A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations: Two Novels

( 154 )

Overview


Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of the two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed ...

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A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations: Two Novels

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Overview


Two of the most beloved novels in all of English literature-together in one extraordinary volume.

A TALE OF TWO CITIES
After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of the two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of the guillotine.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS
A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor- these form a series of events that changes the orphaned Pip's life forever, and he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman. Dickens's haunting late novel depicts Pip's education and development through adversity as he discovers the true nature of his "great expectations."

This deluxe paperback edition features

• French flaps

• rough-cut high-quality paper

• complimentary front- and back-cover designs highlighting each novel and including foil and debossing

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142196588
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/6/2010
  • Series: Oprah's Book Club Series
  • Pages: 834
  • Sales rank: 413,705
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

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

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 154 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(90)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(11)

2 Star

(11)

1 Star

(20)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 155 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2010

    Why?

    These are two classic books for sure but why would anyone pay for them when you can get both for free? Because Oprah says so? I think not. Both of these great books are offered for free. If you don't mind paying 11 dollars for the new packaging well more power to you but in this day and age if you are like most the free route would be the way to go. Sorry Oprah.

    20 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Two Timeless Classics From The Master!

    The novels and stories of Charles Dickens have been with us for almost 200 years for a reason. He is simply one of the best (some say, THE best) novelist who ever lived. Originally released in serialized form in magazines, each fresh installment would create an uproar as thousands of rabid readers rushed bookshops for the latest part fresh off the presses. In the United States, the ships carrying the magazine issues from England would often be stormed by readers who couldn't even wait for them to be unloaded. Such was the fervor Dickens' writing created. With A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, you have two of his best novels in one handy volume and at a great price. Great Expectations has been called "the only perfect novel" by critics. It's a tale of redemption, secrets, romance and tragedy. There is something for everyone to savor in this timeless novel and like all great fiction, there is also valuable lessons to be learned. Dickens wrote for the people and though his style is outdated by today's standards, you'll find the themes and scenes are very much of the street and deal with everyday cares and concerns. It is the strength of this aspect of his writing that has led to its enduring through the centuries. A Tale of Two Cities has twists that have been echoed in countless stories since then. This novel of the French Revolution is a-typical of Dickens as it is an historical tale and he usually wrote about the London of his time. But the book has transcended like so much of his work to the extent that it's has been referenced all through pop culture. Even Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan hinges it's dramatic high-points on the opening and closing lines of the novel. And this novel has, perhaps, both the best first and last lines in the history of fiction. Not bad for one book. Again, we've got intrigue, chases, escapes, unrequited love, romance and sacrifice. With this great collection you'll find that the themes and ideas of all great storytelling are timeless and what we enjoy today is just a variation of what came before. As an author and avid reader myself, I know that great storytelling is timeless, eternal. With two of the best novels ever written, you're in for a treat with this collection.

    13 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A must read for classic literature.

    If you like drama, you'll love this. Don't shy away from the book because it's a classic. It's truly a wonderful story.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    When One Reads Old book's, One should have "Great Expectations"

    I expected greatness and I got it! But, not in the way I would have like it (the ending was not what I wanted). Never the less I got it. This writer earns 5-stars because he offer's a story with depth and character's of that day with substance. As with all old books you have story-line with many "puzzle" pieces to ponder about. This story will not easily be forgotten and that makes it a treasure.I believe anyone will be glad they took the time to read it. As with most old books this is a book of patience because during out time (The 21st Century) the competition is great and we have so many choice's to choose from in good books with so little time to read them. This was my Christmas present to myself and it was really a wonderful one. I started it Christmas Eve and finished it at midnight and woke up thankful I allowed this gift to myself. Merry Christmas~

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 7, 2010

    WHO REALLY CARES

    What Oprah is reading or recommending?

    3 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted December 31, 2010

    Too Confusing for Me!!

    I will just be honest. I got lost in this book. Every page I had to re-read because I never understood it. Instead of just not really writing a response I had my mom explain it to me. And I watched a few movies of this.
    I would recommend this book for people that don't get lost in description easily, and have a wide range of vocabulary. Or, read it with a partner that does and would enjoy it.
    From my knowledge of this story from the movie and my mom I loved the message, which to me is don't think your better than anyone because your not. Don't use harsh judgment, be a good friend and put others needs in front of your own.
    My favorite part by far was when he gives his life for a friend, what a good example to all of us, maybe not to that extreme but still, you need to sacrifice things for your true friends if you truly care about them. Thanks to him, he was able to have a good life and to me, that's heroic. And because of this act, he is my favorite character.
    I got confused with the characters and what side they were on. In the show, they all kind of looked the same so, I wouldn't really recommend the cartoon, but it did help he understand better.
    I would not put so much detail in this book. I mean yeah, of Corse its great to have detail, but not to the extreme. That was probably fifty percent of the book. But hey, if you like a lot of detail, this book is defiantly for you!
    My favorite phrase from this book is when he is talking to himself I guess and says "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known." This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. To do something like this for your friend, is unthinkable in this society today. I would be so grateful, not to the extreme of this, but still if a friend cared enough for you to sacrifice anything for you it is amazing. That's why I found this book O.K.
    This book is made up of history and friendship. We can all take a lesson from this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2010

    Love this, it's a classic - but don't waste your money buying the ebook. It's public domain.

    I know this isn't a review of the book itself, but I had to say that it's a shame the online ebook stores are charging people for FREE public domain books which can be found in hundreds of places on the internet. If you want to read the classics, hit the net. It shouldn't cost you a cent.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2010

    Don't Waste Hard Earned Dollars on a Classic you can get for free

    Really, Penguin? Desperate to keep the income from the classics alive in eBook form? If you want to read this, google Project Gutenberg.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2012

    highly recommended

    I had never read these two books before but have read some of Dickens. The first book takes us back to early England and the time of the French Revolution. It gives some very real bloody tales of life in that time and makes you feel like you are actually in it.

    The 2nd book tells of this hyoung man wo has no real expections of his life becoming nothing more than boring, but discovers there is more to life than he expects.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    wow good book

    wow good book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Wynotme

    You can tell why they ate classics. Did read them for free tho. I would recomend everyone read them.

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

    Posted September 12, 2012

    BORING

    It was as boring as hell

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2012

    Boring...

    Just couldnt get into this book... Tale of two Cities.

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

    Posted November 14, 2011

    Great edition of two Great Books

    For readers of 19th century English novels, "Great Expectations" is a must-read; I think it's definitely the best of the Bildingsromans Dickens wrote, and one of his best social commentaries.

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  • Posted August 18, 2011

    Gtiujw Syy

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    GREAT

    This book is very good! My dad downloaded it for me and I have loved it!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 19, 2011

    Excellent - Belongs on Everyone's Nookshelf

    These are two of the best novels written in the English language. Oprah was right ... these are excellent books to get.

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

    Posted February 27, 2011

    Great combination

    A tale of two cities and Great expectations are my Dickens favourites. I was glad to find the two together in this volume and for a very reasonable price too. It's also well organized with a very useful table of contents.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 15, 2011

    Re: Project Guttenberg

    Real readers like the feel and smell of holding and reading a book, not the electronic stuff. I'll go with my copy, thanks.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2011

    Problems?????

    This is a book that we are mandated to read in one of our classes, so I purchased the nookbook version. As I tried to begin to read, I realized that no words had downloaded. Help!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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