Monday, April 19, 2021

"One of those mornings, common in early spring": Finishing "Barnaby Rudge"

I've just finished Charles Dickens's "Barnaby Rudge" as part of reading his work in chronological order. It was striking to read about the storming of the House of Commons during the anti-Catholic Gordon Riots of 1780 only a few weeks after the storming of the US Capitol in January. And a passage I highlighted in February as one of Dickens's amazing long sentences captures the season now so well; here's how it begins: “It was on one of those mornings, common in early spring, when the year, fickle and changeable in its youth like all other created things, is undecided whether to step backward into winter or forward into summer [...].”  (Andrew Shields, #111words, 19 April 2021)

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