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Charles John Huffam Dickens, 7 February 1812 – 9 June 1870), pen-name “Boz”, was the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era, as well as a vigorous social campaigner.

The popularity of Dickens’s novels and short stories has meant that they have never gone out of print.Many of Dickens’s novels first appeared in periodicals and magazines in serialized form-a popular format for fiction at the time-and, unlike many other authors who completed entire novels before serial production commenced, Dickens often composed his works in parts, in the order in which they were meant to appear. Such a practice lent his stories a particular rhythm, punctuated by one minor “cliffhanger” after another, to keep the public looking forward to the next installment.

A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is the second historical novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. It depicts the plight of the French proletariat under the brutal oppression of the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, and the corresponding savage brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution. It follows the lives of several protagonists through these events, most notably Charles Darnay, a French once-aristocrat who falls victim to the indiscriminate wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Sydney Carton, a dissipated English barrister who endeavours to redeem his ill-spent life out of love for Darnay’s wife, Lucie Manette. The novel was published in weekly installments (not monthly, as with most of his other novels). The first installment ran in the first issue of Dickens’ literary periodical All the Year Round appearing April 30, 1859; the thirty-first and final ran on November 26 of the same year.

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