Bleak House

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Bleak House

by CHARLES DICKENS

January 1, 2011 | Trade Paperback |

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One of Charles Dickens's most critically admired novels, this story of a monumental and life-consuming court case features one of his most vast and varied casts of colorful characters. In Bleak House, competing claims of love and inheritance-complicated by murder-have given rise to a costly and decades-long legal battle that one litigant refers to as "the family curse." The insidious London fog that rises from the river Thames and seeps into the very bones of the characters symbolizes the pervasive corruption of the legal system and the society that supports it, targets of Dickens's satirical wrath. Displaying Dickens's familiar panoramic sweep and brilliant characters-including the mysterious orphan Esther Summerson, her gentle guardian John Jarndyce, the haughty Lady Dedlock, and the scheming lawyer Mr. Tulkinghorn-the novel is also a bold experimental narrative that unforgettably dramatizes our most basic human conflicts.

London. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets, as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus,forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn-hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes-gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another's umbrellas, in a general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foot-hold at street corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if the day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest.

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: January 1, 2011

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030729191X

ISBN - 13: 9780307291912

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– More About This Product –

Bleak House

by CHARLES DICKENS

Format: Trade Paperback

Published: January 1, 2011

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 030729191X

ISBN - 13: 9780307291912

From the Publisher

One of Charles Dickens's most critically admired novels, this story of a monumental and life-consuming court case features one of his most vast and varied casts of colorful characters. In Bleak House, competing claims of love and inheritance-complicated by murder-have given rise to a costly and decades-long legal battle that one litigant refers to as "the family curse." The insidious London fog that rises from the river Thames and seeps into the very bones of the characters symbolizes the pervasive corruption of the legal system and the society that supports it, targets of Dickens's satirical wrath. Displaying Dickens's familiar panoramic sweep and brilliant characters-including the mysterious orphan Esther Summerson, her gentle guardian John Jarndyce, the haughty Lady Dedlock, and the scheming lawyer Mr. Tulkinghorn-the novel is also a bold experimental narrative that unforgettably dramatizes our most basic human conflicts.

London. Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln's Inn Hall. Implacable November weather. As much mud in the streets, as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth, and it would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus,forty feet long or so, waddling like an elephantine lizard up Holborn-hill. Smoke lowering down from chimney-pots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snow-flakes-gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun. Dogs, undistinguishable in mire. Horses, scarcely better; splashed to their very blinkers. Foot passengers, jostling one another's umbrellas, in a general infection of ill-temper, and losing their foot-hold at street corners, where tens of thousands of other foot passengers have been slipping and sliding since the day broke (if the day ever broke), adding new deposits to the crust upon crust of mud, sticking at those points tenaciously to the pavement, and accumulating at compound interest.

From the Jacket

IN THE OPENING SCENE of Dickens’ classic novel on the bureacracy of the English court system of his time, gray fog swirls around the High Court of Chancery in London, obscuring the procedures within. Jarndyce and Jarndyce, the case at the center of Bleak House, is being discussed inside the court, but “no man alive knows what it means.” Costs of the legal battle over an inheritance have been devouring the property under dispute for generations, but it is the people involved in the case who bear the agonizing weight of the proceedings when truths long hidden are revealed. Informed by Dickens’ personal and professional experiences in the courts, Bleak House, the mother of all legal novels, is widely considered one of the best works in his oeuvre.

About the Author

Charles Dickens was born in a little house in Landport, Portsea, England, on February 7, 1812. The second of eight children, he grew up in a family frequently beset by financial insecurity. At age eleven, Dickens was taken out of school and sent to work in London backing warehouse, where his job was to paste labels on bottles for six shillings a week. His father John Dickens, was a warmhearted but improvident man. When he was condemned the Marshela Prison for unpaid debts, he unwisely agreed that Charles should stay in lodgings and continue working while the rest of the family joined him in jail. This three-month separation caused Charles much pain; his experiences as a child alone in a huge city–cold, isolated with barely enough to eat–haunted him for the rest of his life. When the family fortunes improved, Charles went back to school, after which he became an office boy, a freelance reporter and finally an author. With Pickwick Papers (1836-7) he achieved immediate fame; in a few years he was easily the post popular and respected writer of his time. It has been estimated that one out of every ten persons in Victorian England was a Dickens reader. Oliver Twist (1837), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-9) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-41) were huge successes. Martin Chuzzlewit (1843-4) was less so, but Dickens followed it with his unforgettable, A Christmas Carol (1843), Bleak House (1852-3), Hard Times (1854) and Little Dorrit (1855-7) reveal his deepening concern for the injustice
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