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Bleak House


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Charles Dickens
   wrote   
Bleak House
Dicken's 9th novel is an assault on the flaws of the British judiciary system in the 1800's
Bayham Badger
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Doctor, cousin of Kenge, to whom Richard Carstone is apprenticed. Badger's wife Laura talks incessantly about her two former husbands, Capt Swosser and Professor Dingo.
Bagnet Family
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Musical, military family headed by Matthew, an old army friend of George Rouncewell. Bagnet's wife, the old girl, knows Matthew so well that he always calls upon her to supply his opinion. The Bagnet children: Quebec, Malta, and Woolwich are named for the military bases where the family have been stationed. Matthew is guarantor to George's loan from Smallweed, when Smallweed calls in the debt George is forced to deliver a document Smallweed needs to help lawyer Tulkinghorn learn Lady Dedlock's secret.
Miss Barbary
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
'Godmother' who raises Esther Summerson. Later found to be Esther's aunt, the sister of Lady Dedlock.
Bucket
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Detective in charge of finding Tulkinghorn's murderer. After Lady Dedlock's disappearance Sir Leicester hires Bucket to find her. He later uncovers the will that is instrumental in clearing up the Jarndyce and Jarndyce chancery case.
Richard Carstone
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Ward of Mr Jarndyce and a party to the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. He marries Ada Clare and later dies when his health declines as the estate he hopes to acquire is consumed in court costs.
Rev Chadband
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Typical Dickensian hypocritical reverend, admonishing Jo in the spirit while he starves. Marries the former Mrs Rachael.
Ada Clare
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Ward of John Jarndyce, friend of Esther Summerson, cousin of Richard Carstone, who she marries and is soon widowed as Richard's health fails in the wake of the unhappy conclusion of the Chancery suit.
Lady Dedlock
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Wife of Sir Leicester Dedlock and, unknown to her husband, mother of Esther Summerson. When Tulkinghorn, the family lawyer, learns the secret she runs away and is found dead by Esther at the gates of the cemetery in which Esther's father, Captain Hawdon, lies buried.
Sir Leicester Dedlock
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Husband of Lady Dedlock, owner of Chesney Wold, and guardian of the status quo.
Volumnia Dedlock
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Poor relation of Sir Leicester Dedlock. 'Rouged and necklaced' hanger-on at Chesney Wold.
Miss Flite
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
A slightly mad old woman who is a regular attendant at the court of Chancery expecting to receive a favorable judgement in a case that no one is sure has ever existed.
Gridley
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Known as the 'Man from Shropshire' and another casualty of Chancery.
William Guppy
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Clerk for Kenge and Carboy. Proposes marriage to Esther Summerson which she refuses. Guppy is involved in the investigation of Lady Dedlock's secret.
Hortense
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Lady Dedlock's French maid. She is dismissed in favor of Rosa and aids lawyer Tulkinghorn in discovering Lady Dedlock's secret. When Tulkinghorn spurns her she murders him. Hortense is based on Mrs Manning, a murderer whose execution Dickens witnessed in 1849.
John Jarndyce
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Owner of Bleak House and party in the Chancery suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce.He adopts Esther Summerson who becomes close friends with John's cousins, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone. John hates the lawsuit which has gone on for so long with no end in sight. Richard, however, becomes consumed with the case hoping it will make him his fortune. This obsession causes Carstone and Jarndyce suffer a falling out. Jarndyce falls in love with Esther and asked her to marry him, she accents because of her respect for him. Jarndyce later finds that Esther is in love with Woodcourt and releases her from their engagement.
Jellyby
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Mrs Jellyby is involved in many causes and charities but neglects her large family. Her eldest daughter, Caddy, marries Prince Turveydrop, the dance instructor. Dickens modeled Mrs Jellyby on Caroline Chisholm.
Caroline (Caddy) Jellyby
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Neglected daughter of Mrs Jellyby and her personal secretary ("I'm pen and ink to ma"). Caddy leaves home and marries Prince Turveydrop.
Jenny
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Brickmaker's wife, befriended by Esther Summerson after Jenny's child dies. Later exchanges coats with Lady Dedlock, throwing Bucket off in his pursuit of Lady Dedlock as she flees following the revealing of her secret.
Jo
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
The crossing sweeper. When Jo shows Lady Dedlock the haunts of Captain Hawdon lawyer Tulkinghorn has Jo kept moving from place to place. He befriends Esther Summerson at Bleak House and communicates smallpox to Charlie, and then Esther. Jo later dies at the shooting gallery of George Rouncewell.
Tony (Weevle) Jobling
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Friend of Guppy who takes Nemo's room at Krook's after Nemo's death. Jobling and Guppy discover the spectacular death of Krook and are temporary celebrities, drinking for free at the Sol's Arms.
Kenge
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Solicitor for John Jarndyce in the firm Kenge and Carboy. Known as 'Conversation Kenge'.
Krook
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Drunken and illiterate proprietor of a rag and bottle shop. Known as the 'Lord Chancellor', Krook collects court documents. A will instrumental in the Jarndyce and Jarndyce court case is found among his holdings by Mr Smallweed who inherits Krook's possessions after his demise by spontaneous combustion. Krook is Mrs Smallweed's brother.
Neckett
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Sheriff's officer who arrests debtors and delivers them to Coavin's sponging house (temporary debtor's prison) thus Skimpole gives Neckett the nickname "Coavinses". Neckett dies leaving three orphans: Charlotte (Charley), Emma, and Tom. Charley becomes Esther Summerson's maid.
Charlotte (Charley) Neckett
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Daughter of sheriff's officer Neckett. When her father dies Charley cares for her two younger siblings: Emma and Tom. Charley becomes Esther Summerson's maid, nursing Esther through smallpox. She later marries a miller.
Nemo
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Alias of Capt. Hawdon (Nemo is latin for nobody). Nemo is doing some law copying for Snagsby and is a boarder in Krook's rag and bottle shop when he dies of an opium overdose. He is later found to be the former lover of Lady Dedlock and the father of Esther Summerson.
Rosa
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Personal maid to Lady Dedlock after Hortense is dismissed. Marries Mrs Rouncewell's grandson.
George Rouncewell
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Son of the Dedlock's housekeeper Mrs Rouncewell. George ran away to join the army and cut himself off from his mother. After leaving the army George buys a shooting gallery in London with money borrowed from Smallweed. Smallweed pressures George to give over examples of Capt Hawdon's handwriting in order to help Tulkinghorn learn Lady Dedlock's secret. George is charged with the murder of Tulkinghorn by Bucket. Later George is exonerated of the crime and is reunited with his mother.
Mrs Rouncewell
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Longtime housekeeper of Chesney Wold, home of Sir Leicester Dedlock. Mother of George and another son who is an important ironmaster in northern England.
Harold Skimpole
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Friend of John Jarndyce who claims he is a mere child who understands nothing of money, and through this smooth act manages to have everyone else pay his way through life. Dickens modeled Skimpole on Leigh Hunt, causing a stir among Hunt and his friends.
Smallweed
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Grandfather (Joshua) Smallweed is a userer to whom George Rouncewell owes money. Smallweed uses this leverage to obtain from George a sample of Captain Hawdon's handwriting in an attempt to help Tulkinghorn learn Lady Dedlock's secret. Also in the Smallweed family are grandmother, Krook's sister, at whom grandfather throws cushions when she mentions money, and the twin grandchildren, Bartholomew and Judy.
Snagsby
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Law stationer near Chancery Lane who hires Nemo (Capt Hawdon) to do some copy work. Snagsby's wife is a zealous supporter of Rev. Chadband.
Phil Squod
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
George Rouncewell's ugly little assistant at the shooting gallery. Formerly a traveling tinker.
Esther Summerson
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Principal character in the story. She is brought up an orphan by her aunt, Miss Barbery. On her aunt's death she is adopted by John Jarndyce and becomes companions to his wards, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone. Later in the story it is revealed that Esther is the illegitimate daughter of Captain Hawdon and Lady Dedlock. John Jarndyce falls in love with her and asked her to marry him. She consents out of respect for Jarndyce but during the engagement she falls in love with Allan Woodcourt. When Jarndyce learns of her feelings for Allan he releases her from the engagement and she marries Woodcourt.
Tulkinghorn
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Family lawyer to the Dedlocks. When he finds out Lady Dedlock's secret past, and tries to gain from it, he is murdered by Lady Dedlock's former maid, Hortense.
Mr Turveydrop
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Owner of a dance academy on Newman Street and a "model of deportment". His son, Prince, gives dancing lessons and supports his father.
Prince Turveydrop
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Son of Mr Turveydrop, owner of a dance academy. Prince, named for the Prince Regent, gives dancing lessons and supports his father. Prince marries Caddy Jellyby.
Vholes
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
Richard Carstone's solicitor in Symond's Inn, recommended by Skimpole, who lures Richard deeper into the Chancery case that will ultimately lead to Richard's despair and death.
Allan Woodcourt
   appeared in the Dickens novel   
Bleak House
A young surgeon who falls in love with Esther Summerson before going away as ship's doctor to India. On his return to England he learns that Esther is engaged to John Jarndyce. When Jarndyce learns that Esther is in love with Woodcourt he releases her to marry him.
Bleak House (1922)
   starred   
Sybil Thorndike, Betty Doyle and Harry Worth
Director: H. B. Parkinson. Also starred Alec Alexander and Stacey Gaunt.
Allan Woodcourt
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
A young surgeon who falls in love with Esther Summerson before going away as ship's doctor to India. On his return to England he learns that Esther is engaged to John Jarndyce. When Jarndyce learns that Esther is in love with Woodcourt he releases her to marry him.
Bagnet Family
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Musical, military family headed by Matthew, an old army friend of George Rouncewell. Bagnet's wife, the old girl, knows Matthew so well that he always calls upon her to supply his opinion. The Bagnet children: Quebec, Malta, and Woolwich are named for the military bases where the family have been stationed. Matthew is guarantor to George's loan from Smallweed, when Smallweed calls in the debt George is forced to deliver a document Smallweed needs to help lawyer Tulkinghorn learn Lady Dedlock's secret.
Bucket
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Detective in charge of finding Tulkinghorn's murderer. After Lady Dedlock's disappearance Sir Leicester hires Bucket to find her. He later uncovers the will that is instrumental in clearing up the Jarndyce and Jarndyce chancery case.
Caroline (Caddy) Jellyby
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Neglected daughter of Mrs Jellyby and her personal secretary ("I'm pen and ink to ma"). Caddy leaves home and marries Prince Turveydrop.
Esther Summerson
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Principal character in the story. She is brought up an orphan by her aunt, Miss Barbery. On her aunt's death she is adopted by John Jarndyce and becomes companions to his wards, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone. Later in the story it is revealed that Esther is the illegitimate daughter of Captain Hawdon and Lady Dedlock. John Jarndyce falls in love with her and asked her to marry him. She consents out of respect for Jarndyce but during the engagement she falls in love with Allan Woodcourt. When Jarndyce learns of her feelings for Allan he releases her from the engagement and she marries Woodcourt.
Hortense
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Lady Dedlock's French maid. She is dismissed in favor of Rosa and aids lawyer Tulkinghorn in discovering Lady Dedlock's secret. When Tulkinghorn spurns her she murders him. Hortense is based on Mrs Manning, a murderer whose execution Dickens witnessed in 1849.
Jellyby
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Mrs Jellyby is involved in many causes and charities but neglects her large family. Her eldest daughter, Caddy, marries Prince Turveydrop, the dance instructor. Dickens modeled Mrs Jellyby on Caroline Chisholm.
John Jarndyce
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Owner of Bleak House and party in the Chancery suit of Jarndyce and Jarndyce.He adopts Esther Summerson who becomes close friends with John's cousins, Ada Clare and Richard Carstone. John hates the lawsuit which has gone on for so long with no end in sight. Richard, however, becomes consumed with the case hoping it will make him his fortune. This obsession causes Carstone and Jarndyce suffer a falling out. Jarndyce falls in love with Esther and asked her to marry him, she accents because of her respect for him. Jarndyce later finds that Esther is in love with Woodcourt and releases her from their engagement.
Miss Barbary
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Nemo
   appears in the Dickens' novel   
Bleak House
Alias of Capt. Hawdon (Nemo is latin for nobody). Nemo is doing some law copying for Snagsby and is a boarder in Krook's rag and bottle shop when he dies of an opium overdose. He is later found to be the former lover of Lady Dedlock and the father of Esther Summerson.






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