Barnaby Rudge (1905) Novel by Charles Dickens, PDF ebook

Barnaby Rudge (1905) Novel by Charles Dickens with Illustrations

Barnaby Rudge
Barnaby Rudge



Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of Eighty (commonly known as Barnaby Rudge) is a historical novel by British novelist Charles Dickens. Barnaby Rudge was one of two novels (the other was The Old Curiosity Shop) that Dickens published in his short-lived (1840–1841) weekly serial Master Humphrey's Clock. Barnaby Rudge is largely set during the Gordon Riots of 1780. Barnaby Rudge was the fifth of Dickens' novels to be published.

Excerpt from the novel's preface:


The late Mr. Waterton having, some time ago, expressed his opinion that ravens are gradually becoming extinct in England, I offered the few following words about my experience of these birds. The raven in this story is a compound of two great originals, of whom I was, at different times, the proud possessor. The first was in the bloom of his youth when he was discovered in a modest retirement in London, by a friend of mine, and given to me. He had from the first, as Sir Hugh Evans says of Anne Page, "good gifts," which he improved by study and attention in a most exemplary manner. 

He slept in a stable — generally on horseback — and so terrified a Newfoundland dog by his preternatural sagacity, that he has been known, by the mere superiority of his genius, to walk off unmolested with the dog's dinner from before his face. He was rapidly rising in acquirements and virtues when, in an evil hour, his stable was newly painted.

 He observed the workmen closely, saw that they were careful of the paint, and immediately burned to possess it. On their going to dinner, he ate up all they had left behind, consisting of a pound or two of white lead; and this youthful indiscretion terminated in death. "While I was yet inconsolable for his loss, another friend of mine in Yorkshire discovered an older and more gifted raven at a village public-house, which he prevailed upon the landlord to part with for a consideration, and sent up to me. The first act of this Sage was to administer to the effects of his predecessor, by disinterring all the cheese and halfpence he had buried in the garden — a work of immense labor and research, to which he devoted all the energies of his mind. 

When he had achieved his task, he applied himself to the acquisition of stable language, in which he soon became such an adept, that he would perch outside my window and drive imaginary horses with great skill, all day. Perhaps even I never saw him at his best, for his former master sent his duty with him, " and if I wished the bird to come out very strong, would I be so good as to show him a drunken man " — which I never did, having (unfortunately) none but sober people at hand. But I could hardly have respected him more, whatever the stimulating influences of this sight might have been. He had not the least respect, I am sorry to say, for me in return, or for anybody but the cook; to whom he was attached — but only, I fear, as a policeman might have been. Once, I met him unexpectedly, about half a mile from my house, walking down the middle of a public street, attended by a pretty large crowd, and spontaneously exhibiting the whole of his accomplishments. 

His gravity under those trying circumstances I can never forget, nor the extraordinary gallantry with which, refusing to be brought home, he defended himself behind a pump, until overpowered by numbers. It may have been that he was too bright a genius to live long, or it may have been that he took some pernicious substance into his bill, and thence into his maw — which is not improbable, seeing that he new-pointed the greater part of the garden-wall by digging out the mortar, broke countless squares of glass by scraping away the putty all around the frames, and tore up and swallowed, in splinters, the greater part of a wooden staircase of six steps and a landing — but after some three years he too was taken ill, and died before the kitchen fire. He kept his eye to the last upon the meat as it roasted, and suddenly turned over on his back with a sepulchral cry of " Cuckoo! " Since then I have been ravenless. 

No account of the Gordon Riots having been to my knowledge introduced into any Work of Fiction, and the subject presenting very extraordinary and remarkable features, I was led to project this Tale. It is unnecessary to say that those shameful tumults, while they reflect indelible disgrace upon the time in which they occurred, and all who had act or part in them, teach a good lesson. 

That what we falsely call a religious cry is easily raised by men who have no religion, and who in their daily practice set at naught the commonest principles of right and wrong; that it is begotten of intolerance and persecution; that it is senseless, besotted, inveterate and unmerciful; all History teaches us. But perhaps we do not know it in our hearts too well to profit by even so humble an example as the '• No Popery " riots of Seventeen Hundred and Eighty. However imperfectly those disturbances are set forth in the following pages, they are impartially painted by one who has no sympathy with the Romish Church, though he acknowledges, as most men do, some esteemed friends among the followers of its creed. In the description of the principal outrages, reference has been had to the best authorities of that time, such as they are; the account given in this Tale, of all the main features of the Riots. is substantially correct. Mr. Dennis's allusions to the nourishing condition of his trade in those days, have their foundation in Truth, and not in the Author's fancy. Any file of old Newspapers, or odd volume of the Annual Register, will prove this with terrible ease.

Characters of Barnaby Rudge


Mr. Akerman, head jailer at Newgate.
Mr. {afterward Sir John) Chester, an elegant and polite, but heartless and unprincipled gentleman. 
Edward Chester, his son; a handsome young man, in love with Miss Haredale.
Tom Cobb, a chandler and post-office keeper at Chigwell.
General Conway, a Member of Parliament.
Solomon Daisy, parish clerk and bellringer of Chigwell.
Ned Dennis, a hangman, and a ringleader of the Gordon rioters
Mr. Gashford, a sly, treacherous man; Lord George Gordon's secretary. 
Mark Gilbert, a member of a secret society formed by the London
apprentices to resist the tyranny of their masters.
Colonel Gordon, a Member of Parliament.
Lord George Gordon, a Member of Parliament, and chief instigator of the Protestant 
Tom Green, a soldier.
John Grueby, servant to Lord George Gordon.
Mr. Geoffrey Haredale, a country gentleman, stern, rough, and
abrupt, but honest and unselfish,
Hugh, a wild, athletic, gypsy-looking young fellow; hostler at the
Maypole Inn, afterward a leader in the Gordon riots. 1 2x> 2£>J-l-i<>
Mr. Langdale, a portly, choleric old gentleman; a vintner and distiller.
Phil Parkes, a tall, taciturn man; a ranger.
Peak, valet to Sir John Chester.
Barnaby Rudge, a fantastic, half-crazed youth.
Mr. Rudge, father of Barnaby, and formerly steward to Mr. Reuben Haredale.
Stagg, a blind man; proprietor of a drinking cellar. $$ "^Ztt
Simon Tappertit, apprentice to Mr. Gabriel Varden, and captain of the "'Prentice Knights."
Mr. Gabriel Varden, a frank, hearty, honest old locksmith.
Joe Willet, the son of John Willet; a broad-shouldered, strapping
young fellow, in love with Dolly Varden.
John Willet, a burly, large-headed, obstinate man; the landlord of the Maypole Inn at Chigwell.
Miss Emma Haredale, niece to Mr. Geoffrey Haredale.
Miss Miggs, the single domestic servant of Mrs. Varden; a sour and shrewish woman
Mrs. Rudge, the mother of Barnaby. 
Dolly Varden, the daughter of Mr. Gabriel Varden; a bright, fresh good-humored, coquettish girl.
Mrs. Martha Varden, mother of the preceding; a plump and buxom woman, but of somewhat uncertain temper.

Editors: Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878; Browne, Hablot Knight, 1815-1882

Publisher :London: Chapman & Hall; New York: Oxford University Press

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