Bleak House

Bleak House

Book rating: 04 Hardback Clothbound Classics

By (author) Charles Dickens, Introduction by Dr. Nicola Bradbury

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  • Publisher: PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • Format: Hardback | 1088 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 200mm x 44mm | 921g
  • Publication date: 31 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141198354
  • ISBN 13: 9780141198354
  • Sales rank: 38,094

Product description

Part of "Penguin's" beautiful hardback "Clothbound Classics" series, designed by the award-winning Coralie Bickford-Smith, these delectable and collectible editions are bound in high-quality colourful, tactile cloth with foil stamped into the design. As the interminable case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce grinds its way through the Court of Chancery, it draws together a disparate group of people: Ada and Richard Clare, whose inheritance is gradually being devoured by legal costs; Esther Summerson, a ward of court, whose parentage is a source of deepening mystery; the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn; the determined sleuth Inspector Bucket; and, even Jo, the destitute little crossing-sweeper. A savage, but often comic, indictment of a society that is rotten to the core, "Bleak House" is one of Dickens' most ambitious novels, with a range that extends from the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to the poorest of London slums.

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Author information

Charles Dickens was born on 7 February 1812. He is the author of such Classics as Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, A Christmas Carol and David Copperfield. In later works, such as Bleak House and Little Dorrit, Dickens's social criticism became more radical and his comedy more savage. His last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, was never completed and he died on 9 June 1870.

Customer reviews

By Tarissa 07 Oct 2014 4

Bleak House is a novel of immense drama and, yes, heart-rending bleakness. Too many innocent people are ruined by the desolate pains surrounding the inhabitants of Bleak House, from a list of unavoidable circumstances.

Young Esther Summerson, our heroine, looks upon Mr. Jarndyce as her guardian and protector. As the Jarndyce and Jarndyce lawsuit continues on in Lincoln's Inn Hall year after year, it wrecks many a man involved in British law. Although it is Mr. Jarndyce and his family's business that tangles the infamous lawsuit, his interests do not lie with it. Instead, one of Esther's dearest friends, Richard, takes on the role of lawyer upon his shoulders; although his eager and young mind hopes to settle matters that have remained snarled for decades, he pays a terrible price.

Lady Dedlock is a haunted woman, with her secret always lurking around the corner, ready to be exposed. What she didn't even know was that her child did not die at birth, but has actually been kept alive for all these years since, unbeknownst to her. As her story plays out, the reader finds the moral in not keeping secrets.

Jo, a boy destined merely for the streets, fulfilling the only predetermined path his existence could lead to. Mr. Bucket, the detective who happens to be in just the right place to put the pieces together of a very large event on the whole; a man of whom Sherlock Holmes could approve of. Ada, a blessed girl who finds herself directly in the center of Bleak House's most terrible moments, but provides the friendship that Esther Summerson so needs.

Esther Summerson, who simply aims to do the best she can in her situation, just like us all. Through all the emotion, surprises, and heartbreaking news, she's a trooper, that Dame Durden.

As these lives and more twist together in connective plots that are so intricate, you see what the real of existence of humanity is degraded to, and yet, what we could be.

Personally, Bleak House didn't become my favorite Dickens novel, but it certainly is a well-written piece of Victorian literature.

- - - - - - - - - -

Mr. Jarndyce called me into a small room next his bed-chamber, which I found to be in part a little library of books and papers and in part quite a little museum of his boots and shoes and hat-boxes.

"Sit down, my dear," said Mr. Jarndyce. "This, you must know, is the growlery. When I am out of humour, I come and growl here."

"You must be here very seldom, sir," said I.

"Oh, you don't know me!" he returned. "When I am deceived or disappointed inâ??the wind, and it's easterly, I take refuge here. The growlery is the best-used room in the house. You are not aware of half my humours yet...."

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[Coralie Bickford-Smith's] recent work for Penguin Classics is nothing short of glorious Anna Cole Co.