- “The negligence and disorder of the whole man, with something fierce and sullen in his features, gave him a picturesque appearance” is a quotation from Barnaby Rudge (Chapter 11).
- Barnaby Rudge was the fifth novel from Charles Dickens, and first appeared as a weekly serial published in Master Humphrey’s Clock, from February 1841 to November 1841. It is the first of Dickens’s two historical novels (the other being A Tale of Two Cities). Barnaby Rudge is largely set around the time of the Gordon Riots of 1780.
Character Profile: Hugh.
Hugh (who isn’t given a surname) works at the Maypole Inn in Chigwell, Essex as an ostler (stableman). When Hugh was a young child his mother was hanged for forgery and as a result had to work on farms to earn money, so is illiterate from not having an education. He is described as strong and having a young, athletic, handsome appearance although he comes across as scruffy with his unkempt clothes and hair, as a result of his hard manual work. He sleeps on straw in the stables where his horses are kept. He becomes a leader of the group of rioters that rampage London in the Gordon Riots, for which he is imprisoned and executed.
The light that fell upon this slumbering form, showed it in all its muscular and handsome proportions. It was that of a young man, of a hale athletic figure, and a giant’s strength, whose sunburnt face and swarthy throat, overgrown with jet black hair, might have served a painter for a model. Loosely attired, in the coarsest and roughest garb, with scraps of straw and hay—his usual bed—clinging here and there, and mingling with his uncombed locks, he had fallen asleep in a posture as careless as his dress. The negligence and disorder of the whole man, with something fierce and sullen in his features, gave him a picturesque appearance, that attracted the regards even of the Maypole customers who knew him well, and caused Long Parkes to say that Hugh looked more like a poaching rascal to-night than ever he had seen him yet.
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