Barnaby Rudge is the first historical novel by Charles Dickens (the other one being A Tale of Two Cities) and is largely set during the Gordon Riots of 1780. It is one of Dickens lesser known novels, but one of the most rewarding ones to read. It is a thrilling tale of murder, treachery and forbidden love and with vividly described rioting mob scenes. When Barnaby and his mother are harassed by a mysterious stranger, they flee to the capital, where they unwittingly become embroiled in an anti-Catholic protest that quickly becomes political. Swept up by events, Barnaby is imprisoned, rescued, betrayed, and sentenced to die. As is typical for Dickens the novel contains with many interesting sub-plots that are all intertwined. Barnaby Rudge, a simpleton, wanders in and out of the story with his pet raven, Grip. Grip the raven later inspired Edgar Allan Poe to write his most famous poem, "The Raven."
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