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Every now and then, disillusioned by modern literature, I return to Dickens. I have just read "Our Mutual Friend" Dickens wonderful word pictures of people, every character vivid and believable is far beyond anyone writing today. Read full review
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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.
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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 in—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...."