A Tale of Two Cities
A Tale of Two Cities
Bantam Classics, Mass Market Paperbound, 9780553211764, 416pp.
Publication Date: June 3, 1984
With his sublime parting words, "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done..." Sidney Carton joins that exhalted group of Dickensian characters who have earned a permanent place in the popular literary imagination. His dramatic story, set against the volcanic fury of the French Revolution and pervaded by the ominous rumble of the death carts trundling toward the guillotine, is the heart-stirring tale of a heroic soul in an age gone mad. A masterful pageant of idealism, love, and adventure -- in a Paris bursting with revolutionary frenzy, and a London alive with anxious anticipation -- A Tale of Two Cities is one of Dickens's most energetic and exciting works.
When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. With "Pickwick Papers "(1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. "Olive Twist "(1837), "Nicholas Nickleby "(1838-9) and "The Old Curiosity Shop "(1840-41) were huge successes. "Martin Chuzzlewit "(1843-4) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, "A Christmas Carol "(1843), "Bleak House "(1852-3), "Hard Times "(1854) and" Little Dorrit "(1855-7)" "reveal his deepening concern for the injustices of British Society. "A Tale of Two Cities "(1859), "Great Expectations "(1860-1) and "Our Mutual Friend "(1864-5) complete his major works.
Dickens s marriage to Catherine Hoggarth produced ten children but ended in separation in 1858. In that year he began a series of exhausting public readings; his health gradually declined. After putting in a full day s work at his home at Gads Hill, Kent on June 8, 1870, Dickens suffered a stroke, and he died the following day."
“[A Tale of Two Cities] has the best of Dickens and the worst of Dickens: a dark, driven opening, and a celestial but melodramatic ending; a terrifyingly demonic villainess and (even by Dickens’ standards) an impossibly angelic heroine. Though its version of the French Revolution is brutally simplified, its engagement with the immense moral themes of rebirth and terror, justice, and sacrifice gets right to the heart of the matter . . . For every reader in the past hundred and forty years and for hundreds to come, it is an unforgettable ride.”–from the Introduction by Simon Schama