Last weekend, I finished the fifth book of my Classics Club List, Charles Dickens’s Bleak House. Since March, I have been participating in a read-along hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables. This read-along is the second I’ve participated in hosted by Wallace, with my first being with Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Part of the reason why I decided to participate with Bleak House is because I thought it would help me keep on track with the reading, and give me incentive to not give up on it, seeing on how I have a love-hate relationship with Charles Dickens, that I’ve mentioned many times previously.
I made several posts previously about my weekly readings with Bleak House and those are:
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Ten
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Nine
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Eight
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Seven
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Six
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Five
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Four
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Three
- Bleak House Fridays – Week Two
- Bleak House Fridays – Week One
In these posts, I talk about my thoughts on each week’s reading, so I won’t recap those here. There were definitely sections of this book that caused the hate part of my relationship with Dickens to come out, mostly during the early chapters of the book as he was setting everything up.
Bleak House was a very interesting read for me. I could definitely see all the satire that Dickens was using during this work, including when he was poking fun at the judicial system in Victorian England.
One thing that I was really impressed with was how kind Mr. Jarndyce was throughout the book. He showed kindness to Skimpole until the very end. He also exhibited great kindness and forgiveness toward Richard even though Richard had some very unbecoming things to say about Mr. Jarndyce for most of the book. In particular, Mr. Jarndyce demonstrated his love for Esther by setting up a marriage for her that was a perfect fit for her.
There were some things that I didn’t particularly care for in Bleak House, one thing in particular, was Richard’s character. While it was sad what ended up happening to him, I just couldn’t find myself to really care about him as a character. He wasted so much potential and energy, hoping to make his fortune, and then when he failed, boy, did he fail.
Overall, I enjoyed my reading of Bleak House, and it has helped me overcome my fears with tackling any future works by Dickens. As a matter of fact, it has encouraged me to make another run at David Copperfield again, sooner than later. If you’ve read Bleak House, I’d love to hear what you thought of the work. What Dickens novel should I tackle next?