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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140437287
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/15/2003
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 768
Sales rank: 119,025
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.78(h) x 1.49(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors’ prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years’ formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney’s clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

Date of Birth:

February 7, 1812

Date of Death:

June 18, 1870

Place of Birth:

Portsmouth, England

Place of Death:

Gad's Hill, Kent, England


Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington

Table of Contents

Note on the Textxxv
Note on the Illustrationsxxvi
Select Bibliographyxxx
A Chronology of Charles Dickensxxxv
Map: London at the time of the Gordon Riots, 1780xlviii
Preface 18413
Preface 18495
Barnaby Rudge9
Appendix AThe Gordon Riots662
Appendix BHistorical Sources and Contemporary Contexts667
Appendix CDickens and Scott673
Explanatory Notes677

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Barnaby Rudge 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Gregory-Reynolds More than 1 year ago
I had read most of the Dickens novels, some more than once, but I'd always overlooked Barnaby Rudge. When I finally read it I was amazed it had taken me so long. It even turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. Like all Dickens' novels, the characters are drawn to show the nature of human beings, and he does it so well, the characters could be set in modern day and the story would still work. We see the shifty lecherous rogue who covets the beautiful young lady, the dedicated hangman, and the patriotic family man. We see troubled family relationships: mother and son, father and daughter, and father and son. Most important of all, we see the title character, a golden-hearted idiot whose simple-minded exuberance makes him a ready-made pawn for the devious and evil manipulators who stand to profit from division and resentment between Catholics and Protestants. Perhaps the most timeless thing about this novel is the willful manufacturing of resentment between the two primary social political groups of the time. You could simply replace the terms Catholic and Protestant with Liberal and Conservative and you'd be telling our modern story. Turn on the nightly news and you will see a modern-day Barnaby Rudge there enthusiastically reciting the talking points of some divisive talk-show host, all the while completely oblivious that he is but a pawn dutifully serving a sinister master. I'm glad I waited until now to read this tale of Dickens because it's such a timely reminder of human impulse toward the mob mentality. Barnaby Rudge is an ever present reminder that if we lose our ability to think to think critically, we our own identity and our values will be consumed to serve the desires of someone else.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Horribly digitized!
john257hopper on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is not one of the better known Dickens novels, but to my my mind, this is at least as good as, if not better than, say, Oliver Twist. The characters from all walks of life are vividly drawn and the political events of the appalling Gordon riots memorably and quite shockingly described. There are some good comic characters as well. The last few chapters form a satisfying tying up of the lives of all the characters.
mbmackay on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dickens' fifth published book is an historical novel built around the Gordon riots of 1780. The characters seem to be more realistic and better developed than in earlier books. The villains are more believable - Hugh was an abused and neglected orphan who grows to be an abusive and uncontrolled adult; John Chester is a picture of an silver tongued upper class villain, Dickens' first real villain from that class; and Gashford as the duplicitous and conniving assistant to Lord Gordon. These characters are so much better than the one dimensional bad guys (like the dwarf in the Old Curiosity Shop) of previous works. The comic characters are also well done in this book. The slow thinking publican at the Maypole; Mrs Varden of "an uncertain temper"; Miggs the waspish maid are all well described and a lot of fun.Unfortunately, Dickens reverts to simplification of good and bad in his portrayal of the riots. He paints a picture where a village idiot and the Crown's hangman become representative leaders of the riots. All a little disappointing.So, while Wikipedia reports this as a "less esteemed" work of Dickens, I found it to be a good novel, but a poor historic novel. Read January 2012.
lorieac on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Excellent and timely. Dickens was a great storyteller.
fourbears on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I¿ve read this one twice before and always like it more than it deserves. It¿s one of two historical novels by Dickens, a distinction many readers don¿t make because all his novels have historical settings for us now. But A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and Barnaby Rudge were both set before Dickens¿ own time and dealt with a similar subject, mob rule: Barnaby Rudge with the No Popery riots of 1780 and A Tale of Two Cities with the French Revolution.I say I like Barnaby Rudge ¿more than it deserves¿ because while the novel has a complex plot that¿s not nearly as episodic as his previous novel (The Old Curiosity Shop, reviewed here in April of this year) it¿s not as well-developed as later novels (Bleak House in particular). What¿s brilliant about the novel is how Dickens follows the rioters, generally disaffected members of society who are ready enough to believe that they are ¿held back¿ because Catholics are doing the 18th century equivalent of ¿taking all the jobs¿. Barnaby, raised by his mother and befriended by a talking raven, is described as an ¿idiot¿ and is clearly (if not consistently, especially if you consider his speech) somewhat simple. He¿s been described by critics as derived from Wordsworth¿s ¿Idiot Boy¿, a child of nature who doesn¿t understand the wicked world of men. His mother knows that his father killed a man just at the time of his birth and attributes Barnaby¿s affliction to that event. She dedicates her life to his welfare.But Barnaby is drawn into the riots on the side of Gordon¿s No Popery bunch, not understanding the issues at all, but seeing himself as brave and true and fighting for a good cause. Dickens makes that believable as he makes the rioting and the violence believable. Clearly he understood crowd psychology and the manipulation of ideas. George Gordon might have come up with the ideas that spawned the riots, but it was his cohorts who used those ideas and used him to appeal to the disaffected.There¿s the usual compliment of interesting characters, among them a hangman who takes pride in his noble profession, the backbone of the English legal system in his view, and thinks he does the job so expertly that those who are hanged are grateful to him, but who joins the rioters, is caught himself and dragged kicking and screaming to be hanged himself, not at all grateful to the new hangman. There are a couple of pairs of crossed lovers who get together in the end and well as parents and children who are estranged and reunited.
roblong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Slow and simply boring for its first quarter, this suddenly comes to life when it moves forward five years to the time of the no-popery riots that are its principal concern. When it does this the novel is hugely enjoyable, and the scenes depicting the storming of Newgate prison are superb (Dickens said he wanted to write a better riot than Lord Gordon managed). The fate of poor Barnaby, the simpleton placed at the head of the riotous crowd with no conception of what he is getting himself into, is a vision of individual weakness in the face of the crowd it is hard to forget. It is almost a shame that Dickens bettered this novel by such a distance elsewhere. This deserves to be more broadly read than it is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"RAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" He yells, having a pack of M&M'S for Rayne
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Do i know you?
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It was awsome so great and funny and fun
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a challenge to read this book due to the number of errors from the OCR of the printed book. In fact, I only made it to page 30 before I gave up. Need to find a better copy for Nook.
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