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As the the bicentennary of the French Revolution draws near, Dickens' historical novel serves as a timely reminder of nineteenth-century reactions to that great upheaval. Set between 1757 and 1793, A Tale of Two Cities views the causes and effects of the Revolution from an essentially private point of view, showing how private experience relates to public history. Dickens' characters are fictional, and their political activity is minimal, yet all are drawn towards the Paris of the Terror, and all become caught up in its web of human suffering and human sacrifice. This edition includes extensive explanatory notes giving crucial background information about the Revolution and Dickens' sources. `the best story I have written' Charles Dickens -

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