Bleak house - PDF by Charles Dickens

Bleak house 

Bleak house -  by Charles Dickens
Bleak house -  by Charles Dickens

From the preface:
A Chancery Judge once had the kindness to inform me, as one of a company of some hundred and fifty men and women not labouring under any suspicions of lunacy, that the Court of Chancery, though the shining subject of much popular prejudice (at which point I thought the Judge's eye had a cast in my direction), was almost immaculate. There had been, he admitted, a trivial blemish or so in its rate of progress, but this was exaggerated, and had been entirely owing to the "parsimony of the public;" which guilty public, it appeared, had been until lately bent in the most determined manner on by no means enlarging the number of Chancery Judges appointed — I believe by Kichard the Second, but any other King will do as well. 

This seemed to me too profound a joke to be inserted in the body of this book, or I should have restored it to Conversation Kenge or to Mr Vholes, with one or other of whom I think it must have originated. In such mouths, I might have coupled it with an apt quotation from one of Shakspeare's Sonnets: My nature is subdued To what it works in, like the dyer's hand: Pity me then, and wish I were renewed! But as it is wholesome that the parsimonious public should know what has been doing, and still is doing, in this connexion, I mention here that everything outlined in these pages concerning the Court of Chancery is substantially true, and within the truth. 

The case of vi Preface. Gridley is in no essential altered from one of actual occurrence, made public by a disinterested person who was professionally acquainted with the whole of the monstrous wrong from beginning to end. 

At the present moment, there is a suit before the Court which was commenced nearly twenty years ago; in which from thirty to forty counsel have been known to appear at one time; in which costs have been incurred to the amount of seventy thousand pounds; which is a friendly suit ; and which is (I am assured) no nearer to its termination now than when it was begun. There is another well-known suit in Chancery, not yet decided, which was commenced before the close of the last century, and in which more than double the amount of seventy thousand pounds has been swallowed up in costs. If I wanted other authorities for Jarndyce and Jarndyce, I could rain them on these pages, to the shame of — a parsimonious public.

 There is only one other point on which I offer a word of remark. The possibility of what is called Spontaneous Combustion has been denied since the death of Mr Krook; and my good friend Mb. Lewes (quite mistaken, as he soon found, in supposing the thing to have been abandoned by all authorities) published some ingenious letters to me at the time when that event was chronicled, arguing that Spontaneous 

Combustion could not possibly be. I have no need to observe that I do not wilfully or negligently mislead my readers and that before I wrote that description I took pains to investigate the subject. There are about thirty cases on record, of which the most famous, that^ of the Countess Cornelia de Bandi Cesenate, was minutely investigated and described by Giuseppe Bianchini, a pre- boundary of Verona, otherwise distinguished in letters, who published an account of it at Verona, in 1731, which he afterwards republished at Rome. 

The appearances beyond all rational doubt observed in that case, are the appearances observed in Mr Krook's case. The next most famous instance happened at Rheims, six years earlier; and the historian, in that case, is Le Cat, one of the most reno\v'ned surgeons produced by France.
Sir Leicester Dedlock and his wife Honoria live on his estate at Chesney Wold. Lady Dedlock is a beneficiary under one of the wills. While listening to the reading by the family solicitor, Mr Tulkinghorn, of an affidavit, she recognises the handwriting on the copy. 


The sight affects her so much she almost faints, which Mr Tulkinghorn notices and investigates. He traces the copyist, a pauper known only as "Nemo", in London. Nemo has recently died, and the only person to identify him is a street-sweeper, a poor homeless boy named Jo, who lives in a particularly grim and poverty-stricken part of the city known as Tom-All-Alone's

Much criticism of Bleak House focuses on its unique narrative structure: it is told both by a third-person omniscient narrator and a first-person narrator (Esther Summerson). The omniscient narrator speaks in the present tense and is a dispassionate observer.

the book details :
  • Author: Charles Dickens
  • Publication date: 1853
  • Company:London: Chapman & Hall

  • Download 40 MB PDF ebook with illustrations
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