A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. With 200 million copies sold, it is the most printed original English book, and among the most famous works of fiction.
It depicts the plight of the French peasantry under the demoralization of the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and a number of unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period. It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events, most notably Charles Darnay, a French once-aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Sydney Carton, a dissipated British barrister who endeavours to redeem his ill-spent life out of love for Darnay's wife, Lucie Manette.
The novel was published in weekly installments (not monthly, as with most of his other novels). The first installment ran in the first issue of Dickens' literary periodical All the Year Round appearing on 30 April 1859; the thirty-first and final ran on 25 November of the same year.
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