Bleak House was the ninth novel from Charles Dickens, intended to illustrate the evils caused by long, drawn-out legal cases in the Courts of Chancery. The novel is considered one of Dickens’ finest work although has not been his most popular.
Bleak House tells the story of the icily beautiful Lady Dedlock, who nurses a dark secret in her past, and the merciless lawyer Tulkinghorn, who seeks to uncover it. Then there’s the generous John Jarndyce, struggling with his own past, and his two attractive young wards Richard and Ada. Like Lady Dedlock, they’re all caught up in the infamous case of Jarndyce vs Jarndyce, which will make one of them rich beyond imagination – if it can ever be brought to a conclusion.
The story is told through Esther Summerson, a girl without a past. John Jarndyce takes Esther under his wing as a companion for Ada, but then falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Esther’s mysterious connection with Lady Dedlock may bring ruin to them both.