Annotations for Tale of Two Cities


Baker & Taylor
Tells the classic story 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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Blackwell North Amer
Set in London and Paris at the time of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities (1859) sees the causes and effects of that great social upheaval from an essentially private point of view. Dickens's characters are fictional, their responses individual, their political activity minimal, but all are caught up in a web woven by their own activities and responsibilities, and all are drawn to the Paris of the Terror.

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Penguin Putnam
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine. This Penguin Classics edition uses the text as it appeared in its first serial publication in 1859 and includes the original illustrations by H. K. Browne (?Phiz'). Richard Maxwell's introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.

For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.


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Random House, Inc.
Charles Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities portrays a world on fire, split between Paris and London during the brutal and bloody events of the French Revolution. This Penguin Classics edition of is edited with an introduction and notes by Richard Maxwell. 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...' After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There, two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they are all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine. This edition uses the text as it appeared in its first serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens's vision, and includes the original illustrations by H.K. Browne ('Phiz'). Richard Maxwell's introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy. Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities, you might like Dickens's The Old Curiosity Shop, also available in Penguin Classics.

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