Monday, July 16, 2007
A Tale of Two Cities
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, ...
"A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens
"A Tale of Two Cities" is set against the French Revolution. French doctor Manette has just been released from the Bastille after 18 years imprisonment. He is reunited with his daughter Lucie who has believed him to be dead. The two of them leave the stirring unrest of France and move to England.
Five years later Lucie marries Charles Darnay. Unbeknownst to her, he was a French aristocrat who relinquished all claim to his family and country. Many years later Charles learns there is a man in prison in France who needs his help. He returns to France and winds up in prison.
"A Tale of Two Cities" is a very vivid portrayal of the period. Dickens gives a powerful depiction of the fear, guilt and malevolence of the era. He doesn't report details of "The Terror" in textbook fashion. You get the feel of the era strictly from the emotions of the people witnessing it.