Charles Dickens wrote two "historical novels": A Tale of Two Cities, set during the French Revolution, and Barnaby Rudge, set during the Gordon Riots. I find it interesting that both of these books were set against a backdrop of violent uprising. Was Dickens particularly fascinated by that kind of setting, or was it just a coincidence? If the former, what was his attitude towards the idea of revolution (either as expressed via these two novels, or elsewhere in his writings)?

  • “In all Dickens’s work there is a confusion of mind which reflects the perplexity of his time; equally ready to denounce on the grounds of humanity all who left things alone, and on the grounds of liberty all who tried to make them better, England was shifting uneasily and convulsively from an old to a new discipline, and the early stages were painful.” — G. M. Young, Victorian England: Portrait of an Age (source) Sep 3 '18 at 11:07

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