Special Collections & Archives

 

 

Charles Dickens Theatre Collection

Barnaby Rudge

Although Barnaby Rudge, Dickens’ first historical novel, was not hugely popular by the standards of his previous works, the first production was on the stage of the English Opera House four months before the end of the serial run.

The majority of the novel is set in 1780 and depicts the Gordon Riots, anti-Catholic violence that erupted in part following the Papists Act of 1778 which eliminated some of the penalties and disabilities that had been imposed upon Catholics in England. Dickens’ second historical drama, A Tale of Two Cities, was also set during revolutionary times.

Edward Stirling, a frequent dramatiser of Dickens’ work, had a version produced at the Strand in August 1841. The play reached America in September, and the serialisation finished in November 1841. This may demonstrate the automatic transition of Dickens’ novels into theatrical events, but there were few more than 30 productions of Barnaby Rudge throughout the nineteenth century. In the early years of the twentieth century, short plays from the novel were published. One of these, a farce called Dolly Varden, was popular on the London stage.

Special Collections Holdings

Item type Item information Author Item number
Playscript

Barnaby Rudge : a domestic drama

Dicks' version

(first performed at the English Opera House, 28 June 1841)

Charles Selby
(?1802-1863)

0595017
0595016

 

Playscript

Barnaby Rudge : a domestic drama

(Duncombe, c.1841)

Charles Selby
(?1802-1863)

0595422
Programme


The Mistress of the Mill and Barnaby Rudge

(performed at the Princess's Theatre, London, 26 November 1866)

William Thomas Moncrieff
(1794-1857)

F174814
Playscript
(manuscript)

Barnaby Rudge (Act 1 only)

undated

Thomas Higgie
(1808-1893)

Arthur Williams
(1844-1915)

0597438
Playscript
(manuscript)

Barnaby Rudge (Acts 1 and 3, with photocopy of 1, 2 and 3)

undated

Charles Selby
(?1802-1863)

0597437
Playscript

Barnaby Rudge: or, The Murder at the Warren

undated

Thomas Higgie
(1808-1893)

Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

0592259

0592260

Playscript
(parts)

Barnaby Rudge

undated

Thomas Higgie
(1808-1893)

Arthur Williams
(1844-1915)

0598907
Programme

Dolly Varden

(performed at the Marlborough Theatre, Lodnon, 18 December 1907)

Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

Walter Dexter

F172656
Postcard

Black and white postcard of Bransby Williams as Barnaby Rudge

undated

  F175798
Programme

Barnaby Rudge

(performed at the Birkenhead Hippodrome,
9 May 1921)

Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

Walter Frederick Evelyn

F174558
Playscript

The Blue Cockade

(G. F. Wilson, 1964)

Eric Jones-Evans
(fl. 1950s-1960s)

Charles Dickens
(1812-1870)

F093385

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Last Updated: 02/06/2016