A Tale of Two Cities

Publisher: Vintage Classics
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . . .”

Lucie Manette had been separated from her father for eighteen years while he languished in Paris’s most feared prison, the Bastille. Finally reunited, the Manettes’s fortunes become inextricably intertwined with those of two men, the heroic aristocrat Darnay, and the dissolute lawyer, Carton. Their story, which encompasses violence, revenge, love and redemption, is grippingly played out against the backdrop of the terrifying brutality of the French Revolution.


“[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