Oh, Esther, Esther, Esther. Girlfriend, you are breaking my heart. I can't believe I used to not like you very much. Now all I want is for Woodcourt to declare his undying love for you and that he still finds you beautiful and to stand up to his snobby bitch of a mother and sweep you away. I mean, not that John Jarndyce is a bad match. Not at all. But you're settling. You're the poor little orphan who can't confess to the world who her mother really is, and your face is all wrecked, and you have no inheritance, and and you're doing your damnedest to rescue Richard who just won't come to his senses, and you're lucky and pathetically grateful for the scraps life is giving you. Granted, they're better scraps than many others have gotten (Jo!!). But still.
Interesting timing on Jarndyce's proposal, right after Esther tells him who her mother is. Is he up to something, or is he just trying to protect her?
OMG, Skimpole's family is the most pathetic brood ever.
And who stole Jo away from Bleak House??? Tulkinghorn? Mr. Guppy? What do you think? Nice cliffhanger this time.
I liked many passages this week:
Skimpole's home: "It was dingy enough, and not at all clean; but furnished with an odd kind of shabby luxury, with a large footstool, a sofa, and plenty of cushions, an easy-chair, and plenty of pillows, a piano, books, drawing materials, music, newspapers, and a few sketches and pictures." I'm thinking Pottery Barn should start up a line of Skimpole Shabby Chic. But I suspect Pottery Barn would demand money upfront for the products.
"Mr. Vholes remained immoveable, except that he secretly picked at one of the red pimples on his yellow face with his black glove." Nope, Dickens didn't have to get overly fancy with his description, just some nice use of basic colors, and we've got all we need.
The paragraph that really broke my heart:
"And in [Woodcourt's] last look as we drove away, I saw that he was very sorry for me. I was glad to see it. I felt for my old self as the dead may feel if they ever revisit these scenes. I was glad to be tenderly remembered, to be gently pitied, not to be quite forgotten."
Chapters 47-49 for next week. This week's Gorey: Esther burns the flowers Woodcourt had given her and she'd dried.