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Barnaby Rudge :  A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty - Charles Dickens

Barnaby Rudge

A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty

Paperback

Published: March 1998
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Illustrations by Hablot K. Browne (Phiz) and George Cattermole Dickens' first historical novel is set against the infamous 'No Popery' riots that were instigated by Lord George Gordon in 1780, and terrorised London for days. prejudice, intolerance, misplaced religious and nationalistic fervour, together with the villains who would exploit these for political ends, are Dicken's targets. His vivid account of the riots at the heart of the novel is interwoven with the mysterious tale of a long unsolved murder, and a romance that combines forbidden love, passion, treachery and heroism. A typically rich cast of characters, from the snivelling Mrs Miggs and the posturing Simon Tappertit to the half-witted Barnaby Rudge of the title, ensures high entertainment.

Acknowledgementsp. vi
Introductionp. vii
Note on the Textp. xxv
Note on the Illustrationsp. xxvi
Select Bibliographyp. xxx
A Chronology of Charles Dickensp. xxxv
Map: London at the time of the Gordon Riots, 1780p. xlviii
Preface 1841p. 3
Preface 1849p. 5
Barnaby Rudgep. 9
The Gordon Riotsp. 662
Historical Sources and Contemporary Contextsp. 667
Dickens and Scottp. 673
Explanatory Notesp. 677
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781853267390
ISBN-10: 1853267392
Series: Wordsworth Classics
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 672
Published: March 1998
Dimensions (cm): 20.4 x 12.8  x 3.6
Weight (kg): 0.44

Charles Dickens

One of the grand masters of Victorian literature

Charles Dickens was born at Portsmouth on 7 February 1812, the second of eight children. Dickens's childhood experiences were similar to those depicted in David Copperfield. His father, who was a government clerk, was imprisoned for debt and Dickens was briefly sent to work in a blacking warehouse at the age of twelve.

He received little formal education, but taught himself shorthand and became a reporter of parliamentary debates for the Morning Chronicle. He began to publish sketches in various periodicals, which were subsequently republished as Sketches by Boz. The Pickwick Papers were published in 1836–7 and after a slow start became a publishing phenomenon and Dickens's characters the centre of a popular cult.

Part of the secret of his success was the method of cheap serial publication which Dickens used for all his novels. He began Oliver Twist in 1837, followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1838) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840–41).After finishing Barnaby Rudge (1841) Dickens set off for America; he went full of enthusiasm for the young republic but, in spite of a triumphant reception, he returned disillusioned. His experiences are recorded in American Notes (1842). Martin Chuzzlewit (1843–4) did not repeat its predecessors' success but this was quickly redressed by the huge popularity of the Christmas Books, of which the first, A Christmas Carol, appeared in 1843.

During 1844–6 Dickens travelled abroad and he began Dombey and Son while in Switzerland. This and David Copperfield (1849–50) were more serious in theme and more carefully planned than his early novels. In later works, such as Bleak House (1853) and Little Dorrit (1857), Dickens's social criticism became more radical and his comedy more savage.

In 1850 Dickens started the weekly periodical Household Words, succeeded in 1859 by All the Year Round; in these he published Hard Times (1854), A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Great Expectations (1860–61). Dickens's health was failing during the 1860s and the physical strain of the public readings which he began in 1858 hastened his decline, although Our Mutual Friend (1865) retained some of his best comedy.

His last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was never completed and he died on 9 June 1870. Public grief at his death was considerable and he was buried in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey.

A Note on our choice

The Works of Charles Dickens are available in many different editions, published by many different publishers.

The Booktopia Book Guru has recommended the Penguin Black Classic paperback editions here, as Australian readers have had a long established relationship with the Penguin Black Classic editions, with their informative and erudite introductions and notes.

There are, however, other options (see the series tab below). Both Oxford Classics and Vintage Classics publish Dickens, with notes and introductions. As do many US publishing houses.

Wordsworth Classics publish cheaper, no frills, editions of the classics, Dickens included, but the cheapest option, for those who have don’t want to read the classics but have to in order to pass a course, the US publisher, Dover, issues a thrift edition: these are cheap and cheerful, read and discard productions, which offer nothing but the text.

Visit Charles Dickens's Booktopia Author Page