The Gordon Riots: the beginning of Anarchy in the UK! Dickens' "other" historical novel and actually much better than the other one. I have to admit I mainly read this because of my interest in the Gordon Riots. The usual cast of characters and tangled histories set against the backdrop of the 1780 anti-Catholic riots in England. Actually a much better novel than its reputation. Marred by a weak sympathetic happy ending that could have been much more profound if it had been allowed to play out as it should have, but Dickens was still somewhat of a sop to the masses at this point so he took the easy way with his audience.