Book review: A Tale of Two Cities

Book review: A Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens (1812–1870)

It’s been so long since I read this intense love story that much of it seemed new to me when I read it again recently. That’s not bad. I am always attracted to Dickens’ dialogue. His characters feel what they say and they distinctly say what they mean. Sydney Carton, of course, is the protagonist. He does the 18th century version of singing the blues and he’s a laid back superhero. I don’t mean to disdain his performance; Carton perfects his moral life in a bravely spectacular way, and the escape of Evremonde and his family really is one of literature’s most unheralded anticlimaxes.

For my money, Miss Pross is the heroine, a classic Dickens supporting character, so haughty, so tenderly solicitous of her Miss Lucie, so contentedly secondary, with such genius of physical and moral courage. Madame Defarge never had a chance when she went up against that pride of the English nation.

A reading of Dickens is a swirl of characters you’d really like to meet.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2016 All rights reserved.

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Originally published at Richard Subber.