First Line Friday: A Tale of Two Cities

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.

Folks, that is ONE sentence AND the opening paragraph of A Tale of Two Cities. Dickens needs to be classified as the 8th Wonder of the World as far as I’m concerned!

58 thoughts on “First Line Friday: A Tale of Two Cities

  1. He kind of ruins it by trying to write a whole book after that, surely he should just have called it a day after that great start?

    Liked by 4 people

  2. piotrek says:

    Definitely, one of the best openings ever!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BrokenTune says:

    This is a Dicken that I have not yet read and it is pretty much the only one that tempts me. And I’m not even put off by the opening sentence. It’s wonderful. I hope it continues this way for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I feel there should have been a full stop (period) after ‘despair’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. S.D. McKinley says:

    I think he probably wrote that terrible song by Future called *Ef* up some commas. 😂 Don’t bother looking it up ( I know you are tempted ). It’s eccentric, to say the least.

    Is it really a legit sentence? I mean, I know he is like mad stars, but seems like if you put periods in most of the spots he put commas it would make legit sentences by themselves. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Dickens is known for his run-on sentences. This is pretty tame by comparison. He was paid by the word, so he’s obviously wordy, but I’m not sure of the “why” for his run-on sentences. I wonder if he was limited in some way to X number of sentences per submission but was paid by the word and so found this loophole?
      Either way, it makes for some VERY convoluted yet interesting reading 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hey … sorry I have to ask this here, but … did you ever find a way to stop the 100s of Spanish language spam comments? I searched “Spanish comments” and found your old post saying that you were having them, but I seem to remember you know some clever moves to get around WordPress related problems …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Not a problem. I regularly make non-post related comments on others, so always feel free yourself.

      to get them to go straight into the trash, instead of plugging up your spam and hence hiding that one actual comment that akismet, in it’s infinite stupidity decides is spam, you have to do the following:
      copy the phrase from one of them in your spam folder.
      go to my sites – settings
      click on the Discussion tab on the right
      all the way on the bottom is a the Disallowed Comments box. Copy that execrable phrase into that box.
      Scroll up and click “save settings” and voila, any comment with that phrase in it will go straight to trash.

      Hope that helps.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I believe this is both the most famous Dickens incipit and quote – it was even used in one of the Trek movies, although I wonder if that would have made Mr. Dickens turn in his grave… 😀
    The cover with that guillotine over the red sky is very dramatic!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I read this one during the summer for the first time and it’s now one of my favorite novels. Sidney Carton is one of the best examples of Christian forgiveness and sacrifice in literature.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When it begins this strong… And your name is Charles Dickens… It can only end just as strong!

    Liked by 1 person

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