I recently read A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. Previously, I had no idea what a recognized author Dickens was. Of course all I new of him was A Christmas Carol. I admit I am not all that informed which is why I am periodically trying to read some classic works. I want to be more informed. And it makes me feel smarter. Who doesn’t like adding to a conversation, “Oh, why yes. That reminds me of something I just read in Dickens work A Tale of Two Cities…”? The good thing about the version I read is that it had all kinds of background in the beginning for common folk like me.

It is a love story set in the sister cities of London and Paris set during the French Revolution. What’s extraordinary about the story is that I never realized how awful the revolution was. Sure it was great for the ruling aristocracy to lose it’s total unfair dominance and for democracy to take it’s place. But at what cost? Every rich person/aristocrat, any of their relatives, and anyone who was even considered remotely friendly with them was put to death. It is estimated that the death toll was over 1,000,000 for the entire revolution. It does seem a strange way to bring freedom and liberty: to kill so much and so many with so little evidence.

Anyway, it was a good read. I had hard time with the language since it was written a couple hundred years ago. It’s written in old English. So when I can sift through the words and
phrases and understand the story and characters, it’s a great book.

For example, it kept using the word ejaculate.
Obviously, in todays language it means something totally different. And
it took me a while to get it. In the context of the book, it was used
to describe how someone spoke (suddenly and forcefully). But I kept
getting hung-up on the word because of how I understood it today.

I liked it and am glad I read it. In the end love won. And even though it is a work of fiction, it was very informative to see what the affects of the French Revolution were like.