By Charles Dickens

Set opposed to the backdrop of the Gordon Riots of 1780, Barnaby Rudge is a narrative of poser and suspense which starts off with an unsolved double homicide and is going directly to contain conspiracy, blackmail, abduction and retribution. during the process the radical fathers and sons turn into antagonistic, apprentices plot opposed to their masters and Protestants conflict with Catholics at the streets. And, as London erupts into rebel, Barnaby Rudge himself struggles to flee the curse of his personal prior. With its dramatic descriptions of public violence and personal horror, its unusual secrets and techniques and ghostly doublings, Barnaby Rudge is a strong, hectic mixture of historic realism and Gothic melodrama.

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Example text

This is the new discovery. This is fact. ” The girl curtseyed, and sat down. She was very young, and she looked as if she were frightened by the matter-of-fact prospect the world afforded. “Now, if Mr. McChoakumchild,” said the gentleman, “will proceed to give his first lesson here, Mr. ” Mr. Gradgrind was much obliged. “Mr. ” So Mr. McChoakumchild began in his best manner. He and some one hundred and forty other schoolmasters had been lately turned at the same time, in the same factory, on the same principles, like so many pianoforte legs.

Sleary, the circus proprietor MRS. SPARSIT, an elderly lady; Mr. Bounderby’s housekeeper BOOK THE FIRST Sowing CHAPTER I The One Thing Needful ‘NOW, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts: nothing else will ever be of any service to them. This is the principle on which I bring up my own children, and this is the principle on which I bring up these children.

Now that the occasional indignation has spread and deepened into a passionate revolt against the whole industrial order of the modern world. The “modern world” of which Shaw speaks is represented by a triumphant industrial, colonialist England portrayed in the novel. It is a culture more and more consecrated to profits, a nation more and more divided into the land of the rich and the land of the poor. Hard times are not merely difficult days; they are the time when the national hymn is mathematics, and we can see how Dickens refused to sing that song.

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