© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bleak House

More than just a doorstop.

Wait, wait, come back. Yes, we know that you saw the words Bleak House and thought, "No thanks. I'll pass on the opportunity to read the biggest book ever about a sad building." But don't be fooled by the size (or name). Bleak House is hilarious, moving, and totally readable.

Yes, Charles Dickens writes a lot of words. But those words matter. At its heart, Bleak House is about connection: how one of the wealthiest women in the land is connected to one of the poorest; how the slums aren't so far off from the country; and how we should be helping people right here in front of us, not just the folks across the globe.

With all sorts of readings, activities, and projects that make Dickens as fun and understandable as Seuss, you will

  • see how Dickens's sweeping imagination encompasses nearly every corner of London society, from the very low to the very high. 
  • experience one of the first-ever police detectives. All those serialized cop shows you like to watch? They owe their fictional employment to Dickens—in more ways than one.
  • look at pictures. Seriously—it's illustrated!
  • get to say (honestly) that you've read one of Dickens's longest books.

Course Breakdown

    Unit 1. Bleak House

    1 book. 15 lessons. 1000 pages. Don't panic! This unit will give you the low-down on one of Dickens's bleakest novels, without making you run for the hills.

back to top