Study Guide

Bleak House Chapter 64

By Charles Dickens

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Chapter 64

Esther's Narrative

  • (Esther, obviously.)
  • Esther starts getting ready for the wedding – getting lots of new clothes, mostly.
  • She still hasn't told Ada and assumes they'll have a really quiet ceremony, maybe even without Ada there.
  • Jarndyce then goes away to Yorkshire to help Woodcourt with his new job.
  • One day Esther gets a letter from Jarndyce asking her to come there too.
  • When she gets there, he shows her that he has bought Woodcourt a house, but asks her to make sure it's all set up well, since she's such an excellent housekeeper. It's all HGTV all of a sudden.
  • They get to the house and she realizes it's set up exactly the way she organized Bleak House.
  • Then Jarndyce shows her that the name of this house is... "Bleak House"!
  • Esther is worried that all of this will upset Woodcourt, since it will only remind him of her.
  • But then Jarndyce explains that he no longer wants to marry her. He knows she loves Woodcourt and that Woodcourt loves her. In fact, he's been setting all of this up all along as a surprise for the two of them. He just wants to go back to being her adopted father. And guess what? This is what Jarndyce meant all along when he kept talking about Esther becoming mistress of Bleak House. Nice!
  • Esther is thrilled. (Shmoop is mildly weirded out by husband-dad, but whatever.)
  • Esther tells us that she and Woodcourt would get married that same month, and that they've now been married for seven years.
  • A few weeks later, Guppy, his mother, and Jobling come to see Esther. Guppy renews his proposal of marriage. Jarndyce unceremoniously kicks him and his posse out.

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