A Tale of Two Cities
With an Introduction and Notes by Peter Merchant, Principal Lecturer in English, Canterbury Christ Church University College.
Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz).
A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Dickens’ greatest historical novel, traces the private lives of a group of people caught up in the cataclysm of the French Revolution and the Terror. Dickens based his historical detail on Carlyle’s great work – The French Revolution – and also on his own observations and investigations during numerous visits to Paris.
‘The best story I have written’ was Dickens’ own verdict on A Tale of Two Cities, and the reader is unlikely to disagree with this judgement of a story which combines historical fact with the author’s unsurpassed genius for poignant tales of human suffering, self-sacrifice, and redemption.