Widely regarded as Dickens’s masterpiece, Bleak House centers on the generations-long lawsuit Jarndyce and Jarndyce, through which “whole families have inherited legendary hatreds.” Focusing on Esther Summerson, a ward of John Jarndyce, the novel traces Esther’s romantic coming-of-age and, in classic Dickensian style, the gradual revelation of long-buried secrets, all set against the foggy backdrop of the Court of Chancery. Mixing romance, mystery, comedy, and satire, Bleak House limns the suffering caused by the intricate inefficiency of the law.
The text of this Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the first single-volume edition, published by Bradbury & Evans in 1853, and reproduces thirty-nine of H. K. Browne’s original illustrations for the book.
About the Author
Arguably one of the greatest writers of the Victorian era, Charles Dickens is the author of such literary masterpieces as A Tale of Two Cities (1859), A Christmas Carol (1843), David Copperfield (1850), and The Adventures of Oliver Twist (1839), among many others. Dickens' s indelible characters and timeless stories continue to resonate with readers around the world more than 130 years after his death. Dickens was born in 1812 and died in 1870.
Mary Gaitskill's novel, Veronica, was nominated for a 2005 National Book Award and was one of The New York Times's 10 Best Books of 2005. She is also the author of the acclaimed novels Because They Wanted To and Two Girls, Fat and Thin. Her stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Esquire, The Best American Short Stories (1993), and The O. Henry Prize Stories (1998). Her short story "Secretary" was the basis for the film of the same name. She lives in New York.
“Perhaps Bleak House is his best novel. . . . When Dickens wrote Bleak House he had grown up.” —G. K. Chesterton