79 pages 2 hours read

Charles Dickens

Bleak House

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1853

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Chapters 11-20

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 11 Summary: “Our Dear Brother”

Krook joins Tulkinghorn, who has been unable to rouse Nemo. On closer inspection, they discover that Nemo is dead. They call for the strange old woman, whose name is Miss Flite, and a doctor. The doctor—a “dark young” surgeon—notes that Nemo bought a large amount of opium from him and confirms that he has died of an overdose. Mr. Tulkinghorn seems to ignore the other people in the room, instead standing quietly beside Nemo’s trunk. Tulkinghorn sends Miss Flite to fetch Snagsby in the hope of learning more about Nemo, but when Snagsby arrives, he claims to know nothing. He claims that his wife is the person who actually hired Nemo, having felt pity for him. Snagsby spots Nemo’s trunk, leading Tulkinghorn to pretend that he didn’t notice it.

Miss Flite is sent to fetch the police. Their arrival intrigues the neighbors, but they decide that there is nothing that can be done. The next day, the court is “all alive” the with activity of an inquest. The coroner questions a series of neighbors regarding Nemo’s death. The only notable witness is a “very muddy, very hoarse, very ragged” boy named Jo (158), who claims that Nemo previously offered him money and somewhere to stay, but whose evidence the coroner dismisses.