 (next | show all)
I thought it was about time I read a classic.
I loved the opening passage "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness ..."
At the end it was just as good a page turner as modern novels.
An eye opener, I was astounded at the brutality of the revolution, the inhumanity of the revolutionaries. I presume quite historically accurate.
Good portrayal of characters and subtle revelation of relationships. ( )
  GeoffSC | Jul 25, 2020 |
About five years ago I made my first visit to Boston, Massachusetts. Upon my arrival at the home of the friend I was staying with, her cousin offered me a cup of tea. Given that I'd been awake for a dashedly long time and had to stay awake for a few hours more I instead requested some coffee. This was met with some skepticism. "But you're English," the cousin helpfully noticed, "you drink tea." I pointed out that whilst most Englishmen preferred being served a nice cup of tea by their butler while sitting in their castles, I was half English and half mathematician, and thus was allowed to indulge in both of the hot beverages in existence.

This got me my coffee but also led to a conversation wherein I had to confess to not conforming to every stereotype of a spiffing young English chap. After the revelation that I could drink hot liquids that weren't tea, the most startling fact to my friend and her cousin was that I had never read any of the works of Charles Dickens. (Mildly less startling to them was that I'd never read any Jane Austen, in my defence I pointed out my lack of ovaries.)

Now, five years later I've finally lost my Dickens virginity. And so we come to A Tale of Two Cities, that most dangerous of books for Reverend Spooner to talk about in polite company. It took me a little while to get into this book, Dickens has a habit of not using a few words when lots of words will suffice. But while this was initially irritating, I eventually came around to his style and really began to enjoy myself. The characters are colourful, far from one-dimensional, and the light heartedness that pervades much of the book serves to highlight the dark side of many characters. I laughed when the book was amusing and shed a manly tear at the end. This was the third book that deals with the French revolution I've read this year and by far the shortest, but even put alongside [b:War and Peace|220858|War and Peace|Leo Tolstoy|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267921810s/220858.jpg|4912783] and [b:Les Misérables|2225130|Les Misérables|Victor Hugo|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1222130242s/2225130.jpg|3208463] this book holds its own. I may have started on him late, but I see much of Mr Dickens in my future. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
About five years ago I made my first visit to Boston, Massachusetts. Upon my arrival at the home of the friend I was staying with, her cousin offered me a cup of tea. Given that I'd been awake for a dashedly long time and had to stay awake for a few hours more I instead requested some coffee. This was met with some skepticism. "But you're English," the cousin helpfully noticed, "you drink tea." I pointed out that whilst most Englishmen preferred being served a nice cup of tea by their butler while sitting in their castles, I was half English and half mathematician, and thus was allowed to indulge in both of the hot beverages in existence.

This got me my coffee but also led to a conversation wherein I had to confess to not conforming to every stereotype of a spiffing young English chap. After the revelation that I could drink hot liquids that weren't tea, the most startling fact to my friend and her cousin was that I had never read any of the works of Charles Dickens. (Mildly less startling to them was that I'd never read any Jane Austen, in my defence I pointed out my lack of ovaries.)

Now, five years later I've finally lost my Dickens virginity. And so we come to A Tale of Two Cities, that most dangerous of books for Reverend Spooner to talk about in polite company. It took me a little while to get into this book, Dickens has a habit of not using a few words when lots of words will suffice. But while this was initially irritating, I eventually came around to his style and really began to enjoy myself. The characters are colourful, far from one-dimensional, and the light heartedness that pervades much of the book serves to highlight the dark side of many characters. I laughed when the book was amusing and shed a manly tear at the end. This was the third book that deals with the French revolution I've read this year and by far the shortest, but even put alongside [b:War and Peace|220858|War and Peace|Leo Tolstoy|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1267921810s/220858.jpg|4912783] and [b:Les Misérables|2225130|Les Misérables|Victor Hugo|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1222130242s/2225130.jpg|3208463] this book holds its own. I may have started on him late, but I see much of Mr Dickens in my future. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
If only all Dickens was so easy to read. Normally, reading his work is like chewing on language - lovely, wonderful language, yes, but time consuming nonetheless. A Tale of Two Cities is very different. There is still the elegance of writing that one expects from Dickens, but it's tied in with what I like to call a Ripping Yarn, along with his usual, brilliant social commentary.

I picked this book up, expecting it to be a challenge. Instead, I couldn't put it down. ( )
  Tara_Calaby | Jun 22, 2020 |
Wow. What starts as a seemingly loose bundle of unrelated characters becomes woven together in a masterful tapestry of love, sacrifice, and devotion; amidst a backdrop of injustice, deceit, and tyranny. Themes of atonement, resurrection, the abuse of power run throughout. 18th century Paris in the throes of revolution and its associated Terror, skilfully instilled with language replete with symbolism: of red wine as blood, being devoured by the insatiable appetite of the revolutionaries, drunk on its horrors, delivering thousands to the cold efficiency of the gullotine for no other crime than their name. Amidst it all, an expiatory death and a great story of love and atonement. If you can navigate the figurative (and at time challenging and archaic) language, and keep you finger on the pulse of the narrative, this is both a great story and a chilling account of the Parisian’s experience of the French Revolution. ( )
  NickCosta | Jun 17, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 356 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (108 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dickens, Charlesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leighton, MarianAdaptormain authorsome 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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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.
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.
ISBN 0451526562 is a Signet edition of A Tale of Two Cities.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Two men look alike.
They love the same good woman.
They’re all in danger.
(marcusbrutus)

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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

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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