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A Tale of Two Cities.

With illustrations by H. K. Browne.

Stock Code 107781

London, Chapman & Hall, 1859

Original price $4,873.00 - Original price $4,873.00
Original price $0.00
$4,873.00
$4,873.00 - $4,873.00
Current price $4,873.00
A first issue with p. 213 mispaginated as 113 and signature 'b' on 'List of Plates' leaf and 'affetcionately on p. 134, line 12

With one of the most famous opening sentences in history, A Tale of Two Cities ranks among the novelist's finest, anatomising the conflict between democratic and aristocratic principles during the French revolution.

An 'intensely cold mist' covers the land 'like an evil spirit'. After 18 years as a political prisoner, Doctor Manette is released and reunited with his daughter, the beguiling Lucie, who captivates the affections of two suitors, an aristocratic Frenchman named Darnay and the English lawyer, Carton. This tale of two cities (London and Paris) is also a tale of three lovers, with a plot-twist of self-sacrifice inspired by Wilkie Collins' play The Frozen Deep, in which Dickens acted.

Epic in historical scale, it is also an intimate book, showing how the personal and political intermingle and what the causes and effects of violence are, including the struggle to retain one's sanity under systemic abuse. Dickens focuses throughout on two sets of relationships: between father and daughter, and between subject and state. Those facing the guillotine do not hope to gain the "pity of the people", but it is a measure of Dickens's skill that he makes us feel sympathy towards them.

First edition, first issue; 8vo (220 x 150 mm); 16 engraved plates (including additional title and frontispiece) by Hablot K. Browne, very occasional light spotting to plates but in the main, unusually clean and bright; near-contemporary half-calf over marbled boards, matching endpapers and edges, worn and rubbed at extremities but sound; otherwise a very good copy indeed.

Eckel, pp.86-90; Smith I, pp. 96-98.
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A Tale of Two Cities.

DICKENS, Charles.

Stock code: 107781

$4,873.00

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