As we continue to prepare for next month's Barnaby Rudge read, here are a few facts about the book:
- Barnaby Rudge was Dickens's fifth novel (note: link contains spoilers). It ran in the periodical Master Humphrey's Clock, as did his fourth novel, The Old Curiosity Shop.
- It was the first of Dickens's two historical novels, the other one being A Tale of Two Cities.
- Les Standiford writes in The Man Who Invented Christmas, "The public's response to Barnaby Rudge was dramatically disappointing. Sales plunged from 100,000 for issues of The Old Curiosity Shop to 70,000 for the initial issues of its successor and to 30,000 by the end." However, the character Dolly Varden inspired popular fashion trends and songs, and even had a trout named after her!
- Barnaby's pet raven, Grip, is based on Dickens's own pet ravens. And the fictional Grip appears to have inspired -- you guessed it -- Edgar Allan Poe! Rob Velella has more on this.
- According to IMDb, Barnaby Rudge has been adapted as a film only three times: as (silent) feature films in 1911 and 1915, and as a BBC TV miniseries in 1960. The miniseries is available on DVD as part of The Charles Dickens Collection, Vol. 2. However, like most Dickens books, the novel has been adapted for the theater several times. Last year an original musical version ran in Scarborough, England.