A Tale of Two Cities (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) [NOOK Book]

Overview

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable ...

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A Tale of Two Cities (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
 
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . .” With these famous words, Charles Dickens plunges the reader into one of history’s most explosive eras—the French Revolution. From the storming of the Bastille to the relentless drop of the guillotine, Dickens vividly captures the terror and upheaval of that tumultuous period. At the center is the novel’s hero, Sydney Carton, a lazy, alcoholic attorney who, inspired by a woman, makes the supreme sacrifice on the bloodstained streets of Paris.

One of Dickens’s most exciting novels, A Tale of Two Cities is a stirring classic of love, revenge, and resurrection.

Gillen D’Arcy Wood received his Ph.D in English from Columbia University in 2000 and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Shock of the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture, 1760–1860.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781411433236
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 27,028
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens
Gillen D’Arcy Wood received his Ph.D in English from Columbia University in 2000 and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of The Shock of the Real: Romanticism and Visual Culture, 1760–1860.

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



From Gillen D'Arcy Wood's Introduction to A Tale of Two Cities

When Dickens expressed to A. H. Layard his fear of revolution in Britain in 1855, he only echoed many dozens of commentators over the preceding six decades, who wondered why mob violence could not simply cross the English Channel and turn the streets of London into a bloodbath of class retribution. The textbook historian's answer points to the bloodless coup of 1688, the so-called Glorious Revolution, which saw the tyrant James II forced into exile, and William and Mary inaugurate a form of managerial rule in Britain, a constitutional, "mixed" monarchy where many absolute powers of the Crown were ceded to Parliament. With the consolidation of that legislative body, however unrepresentative, Britain's nobility insured itself against the apocalyptic disaster that was to befall their French counterparts. The divergent tale of the two cities thus begins in 1688.

But as a novelist, Dickens, who loved Paris and traveled there often, offers more intuitive, closely observed reasons for the untranslatable quality of that city's Revolution. In an 1856 article for his weekly magazine, Household Words, he calls Paris "the Moon," and describes a culture of spectacle implicitly alien to his London readers. On the grand Parisian boulevards, Dickens watches the upper classes put on "a mighty show." Later, he takes coffee and a cigar at one of Paris's ubiquitous cafés, and participates in a kind of collective voyeurism unfamiliar to the English capital:

The place from which the shop front has been taken makes a gay proscenium; as I sit and smoke, the street becomes a stage, with an endless procession of lively actors crossing and re-crossing. Women with children, carts and coaches, men on horseback, soldiers, water-carriers with their pails, family groups, more soldiers, lounging exquisites, more family groups coming past, flushed, a little late for the play. . . . We are all amused, sitting seeing the traffic in the street, and the traffic in the street is in its turn amused by seeing us "Railway Dreaming," pp. 373-374. Paris is a society of spectacle, a glamorous outdoor "stage" where citizens are both actors and audience. Later in the article, however, Dickens describes a more sinister aspect of this culture of display when he is jostled by the crowds at the Paris morgue, whose "bodies lie on inclined planes within a great glass window, as though Holbein should represent Death, in his grim Dance, keeping a shop, and displaying his goods like a Regent Street or boulevard linen-draper" p. 375. Dickens is unnerved here, as he was at Horsemonger Lane, by a society that places no restraints on visibility, even to preserve the solemnity of the dead.

It is a short step in Dickens's imagination from the peep-show atmosphere of the Paris morgue in 1856 to the ritual slaughter in the Place de la Révolution during Robespierre's "Reign of Terror" of 1793-1794. A Tale of Two Cities shows the dark side of urban theatricality, that a public appetite for glamorous "show" can rapidly degenerate into an insatiable hunger for "scenes of horror and demoralization." The essentially theatrical quality of Parisian social life produces a theatrical Revolution. At the revolutionary "trials" at the Hall of Examination, Madame Defarge, we are told, "clapped her hands as at a play." There is something uniquely Parisian, too, in the spectacle of the liberation of the Bastille with only seven prisoners inside and in the rituals of the Terror itself, as the tumbrils roll daily to the guillotine watched by knitting ladies, who take up seats in their favored spots each morning as if at a sideshow or circus. As Dickens describes it, even the victims of the Terror cannot escape the theatrical atmosphere of the proceedings. Among the condemned, "there are some so heedful of their looks that they cast upon the multitude such glances as they have seen in theatres, and in pictures." Contrast this with Charles Darnay, who, on trial for his life earlier in the novel, disdains "the play at the Old Bailey": He "neither flinched from the situation, nor assumed any theatrical air in it." Our hero disappoints us on occasion, but here, by resisting being converted into a spectacle, he defends the most important social principle of the novel: the dignity of the private citizen in the face of the howling mob.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 348 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    3/26/13

    Charles dickens,very good.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Great

    One of the greatest written book in war times

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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 August 3, 2014

    Fireballs bio

    Name:fireball age:? Gender:male colors:red orange and brown other: i can shift

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014

    Blues bio

    Black grey and white. Back is black and the rest is white. Her nose is black with some grey hairs. Her ears are black and inside is white. Eyebrows are grey. I am not old yet!!!:) eyes are blue. Ask the rest to me if you have questions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    Minks bio

    Mink is a grey/brown shewolf with a white belly and honey golden eyes. She loves pups and they like her too. She is currently an omega and loves to hunt and fight.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    &upsilon&eta&kappa&eta&sigma&omega&eta<_>'s B<_>&iota&sigma

    Name - She will never reveal her real name. <p> What To Call Her - Unknown <p> Gender - She-W<_>&female<_>lf <p> Rank - Pack Wolf <p> Age - She won't tell. <p> Persona - Unknown doesn't talk much, for certain reasons. When she does speak, her voice is low, if not a low growl, and hostile. She doesn't listen well to anybody, not even a Higher Rank. She often likes to start fights, and isn't afraid of a fight. She's always mysterious, and won't tell anybody about herself. But she does have a secret side. If you're lucky enough to know her, you might she it. <p> Looks - Unknown is an Canis Edwardii, or an Edward's Wolf. Her fur is pitch black, like a void. Her eyes are dark brown. <p> Kin - None. <p> Mate//Crush//Pups - Doesn't have any, never will. <p> History - Ask... or not. <p> Theme Song - Cold by Crossfade, No Love by Eminem, and Bully by Eminem

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    &real&sigma&kappa&upsilon<_>'s B<_>&iota&sigma

    Name - Roku <p> Gender - He-W<_>&male<_>olf <p> Rank - Pack Wolf <p> Age - 4 Years <p> Persona - Usually kind and gentle, but at times he'll be stubborn and rude. <p> Looks - Roku is an Canis Lupus Occidentalis. Or The Mackenzie Valley Wolf. His fur is an offwhite, with silver, and he has a dark brown and black 'shadow' on his back. His face is masked dark brown. He has a Twin: Birki <p> Kin - He has a sister, Birki. He never mentions his parents' names. <p> Mate//Crush//Pups - None. None. Wants some eventually. <p> History - ... <p> Theme Song - Problem by Arian Grande <p> If anything's new, this will be updated eventually.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2014

    B<_>&iota<_>r<_>&kappa&iota<_>'s B<_>&iota&sigma

    Name - Birki <p> Gender - She-W<_>&female<_>lf <p> Rank - Pack Wolf <p> Age - 4 Years <p> Persona - Birki can sometimes be very shy and nervous, but once she gets to know another, she's kind and will stand up for them. She doesn't like heights, and she doesn't like bloodshed. <p> Looks - Birki is a Canis Lupus Occidentalis, or The Mackenzie Valley Wolf. She's and off-white, with silver, and on her back is a dark brown and black 'shadow'. Her face is also masked light black, just a little away from being dark grey. Her claws are white, but some of them have black splotches. She has a Twin: Roku <p> Kin - She has a brother, Roku. She doesn't ever mention her parents' names. <p> Mate//Crush//Pups - None. None. She would want some someday. <p> History - ... <p> Theme Song - Human by Christina Perri <p> If anything's new, this will be updted eventually.

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