Event—Adult Education

A Serial Reading of Charles Dickens’s "A Tale of Two Cities"

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Love and loss, triumph and tragedy, knitting and mud—“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”

"Dr. Manette and Lucie with Charles Darnay," A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Edmund Brock, before 1938. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Class Description

Join us as we read and discuss Charles Dickens’s most experimental serial in consecutive spoiler-free sessions.

This class invites you to fully explore not only why A Tale of Two Cities has been called “a distinctively Victorian fantasy of the French Revolution,” but also learn about its reception, critical interpretations, narrative styles, social criticism, and psychological insights. Our sessions will feature close reading, historical and biographical references, relevant art works, scenes from film adaptations, and lively discussion. 

Steven J. Venturino, PhD, the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Literary Theory and Criticism, has led classes at the Newberry since 2015 and is a former Adjunct Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago.

Materials List

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  • Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities. Penguin, 2003. ISBN: 978-0141439600

First Reading

  • For the first session, please read only chapters 1-3. Please do not read the book’s introduction or preface.

Cost and Registration

This class is full, but you can still register for the waitlist on Learning Stream.

5 sessions, $255 ($229 for Newberry members, seniors, and students). Learn about becoming a member

We now offer our classes at three different price options: Regular ($255), Community Supported ($240), and Sponsor ($270). Following the models of other institutions, we want to ensure that our classes are accessible to a wider audience while continuing to support our instructors. You may choose the price that best fits your situation when registering through Learning Stream.

To register multiple people for this class, please go through the course calendar in Learning Stream, our registration platform. When you select the course and register, you’ll be prompted to add another registrant.

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Call us at (312) 255-3700 or send us an email at adulteducation@newberry.org.

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