The first detective novel, with Inspector Bucket the prototype of the literary detectiveBleak Houseis both a literary classic and a classic of crimeThe case of Jarndyce v. Jarndycea dispute over a vast fortune left by a miser who died intestatehas occupied the Court of Chancery for years. When Lady Dedlock faints upon recognizing the handwriting in one of the documents pertaining to the case, her sinister lawyer, Tulkinghorn, immediately suspects a hidden secret, and an opportunity for blackmailbut he is playing a dangerous game, and is soon found dead: a victim of murder. It is down to Detective Inspector Bucket to solve the mystery. Dickens was fascinated by the sensational crime cases of his day. His preoccupationswith crime and the legal system, with social injusticeare dramatically evident in "Bleak House" at once a classic crime novel and a classic of world literature.
About the Author
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) had little formal education yet became the most prominent and revered English Victorian writer as well as a journalist. His novels include The Adventures of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities. Robert Giddings is an eminent literary critic who reviews for such publications as the Guardian, the New Statesman, and the Sunday Times.