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Serial Reading: A Tale of Two Cities

on National Programme Daventry

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by Charles Dickens
Read by V.C. Clinton-Baddeley
'A Tale of Two Cities', written by Dickens in 1859 as a serial for his own journal All the Year Round, was the only one of his novels to be conceived exclusively in terms of action. It is, so to speak, the most 'modern' of all his books, the plot arising directly and naturally from the continual interplay of character and circumstance. The French Revolution provides the circumstance; and in his vivid pictures of that violent upheaval Dickens ranks second only to Carlyle (who, incidentally, lent Dickens a whole cart-load of books on the subject). The story is the story of the effect of the maelstrom on a little group of people whose destinies are strangely and tragically linked by it - Dr. Manette and his daughter; Charles Darnay, the French aristocrat; Mr. Lorry, the lawyer; Defarge, the revolutionary zealot; the violent Madame Defarge; the faithful Miss Pross; and the heroic wastrel Sidney Carton - and it is one of the triumphs of a great book that the fortunes and the development of these fictitious characters remain throughout far more important and exciting than the Revolution itself.


Charles Dickens
V.C. Clinton-Baddeley

National Programme Daventry

About National Programme

National Programme is a radio channel that started transmitting on the 9th March 1930 and ended on the 9th September 1939. It was replaced by BBC Home Service.

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