Friday, May 27, 2011

A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

First Line:  It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Last Line:  "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."


  1. It's been my forever favorite opening lines. Maybe because it speaks at cross purposes and sets the scene for the epic to come. Have not been able to get it out of my mind for more than 25 years now. Sometimes I feel that the rest of the book pales in comparison to the opening lines...

    1. i read the first few lines of your comment and i isntantly related as I am 32 and read this first when i was just over 10 and i could never get it out of mind, both the opening and closing lines....but i am disappointed that you felt the rest of the books paled in comparison...i know its a matter of invidual choice, but still felt to write this, nothing personal....the novel has 2 major at the macro level about the time when the story is being told and its various incidences...thats why the opening lines...and other at more individual level with the protagonist, his past life and his current feelings and hence the closing between dickens has woven an intricate story which after initial few chapters keeps you hooked and you feel a part of the lives of the characters, a part of the story...and then when the eventuality comes...ur heart breaks and then after you are done, you realize, hell this is love, the real meaning of wish good for those you love, to sacrifice for their all made sense to me...dont even remember how many times i read it...also recommend you to watch the movie with the same title made in 1935 featuring Roland Colman

  2. It has always fascinated me that the author who produced these marvelous lines, also created one of the most cumbersome, run-on, awkward opening paragraphs in Literature. (See the opening lines of Oliver Twist).

  3. These lines encompass so much about life and the ups and downs from life experiences. A Tale of Two Cities has become one of my favorites novels to teach and/or to leisurely read.

  4. What, this wasn't from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan?!? ;-D

  5. Hello! Let me first state the fact that you actually have created a cool domain. In addition to that I would like to ask you a question that is so curious for me. Do you plan to write professionally or owning a blog is basically just a kind of hobby?

  6. One of the best meanings/definitions of life (and death) in western literature, phrasing in popular culture ever. A mouthful to be sure, but life and death, should it not be?