Bleak House

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, Mar 27, 2003 - Fiction - 1036 pages
29 Reviews
Bleak House is Charles Dickens's masterful assault on the injustices of the British legal system. This Penguin Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Nicola Bradbury, as well as a preface by Terry Eagleton. 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's most ambitious novels, with a range that extends from the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to the poorest of London slums. This edition follows the first book edition of 1853, and includes all the original illustrations by 'Phiz', as well as appendices on the Chancery and spontaneous combustion. In his preface, Terry Eagleton examines characterisation and considers Bleak House as an early work of detective fiction. Charles Dickens is one of the best-loved novelists in the English language, whose 200th anniversary was celebrated in 2012. His most famous books, including Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, David Copperfield and The Pickwick Papers, have been adapted for stage and screen and read by millions. If you enjoyed Bleak House, you might like Dickens's Our Mutual Friend, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Perhaps his best novel ... when he wrote Bleak House he had grown up'G.K. Chesterton 'One of the finest of all English satires'Terry Eagleton

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Review: Bleak House

User Review  - Gary the SophistiCat - Goodreads

I find it hard to believe that it's only been a month since I first entered Bleak House. The Goodreads group read had been going on for some time and I was so far behind that I pretty much listened ... Read full review

Review: Bleak House

User Review  - Gary aka Grasshopper - Goodreads

I find it hard to believe that it's only been a month since I first entered Bleak House. The Goodreads group read had been going on for some time and I was so far behind that I pretty much listened ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Landport, Portsea, England. He died in Kent on June 9, 1870. The second of eight children of a family continually plagued by debt, the young Dickens came to know not only hunger and privation,but also the horror of the infamous debtors' prison and the evils of child labor. A turn of fortune in the shape of a legacy brought release from the nightmare of prison and “slave” factories and afforded Dickens the opportunity of two years' formal schooling at Wellington House Academy. He worked as an attorney's clerk and newspaper reporter until his Sketches by Boz (1836) and The Pickwick Papers (1837) brought him the amazing and instant success that was to be his for the remainder of his life. In later years, the pressure of serial writing, editorial duties, lectures, and social commitments led to his separation from Catherine Hogarth after twenty-three years of marriage. It also hastened his death at the age of fifty-eight, when he was characteristically engaged in a multitude of work.

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