SPOILERS FOR CHAPTERS 5-7
I have a confession to make.
I read ahead without realising it. The horror! The shame!
Excuse me while I go and stand in a corner for a while –
Ok, all done. But in my defence week one was 4 chapters long, which logically lead to me assuming week 2 would be chapter 5 through 8. Right! Right! Wrong my gems. As you would know if you read the intro post. Heck. I wrote it and I still got it wrong.
Ok, onto the bleak goodness of chapters 5 to 7.
Quite a few things happen in these 3 chapters.
Esther, Ada and Richard travel to Bleak House and we meet the lovely Mr Jarndyce who is taking all of them in for one reason or another.
I want to focus on chapter 7 though.
This chapter is brilliant and Mr Omniscient takes us away from Bleak House and the gang and back to Chesney Wold. The first few paragraphs of this are hilarious as Mr O hops into the heads of the various animals and tells us what they may be thinking.
“The whole seemingly monotonous and uncompanionable half-dozen, stabled together, may pass the long wet hours, when the door is shut, in livelier communication than is held in the servants’ hall, or at the Dedlock Arms; - or may even beguile the time by improving (perhaps corrupting) the pony in the lose-box in the corner”
Just the idea of all these rowdy, worldly horses snickering and shouting ‘corrupting’ comments at the innocent sheltered pony in the corner had me giggling.
Then there is the turkey –
“The turkey in the poultry-yard, always troubled with a class-grievance (probably Christmas)”
The poor turkey needs to get in touch with his union rep I think.
We also meet Mrs Rouncewell the housekeeper of Chesney Wold who, like most housekeepers in the novels of the time, seems to have become an institution.
“She is a fine old lady, handsome, stately, wonderfully neat, and had such a back and such a stomacher, that if her stays should turn out when she dies to have been a broad old-fashioned family fire-grate, nobody who knows her would have cause to be surprised.”
On the darker side of things Mrs Rouncewell tells the story of the Ghost’s Walk of Chesney Wold and a dark moment in the Dedlock family’s history.
Could this be a portent of things to come?