Monday, January 19, 2015

The Classics - Opening Lines: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens"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."     Published 1859

I love the classics and plan to share some "opening lines" over the coming months. Comment if you like, or read for inspiration. Writing styles were different then, but were they really?


  1. I have to say this is one of my favourite opening lines if not my favourite of all. It is such a great novel

  2. I love the ending of this book just as much. Thanks, Birgit.

  3. I don't remember the opening sentence being so long! By today's standards, it reads like the author is a real blowhard, a long-winded political orator. But it's a wonderful book!

  4. does sound long-winded, and you have to wonder if it would make it out of the 'editor's gate' today, but even so, isn't it wonderful? I love the contrasting phrases. There's probably a grammatical term for that but can't think of it right now. Thanks, Cathy!

  5. This is gold, but I have a bit of a love hate relationship with Dickens.

  6. Definitely gold. Curious how Dickens is a love-hate relationship. Must be that excessive wordiness vs. 'keep everything concise' today, huh. I think only a few authors can get away with this style. Dickens did it so well. Thanks for commenting, David.


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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.