A Tale of Two Cities


A Tale of Two Cities is a historical fiction classic written by Charles Dickens. It is set around the time period of the French Revolution, exemplifying the effects of the Revolution at the level of the citizens. It gives better insight in how the government and change thereof can change the lives of the common citizen.

A Tale of Two Cities is split into three different books. The first book, Recalled to Life, is about a bank teller, Mr. Lorry, helping a woman, Lucie Manette, retrieve her long lost father from France after finding he was released from a French prison many years ago. They find him mentally damaged, and Lucie believes she can restore him in England. In the second book, Charles Darnay is accused of treason against the English government, but is not convicted, and it is revealed he is related to French leadership. He marries Lucie Manette, whose father has been nursed by her back to health. In the third book, after the French Revolution, they return to France, where Darnay is accused of treason again, and sentenced to death. A plot by one of their friends gets him free, allowing him to live with his wife and her father once again.

I do not recommend this book to anyone looking for an enjoyable book or a short read. For a history project, I do not recommend this book either. It is painstakingly long and difficult to stay interested in. Dickens’ writing style has very detailed scenes depicted, each separated by several years, giving readers a good look at some parts of the story while completely ignoring others. In addition, since Dickens got paid to write by the word, he purposefully throws in unnecessary sentences and information that is not at all mentioned later. The book overall is not very enjoyable. If one is doing a book report, this book is not a good choice either because it is very much to read in a limited amount of time. The only thing this book is good for is giving the point of view of the common man in Revolutionary France.


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