‘It was once the most efficient of times, it was once the worst of times…’
Charles Dickens’s A Tale of Two Cities portrays a world on fire, split between Paris and London all through the brutal and bloody events of the French Revolution. After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille the aging Dr Manette is in spite of everything released and reunited with his daughter in England. There, two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, develop into enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil lanes of London, they’re all drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror and soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine. This edition uses the text as it appeared in its first serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens’s vision, and includes the original illustrations by H.K. Browne (‘Phiz’). Richard Maxwell’s introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the most efficient works all the way through history and across genres and disciplines. Readers agree with the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and latest authors, in addition to up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.