A Tale of Two Cities Reading Questions
1. A Tale of Two Cities opens with "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." one of the best-known passages in English literature. What does Dickens mean by setting the stage with such polarities? For whom was it the best and the worst of times? Dickens wrote A Tale of Two Cities in the late 1850s. Why does this passage continue to be quoted today? In what ways does our own present period merit such an assessment?

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Penguin Books and Penguin Classics wish to thank and credit the following writers and books for information used in creating this Reading Group Guide:

Janice Carlisle (editor), Charles Dickens, Great Expectations: Case Studies in Contemporary Criticism, New York, Bedford Books of St. Martin's Press, 1996

Edmond Jabes, The Book of Questions (Volume 1), Middletown, CT., Wesleyan University Press, 1976

Fred Kaplan, Dickens: A Biography, New York, William Morrow & Co., Inc., 1988

Norman Page, A Dickens Chronology, Boston, MA., G.K. Hall & Co., 1988

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