Ags Illustrated Classics: A Tale Of Two Cities Book

Overview

Students with lower reading abilities can enjoy some of the most important literature of our culture. This seventy-two book collection features easy-reading texts with extensive artwork on every page to capture students’ attention.

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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A Tale of Two Cities

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Overview

Students with lower reading abilities can enjoy some of the most important literature of our culture. This seventy-two book collection features easy-reading texts with extensive artwork on every page to capture students’ attention.

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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Editorial Reviews

Leigh Weaver
Great book
Anonymous
Classic Dickens. An amazing portrayal of the French Revolution.
From Barnes & Noble
The human story behind the French Revolution is embodied in four of Dickens's greatest characters: Madame Defarge, Lucie Manette and her husband Charles Darnay, and the misanthrope Sydney Carton whose final sacrifice gives meaning to his life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780785407249
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 1/30/2006
  • Series: Illustrated Classics Collection
  • Pages: 64
  • Product dimensions: 5.12 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.19 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Sanders is a lecturer in English at Birkbeck College, London. He is Honorary Editor of The Dickensian, and editor of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackerary, and Sylvia's Lovers by Mrs Gaskell, both in The World's Classics series.

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Read an Excerpt

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 to the English Crown and People, from a congress of British subjects inAmerica: 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; to-day, taking the life of an atrocious murderer, and to-morrow 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. Thus did the year one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five conduct their Greatnesses, and myriads of small creatures--the creatures of this chronicle among the rest--along the roads that lay before them.

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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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