Barnaby Rudge
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"Barnaby Rudge" Summary

By Charles Dickens

classics | 744 pages | Published in NaN

Charles Dickens’s first historical novel–set during the anti-Catholic riots of 1780–is an unparalleled portrayal of the terror of a rampaging mob, seen through the eyes of the individuals swept up in the chaos.Those individuals include Emma, a Catholic, and Edward, a Protestant, whose forbidden love weaves through the heart of the story; and the simpleminded Barnaby, one of the riot leaders, whose fate is tied to a mysterious murder and whose beloved pet raven, Grip, embodies the mystical power of innocence. The story encompasses both the rarified aristocratic world and the volatile streets and nightmarish underbelly of London, which Dickens characteristically portrays in vivid, pulsating detail. But the real focus of the book is on the riots themselves, depicted with an extraordinary energy and redolent of the dangers, the mindlessness, and the possibilities–both beneficial and brutal–of the mob.One of the lesser-known novels, Barnaby Rudge is nonetheless among the most brilliant–and most terrifying–in Dickens’s oeuvre.


Estimated read time: 1 min read

One Sentence Summary

A historical novel set during the Gordon Riots in England, following the lives of various characters as they navigate love, betrayal, and political unrest.

Table of Contents

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Barnaby Rudge FAQ

  1. Who is the author of Barnaby Rudge?

    Barnaby Rudge was written by Charles Dickens, a renowned English writer.

  2. What is the genre of Barnaby Rudge?

    Barnaby Rudge is a historical novel, with elements of mystery and social commentary.

  3. When was Barnaby Rudge first published?

    Barnaby Rudge was first published in 1841 as a serial in Dickens's weekly magazine, Master Humphrey's Clock.

  4. What is the main plot of Barnaby Rudge?

    The main plot revolves around the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots in London in the late 18th century, and follows the intertwined lives of various characters affected by the tumultuous events.

  5. Are there any famous characters in Barnaby Rudge?

    Yes, one of the most famous characters in Barnaby Rudge is the simple-minded and kind-hearted Barnaby Rudge himself, along with the mysterious stranger, Mr. Haredale.