Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities

Chapman and Hall


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A first edition in book form of this classic story of love and the weight of family history set during the French Revolution, one of Dickens's best-known works.

  • Charles Dickens (English).
  • Illustrated by H. K. Browne.
  • London: Chapman and Hall, 1859. 
  • 254 pages.
  • Octavo.
  • Illustrated with engraved frontispiece, pictorial title page and 14 full-page plates (16 total). 
  • Bound in full 19th-century green polished calf boards with gilt thistle cornerpiece dentelles, brown spine label, skillfully rebacked, with original spine laid down, renewed endpapers, all edges gilt.

First issued in serial format like most of Dickens's novels, A Tale of Two Cities features a setting that "had been [Dickens's] historical favorite for many years." He reportedly "entered the mental and mechanical work" of writing the story "with great spirit" (Eckel, 86). Dickens began Tale shortly after starring in the Wilkie Collins play The Frozen Deep, which features the familiar theme of a love triangle in which one member sacrifices himself for the good of the remaining two. Tale has been adapted for stage, screen and radio numerous times, with the villainous Marquis St. Evremonde being played by Basil Rathbone and Christopher Lee.

Condition Report

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Very Good
Like New

Binding with light edgewear.

Corners a touch bumped.

Tiny dampstain to upper gutter of frontispiece and pictorial title page.

Leaves with scattered foxing.

Mild offsetting from plates to facing pages.

The first 30 pages standing a bit proud.


Height: 8.5 inches / 21.59 cm
Width: 5 inches / 12.7 cm


First Edition




Novels, English literature and history, Illustrated, Modern first editions, Fine bindings

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