Analysis: Steaminess Rating
Exactly how steamy is this story?
In a novel so concerned with the birth of an illegitimate child (which, after all, means some kind of sex happened somewhere), there's not too much hot and heavy action to speak of. In fact, Bleak House goes out of its way to take the sexy out of every relationship. By the time Richard and Ada are married, he's all sickly and has eyes only for Chancery. Esther and Jarndyce? Well, she thinks of him as her dad, and he thinks of her as a prematurely old woman. It's not enough even to build a little that's-so-wrong scenario around! Esther and Woodcourt seem like they probably have a healthy love life, but guess what: we don't get to hear about it, because the plot ends right when they get married. Rosa and Watt Rouncewell probably get up to some hijinks in the countryside, but that's just Shmoop trying to put as dirty-minded a spin on things as possible.