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Bleak house

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  • Contributor: Gaither, Ed

    Bleak House opens in the twilight of foggy London, where fog grips the city most densely in the Court of Chancery. The obscure case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, in which an inheritance is gradually devoured by legal costs, the romance of Esther Summerson and the secrets of her origin, the sleuthing of Detective Inspector Bucket and the fate of Jo the crossing-sweeper, these are some of the lives Dickens invokes to portray London society, rich and poor, as no other novelist has done. The byzantine legal suit of Jarndyce vs. Jarndyce forms the backbone of this intricate, richly populated novel, which so effectively satirizes the Chancery court system that it helped spur English legal reforms. A dark secret, a cold-blooded murder and spontaneous human combustion are, frankly, not even the most exciting parts.

    Bleak House, in its atmosphere, symbolism and magnificent bleak comedy, is often regarded as the best of Dickens. A 'great Victorian novel', it is so inventive in its competing plots and styles that it eludes interpretation.

    Original Publisher: San Francisco, CA, Plympton
    Language(s): English
    ISBN: 9781682280942