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A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

The tumultuous and bloody years leading up to the French Revolution of 1789 form the setting for this classic novel. The story revolves around Charles Darnay, recently released from the notorious Bastille prison, who has been brought to London by a French doctor to recover his health. Darnay and the doctor's daughter fall in love, but their happiness is threatened when Darnay is pulled back into the maelstrom of French politics. Their friend, the flawed but loveable Sydney Carton, plays a pivotal role in securing their happiness.

Related Readings

"Outline of the Revolution"—historical nonfiction by John Elliot

from A Tale of Two Cities: Dickens's Revolutionary Novel—literary criticism by Ruth Glancy

"The Details of Life"—social history by Olivier Bernier

"Letter to Madame Elizabeth of France"—personal letter by Marie-Antoinette

"The Heirs of Madame Guillotine"—magazine article by David Lawday

Study Guide (PDF)


McGraw-Hill / Glencoe