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Bleak House is a masterpiece by Charles Dickens, first published as a serial between March 1852 and September 1853. It is considered to be one of Dickens' most ambitious and finest novels, containing vast, complex and engaging arrays of characters and sub-plots.
Memorable characters include Ada and Richard Clare, whose inheritance is gradually being devoured by legal costs; Esther Summerson, a ward of court, whose parentage is a source of deepening mystery; the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn; the determined sleuth Inspector Bucket; the realistic John Jarndyce; the childish and disingenuous Harold Skimpole, as well as the imprudent Richard Carstone; and even Jo, the destitute little crossing-sweeper.
At the novel's core is long-running and costly litigation in England's Court of Chancery, 'Jarndyce and Jarndyce', which has far-reaching consequences for all involved. This case revolves around a testator who apparently made several wills.
Though lawyers and judges criticised Dickens's portrait of the English legal system as exaggerated, his novel helped to spur an ongoing movement that culminated in the enactment of legal reform in the 1870s.
This savage, but often comic, indictment of a society, is one of the greatest masterpieces of all time.
Charles Dickens (1812–1870) was an English writer and social critic. He is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented international popularity during his lifetime. More than a century later, Dickens is still considered a literary genius, famous for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society.
This outstanding novel is a must-read of classic literature and will delight readers of all ages.
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Bleak House is a satirical look at the Byzantine legal system in London as it consumes the minds and talents of the greedy and nearly destroys the lives of innocents--a contemporary tale indeed. Dickens's tale takes us from the foggy dank streets of London and the maze of the Inns of Court to the peaceful countryside of England. Likewise, the characters run from murderous villains to virtuous girls, from a devoted lover to a "fallen woman," all of whom are affected by a legal suit in which there will, of course, be no winner. The first-person narrative related by the orphan Esther is particularly sweet. The articulate reading by the acclaimed British actor Paul Scofield, whose distinctive broad English accent lends just the right degree of sonority and humor to the text, brings out the color in this classic social commentary disguised as a Victorian drama. However, to abridge Dickens is, well, a Dickensian task, the results of which make for a story in which the author's convoluted plot lines and twists of fate play out in what seems to be a fast-forward format. Listeners must pay close attention in order to keep up with the multiple narratives and cast of curious characters, including the memorable Inspector Bucket and Mr. Guppy. Fortunately, the publisher provides a partial list of characters on the inside jacket. (Running time: 3 hours; 2 cassettes)From the Publisher:
This book is in Electronic Paperback Format. If you view this book on any of the computer systems below, it will look like a book. Simple to run, no program to install. Just put the CD in your CDROM drive and start reading. The simple easy to use interface is child tested at pre-school levels.
Windows 3.11, Windows/95, Windows/98, OS/2 and MacIntosh and Linux with Windows Emulation.
Includes Quiet Vision's Dynamic Index. the abilty to build a index for any set of characters or words.
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