Tale of Two Cities
Having secured its place in history as one of the best-selling novels of all time, A Tale of Two Cities remains at the very center of important Victorian Era Literature. It follows the story of a French Doctor who has just been released from an 18-year-long imprisonment in the Bastille. Doctor Manette flees Paris to join the daughter he’s never met now living in London. Struggling to survive during the French Revolution and what became known as the Reign of Terror, Doctor Manette does all he can to avoid the guillotine while finding himself enmeshed in the dramas that have ensued around his daughter, Lucy Manette. The novel portrays what life was like before and during France and London’s most trying political times. Charles Dickens writes profoundly on the struggle of the French peasantry, recounting their strife and fight against the aristocracy and the looming and ever potent wealth of the upper class. Paralleling the angst and animosity happening in London at the same time, Dickens illustrates the challenging circumstances facing both countries, weaving together a narrative that has inspired, petrified, and brought solace to readers over the course of the book’s history. With the undercurrent of political transformation, A Tale of Two Cities creates hope and the possibility of a new life in a time where such wishes were simply unimaginable.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) has been remembered in history as one of the greatest authors of the Victorian era. Not only having received tremendous success while he was alive, Charles Dickens' work continues to be read as voraciously as when it was first published. Because of his tremendous popularity, Charles Dickens has secured himself the position of not only being one of the greatest writers of his generation, but one of the most celebrated writers of all time. In addition to his writing, Charles Dickens was a prominent activist, dedicating much of his life to fighting for better social conditions for the poor as well as powerfully advocating for better laws to protect the rights of children. When a piece of literature refers to either unfair working and living conditions, or else portrays the state of a morally corrupt social class, the writing is thus referred to as "Dickensian." Much of literary traditions thus owe their inspiration from the writing of Charles Dickens.