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Bleak House

Bleak House

by Charles Dickens

Mr. Tulkinghorn Timeline and Summary

  • Tulkinghorn has been the Dedlock family lawyer since before Sir Dedlock inherited his title.
  • When Sir Dedlock was planning to marry Lady Dedlock, Tulkinghorn advised against it.
  • One day, when bringing legal documents to the Dedlocks, Tulkinghorn is intrigued to see Lady Dedlock recognize the handwriting on one of them.
  • When he goes to investigate the copywriter, Tulkinghorn finds him dead of an overdose.
  • At the inquest, he interrogates Jo the crossing sweeper, the only person who knew the dead man.
  • He tells Lady Dedlock the news and observes her reaction.
  • Tulkinghorn hires Bucket to find Jo.
  • With Lady Dedlock's former maid Hortense, he confirms through Jo that Lady Dedlock was touring Nemo's haunts disguised as a servant.
  • Tulkinghorn refuses to find Hortense a job.
  • Through Smallweed, he blackmails Mr. George into giving him a sample of Captain Hawdon's handwriting and confirms that Nemo was Captain Hawdon.
  • Tulkinghorn orders Bucket to give Jo enough money to get out of London forever in order to shut him up.
  • Hortense and Mr. George each separately threaten Tulkinghorn's life.
  • After he figures out that Lady Dedlock's daughter is still alive, Tulkinghorn menacingly tells the story, without using names, at a Dedlock dinner party. When Lady Dedlock confronts him, he agrees not to do anything with the information as long as Lady Dedlock goes on as if everything were normal.
  • When Lady Dedlock sends away her maid Rosa, Tulkinghorn decides that all bets are off and plans to reveal her secret to Sir Dedlock the next day.
  • He goes home and is shot to death.
  • His funeral is a grand affair which no one actually attends, but every family sends an empty carriage as a gesture of respect.
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