“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”
In 1859, with A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens (1812-70) created his second historical novel, the plot being set at the time of the French Revolution, in Paris and London, the “Two Cities” mentioned in the title. Torn between his sympathy for the victims of oppression and his horror at the violence of the mob, Dickens intertwined public events and private tragedies, personal revenge and selfless sacrifice, fierce hatred and impossible love. In this novel published immediately before Great Expectations, the master-writer created a particularly elaborate language to serve a brilliant narration.
This volume is primarily meant for the students preparing the Agrégation competitive exam, but it may also be useful to all the readers who are interested in British literature.
I) « Cities »
a) London and Paris
II) « Of Two »
a) Redemption and retribution
III) « A Tale »
a) Fiction and non-fiction
b) Dickensian rhetoric
Conclusion : Remembering, dismembering
Autour de l'auteur
Laurent Bury, former pupil of the École normale supérieure (Ulm), Professor of Victorian literature at the University Lumière – Lyon 2, is the president of the French Society for Victorian and Edwardian Studies. He is the author of many articles on Victorian writers and artists.