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Barnaby Rudge

3.78  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,775 Ratings  ·  315 Reviews

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, hi

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Published January 1st 2010 by MobileReference (first published 1841)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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MJ Nicholls
Is this the least-read Dickens novel? According to Goodreads, yes. Only 121 reviews on this one, with Martin Chuzzlewit a close second at 141. The reason? Lack of cinematic exposure hasn’t helped. Disney can’t turn an historical narrative about the Gordon Riots of 1780 into a feel-good schmaltz-fest, especially when the protagonist has the sinister talking raven that inspired Poe’s poem about a raven (I forget what it was called) as a best mate. A silent adaptation was made in 1915 (Crikey! Our ...more
Jul 19, 2007 Boz4pm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves a good tale well told
This was Dickens first historical novel - so it came before Tale of Two Cities - and is a cracking good read. Dickens, of course, is a consumate story-teller, but this piece is very finely crafted, with many layers and plots tightly woven together. It starts slow, but when you look back you realise that is by fore of necessity: the groundwork is needed for the plot to come, he needs to introduce the characters, set them in their place, and lay the foundations for their interactions with each oth ...more
Laurel Hicks
When a witless young man and his witty pet raven get swept into the furor of the Gordon "no-Popery" riots in the London of 1780, you can be sure you're reading Dickens. This is his first historical novel, and I can see how it leads the way to the other one, _A Tale of Two Cities_. Grip, the raven, caught the attention of Edgar Alan Poe and probably inspired his poem "The Raven." I suspect that _Barnaby Rudge_ also inspired Poe's "The Bells."
Oct 26, 2015 Manray9 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brit-lit
I designated 2015 as a Year of Dickens with a challenge to read six works by the master of the 19th century English novel. I chose Barnaby Rudge as the fifth book of the year for two reasons – one, as many Goodreads reviewers have pointed out, it is considered the least read of Dickens' novels; and two, it is one of only two historical novels in his body of work (along with A Tale of Two Cities).

The plot revolves around an unsolved murder involving the people of the small hamlet of Chigwell and
This is Dickens fifth novel and it was his first attempt to write an historical novel and was inspired by the Walter Scott's novels.

In the first chapters, Dickens describes the Maypole and introduces the main characters: Gabriel Varden with his wife and his daughter, Simon Tappertit, John and Joe Willet, Solomon Daisy, the Haredales, the Rudges and a mysterious stranger.

Maypole Inn in the village of Chigwell:

A hint of mystery is also inserted in these initial chapters through the Haredale murde
Thom Swennes
A most unlikely hero is introduced by Charles Dickens in his 1840 published historical novel Barnaby Rudge. Few authors have ever attempted to record the likes of Barnaby (two, however come to mind … John Steinbeck’s Lenny in Of Mice and Men and Winston Groom’s Forrest in Forrest Gump). Barnaby Rudge is a novel of epic proportions (920 pages). It loosely relates the actions occurring in the Gordon Riots of 1780. Barnaby is a trusting, simple-minded young man with a big heart that is talked into ...more
Barry Pierce
Well this is a very different one. Dickens has decided to do a historical novel, meaning that some of the events of this novel actually happened in real life. The only problem is that the events that are covered in "Barnaby Rudge" really aren't that well known anymore. The novel takes place during the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780 (I mean everyone's heard of them right? Right? *crickets chirp*). There's basically a series of riots because the Protestants aren't happy (as always). The plot i ...more
Charles Matthews
It's easy to see why Barnaby Rudge is one of Dickens's less popular novels. It's overlong and overplotted, and it's awkwardly structured, falling too neatly into two halves. The first half centers on the frustrated love of Joe Willet for Dolly Varden, and the equally but differently frustrated love of Edward Chester and Emma Haredale, and on the murder of Emma's father. The second half focuses on the anti-Catholic Gordon riots of 1780. The two halves are knit together by the effects of the riots ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Barnaby Rudge, Charles Dickens
عنوان: بارنابی روج؛ نویسنده: چارلز دیکنز؛ مترجم: محمد مجلسی؛ تهران، نشر دنیای نو، 1374، در دوجلد، و در 1115 ص؛
شابک جلد یک: 9646564844
شابک جلد دو: 9646564852

آقای هاردال ملکداری بزرگ است. برادرش و پیشکار او سالها پیش به قتل رسیده اند و راز قتل آنها هنوز آشکار نشده، دختر زیبای برادرش «اما» نیز با او زندگی میکند. دختر عاشق ادوارد است، ولی پدر ادوارد و عموی «اما» دشمن یکدیگرند، و ...؛
Rob Atkinson
Feb 09, 2016 Rob Atkinson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard to understand why this is the least read of Dickens's's certainly one of his most thrilling. Mysterious murders, devious plots and several love stories intermingle here with a graphic and chilling account of the 1780 anti-Catholic Gordon riots in London and thereabouts. This is the author's only period piece other than his much better-known "A Tale of Two Cities", and it is every bit as thrilling to read -- with the added advantage that this history is far less well known and th ...more
Matt Smith
The most disappointing books are the books where I can tell the author loves what he's writing such that It generates a wonderfully, terrible passion, but that don't really strike a chord with me personally. And truth be told I wish I were on Dickens's level here, but outside of fleeting moments of sequences I just.... wasn't.

Part of this is Dickens writing a historical novel and mashing it together with his typical Dickensian fare. Separately these two worked quite well. That the endings of the
Sep 02, 2013 Tony rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
BARNABY RUDGE, A Tale of the Riots of Eighty. (1841). Charles Dickens. **.
This is, without a doubt, one of the worst novels by Dickens that I have ever read. It was his first historical novel, and maybe he was just getting his feet wet, but the poor reader suffers all the same. Although it was meant to be in that genre, Dickens made sure that he got in a couple of star-crossed lovers to appeal to the ladies in his audience. It takes a long time for him to get started with his story. The first 15
Jul 06, 2007 Doogyjim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the last Dickens I'd still to read, it's easily better than The Old Curiosity Shop and (for my taste) Hard Times. It's got that wonderful mid-period Dickens feel when you can sense him plotting more carefully despite the apparent freewheeling nature of the narrative and he's not quite into the realms of characters being grotesque just for metaphorical ends.

Barnaby too is an unlikely hero and despite the Victorian penchant for sentimentalising, he's often frequently unlikeable. The scenes
Doreen Petersen
I liked this book but not as much as other Charles Dickens books I've read. It was just a little too long winded for me.
Gavin Felgate
Jul 28, 2015 Gavin Felgate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is different from other Charles Dickens books, as it is not set in the author's Victorian-era Britain. Like A Tale of Two Cities, it was written as a historic novel, weaving in real-life events. Whereas the latter revolved around the French revolution, this book is set in 1780 and involves the Gordon riots against the Catholic Church, something I'd never heard of previously.

The book opens with the arrival of three strangers at an inn, including a highwayman, before the cast of characte
Ben Dutton
Feb 07, 2012 Ben Dutton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 07, 2012 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dickens lovers, good book lovers
Recommended to K. by: Charles Dickens, he's my friend
Review of Barnaby Rudge; Read again (2nd time) Jan 2012

It’s been 10 years since I read this last. Either I have become a more discerning reader in that time, or the book got better. Which is more likely? Nevertheless, as usual, I’m nearly wordless with wonder…but of course only nearly, else this review would stop here.

If you know me (or my other Dickens reviews), you may already have an idea of my unabashed affection for Mr. Charles Dickens. I have never found him to disappoint, fail to enterta
Courtney H.
Mar 06, 2013 Courtney H. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a series of lackluster reviews for other books, I'm glad to be back on solid ground with Dickens; and its all uphill in my reviews from here (climbing out of a review hole, as usual). I really liked Barnaby Rudge. A lot. I should preface this by saying that Dickens is my favorite author; even when he's mediocre, he is fabulous. And that's what this book is. It is very far removed from his best; and yet there are moments of brilliance, and there are moments of Dickens, and it was still, at ...more
Jan 12, 2010 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Generally considered," used in the context of critical evaluation to label an author's work, can be a hindrance, a burden. "Barnaby Rudge" has worn that tag in the Charles Dickens canon for a long time: as in, generally considered the least-liked and, hence, the most neglected of the author's work. For me, that designation is unfortunate and, well, not accurate. Though it hardly can be lumped in with Dickens' very best work, the novel certainly is not my least favorite (that would be "The Old C ...more
May 09, 2010 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the two works of historical fiction by Dickens, the other being "A Tale of Two Cities," about the French revolution.
"Barnaby Rudge" is about the anti-Catholic Gordon riots in London in 1780.
I don't think Dickens was at his best in this genre.
The riots don't start until well after page 300, and it is at that point that the book becomes absorbing (although it ends slowly). It also contains more violence and cruelty than, I think, anything else by Dickens. What "Barnaby Rudge" illust
Jan 03, 2011 Sylvester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book, classic
Just loved this one. Dickens drops us right into the frenzied riot and drags us through it. Barnaby is a brilliant character - I love how Dickens pushes him in all his innocence right into the thick of the violence and sets his loyalty on one so unrepentantly destructive. A lot going on in this book that I won't touch on, but the way the two characters Barnaby and Hugh, polar opposites, (the one angry and manipulative, the other vulnerable and yet so full of light) are paired together is beautif ...more
May 02, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Papists. Riots. Fires. Prison-breaking. Murders (various). Abduction. Arrest. Decades-old mysteries. Drunks. Idiots. A locksmith's daughter. An eccentric hangman. Ghosts. Ruins. A band of disaffected, violent, and pseudo-medievalist apprentices. Escape through the wine vaults. Gallantry. A one-armed man. Lost. Fled. Found. Storms. Taverns. Swordfights. Funereal bells. Dark secrets. Disguises. True love. Schemes. Destinies.

And an immortal talking raven.
Jan 31, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd never read this particular Dickens title before, so I was pleasantly surprised, considering that somewhere along the line I'd gained the impression that it was one of his lesser books. The first half is lighter in tone while the second, which takes place five years later, is considerably darker. The book is well-known for being about the Gordon riots of 1780, but the riots don't come into it (and nor does Gordon) until the second half where they take up a great deal of the space, and involve ...more
Matthew Conroy
Aug 14, 2013 Matthew Conroy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent! I really enjoyed this; I especially love Barnaby: I wish his character was even more prominent.

Very much plot, or even "action", oriented, and less character-oriented, than some other novels by Dickens. Certainly fewer minor characters.

It helped that I read this faster than perhaps any of his other novels (I've only three left!).
J.M. Hushour
Nov 18, 2014 J.M. Hushour rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
A singularly terrible work that, if one didn't know it's author was Dickens, one would chalk up to some run-of-the-mill, flaccid 19th century chimney-licker. This should, perhaps, not have been so terribly shocking to me, coming as it does on the heels of Dickens' other dreadful "book","The Old Curiosity Shop, Or Rob Me of My Fleeting Life Essence, O Scandalously Bad Novel". I dare go so far as to say that Dickens' "middle" or "full frontal" period of the 1840s produced nothing but pure dreck. C ...more
Jun 03, 2015 K. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably 4th reading of this. Wish I had time to review. As always, I love Dickens. That about sums it up.
Todd Stockslager
Jun 04, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Review title: Dickens blends his inimitible fiction with history in his least-read novel
In a move some critics have identified as a self-conscious and flattering imitation of Sir Walter Scott's British historical novels, Dickens combines his fully-developed fictional skills with the historical record of the Anti-Catholic riots of 1780 to create Barnaby Rudge. Perhaps because the ficitonalized events are little-remembered outside of England, many readers have mistakenly by-passed this well-writte
Gerald Sinstadt
Mar 23, 2015 Gerald Sinstadt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
Barnaby Rudge is bt no mans the best of Charles Dickens, but that does not make it negligible. The characters are vividly drawn, and the author's indignation at injustice is typically strong. At times this almost seems like a revulsion against the death penalty.

But there are problems. The first half off a long book is devoted to establishing personal relationships, including two stuttering romances. The Vardon household, with Gabriel, the locksmith, at its head, is a major strand. So, too, is th
Dec 07, 2014 Fred rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I can't believe this is considered one of Dickens' minor works. This book felt much darker after his previous novels; which to be fair can be at times bleak. I find it interesting how warped Dickens has become by the feel-good, pop culture adaptations of his novels - these things have, both on and under the surface, a great deal of suffering.
The milieu for this novel is set in the 1780's anti-papist riots in London. I knew nothing of them, so looked it up in Wikipedia like anybody else, a
Oct 25, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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”
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The Pickwick Club: Barnaby, Chapters 77 - 82 43 21 Feb 16, 2015 09:05AM  
The Pickwick Club: Barnaby, Chapters 56 - 60 39 22 Feb 14, 2015 10:34AM  
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The Pickwick Club: Barnaby, Chapters 16-20 25 25 Feb 01, 2015 09:27AM  
The Pickwick Club: Background, Resources, Reflexion upon the Novel as a Whole 5 34 May 25, 2014 03:31AM  
The Pickwick Club: Barnaby, Chapters 66 - 70 112 22 Apr 28, 2014 03:17PM  
The Pickwick Club: Barnaby, Chapters 71 - 76 19 12 Apr 26, 2014 06:15PM  
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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 sho ...more
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“Time has been lost and opportunity thrown away, but I am yet a young man, and may retrieve it.” 7 likes
“…a lady of what is commonly called an uncertain temper
--a phrase which being interpreted signifies a temper tolerably certain to make
everybody more or less uncomfortable.”
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