"A Tale of Two Cities", published originally in 1859, remains one of Charles Dickens's consistently popular works, admired as much for its succinct plot as for its vivid setting in the French Revolution. Dickens himself thought it the best story he had ever written. This Companion, by concentrating on the factual, reveals the great care Dickens took with the planning and preparation of his story and its roots in the work of Thomas Carlyle, one of the most influential thinkers of the Victorian age. It also explores aspects of Dickens's life. The Companion identifies the multitude of allusions to what Dickens often regarded as the whims of eighteenth-century justice, religion, philosophy, fashion and society. The Companion to "A Tale of Two Cities" provides the modern reader with both fundamental sources of information and a fascintating account of the creation of a complex historical novel. It can be read alongside any edition of the novel.