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About the book
  • Published: 1 July 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099511458
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 992
  • RRP: $24.99

Bleak House

Perhaps Bleak House is his best novel. . . When Dickens wrote Bleak House he had grown up’ G. K. Chesterton

The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself’

'Jarndyce and Jardyce' is an infamous lawsuit that has been in process for generations. Nobody can remember exactly how the case started but many different individuals have found their fortunes caught up in it. Esther Summerson watches as her friends and neighbours are consumed by their hopes and disappointments with the proceedings. But while the intricate puzzles of the lawsuit are being debated by lawyers, other more dramatic mysteries are unfolding that involve heartbreak, lost children, blackmail and murder.

  • Pub date: 1 July 2008
  • ISBN: 9780099511458
  • Imprint: Vintage Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 992
  • RRP: $24.99

About the Author

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born in Hampshire on February 7, 1812. His father was a clerk in the navy pay office, who was well paid but often ended up in financial troubles. When Dickens was twelve years old he was send to work in a shoe polish factory because his family had be taken to the debtors' prison.Fagin is named after a boy Dickens disliked at the factory. His career as a writer of fiction started in 1833 when his short stories and essays began to appear in periodicals. The Pickwick Papers, his first commercial success, was published in 1836. In the same year he married the daughter of his friend George Hogarth, Catherine Hogarth. The serialisation of Oliver Twist began in 1837 while The Pickwick Papers was still running. Many other novels followed and The Old Curiosity Shop brought Dickens international fame and he became a celebrity America as well as Britain. He separated from his wife in 1858. Charles Dickens died on 9 June 1870, leaving his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, unfinished. He is buried in Westminster Abbey.

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Praise for Bleak House

“Dickens's chilling tale of murder and betrayal”

Sunday Times

“Kafka's favourite book, a tour de force that mixes grand scale and minutely-observed, perfectly-heard reality. Incomparable set-pieces (that opening! spontaneous combustion!) and dialogue”

James Hawes

“I keep on reading it in order to discover how to write a novel”

John Mortimer

“Bleak House reads like an encyclopedia not only of its time and place but of us”

Elizabeth Kostova

“Bleak House is the literati's favourite Dickens. It's one of the few stories that has modern resonance: the tale of a never-ending court case can be seen -if you squint -as the precursor of Kafka and Orwell”

A.A. Gill

“In addition to the usual range of Dickensian characters, scathing social observations and the first detective in British fiction, Bleak House features a murder, a frame-up for that murder, a child's tragic death, a character who dies by spontaneous combustion, a young beauty who loses her looks after catching smallpox, an opium addict and a secret love affair that produced an illegitimate child”

Daily Mail

“Dickens is huge - like the sky. Pick any page of Dickens and it's immediately recognizable as him, yet he might be doing social satire, or farce, or horror, or a psychological study of a murderer - or any combination of these”

Susannah Clarke

“Dickens has genius to vivify his observation”


“He deals truly with human nature, which never can degrade; he takes up everything, good, bad, or indifferent, which he works up into a rich alluvial deposit.He is natural, and that never can be ridiculous”

Quarterly Review

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