(From the publisher):
Set in the time of the Gordon anti-Catholic riots of 1780, Barnaby Rudge
is Dickens's powerful, atmospheric novel of madness, murder, and lurid mob violence. It is also a tale of love thwarted by the designs of Geoffrey Haredale and the villain Sir John Chester, and the heroism of Edward Chester in rescuing the innocent Emma. Other characters include Lord George Gordon himself, and Grip, the raven who inspired Edgar Allan Poe's poem.
The cheerful, cosy domesticity of the Maypole Inn; the uneasy relationship between dull-witted, tyrannical John Willet and elegant, cold-hearted John Chester and their sons; the sinister activities of the apprentices plotting to overthrow their masters: all these plunge the reader in the opening chapters into the tense atmosphere of England just before the Gordon Riots. When the storm breaks and Lond George Gordon embarks on this crazed ride into London, the action explodes into violence and mayhem. In his handling of the three riot leaders, one of them Barnaby Rudge (mentally blighted by a crime committed at his birth), and in his depiction of an infuriated mob storming through the streets of London to burn down Newgate prison, Dickens is at his most brilliant and terrifying.
Originally published in weekly installments in Master Humphrey's Clock, 1840-1841.
Original title: Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty
Genre: Fiction→ Historical→ European→ 18th Century
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Literary Fiction/classics