“ 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. ”
—The opening paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities
Published July 6, 2011: "A Tale of Two Cities", by Charles Dickens, in eBook format: ISBN: 978-09802432-8-4, originally published in 1859, this novel is set in London and Paris, before and during the French Revolution. It ranks among the most famous works in the history of fictional literature, well over 200 million copies have been sold.
The story takes the reader deep into the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the period leading up to the French Revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats early on in the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London in the same period. The lives of several protagonists are traced through these events. Most notable are Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton. Darnay is a French once-aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Carton is a dissipated British barrister who endeavours to redeem his ill-spent life out of his unrequited love for Darnay's wife, Lucie Manette.
The 45-chapter novel was published in 31 weekly installments in Dickens' new literary periodical titled "All the Year Round". In April 1859 through November 1859, Dickens also republished the chapters as eight monthly sections in green covers. Dickens' previous novels had appeared only as monthly installments. The first weekly installment of A Tale of Two Cities ran in the first issue of All the Year Round on April 30, 1859. The last ran thirty weeks later, on November 26th.
Oliver Twist is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, published by Richard Bentley in 1838. The story is about an orphan Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin, naively unaware of their unlawful activities.
Great Expectations is a novel by Charles Dickens. It was first published in serial form in the publication All the Year Round from 1 December 1860 to August 1861. It has been adapted for stage and screen over 250 times. Great Expectations is written in the first person from the point of view of the orphan Pip. The novel, like much of Dickens's work, draws on his experiences of life and people.
Charles Dickens, perhaps the best British novelist of the Victorian era, was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, England in 1812. His happy early childhood was interrupted when his father was sent to debtors' prison and by then going to work in a factory at age twelve. Later, he took jobs as an office boy and journalist before publishing essays and stories in the 1830s. His first novel, The "Pickwick Papers", made him a famous and popular author at the age of twenty-five. Subsequent works were published serially in periodicals and cemented his reputation as a master of colorful characterization, and as a harsh critic of social evils and corrupt institutions. His many books include "Oliver Twist", "David Copperfield", "Bleak House", "Great Expectations", "A Christmas Carol", and "A Tale of Two Cities". Dickens married Catherine Hogarth in 1836, and the couple had nine children before separating in 1858 when he began a long affair with Ellen Ternan, a young actress. Despite the scandal, Dickens remained a public figure, appearing often to read his fiction. He died in 1870, leaving his final novel, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood", unfinished.