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Course Hero. "A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide." Course Hero. 15 Sep. 2016. Web. 14 Dec. 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, September 15). A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved December 14, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities/

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Course Hero. "A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide." September 15, 2016. Accessed December 14, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities/.

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Course Hero, "A Tale of Two Cities Study Guide," September 15, 2016, accessed December 14, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/A-Tale-of-Two-Cities/.

Charles Dickens | Biography

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Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England, to a naval clerk and a would-be teacher. His father was sent to debtor's prison in London when Dickens was just 12. Dickens's mother and siblings went to live with his father in prison, but Dickens had to leave school and go to work at a boot-blacking factory. The despair of the lower working class and the abandonment of children by their parents—often into early jobs at dangerous factories—appear as themes in A Tale of Two Cities, reflected in Dr. Manette's time in prison, Lucie's humble beginnings, and the suffering of many of the poorer characters. Dickens reflected on these themes in many of his other works as well.

As an adult, Dickens worked as a newspaper reporter and editor, but his primary career was as a novelist. Most of his novels were published in monthly installments in magazines, and only later appeared as books. Dickens was one of the first authors to subsequently publish his serialized novels as complete books.

Dickens also acted, directed, and wrote plays. One of these was The Frozen Deep, written by Dickens's friend, the novelist Wilkie Collins. The play speculated on the fate of an 1845 expedition that had disappeared while searching for the Northwest Passage. Dickens played the main character in an 1857 production. Acting in it served as an inspiration, in many ways, for the plot and characters in A Tale of Two Cities. For instance, the self-sacrifice of the play's main character, Richard Wardour is mirrored in the actions of Sydney Carton in Dickens's novel. Moreover, Lucie Manette is believed to be modeled on Ellen Ternan, another actor in the cast. Dickens left his wife, Catherine Hogarth, for a relationship with Ternan that lasted until his death from a stroke at age 58 on June 9, 1870. He is buried in Westminster Abbey, where people still visit his grave to pay homage to one of the greatest novelists of all time.

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