A Tale of Two Cities


A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, published in 1859 has sold over 200 million copies, making it one of the most recognized novels in history. The story about the French Revolution opens with the famous line: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." and tells about the contrasts of 1775 London and Paris, the French noble and peasant classes, and the bloody conflict that ultimately arises. The paths of Lucie Manette and her imprisoned father, Dr. Alexandre Manette, cross the likes of the spoiled alcoholic Sydney Carton, Charles Darnay (a French noble of the infamous Evrémonde family), and the vengeful revolutionary Madame Defarge. Dickens weaves a tale of real people being transformed for better and worse by the horrendous times and events that ensnare them.

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Readability Method Rating
Fry Estimate
Flesh Reading Ease
Composite Grade Level
Open LORE Reading Level
73 (fairly easy)