Study Guide

Bleak House Chapter 63

By Charles Dickens

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Chapter 63

Steel and Iron

  • (Switching to the third-person narrator now.)
  • George is still with Sir Dedlock, now recuperating at Chesney Wold.
  • One day, though, George rides north to the industrial factory towns up there.
  • He asks a random guy if he knows the name "Rouncewell," and the guy is all, "um, duh, as well as my own name."
  • George is kind of overwhelmed by how important his brother has apparently become and wants to turn back...but doesn't.
  • He keeps going, finds the Rouncewell factory (the biggest one around), and walks into his brother's office.
  • George introduces himself as Mr. Steel, but as soon as he opens his mouth, his brother recognizes him and is hugely thrilled to see him. George is floored.
  • They go to Rouncewell's house, which is fancy. The man clearly has money. There's an engagement party going on for Watt and Rosa, and George becomes the guest of honor.
  • The next day George tells his brother that he's happy except for one thing: he wants to be removed from Mrs. Rouncewell's will. He doesn't want to take money away from his nieces and nephews, and it's making him feel awful.
  • His brother tells him that his mom isn't going to do any such thing. But on the other hand – once he inherits the money, he can do whatever he wants with it, so no worries.
  • This makes George happy. His brother immediately offers him a job, but George says he's best off helping out Sir Dedlock for now. His brother is sort of not into this, but George explains that they are different people and that George really likes being commanded, like he was in the army.
  • Finally George shows his brother a letter he's written to Esther explaining that he only passed along Captain Hawdon's note as a handwriting sample, and that if he'd known Hawdon was alive he would have found him and taken care of him. Apparently Hawdon was presumed drowned after falling overboard.

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