Dickens' first historical novel is set against the infamous 'No Popery' riots that were instigated by Lord George Gordon in 1780, and terrorised London for days. prejudice, intolerance, misplaced religious and nationalistic fervour, together with the villains who would exploit these for political ends, are Dicken's targets. His vivid account of the riots at the heart of the novel is interwoven with the mysterious tale of a long unsolved murder, and a romance that combines forbidden love, passion, treachery and heroism.
A typically rich cast of characters, from the snivelling Mrs Miggs and the posturing Simon Tappertit to the half-witted Barnaby Rudge of the title, ensures high entertainment.
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