Barnaby Rudge was the fifth of Dickens' novels to be published. It had originally been planned to appear as his first, but changes of publisher led to many delays, and it first appeared in serial form in the Clock from February to November 1841.
It was Dickens' first historical novel. His only other is the much later A Tale of Two Cities, also set in revolutionary times. It is one of his less popular novels and has rarely been adapted for film or television. The last production was a 1960 BBC production; prior to that, silent films were made in 1911 and 1915.
PLOT*Gathered round the fire at the Maypole Inn, in the village of Chigwell, on an evening of foul weather in the year 1775, are John Willet, proprietor of the Maypole, and his three cronies. One of the three, Solomon Daisy, tells an ill-kempt stranger at the inn a well-known local tale of the murder of Reuben Haredale which had occurred 22 years ago that very day. Reuben had been the owner of the Warren, a local estate which is now the residence of Geoffrey, the deceased Reuben's brother, and Geoffrey's niece, Reuben's daughter Emma Haredale. After the murder, Reuben's gardener and steward went missing and were suspects in the crime. A body was later found and identified as that of the steward, so the gardener was assumed to be the murderer.
Joe Willet, son of the Maypole proprietor, quarrels with his father because John treats 20-year-old Joe as a child. Finally having had enough of this ill treatment, Joe leaves the Maypole and goes for a soldier, stopping to say goodbye to the woman he loves, Dolly Varden, daughter of London locksmith Gabriel Varden.
Meanwhile, Edward Chester is in love with Emma Haredale. Both Edward's father, John Chester, and Emma's uncle, the Catholic Geoffrey Haredale - these two are sworn enemies - oppose the union after Sir John untruthfully convinces Geoffrey that Edward's intentions are dishonourable. Sir John intends to marry Edward to a woman with a rich inheritance, to support John's expensive lifestyle and to pay off his debtors. Edward quarrels with his father and leaves home for the West Indies.
Barnaby Rudge, a simpleton, wanders in and out of the story with his pet raven, Grip. Barnaby's mother begins to receive visits from the ill-kempt stranger, whom she feels compelled to protect. She later gives up the annuity she had been receiving from Geoffrey Haredale and, without explanation, takes Barnaby and leaves the city hoping to escape the unwanted visitor.
The story advances five years to a wintry evening in early 1780. On the 27th anniversary of Reuben Haredale's murder, Soloman Daisy, winding the bell tower clock, sees a ghost in the churchyard. He reports this hair-raising event to his friends at the Maypole, and John Willet decides that Geoffrey Haredale should hear the story. He departs in a winter storm taking Hugh, hostler of the Maypole, as a guide. On the way back to the Maypole, John and Hugh are met by three men seeking the way to London. Finding that London is still 13 miles off, the men seek refuge for the night. Beds are prepared for them at the Maypole...........
Charles John Huffam Dickens ( 7 February 1812 - 9 June 1870) was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime, and by the twentieth century critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories enjoy lasting popularity.
|Product dimensions:||8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) is probably the greatest novelist England has ever produced, the author of such well-known classics as A Christmas Carol, Great Expectations, David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. His innate comic genius and shrewd depictions of Victorian life — along with his indelible characters — have made his books beloved by readers the world over.
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
Education:Home-schooling; attended Dame School at Chatham briefly and Wellington