Study Guide

Bleak House Chapter 59

By Charles Dickens

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Chapter 59

Esther's Narrative

  • (Esther narrating again.)
  • OK, this chapter is kind of hardcore. Maybe you'd better sit down.
  • Esther and Bucket drive really fast back down to London. Bucket drives the carriage into some of the most horrible, gross, narrow streets that Esther has ever seen.
  • Bucket keeps conferring with other policemen, and gradually they narrow the circle of the search.
  • Finally they arrive at the neighborhood where the Chancery Court is.
  • They get out to walk, even though it's crazily snowing, and run into... Woodcourt! He's just been to see Richard and Ada. Richard seems to be doing OK, and Woodcourt joins the search party.
  • They all go to Snagsby's house, where Bucket really wants to talk to Guster, the maid, but she unfortunately is having one of her epileptic seizures.
  • Woodcourt goes to see if he can do anything to help her, and meanwhile Bucket finally talks some sense into Mrs. Snagsby and her nonsense suspicions about her extremely decent and kind husband.
  • Woodcourt returns with a letter. It's written in Lady Dedlock's handwriting! It's basically a suicide note, but she says she won't have to actually kill herself since the cold will do it for her.
  • Guster tells them how a poorly dressed woman came to the house, gave her this letter to mail, and asked for directions to the poor people's cemetery, where Nemo was buried.
  • Bucket immediately looks worried, and they set off for that sad and terrible place.
  • When they get there, Esther sees Jenny lying on the ground.
  • Before she approaches, Bucket tells her that "they changed clothes at the cottage" (59.108), but this doesn't mean anything to her. He tries to explain again, that one went north to throw off the searchers and another went south. Again, Esther can't make sense of the words.
  • She walks over to the dead Jenny on the ground, turns her over, and sees... Lady Dedlock.

Bleak House Chapter 59 Study Group

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