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A Tale of Two Cities

by Charles Dickens

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Bibliography

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Beckwith, Charles E., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of “A Tale of Two Cities.” Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1972. A collection of scholarly critical essays followed by commentaries on the novel by such literary figures as George Bernard Shaw and George Orwell.

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1988. Contains a useful chronology of the French Revolution, as well as information on the history of the novel.

Glancy, Ruth. “A Tale of Two Cities”: An Annotated Bibliography. New York: Garland Publishing, 1993. An invaluable tool for both the student and the scholar. The references to the novel are arranged under the general headings of text and studies.

Glancy, Ruth. “A Tale of Two Cities”: Dickens’s Revolutionary Novel. Boston: Twayne, 1991. this in-depth study places the novel in its historical and literary context and provides a careful analysis of the plot.

Kaplan, Fred. Dickens: A Biography. New York: William Morrow, 1988. Scholarly and well-written. It is particularly valuable in addressing Dickens’ personal identification with the characters of Sydney Carton and Charles Darnay.

Nelson, Harland S. Charles Dickens. Boston: Twayne, 1981. An excellent introduction to Dickens’ life and works.

For Further Reference

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Altick, Richard D. Victorian People and Ideas: A Companion for the Modern Reader of Victorian Literature. New York: Norton, 1973. Extremely useful for background on Dickens's times.

Beckwith, Charles E., ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of "A Tale of Two Cities". Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1972. Includes a number of useful critical studies of A Tale of Two Cities.

Davis, Earl. "Recalled to Life." In The Flint and the Flame: The Artistry of Charles Dickens. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1963. A useful discussion of the resurrection theme.

Johnson, Edgar. Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph, 2 vols. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1952. This Book-of-the-Month Club selection has become a standard biography. It includes good critical chapters on all the novels, including A Tale of Two Cities.

Miller, J. Hillis. Charles Dickens: The World of His Novels. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1958. A standard book on Dickens's novels. Includes a short but insightful discussion of A Tale of Two Cities.

Orwell, George. "Charles Dickens." In Dickens, Dali, and Others: Studies in Popular Culture. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovitch, 1946. A classic study of Dickens's novels.

Wilson, Edmund. "Dickens: The Two Scrooges." In The Wound and the Bow. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1941. An important discussion of Dickens's life as it relates to his novels.

Bibliography and Further Reading

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Sources

Quotations from the text are based on the following edition:

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. New York: Signet Classic/Penguin Books USA, 1980.

Ackroyd, Peter. Introduction to Dickens. London: Sinclair Stevenson, 1991.

Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities. New York: Amsco School Publications, 1971.

Frank, Lawrence. Charles Dickens and the Romantic Self. University of Nebraska Press, 1974.

Glancy, Ruth F. "A Tale of Two Cities": Dickens's Revolutionary Novel. Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1991.

Herst, Beth F. The Dickens Hero: Selfhood and Alienation in the Dickens World. New York: St. Martin's, 1990.

Hobsbaum, Philip. A Reader's Guide to Charles Dickens. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1973.

Houston, Gail Turley. Consuming Fictions: Gender, Class and Hunger in Dickens's Novels. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994.

Jordan, John O., ed. The Cambridge Companion to "A Tale of Two Cities." Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Marlow, James E. Charles Dickens: The Uses of Time. Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press, 1994.

Newlin, George. Understanding "A Tale of Two Cities": A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources and Historical Documents. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1998.

Newsom, Robert. Charles Dickens Revisited. New York: Twayne, 2000.

Page, Norman. "Introduction." In A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens edited by Norman Page. Rutland: Charles E. Turtle Co., Inc., 1994, pp. xxiii-xxxii.

Rem, Tore. Dickens, Melodrama and the Parodic Imagination. New York: AMS Press, 2002.

Sanders, Andrew. The Companion to "A Tale of Two Cities." London: Unwin Hyman, 1988.

———. Dickens and the Spirit of the Age. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1999.

———. Charles Dickens. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Schlicke, Paul, ed. Oxford Companion to Charles Dickens. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Stephen, Sir James Fitzjames. A Tale of Two Cities. In Saturday Review, December 17, 1859, pp. 741-43; reprinted in The Dickens Critics, edited by George H. Ford and Lauriat Lane, Jr. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1961, pp. 38-46.

Further Reading

Baldridge, Cates. "Alternatives to Bourgeois Individualism in A Tale of Two Cities." In Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900. Vol. 30, Autumn, 1990, pp. 633-54. A Marxist reading which sees the book as sympathetic to the collectivist ideology of the Revolution.

Carlyle, Thomas. The French Revolution: A History, 2 volumes. Boston: Little, Brown, 1838. This work by the famous Victorian author and critic is traditionally credited with providing the inspiration for Dickens's scenes of Revolutionary life in France during the period covered in A Tale of Two Cities.

Dickens Studies Annual, Vol. 12. Southern Illinois University Press, 1983. A collection of essays ranging across an array of topics about the novel.

Drinkwater, John. "The Grand Manner: Thoughts upon A Tale of Two Cities." In Essays of the Year. London: Argonaut, 1929-1930, pp 3-14. In this essay, Drinkwater examines the manner in whichA Tale of Two Cities reveals Dickens's creative talent.

Fielding, K. J. "Separation—and A Tale of Two Cities." In Charles Dickens: A Critical Introduction. London: Longmans, Green, 1958, pp. 154-68. A biographical essay that examines the similarities between Dickens's own failing marriage and the separation and loneliness of Dr. Manette.

Frank, Lawrence. Charles Dickens and the Romantic Self. University of Nebraska Press, 1974. Sees Darnay, not Carton, as the novel's focus and relates the character to Dickens's life.

———. "Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities: The Poetics of Impasse." In American Imago, Volume 36 (1979), pp. 215-44; reprinted under title "The Poetics of Impasse," in Charles Dickens and the Romantic Self by Lawrence Frank. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1984, pp 124-50. Frank looks at the characters of Sidney Carton and Charles Darnay in A Tale of Two Cities psychoanalytically, seeing Carton as Darnay's doppelganger trying to bring the Frenchman to be aware of his guilty feelings toward Dr. Manette.

Friedman, Barton R. "Antihistory: Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities." In Fabricating History: English Writers on the French Revolution. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988, pp. 145-71. Friedman provides a useful guide to further criticism of Dickens's novel and draws parallels between the work and the genre of the Gothic Romance.

Goldberg, Michael. Carlyle and Dickens. University of Georgia Press, 1973. Analyzes the influence of Carlyle and his The French Revolution on Dickens.

Hutter, Albert D. "Nation and Generation in A Tale of Two Cities." PMLA,Vol. 93, May, 1978, pp. 448-62. A psychological reading in which the clash of aristocrats of the ancien regime and the revolutionaries is also a clash of parents and children.

Manheim, Leonard. "A Tale of Two Characters: A Study in Multiple Projection." In Dickens Studies Annual, Vol. I, edited by Robert B. Partlow, Jr. Southern Illinois University Press, pp. 225-27. Relates Darnay and Carton biographically to Dickens, viewing them as projections of Dickens's idealized self.

Sanders, Andrew. The Companion to "A Tale of Two Cities." Unwin Hyman, Ltd., 1988. Chronologically arranged annotations to allusions in the novel likely not to be known by modern readers.

Media Adaptations

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  • Dickens made a lot of money by reading selections from his works aloud before an audience. His own version of A Tale of Two Cities, which he prepared but never actually performed, was entitled The Bastille Prisoner. A Reading. From "A Tale of Two Cities." In Three Chapters. It was published by William Clowes of London, probably in the early 1860s. The text of The Bastille Prisoner can also be found in Charles Dickens: The Public Readings, published in Oxford by the Clarendon Press, 1975.
  • The 1935 MGM film A Tale of Two Cities, featuring Ronald Colman as Sydney Carton, Basil Rathbone as the Marquis St. Evremonde, and Elizabeth Allan as Lucie, received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture and Best Editing. It is still regarded as the best film version of Dickens's novel.
  • Burbank Films animated A Tale of Two Cities and released it in 1984. The film is available on videocassette.
  • PBS television's Masterpiece Theatre produced A Tale of Two Cities in 1991. It featured James Wilby, Serena Gordon, and John Mills in leading roles, and it is available on videocassette.
  • A Tale of Two Cities was recorded as a radio play by BBC Radio 4, featuring Charles Dance as Carton, John Duttine as Darnay, Maurice Denham as Dr. Manette, and Charlotte Attenborough as Lucie. It was released in the United States in 1989 by Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio, 1989.

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