79 pages 2 hours read

Charles Dickens

Bleak House

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1853

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Chapters 61-67

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 61 Summary: “A Discovery”

Esther visits Ada each day. Occasionally, Skimpole visits as well. On one such visit, Esther unleashes her pent-up frustration with Skimpole’s perpetual childishness, especially given the dark situation in which Ada finds herself. Skimpole dismisses her criticisms, claiming he has no wish to spend time with Richard and Ada now that they have lost their “youthful poetry.” When Esther criticizes his habit of taking money to betray his friends, he defends himself in a lengthy monologue. However, this is the last time Esther sees Skimpole; he dies five years later, though not before writing a book defending himself and referring to Jarndyce as a selfish man.

Richard is “more worn and haggard” than ever (857). Woodcourt continues to treat him. One evening, Esther and Woodcourt walk together. He reveals that he is still in love with her. However, Esther says that Woodcourt is too late: She is engaged to Jarndyce. She thanks him for his love, and when he leaves, she breaks down in tears. However, she says that they are tears of “triumph”; she feels grateful for Woodcourt’s love and inspired by it to be faithful (i.e., to her promise to marry Jarndyce).