"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."-p.3, A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens
As the first paragraph of the novel, it paints a picture of a time period of contradictions and extremes.
The first fifteen pages of the novel cover the back round of what is happening in the world in 1775. France is starting its revolution and England is having trouble with its religious policies.
In November of 1775, a mail coach travels from London to Dover. the travel is tough and the men in the coach are forced to walk along side in order to continue on. A messenger arrives and tells Mr. Jarvis Lorry to go to the Royal George Hotel in Dover. Lorry replies that he is "Recalled to life."
During the rest of the journey, Lorry falls asleep and dreams of a scene over and over again. The scene is of a ghost and Lorry in a grave yard talking about a body that they just dug up out if its grave.