A Tale of Two Cities (Thorndike Classics Series)

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Overview

When the starving French masses rise in hate to overthrow a corrupt and decadent government, both the guilty and innocent become victims of their frenzied anger. Soon nothing stands in the way of the chilling figure they enlist for their cause—La Guillotine—the new invention for efficiently chopping off heads.

Charles Dickens' compelling portrait of the results of terror and treason, love and supreme sacrifice continues to captivate readers ...
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A Tale of Two Cities (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

When the starving French masses rise in hate to overthrow a corrupt and decadent government, both the guilty and innocent become victims of their frenzied anger. Soon nothing stands in the way of the chilling figure they enlist for their cause—La Guillotine—the new invention for efficiently chopping off heads.

Charles Dickens' compelling portrait of the results of terror and treason, love and supreme sacrifice continues to captivate readers around the world. With Frank Muller's brilliant performance, unforgettable characters—the ever-knitting Madame Defarge, the lovely Lucie Manette, her broken father, the honorable Charles Darnay, and the sometimes scurrilous Sydney Carton—burst from the pages, full of life and passion.

This novel provides a highly-charged examination of human suffering and human sacrifice. Private experience and public history, during the French Revolution.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786277346
  • Publisher: Gale Group
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Series: Thorndike Classics Series
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 701
  • Product dimensions: 5.48 (w) x 8.82 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens is probably the greatest novelist England ever produced. His innate comic genius and shrewd depictions of Victorian life -- along with his memorable characters -- have made him beloved by readers the world over. In Dickens' books live some of the most repugnant villains in literature, as well as some of the most likeable (and unlikely) heroes.

Biography

Born on February 7, 1812, Charles Dickens was the second of eight children in a family burdened with financial troubles. Despite difficult early years, he became the most successful British writer of the Victorian age.

In 1824, young Charles was withdrawn from school and forced to work at a boot-blacking factory when his improvident father, accompanied by his mother and siblings, was sentenced to three months in a debtor's prison. Once they were released, Charles attended a private school for three years. The young man then became a solicitor's clerk, mastered shorthand, and before long was employed as a Parliamentary reporter. When he was in his early twenties, Dickens began to publish stories and sketches of London life in a variety of periodicals.

It was the publication of Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) that catapulted the twenty-five-year-old author to national renown. Dickens wrote with unequaled speed and often worked on several novels at a time, publishing them first in monthly installments and then as books. His early novels Oliver Twist (1837-1838), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and A Christmas Carol (1843) solidified his enormous, ongoing popularity. As Dickens matured, his social criticism became increasingly biting, his humor dark, and his view of poverty darker still. David Copperfield (1849-1850), Bleak House (1852-1853), Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Great Expectations (1860-1861), and Our Mutual Friend (1864-1865) are the great works of his masterful and prolific period.

In 1858 Dickens's twenty-three-year marriage to Catherine Hogarth dissolved when he fell in love with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. The last years of his life were filled with intense activity: writing, managing amateur theatricals, and undertaking several reading tours that reinforced the public's favorable view of his work but took an enormous toll on his health. Working feverishly to the last, Dickens collapsed and died on June 8, 1870, leaving The Mystery of Edwin Drood uncompleted.

Author biography from the Barnes & Noble Classics edition of David Copperfield.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Charles John Huffam Dickens (full name) "Boz" (pen name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 7, 1812
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portsmouth, England
    1. Date of Death:
      June 18, 1870
    2. Place of Death:
      Gad's Hill, Kent, England

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Period

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.There were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a plain face, on the throne of England; there were a king with a large jaw and a queen with a fair face, on the throne of France. In both countries it was clearer than crystal to the lords of the State preserves of loaves and fishes, that things in general were settled for ever.

It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favoured period, as at this. Mrs. Southcott had recently attained her five-and-twentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock Lane ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the earthly order of events had lately come tothe English Crown and People, from a congress of British subjects in America: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the chickens of the Cock Lane brood.France, less favoured on the whole as to matters spiritual than her sister of the shield and trident, rolled with exceeding smoothness down hill, making paper money and spending it. Under the guidance of her Christian pastors, she entertained herself, besides, with such humane achievements as sentencing a youth to have his hands cut off, his tongue torn out with pincers, and his body burned alive, because he had not kneeled down in the rain to do honour to a dirty procession of monks which passed within his view, at a distance of some fifty or sixty yards. It is likely enough that, rooted in the woods of France and Norway, there were growing trees, when that sufferer was put to death, already marked by the Woodman, Fate, to come down and be sawn into boards, to make a certain movable framework with a sack and a knife in it, terrible in history. It is likely enough that in the rough outhouses of some tillers of the heavy lands adjacent to Paris, there were sheltered from the weather that very day, rude carts, bespattered with rustic mire, snuffed about by pigs, and roosted in by poultry, which the Farmer, Death, had already set apart to be his tumbrils of the Revolution. But that Woodman and that Farmer, though they work unceasingly, work silently, and no one heard them as they went about with muffled tread: the rather, forasmuch as to entertain any suspicion that they were awake, was to be atheistical and traitorous.

In England, there was scarcely an amount of order and protection to justify much national boasting. Daring burglaries by armed men, and highway robberies, took place in the capital itself every night; families were publicly cautioned not to go out of town without removing their furniture to upholsterers' warehouses for security; the highwayman in the dark was a City tradesman in the light, and, being recognised and challenged by his fellow tradesman whom he stopped in his character of 'the Captain,' gallantly shot him through the head and rode away; the mail was waylaid by seven robbers, and the guard shot three dead, and then got shot dead himself by the other four, 'in consequence of the failure of his ammunition'; after which the mail was robbed in peace; that magnificent potentate, the Lord Mayor of London, was made to stand and deliver on Turnham Green, by one highwayman, who despoiled the illustrious creature in sight of all his retinue; prisoners in London gaols fought battles with their turnkeys, and the majesty of the law fired blunderbusses in among them, loaded with rounds of shot and ball; thieves snipped off diamond crosses from the necks of noble lords at Court drawing rooms; musketeers went into St. Giles's, to search for contraband goods, and the mob fired on the musketeers, and the musketeers fired on the mob, and nobody thought any of these occurrences much out of the common way. In the midst of them, the hangman, ever busy and ever worse than useless, was in constant requisition; now, stringing up long rows of miscellaneous criminals; now, hanging a housebreaker on Saturday who had been taken on Tuesday; now, burning people in the hand at Newgate by the dozen, and now burning pamphlets at the door of Westminster Hall; today, taking the life of an atrocious murderer, and tomorrow of a wretched pilferer who had robbed a farmer's boy of sixpence.

All these things, and a thousand like them, came to pass in and close upon the dear old year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Environed by them, while the Woodman and the Farmer worked unheeded, those two of the large jaws, and those other two of the plain and the fair faces, trod with stir enough, and carried their divine rights with a high hand.

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Table of Contents

Insights into Charles Dickens
Book 1 Recalled to Life
Chapter 1 The Period 16
Chapter 2 The Mail 20
Chapter 3 The Night Shadows (Summary) 27
Chapter 4 The Preparation 28
Chapter 5 The Wine-Shop 41
Chapter 6 The Shoemaker 53
Book 2 The Golden Thread
Chapter 1 Five Years Later (Summary) 67
Chapter 2 A Sight 69
Chapter 3 A Disappointment 77
Chapter 4 Congratulatory (Summary) 92
Chapter 5 The Jackal 94
Chapter 6 Hundreds of People (Summary) 101
Chapter 7 Monseigneur in Town (Summary) 103
Chapter 8 Monseigneur in the Country (Summary) 104
Chapter 9 The Gorgon's Head 105
Chapter 10 Two Promises 119
Chapter 11 A Companion Picture (Summary) 127
Chapter 12 The Fellow of Delicacy (Summary) 128
Chapter 13 The Fellow of No Delicacy 129
Chapter 14 The Honest Tradesman 134
Chapter 15 Knitting 145
Chapter 16 Still Knitting 157
Chapter 17 One Night (Summary) 169
Chapter 18 Nine Days 170
Chapter 19 An Opinion 177
Chapter 20 A Plea (Summary) 185
Chapter 21 Echoing Footsteps 186
Chapter 22 The Sea Still Rises 199
Chapter 23 Fire Rises (Summary) 205
Chapter 24 Drawn to the Loadstone Rock 207
Book 3 The Track of A Storm
Chapter 1 In Secret 221
Chapter 2 The Grindstone (Summary) 234
Chapter 3 The Shadow 236
Chapter 4 Calm in Storm (Summary) 242
Chapter 5 The Wood-Sawyer (Summary) 244
Chapter 6 Triumph 246
Chapter 7 A Knock at the Door (Summary) 254
Chapter 8 A Hand at Cards 255
Chapter 9 The Game Made 268
Chapter 10 The Substance of the Shadow 283
Chapter 11 Dusk (Summary) 298
Chapter 12 Darkness 299
Chapter 13 Fifty-Two 308
Chapter 14 The Knitting Done 321
Chapter 15 The Footsteps Die Out Forever 334
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 340 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(148)

4 Star

(68)

3 Star

(51)

2 Star

(29)

1 Star

(44)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 344 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 28, 2011

    A must read

    One of the best books ever written. It has withstood the test of time. Most worthy to be called a classic.

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    audiobook is not nook compatible

    The audiobook mentioned was a selling point for me. It isn't a file, but a text internet address on the very last page of the ebook that the nook does not recognize as a hyperlink. Apparently this guy Sam Ngo went and found the free ebook with illustrations and also found a free audiobook file on an archive website somewhere and wrote out the file's internet address on the last page of the book and epub'd it. You would have to look up the file online from your computer, download the audiobook and physically hook up your nook to transfer the file from your computer to your nook. So why pay this guy 1.99? Just go out and find the free files yourself. Probably deleting this.

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    3/26/13

    Charles dickens,very good.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2013

    Good story, terrible copy

    Terrible jumbled nonsense. Don't get this copy!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2013

    The dynamic character

    Mrs defarge you are a very good antagonist i n desguise

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Great

    One of the greatest written book in war times

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2013

    Awesome!

    A bit tricky to understand, but its really good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2013

    LOVE

    I love reading this book. I did have to reread a few passages to get a better understanding but i still loved it. This book is not BORing YOU ARE!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2013

    "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in m

    "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." Thus, the central theme of A Tale of Two Cities.




    I began reading this book in high school (Standard 8, I think), and I hated it. The language was completely foreign to me, and I didn't understand a single thing in it. I never finished it.




    Now that I'm more mature, and am reading many of the old classics, I decided to give it a try again. The language is still a bit foreign, and I had a rough time getting into it and following it at times, but I'm glad I finally finished this book.




    Ostensibly, the book is about the French Revolution. But I don't think it is, really. It may be set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, but it is, at its heart, a love story. And not the soppy touchy feely romantic kind of love, either. Real love. The love of a man for his friends, the love of a father and daughter, and yes, the love of a husband and wive. This book spans decades, and is about the events unfolding simultaneously in London, England, and Paris, France (hence the Two Cities) around the time of the French Revolution.




    I would recommend anyone interested in history, especially Christians, to read this book, but there's something in it for everyone.




    Only issue is, after reading the whole of Book The Second, I still had no idea just who, or what, the Golden Thread is! (And I still don't quite know)

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2012

    Love the B&N collection

    Easy read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2012

    A Tale of Two Cities is a very long, difficult book. Therefore,

    A Tale of Two Cities is a very long, difficult book. Therefore, many people in my age group may enjoy the storyline while getting bored easily with the actual writing. The writing is beautiful, but it may be difficult to understand at first because of the higher English. I really enjoyed this book, it had a great plot and I am always a fan of stories about the French Revolution. I love how the story transports you to France for this story of brother turns on brother and of ultimate sacrifices. This story of a family battling against another for their lives is awe-insipring and there are plenty of twists to keep you on the edge of your seat. The amount of thought put into this plotline is immense, you have multiple characters that end up playing huge roles in the story. For example, Simon Carter makes the ultimate sacrifice and dies for his long-time friend so he can get out of the city alive. I think that it is completely accurate for this novel to be a classic, seeing as it highlights what happened to people during the revolution. Brother turned on brother and deep secrets were revealed for the sheer fact to reveal them. People were killed for reasons unknown and grudges could be taken out simply by hinting that someone was part of the monarchy. This caused them to be hunted down and tried for anything that might get them killed. Anyone can read this book, as long as they are willing to put in time and effort. I had to look up a few words, but it was worth it to read this story. To summarize, this book is a great book for anyone looking for a good, challenging book to read that illustrates the ups and downs of living in Revolutionary France.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2012

    Its ok

    It is a good book and i got it for free so even better hard to read though

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2011

    just get it online

    nook can handle pdfs and there are many viable cites that have free pdf versions of this.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2001

    What a hit!

    This book is one of the very best books I have ever read. A Tale of Two Cities is so good I read it once a year just to remember how good it truly is. You can never get burnt out on this book. Ok sure, it was required reading in my high school, but had it not been required, I never would have been introduced to this marvelous book. The way Dickens portrays the two cities and his characters are vivid and well thought out. This truly is a masterpiece writing!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Oasis and Co.s Biography

    Name: Oasis <br> Gender: Female &female <br> Age: 16 in dog years. <br> Rank: Pack Wolf <p> Appearance: A slghtly fluffy yellow wolf. She has fur that relfects light on each strand, so it looks like she sparkles. Her eyes are dark blue and sprinkled with silver. <p> Mate: None <br> Crush: Unknown <br> Pups: None <p> Personality: Hard to explain. <p> Name: Claw <br> Gender: Male &male <br> Age: 6 in dog years. <br> Rank: Pack Pup? <p> Appearance: A kinda sorta fluffy white wolf, with splotches of sliver tipping some of his fur. His silver parts are not like the black on a cow, but you know what I mean. His eyes are light brown. <p> Personality: Also hard to explain. <P> Thanks now buh-bye.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2014

    Gear and bolts

    Gear takl gray wolf muscular looking for mate he is bi




    Bolts orge wolf sister of gear looking for a mate as well both older wolved

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2014

    Rippef

    Name- ripper, mate - none, age-5, color- white wolf with deep black eyes

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Andromeda and Phoenix

    Name: Andromeda <p>

    Nickname: Andro <p>

    Gender: Female <p>

    Rank: Regular Pack Wolf <p>

    Looks: Andro is a light red color, with a cream belly, forepaws, and chest. She looks just like her mother, Rose, and her grandmother, Willow. Her eyes are sky blue. <p>

    Mate: Spirit ((Missing but she will forever wait for him)) <p>

    Pups: Ember, Toby, Tiron, and Ocean ((All Spirit's)) <p>

    History: Andromeda was born in her mother's pack with her sister, Phoenix. She grew up there, and at two years of agewas seperated from Rose, Phoenix, and Demon, her father. She wandered for a long while before becoming Alpha Female of Nebula Pack with Spirit as her Alpha Male. The pack dissapated after many years, and she wandered until she found Phoenix, at which point they wandered together. She found Spirit once more before he dissapeared again, but this time she carried pups. She found a pack fast as possible, not wanting her pups to grow up lone wolves. <p>

    Family: <br>
    Mother ~ Rose ((Deceased)) <br>
    Father ~ Demon ((Missing)) <br>
    Grandmother ~ Willow ((Deceased))<br>
    Grandfather ~ Name Lost ((Deceased)) ((Sorry, this is all by memory.... I'll find his name soon.)) <br>
    Uncle ~ Matt ((Missing)) <p>
    Sister ~ Phoenix <p>

    <p>

    Name: Phoenix <p>

    Gender: Female <p>

    Rank: Regular Pack Wolf <p>

    Looks: Phoenix is a deep red color, like fire, which is what earned her her name. She has the typical amber eyes of a wolf. Her front left paw is white. <p>

    Mate/Crush/Pups: She hasn't found the right guy yet. <p>

    History: Like Andromeda, Phoenix was born at her mother's pack pack. At the age of two, she lost ehr sister. Her mother and father searced for many months but never found her. When her father dissapeared as well, Phoenix left. She joined a pack and quickly rose to Beta Female, but never found a mate, and left the pack when she found Andromeda. The rest matches Andromeda's history. <p>

    Family: Same except her sister is Andro, not herself. <p>

    Other: BOTH she-wolves are purebred Dire wolves, and alpha born. Very large, very dangerous when angered. <p>

    ((No I am not being a powerplayer. I have been rping this family for four years, starting with Willow, and now on these two. This is just the way it happened.))

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2014

    Test

    Testing

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 344 Customer Reviews

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