A Tale of Two Cities
By Charles Dickens
(Everyman's Library, Hardcover, 9780679420736, 480pp.)
Publication Date: February 23, 1993
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)A Tale of Two Cities begins on a muddy English road in an atmosphere charged with mystery and drama, and it ends in the Paris of the French Revolution with one of the most famous acts of self-sacrifice in literature. In between lies one of Charles Dickens’s most exciting books– a historical novel that, generation after generation, has given readers access to the profound human dramas that lie behind cataclysmic social and political events. Famous for the character of Sydney Carton, who sacrifices himself upon the guillotine–“It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done”–the novel is also a powerful study of crowd psychology and the dark emotions aroused by the Revolution, and is illuminated by Dickens’s lively comedy.This edition reprints the original Everyman introduction by G. K. Chesterton and includes sixteen illustrations by Phiz.
“[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