故事發生在法國大革命前後的倫敦與巴黎這兩個城市，法國的馬奈特醫生因目睹了某貴族的暴行，而被陷入巴士底監獄長達18年，出獄後和女兒露西定居倫 敦，並認識了卡頓、達奈這兩位長相相似的青年。兩位青年均愛上露西，而露西鍾情的達奈卻正是當年施暴的貴族後裔，他為了救人，回到法國，卻因族人的罪行而 被列入審判名單。臨刑前，卡頓潛入獄中，替代達奈受刑，以自己的死，成就了感人的愛情。
A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the French aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same period. It follows the lives of several characters through these events. A Tale of Two Cities was published in weekly installments from April 1859 to November 1859 in Dickens's new literary periodical titled All the Year Round. All but three of Dickens's previous novels had appeared only as monthly installments. With sales of about 200 million copies, A Tale of Two Cities is the biggest selling novel in history.