Tuesday, April 30, 2013

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

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On today’s date in 1859, Charles Dickens published the first serial issue of what would become one of his most popular novels, A Tale of Two Cities.

Here’s that remarkable opening paragraph, which surely is the best-ever opening to any novel in the English language:

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. ―Charles Dickens (1812-1870), A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
If you haven't read it...why not?

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