A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Why did Charles Dickens write A Tale of Two Cities?

Expert Answers info

Keven Hettinger eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write40 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

In addition to the thematic reasons mentioned by other educators, Dickens also wrote A Tale of Two Cities to launch his weekly journal: All the Year Round. The novel was initially published in serial installments, which was the most common way that readers discovered long-form fiction in the nineteenth-century. He had recently left the Household Weekly journal that he had been publishing with for over two decades and wanted to use the journal and A Tale of Two Cities as a fresh start.

The timing of the publication for A Tale of Two Cities was also meant to distract the public from Dickens's personal life. He had recently separated from his wife Sarah for his mistress, and A Tale of Two Cities was popular enough at its release that it kept gossip from affecting his career.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write9,656 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Previously, Dickens had written eloquently of the wretched condition of the poor and downtrodden in contemporary England. In writing A Tale of Two Cities , he sought to universalize the experience of those on the lowest rungs of...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 613 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial