Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)

A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens, 1859
400-500 pp. (varies by publisher)


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. (From Doubleday Knopf.)

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