A Tale of Two Cities was first published as a serial in Charles Dickens’s new weekly periodical All the Year Round, from April to November 1859 in 45 chapters, which appeared over 31 weekly instalments. The 45 chapters of the novel were subdivided into three ‘books’, representing different parts of the story. Book 1 (titled Recalled to Life) contains the first 6 chapters. Book 2 (The Golden Thread) contains the next 24, and Book 3 (The Track of a Storm) contained the final 15 chapters.
You can read all of the Charles Dickens novel A Tale of Two Cities at The Circumlocution Office. Use the chapter links below to access a particular chapter. We have included some prominent quotations from the novel here.
Book 1 Chapter List.
CHAPTER 1. The Period.
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.A Tale of Two Cities (Book 1, Chapter 1).
CHAPTER 2. The Mail.
Keep where you are, because, if I should make a mistake, it could never be set right in your lifetime.A Tale of Two Cities (Book 1, Chapter 2).
CHAPTER 3. The Night Shadows.
A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.A Tale of Two Cities (Book 1, Chapter 3).
CHAPTER 4. The Preparation.
A matter of business. Regard it as a matter of business — business that must be done.A Tale of Two Cities (Book 1, Chapter 4).
CHAPTER 5. The Wine-shop.
CHAPTER 6. The Shoemaker.