My reading of Barnaby Rudge is an experiment in two ways. First, it was very difficult to stop reading Dickens as always, once you get past the first few sentences and get into the language you don’t want to stop. The man is a master of the final sentence. It was really hard to stop at the end of Chapter One, knowing that I could keep reading if I chose to.
But I hit the close command on one of the first e-books that I have purchased from Barnes and Noble. Unable to find a physical copy of Barnaby at any bookstore and the deadline to begin looming I found an e-copy. There are many free editions, but I didn’t feel right about that so I found an addition for $2.99 that had the features I wanted. It is easy to read and the highlighting and bookmark features are quite nice.
My favorite quote so far comes from the preface which wouldn’t have appeared in a serialized version as we are trying to replicate, but in a later printed edition of the book.
” 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 nought 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”, [Dickens, Charles, Barnaby Rudge]
Who says Dickens isn’t relative to today?
The second thing that I really liked and found surprising was that the novel starts with a 22 year old murder. This is classified as one of Dickens’ historical novels, like A Tale of Two Cities, but as the chapter comes to a close we have the tale of the murder of Mr. Ruben Haredale, and his steward, Mr. Rudge. I wonder how many more mystery fans would read Dickens if they only knew that Dickens was one of the first to begin writing mysteries in his fictions?
Now onto Chapters 2 & 3. It’s not too late to start. The chapters are quite manageable. So please come and join us.