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A Tale of Two Cities (The Penguin English Library) Paperback – 26 May 1994
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About the Author
Charles Dickens was born at Portsmouth on 7 February 1812. He received little formal education, but taught himself shorthand and became a reporter of parliamentary debates for the Morning Chronicle. He began to publish sketches in various periodicals, which were subsequently republished as Sketches by Boz. The Pickwick Papers were published in 1836–7 and after a slow start became a publishing phenomenon and Dickens's characters the centre of a popular cult. He began Oliver Twist in 1837, followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1838) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840–41).After finishing Barnaby Rudge (1841) Dickens set off for America; he went full of enthusiasm for the young republic but, in spite of a triumphant reception, he returned disillusioned. His experiences are recorded in American Notes (1842). Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–4) did not repeat its predecessors' success but this was quickly redressed by the huge popularity of the Christmas Books, of which the first, A Christmas Carol, appeared in 1843. During 1844–6 Dickens travelled abroad and he began Dombey and Son while in Switzerland. This and David Copperfield (1849–50) were more serious in theme and more carefully planned than his early novels. In later works, such as Bleak House (1853) and Little Dorrit (1857), Dickens's social criticism became more radical and his comedy more savage. Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870.
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I am delighted to revisit this splendid novel via the "magic" of Kindle.
The story is appealing and the characters believable. The writing is skilful - though occasionally, because the English language has moved on, I had to stop to consider what the words actually mean. Now I intend to read more of Dickens.
His treatment of the themes of the French revolution are coloured by his Tory leanings, but it is a Primrose League, One Nation sentiment that is allowed to emerge, indicating the political consequences that could befall, without reform.
An emotional story of lives and redemption is moving, although there is humour.
To my mind, while some themes echo those of Victor Hugo, his characterisation is more convincing.
Before starting, I knew very little, apart from the fact that it was a Dickens, and my Mum liked it. What a revelation though. Dickens seemed to hit the mark in many ways here. The typical Dickens characterisations are there, as is the flowery and descriptive language, and long plot developments, full of hate, betrayal, violence, love, sacrifice, mystery, and an inspection of the human spirit. What really set this apart though was the setting. Basing this in London and Paris during the period around the French Revolution was fertile ground for a Dickens book, and it does it's best to make full use of it.
The ending, is one of the most touching endings I have read for a long time, and A Tale of Two Cities will no doubt be a book I read again in later years.
A Tale of Two Cities is no different ,however, the narrative of this tale is so strong ,and with the help of Kindle's touch word dictionary, I became entranced by the story of Dr.Manette , his beautiful daughter and the cast of characters that Dickens has conjured up. I still think a good editor wouldn't go amiss but the sheer brilliance of the story telling leaves me with nothing but admiration. Recommended .
The story, well most people know the story by now, Paris and London, leading up to the French civil war, imprisonment, freedom, a beautiful daughter, a young suitor who lives in danger. If you haven't read it, this is a nice story and a good read. It also shows you how nice a language English is / was / can be when used properly. (Call me old fashioned)
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