Spring 2022: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

April 24, May 22, and June 26 at 1:00-3:00 PM (PDT) | Virtual Event

A Tale of Two Cities is a historical novel set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. It is the story of the French Doctor Manette, his 18-year-long imprisonment in the Bastille in Paris, and his release to live in London with his daughter Lucie whom he had never met. The story details the conditions that led to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror.

Its central themes–cultural and historical difference, the nature of political revolution and change, the identity and narration of the self, sacrifice, secrecy heroism–find expression through an often weird or gothic concern with bodies and their doubles, split identities, and the uncertain boundaries of life and death.

Join Wayne Batten and the Santa Cruz Dickens Fellowship for a series of discussions about Dickens's most enduring–and shortest!–novels.


Reading Schedule:

'A Tale of Two Cities' Reading Schedule
April 24 Book the First: Recalled to Life, Chapters 1-6 and Book the Second: The Golden Thread, Chapters 1-5 Zoom video recording button
May 22 Book the Second: The Golden Thread, Chapters 6-24 zoom-video-recording.png
June 26 Book the Third: The Track of a Storm, Chapters 1-15 zoom-video-recording.png

Supplemental Readings are available upon request. Contact Courtney at cmahaney@ucsc.edu.

Recommended Edition: We recommend the Penguin Classics edition of the novel, but other versions are fine. Download the novel to read at Gutenburg.org or to listen at LibriVox.org.

The Santa Cruz Pickwick (Book) Club, a branch of the Dickens Fellowship, is a community of local bookworms, students, and teachers who meet monthly to discuss a nineteenth-century novel. The Santa Cruz Public Libraries provide support for the reading group.