A Tale of Two Cities is an 1859 novel by Charles Dickens, his second on a historical subject, after Barnaby Rudge. Its famous opening lines encapsulate the Nineteenth Century's ambiguous view of the French Revolution.
It is Dickens most substantial fictional excursion beyond England, and critics have been divided over his ability to deliver on his title's promise in portraying Paris as well as London. G.K. Chesterton argued that Dickens was a less natural European than Robert Carlyle, whose history informed his treatment of the revolution, but had more empathy for the revolutionaries.
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