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Based around the Gordon riots of 1780 as seen through the eyes of the simple but good-hearted Barnaby Rudge. The fanatical anti-Catholic Lord George Gordon is treated with some sympathy in the novel, which concludes with a panoramic description of the riots. One of two works that Dickens published in his short-lived weekly serial Master Humphrey's Clock, this was Dickens' first attempt at a historical novel.Show Excerpt all just mention; it was at the time when press warrants were issued, on the alarm about Falkland Islands. The woman's husband was pressed, their goods seized for some debts of his, and she, with two small children, turned into the streets a-begging. It is a circumstance not to be forgotten, that she was very young (under nineteen), and most remarkably handsome. She went to a linen-draper's shop, took some coarse linen off the counter, and slipped it under her cloak; the shopman saw her, and she laid it down: for this she was hanged. Her defence was (I have the trial in my pocket), "that she had lived in credit, and wanted for nothing, till a press-gang came and stole her husband from her; but since then, she had no bed to lie on; nothing to give her children to eat; and they were almost naked; and perhaps she might have done something wrong, for she hardly knew what she did." The parish officers testified the truth of this story; but it seems, there had been a good deal of shop-lifting ab
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Dickens' magnificent tale of private lives and public events takes place in the seething unrest of 1780's London. With a cast of characters as richly diverse and comically grotesque as ever, he expertly weaves the complex themes of public authority and rebellion with the private conflicts of fathers and sons in a spellbinding fictional recreation of the historical facts of the Gordon riots.
Despite their implacable enmity, the upright and honest Geoffrey Haredale forges a strange alliance with the duplicitous John Chester to thwart the marriage between his niece and Chester's honorable son Edward. But family concerns are eclipsed when brooding tensions erupt into the Gordon riots. As the simple-minded Barnaby is thrust to the forefront of violent dissent, Edward is driven to an act of desperate heroism in order to save his lover and her uncle. And in the aftermath of chaos, the shadowy figure behind the private tragedies of murder, blackmail and terrible neglect finally comes to light.
Originally produced for BBC broadcast by the world's most talented creators of radio entertainment, this audio presentation of Dickens' classic is brought magically to life. Complete with stirring music and sound effects, Barnaby Rudge contains all the charm of a radio broadcast, and all the excitement of a theater performance. Listeners of all ages will be delighted by this extraordinary production and will treasure it for years to come.
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