A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

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The Best-Selling Novel By Charles Dickens About Resurrection And The Fight Between Good And Evil. Download A Tale of Two Cities, READ online FREE or buy:

Book the First. RECALLED TO LIFE

Book the Second. THE GOLDEN THREAD

Book the Third. THE TRACK OF A STORM

As far as the most epic and influential novels of the nineteenth century go, A Tale Of Two Cities is definitely among the greatest. The story takes place in the capitals of France and the United Kingdom. The timeline is before and during the bloodthirsty revolution in France.

Charles Dickens created a true masterpiece, a tale that is as relevant today as it was the day it was released. The incredible mix of adventure, drama, and comedy turn this grandiose novel into a must-read for all the fans of thought-provoking and educational literature.

A Tale Of Two Cities Summary

The story follows the life of a gifted French Doctor. The man was condemned to almost two decades of imprisonment in a fortress in France. Still, after all those years, he made it out of that nightmare and started a new life in the UK with his lovely kiddo – a young girl named Lucie. They’ve never met before, and the journey together proved to be challenging.

The girl’s beloved man confronted the vagabonds who put her dad in prison. This family crosses path with the Defarges, a couple who made a living selling wine in a perilous Parisian suburb. The better half of the book describes the events that drove people angry and crazy enough to start a horrifying revolution.

Lucie is a loving, caring, strong-willed character, and all she wanted was to connect with her father and offer him a better life after the terrifying conditions in prison. At first, he rejected his daughter; yet, slowly, but steadily, they found a way to be a family.

The Day The World First Read A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

This marvelous novel has 45 chapters in total and was published in a serialized manner. The famous writer had a literary periodical called ATYR and it took him thirty-one full weeks to publish it. The very first installment hit the shelves on the 30th of April, 1859. November 26 is the day the last chapter became available to the fans.

Today this novel is recognized as one of the biggest commercial successes in history and one of the best-selling masterpieces to ever be written. Statistics claim that 200+ million copies have found their loyal owners since 1859. Some critics are questioning that number, but, in all fairness, Dickens did write an international bestseller that is loved and cherished by millions to this day.

A Tale Of Two Cities Themes

Back in the XIX century, resurrection was one of the main themes in Christianity. Carton, the main character of this novel, comes back to life as a ghost after he gives his life up. That reminds us of Christ’s sacrifice who died for our sins.

Resurrection plays a vital role in A Tale Of Two Cities and is, overall, Dickens’s favorite theme. And Death goes hand in hand with the concept of resurrection.Did you know that at first, the author wanted to call his new creation Recalled to Life? That’s true, but he decided to change it at the very last moment. Well, he still gave that title to the 1st “book” within the story.

Dickens was disappointed and frustrated by the fact that in both cities, horrifying death sentences were handed out left and right for even the most “mild” crimes. In Paris, for example, the peasants had no voice and they never had trials.

The Role Of Water In The Novel

Water also plays a major role in this book. It represents the ever-silent energy that is capable of destroying everything on its way when pushed to the limit. The anger that kept building up towards a catastrophic climax was supported by Dickens in some way. At the same time, he couldn’t accept and/or justify the atrocities.

The poor and the weak are ready to tolerate the inequality and the brutality, but, one day, the water starts to rage, and nothing can stand against it. The critics gave the author praise for making the crowds looks and feel like the oceans.

The Concept Of Darkness

The European writers love to use the concept of light and darkness to represent the good and the bad in us, the human beings. Lucie is, without a doubt, the light (just as her name suggests). On the other hand, the vicious Madame Defarge is the evil. Fear, wickedness and imminent danger is what darkness is all about.

It’s always dark in the prison cells; the Madame is surrounded by gloomy shadows; the mansion of the Marquis burns brightly in the middle of the night; Jerry ravages the cemeteries in the dark of the night. Dickens also makes a powerful comparison of the white, innocent, pure snow to the dark, scary, lethal color of human blood.

Social Outrage In A Tale Of Two Cities By Charles Dickens

Dickens had a rough childhood and had to overcome many of the obstacles that his characters have to deal with. The United Kingdom was consumed by poverty in the 19th century, and Charles himself had to work for 10 hours straight when he was a teenager. Of all the visionaries of his time, he was the biggest advocate of the poor yet just people.

So, why did he decide to combine these two great cities? Because the poor were equally mistreated both in London and in Paris. True, the French Revolution resulted in numerous deaths, but it was the only way out, the only right course of action at that time.

What Inspired Charles Dickens To Write This Novel?

The writer used to perform in The Frozen Deep, and one fine day, someone gave him a new play to read. It came with the setting, the plot, the narrative and the message that were later put into this immortal masterpiece. And while the play was in works, the writer turned the story into a serialized event, thus causing a lot of talk about copyright violation.

A book by Carlyle about the atrocities of the French Revolution influenced the master even more and he practically followed the guidelines made by Carlyle. It’s safe to say that these are the main inspirations for Dickens. And, he used several other publications in order to make sure everything was accurate in his brand-new release.

Questionable Things About A Tale Of Two Cities

Despite the international acclaim, many reviewers/novelists criticized Dickens for creating “flat” characters as opposed to the sophisticated and diverse heroes that the 19th-century novels are famous for. Others say that it was intentional and that the author wanted to focus our attention on the vices and the virtues separately, without mixing them together.

It’s a known fact that Charles Dickens came up with an idea to use French-exclusive idioms for the folks in his novel that don’t speak English. However, the majority of the readers thought that it was more of a distracting thing than a funny feature.

A Tale Of Two Cities Movie

Overall, there are six movie adaptations of this famous novel. The first one saw the light of day back in 1911, more than 100 years ago. It was a silent film. The second and the third movies (titled identically; 1917 and 1922 respectively) were also silent. Another soundless big-screen version came out in ’27. It was called The Only Way and is one of the most acclaimed adaptations of the grandiose tale.

The critics loved it, the fans loved it, and it was commercially successful. MGM shot its own adaptation in ’35; the last movie was introduced to the public in 1958. The BBC made several radio adaptations, as well as television editions. In 1980, they released a version for TV. The cast included Sarandon and the lovely Alice Krige.

Finally, there are a couple of mini TV series that consist of 8 and 10 series. Mr. Harvey Weinstein, a prominent figure in the movie industry, claimed that he wanted to do his own version of A Tale Of Two Cities at the Cannes Festival back in 2016.

Summing Up

A Tale Of Two Cities is a landmark novel, one of the finest examples of European literature of the XIX century. Charles Dickens wrote a story that touches the hearts and minds of the modern-day generation, opening up our minds to new highs.

The writer has several significant books behind his back, but this one is a standout cut. If you appreciate stories that change the way you think about yourself and the people around you, this tale will be a great pick.

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