A Tale of Two Cities

Tale of two cities

How does the author provide information or details to make the story seem realistic?

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A Tale of two Cities is in part a historical novel, which sets it apart from Dickens's other work. Although Barnaby Rudge deals with the Gordon Riots in England, it discusses them only peripherally. In this storyDickens narrates aspects of a major historical event, the French Revolution. Because Dickens focuses on the effect of political upheaval more than on character development and, with A Tale of two Cities, feels atypical among readers who know his other novels, and critics continue to debate its relative place in the English literary canon.

The French Revolution, which raged from 1789 to 1793, involved an overthrow of the aristocratic ruling order by the lower classes and was followed by a period of terror. The guillotine was used as a great equalizer, in that everyone from Queen Marie Antoinette to lowly peasants were beheaded by it. The Revolution at first garnered some support among radicals in England, creating a backlash among Conservatives, most notable in Edmund Burke's scathing Reflections on the Revolution in France. As the bloodshed became prolonged, support for the revolution waned in England, and a comparable social movement never started there.