Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities - An Oprah Book Club pick!
A Tale of Two Cities, in Dickens' own words, is "[T]he best story I have written" and is undoubtedly one of his most moving, exciting and memorable works. It builds with slow burning intensity, introducing us to the richly imagined characters who are to shape, and be shaped, by events far bigger, and with a greater sense of history, then they could ever imagine.
Romance and rivalries blossom amid the conflict, and yet the fragility of human life and hopes is made all too clear. Step into this richly woven and moving tale, as you star as the leading characters that are at the heart of the novel.
Set during the French Revolution, Mr. Jarvis Lorry, an official of Tellson's Bank in London, accompanies Lucie Manette to Paris. He has information that her father, Dr. Alexandre Manette, who had disappeared eighteen years ago, is alive. Both Mr. Lorry and Lucie are shocked to see the terrible state Doctor Manette is in and they take him back to London where, with love and compassion, Lucie nurses her father back to health and sanity.
Five years later, a young Frenchman called Charles Darnay is accused of being a traitor and a spy. Lucie & her father give evidence at the trial as they had met him while travelling from Calais to Dover. However he is found guilty until Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer proves a case of mistaken identity and Darnay is acquitted.
Years pass, and the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, who wastes his life away drinking and being idle, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.
Book in Detail
Characters to Personalise
Charles Darnay - A French aristocrat by birth, Darnay chooses to live in England because he cannot bear to be associated with the cruel injustices of the French social system. He works as a tutor and eventually marries Lucie Manette. He is put on trial during the Revolution for the crimes of his family.
Sydney Carton - A lawyer who looks like Charles Darnay and who lives in a fog of apathy and alcohol. His love for Lucie Manette motivates him to sacrifice his life to save the life of her husband.
Doctor Manette - A doctor from Beauvais, France, who was secretly imprisoned in the Bastille for 18 years and suffers some mental trauma from the experience. After being released, he is nursed back to health by his daughter, Lucie, in England. During the Revolution, he tries to save his son-in-law, Charles Darnay, from the guillotine.
Lucie Manette - A beautiful young woman recognised for her kindness and compassion. After being reunited with her father, she cares for him and remains devoted to him, even after her marriage to Charles Darnay.
Jarvis Lorry - An elderly manager at Tellson's Bank and a dear friend of Dr. Manette and Lucie.
Miss Pross - The servant who raised Lucie, Miss Pross is brusque, tough, and fiercely loyal to her mistress and England.
Solomon Pross - A police spy in England who becomes a spy in revolutionary France. Recognized as Miss Pross' brother, he is forced to help Carton save Darnay.
Jerry Cruncher - An odd-job man for Tellson’s Bank, Cruncher is gruff, short-tempered, superstitious, and uneducated. He supplements his income by working as a “Resurrection-Man,” one who digs up dead bodies and sells them to scientists.