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Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty

Charles Dickens

Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty is an historical novel by the author Charles Dickens. Barnaby Rudge (along with The Old Curiosity Shop) was one of two novels that Dickens published in his short-lived weekly serial Master Humphrey's Clock, which lasted from 1840 to 1841, when Barnaby Rudge was published. It was Dickens' first attempt at an historical novel, his only other being A Tale of Two Cities. It is one of his less esteemed novels.

Plot Introduction

The plot is based on the "no-popery" or Gordon riots of 1780 seen through the eyes of the simple but good-hearted title character. The fanatical Lord George Gordon is treated with some sympathy in the novel, which concludes with a panoramic description of the riots, which lasted several days.

Plot Summary

The first part of the story details the life of the residents of a small village in Epping Forest, just outside London, in the year 1775, the setting for the action being the Maypole Inn, the Warren (the Haredales' stately home) and the surrounding countryside. The tale opens on the nineteenth of March with a sinister recounting of a violent murder that took place exactly twenty-two years before the story begins. During this first part, the book examines life in this village, including interpersonal relationships, in a traditionally Dickensian style.

(From Wikipedia, description text under GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL))

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