A Tale of Two Cities (1859), Dickens? greatest historical novel, traces the private lives of a group of people caught up in the cataclysm of the French Revolution and the Terror. Dickens based his historical detail on Carlyle?s great work ? The French Revolution ? and also on his own observations and investigations during numerous visits to Paris.?The best story I have written? was Dickens? own verdict on A Tale of Two Cities, and the reader is unlikely to disagree with this judgement of a story which combines historical fact with the author?s unsurpassed genius for poignant tales of human suffering, self-sacrifice, and redemption.