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A Tale of Two Cities Paperback – December 2, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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"I've come to prefer Oxford's editions of my texts because of the usefulness of the explanatory notes and above all the inclusion of vital contextual information about publishing practices (serialization dates, etc.) and historical background that are essential to my nethod of instruction." --Prof. Martha Holmes, Univ. of Colorado


About the Author

Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and grew up in poverty. This experience influenced 'Oliver Twist',' the second of his fourteen major novels, which first appeared in 1837. When he died in 1870 he was buried in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey as an indication of his huge popularity as a novelist, which endures to this day.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Brown (April 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1613820771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1613820773
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dave Steiner on January 17, 2012
Format: Paperback
A tale of two cities tells the tale of an aristocrat living in London who gets caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution. It's a tale of love and hate and how they affect two different mens' lives. It is also a tale of resurrection and redemption. This is a very moving story.
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A Tale of Two Cities has a complicated plot with twists and turns that eventually unravel the tightly woven story. The story begins in France, several years before the French Revolution, switches to England, and then returns to France at the end. A lot of foreshadowing creates suspense, and as the story progresses, war ensues. Death is always a constant threat or recurring theme. In typical Dickens' style, every character and scene is fully developed with symbolism playing an important role; i.e., the broken wine cask in the beginning and the reference to blood. The imagery reminds one of the Christian sacrament, and the impending war in France.

Of particular interest are the characters; the protagonist, Lucie Manette, discovers her father has been found alive imprisoned in the French Bastille for the last eighteen years. Lucie is the embodiment of love, and her unconditional love restores her father's sanity.

As the French Revolution draws nearer, the reader senses the progression of hopeless bloodshed through the continued foreshadowing of events. There is an overarching uneasiness that something evil is going to happen to the main characters. The darkness of one of the main antagonists, Madame DeFarge, and her constant knitting of the names of those condemned to death, stands in stark contrast to the loving protagonist, Lucie Manette.

Soon Darnay and Lucie marry, and a few years later, the French Revolution begins.

Dickens shows the intense suffering and affliction of the masses and the arrogant aristocracy, which is portrayed by the heartless Marquis Evrémonde when he runs over a poor plebian child. The impending conflict in France creeps ever so closer to the Manette family in England when Darnay travels to France and is arrested.
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Format: Paperback
This masterly crafted tale is chucked full of characters that you can't avoid feeling strongly about. This story is made of long sentences, full of dependent clauses that can make reading seem laborious for some readers because they have to read to the very end of the sentence carefully (and perhaps slower than usual) to grasp it's meaning. Similarly, the story deposits a plethora of seemingly superfluous details, but as the story unravels, those details ALL become connected and begin to matter. And just like all of those loose sentences, true meaning doesn't come until after reaching the final period. Don't judge this one based on disgruntled readers (students) forced to digest this work as a right of passage.
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