A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities

Written by Charles Dickens
Part of the Puffin Classics Series

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All the action, bravery and romance of those living through the bloody drama of the French Revolution with the unflinching emblem of the guillotine always in the background are unfolded in Charles Dickens’s classic A Tale of Two Cities. Charles Darnay gets caught up in the great events of revolutionary Paris. Facing certain death, he has only one way out. Can Sydney Carton, who looks exactly like him, save him from the terrifying blade? Additional notes on the characters, an author profile and an Introduction by Roddy Doyle add an extra element in this classic edition.

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A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton are alike in appearance, different in character and in love with the same woman. In the midst of the French Revolution, Darnay, who has fled to London to escape the cruelty of the French nobility, must return to Paris to rescue his servant from death. But he endangers his own life and is captured.

Carton may be able to help, but will his resemblance be enough to save Darnay's life? This title provides an enticing introduction by bestselling author, Roddy Doyle.


[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

About the Author

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic who is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period and the creator of some of the world's most memorable fictional characters. During his lifetime Dickens's works enjoyed unprecedented popularity and fame, and by the twentieth century his literary genius was fully recognized by critics and scholars. His novels and short stories continue to enjoy an enduring popularity among the general reading public.

Throughout 2012 there are numerous Dickens Events mark the bicentenary of his birth - www.dickens2012.org .

He was born Charles John Huffam Dickens on 7th February 1812, in Portsmouth, to John, a clerk at the Naval Pay Office, and Elizabeth Dickens. The good fortune of being sent to school at the age of nine was short-lived because his father, inspiration for the character of Mr Micawber in David Copperfield, was imprisoned for bad debt in the Marshalsea in 1824.

Like many others, he began his literary career as a journalist. His own father became a reporter and Charles began with the journals 'The Mirror of Parliament' and 'The True Sun'. Then in 1833 he became parliamentary journalist for The Morning Chronicle. With new contacts in the press he was able to publish a series of sketches under the pseudonym 'Boz'.

Dickens would go on to write 15 major novels and countelss short stories and also a published autobiography. He edited weekly periodicals including 'Household Words' and 'All Year Round', wrote travel books and administered charitable organisations.

He was estranged from his wife in 1858 after the birth of their ten children..
He died of a stroke on 9th June 1870. He wished to be buried, without fanfare, in a small cemetery in Rochester, but the Nation would not allow it. He was laid to rest in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, the flowers from thousands of mourners overflowing the open grave. Among the more beautiful bouquets were many simple clusters of wildflowers, wrapped in rags.

The Charles Dickens Museum can be found at 48 Doughty Street, London. Two of his daughters were born here, his sister-in-law Mary died aged 17 in an upstairs bedroom and some of Dickens’s best-loved novels were written here, including Oliver Twist and Nicholas Nickleby.

Sketches by Boz (1836)
Pickwick Papers (serialized monthly 1836-37)
Oliver Twist (serialized monthly 1837-39)
Nicholas Nickleby (serialized monthly 1838-39)
The Old Curiosity Shop (serialized weekly 1840-41)
Barnaby Rudge (serialized weekly 1841)
Martin Chuzzlewit (serialized monthly 1843-44)
Dombey and Son (serialized monthly 1846-48)
David Copperfield (serialized monthly 1849-50)
Bleak House (serialized monthly 1852-53)
Hard Times (serialized weekly 1854)
Little Dorrit (serialized monthly 1855-57)
A Tale of Two Cities (serialized weekly 1859)
Great Expectations (serialized weekly 1860-61)
Our Mutual Friend (serialized monthly 1864-65)
The Mystery of Edwin Drood - unfinished (serialized monthly 1870)

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Book Info


480 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Charles Dickens
More books by Charles Dickens


Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

5th March 2009




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