Bleak House

I find something aesthetically satisfying in a book that has been well loved.

My husband and I enjoy finding a good literature movie adaptation, and the BBC has produced several. When my mother and father in law visited us last, they had the complete set of BBC Charles Dickens stories, one of which was Bleak House. I found this book several years ago in a little hole in the wall bookshop and got it for a buck or so. Although difficult at the beginning, as with all Dickens’ books, the story is gripping and intricate. The basic plot follows a little group of distantly-related friends thrown together by an out-of-control chancellery lawsuit. Some generations prior to the story, the wealthy Jarndyce family went to court to contest an inheritance dispute. This becomes a catalyst to bring the four people together and also to cultivate their different relationships toward each other. Meanwhile, a dramatic scandal in an aristocratic family is being unearthed with much accompanying mystery and treachery. The whole story plays out like a complicated symphony of people having a really rough time. We all know Dickens never missed an opportunity to jab at the social injustice of Victorian class distinction, but with this novel he throws in bureaucracy and crooked lawyers too! It’s a delightful read.

The movie was artfully put together, with relatively few changes to the storyline and a leading lady who bears a striking resemblance to my sister in law. It’s about the closest I’ll ever come to soap opera.

Rick and Ada meet to discuss their future.

Esther learns the truth about herself

I think this actress resembles my sister in law.

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2 Comments »

  1. Priscilla Said:

    I finally got to watch “Bleak House” in its entirety – almost 7 hours! We wouldn’t have gotten any sleep at all if we would have continued watching it while we were with you, but it would have been fun. I also watched Martin Chuzzlewit recently. Mom G.

    • kirinjirafa Said:

      Isn’t this a great movie? Now I wanna get the set too! I think they did a really good job.


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