Bleak House Fridays – Week Eight


This week, for the Bleak House read-along hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables, I read until Chapter XXXIX.  This week’s reading was full of revelations, especially as it deals with Lady Dedlock and Esther.  More on that in a bit though.

I want to point out a couple of other things prior to discussing Esther and Lady Dedlock.  The first being how impressed I was with how Esther dealt with her battle with smallpox.  She dealt with it with grace and great strength, which really left a strong impression on me.  Even though she knew she had lost her good looks due to the scarring, she didn’t get depressed she dwelt on it for a brief moment and realized, in my opinion, how much she had to live for, and that her inner beauty surpassed her exterior appearance.  This belief was reinforced after the way Mr. Jarndyce reacted when he discovered that she had fully recovered and didn’t treat her any differently.  Esther is truly turning out to be a character that’s going to stand out to me as I continue down my path of reading books.  She may be the basis for comparison going forward, but I’ll make that determination as I continue through the last half of the book.

The other character I was really impressed with was George.  He felt terribly bad when Mr. Smallweed and Mr. Tulkinghorn turned the screws on him with his debt in order to get Captain Hawdon’s writing sample.  Even though I could see this sort of outcome coming down the road, I was really disappointed in how Mr. Tulkinghorn manipulated the situation to his advantage.  I wonder what Mr. Tulkinghorn is truly up to, but whatever it is, it won’t turn out well for Lady Dedlock.  I wonder what Lady Dedlock did to Mr. Tulkinghorn to deserve his wrath.

But back to George, I was truly impressed with how concerned he was with the Bagnets.  The Bagnets had backed his purchase of the shooting range, a business venture that isn’t going to turn any sort of profit, or, at least it would seem.  George was more concerned about them being sent to debtor’s prison than his own well-being.  These passages clearly demonstrated to me the true meaning of friendship and love.

Finally, as I mentioned in my opening paragraphs, I was really surprised, but not shocked, when Lady Dedlock revealed to Esther that she was Esther’s mother.  While I wasn’t shocked with this revelation, it had been hinted at a few times in previous chapters, I was a bit taken back that Lady Dedlock wanted to keep it a secret.  Could this secret be the one that Mr. Tulkinghorn is seeking to exploit for some personal gain, maybe he’s hoping to blackmail Lady Dedlock.  I definitely can’t wait to discover his true motives.

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

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