A Tale of Two Cities was written by Charles Dickens and first published in 1859. As per its title, A Tale of Two Cities is set in the two cities of London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. One of the top classic books, it details the plight of the French peasantry under the demoralization of the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and a number of unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same time period. A Tale of Two Cities tracks the lives of several lead characters during this period, including Charles Darnay, a former French aristocrat who falls victim to the wrath of the revolution despite his virtuous nature, and Sydney Carton, a British barrister who attempts to redeem his ill-spent life out of love for Darnay's wife, Lucie Manette. A Tale of Two Cities is truly a classic - one of the most famous works of fiction ever printed.