Charles Dickens: Bleak House (unabridged)

Naxos AudioBooks: NAX43112

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Charles Dickens: Bleak House (unabridged)

Catalogue No:

NAX43112

Discs:

28

Release date:

2nd Oct 2006

Barcode:

9789626344316

Length:

35 hours 11 minutes

Medium:

CD (download also available)
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Charles Dickens: Bleak House (unabridged)


Read by Sean Barrett and Teresa Gallagher

CD - 28 discs

$118.25

(also available to download from $224.00)

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A complex plot of love and inheritance is set against the English legal system of the mid-nineteenth century, with all its tortuous avenues and disguised resolutions. Here is the firm, Jarndyce & Jarndyce, the young orphan and ward of court Esther Summerson (who tells much of the story). As always, it is the skilled pen of Dickens himself that creates the momentum with his acute eye for both individual characters and their traits, and the backdrop of Victorian London.

Charles Dickens: Bleak House

Chapter 1: In Chancery: London. Michaelmas term…

This is the Court of Chancery...

How many people out of the suit Jarndyce…

Chapter 2: In Fashion: It is but a glimpse…

How Alexander wept when he had no more worlds…

‘If you want to address our people, sir,’

Chapter 3: A Progress: I have a great deal of difficulty…

I was in a kind of fright beyond my grief…

It must have been two years afterwards…

He appeared to enjoy beyond everything…

I thought he was very strange…

As I began to know more, I taught more…

But of course I soon considered…

We conversed in a low tone…

Mr Kenge now retired, and Richard with him…

Chapter 4: Telescopic Philanthropy: We were to pass the night…

As I found (after pacifying him)…

The girl at the table left off biting her pen…

Soon after seven o’clock we went down to dinner…

Her cousin Jarndyce had written to her…

Chapter 5: A Morning Adventure: Although the morning…

‘So, cousin,’ said the cheerful voice of Richard…

As it was still foggy and dark…

He had by this time led us across the shop…

Her room was clean, but very, very bare.

She stopped to tell us in a whisper…

Before we finally turned out of those lanes…

Chapter 6: Quite at Home: The day had brightened…

At Barnet there were other horses waiting for us…

‘The little Jellybys,’ said Richard, coming to my relief…

The furniture, old-fashioned rather than old…

Our luggage having arrived and being all at hand…

‘I covet nothing,’ said Mr Skimpole…

Mr Jarndyce patted him on the head with a smile…

He observed us with a genial interest…

As our absence had been long enough already…

It was so delicious to see the clouds…

Chapter 7: The Ghost’s Walk: While Esther sleeps…

It has rained so hard and rained so long…

Nevertheless, Mrs Rouncewell’s son has…

Thus they pass on from room to room…

Rosa draws nearer to the housekeeper.

Chapter 8: Covering a Multitude of Sins: It was interesting… 04:41

I left them still listening to him when I withdrew…

He walked a little to and fro after saying this…

I really was frightened at the thought…

‘You have been visiting, I understand’…

If that dark-visaged eldest boy could look…

Mrs Pardiggle, leading the way…

I hope it is not unkind in me to say…

Chapter 9: Signs and Tokens: I don’t know how…

I believe Richard’s was as frank and generous…

Talking thus, they went upstairs…

To hear him say all this with unimaginable energy…

Well! I was full of business, examining…

All this time Mr Guppy was either planing his forehead… 03:56

I told him that he addressed my interest…

Chapter 10: The Law-Writer: On the eastern borders…

Guster, really aged three or four and twenty…

Here he is today, quiet at his table.

Mr Snagsby, as a timid man, is accustomed to cough…

‘This is where he lives, sir,’ says the law-stationer.

Chapter 11: Our Dear Brother: A touch on the lawyer’s…

He says this, not unfeelingly, while sitting…

The marine-store merchant holds the light…

So the sensation dies off for the time…

Little Swills is waiting for the coroner…

While the coroner buttons his great-coat…

What question this enthusiastic fowl supposes…

Chapter 12: On the Watch: It has left off raining…

‘I should like to walk a little,’ says my Lady…

That evening, in the housekeeper’s room…

All the mirrors in the house are brought...

Chesney Wold is quite full anyhow…

As they turn towards the hall-door…

Chapter 13: Esther’s Narrative: We held many consultations…

He wound up this vehement declaration…

I was sitting in front of the box one night with Ada…

Mr Bayham Badger himself was a pink, fresh-faced…

After dinner, when we ladies retired…

There he was, of course.

‘Now, hear me, my dears!’

Chapter 14: Deportment: Richard left us…

We were busy with Peepy…

There was a good deal of affection in poor Caddy.

It happened that we had arranged with my guardian…

‘Distinguished,’ said Mr Turveydrop…

He replied with the high-shouldered bow.

This became so bewildering and suggested…

‘Miss Flite,’ said Mr Woodcourt…

The old man had come by little and little…

Chapter 15: Bell Yard: While we were in London…

‘It may be, partly, because I know nothing…’

Mr Skimpole, who had quite forgotten the subject…

We were looking at one another…

I stood at the window with Ada…

The passion and heat in which he was…

His countenance had, perhaps for years…

Chapter 16: Tom-all-Alone’s: My Lady Dedlock…

Twice lately there has been a crash…

He and Jo listen to the music…

Jo attends closely while the words are being spoken…

The servant shrinks into a corner…

Chapter 17: Esther’s Narrative: Richard very often…

Ada looked so very anxious now that I asked…

So after he had been a little while with Ada…

But, even Ada, with her loving face...

This was the first time I ever saw him follow Ada…

I sat down and said after a little effort…

I believe – at least I know – that he was not rich.

Chapter 18: Lady Dedlock: It was not so easy…

While these affairs were in abeyance…

At the inn we found Mr Boythorn…

When we came into the little village…

The congregation was extremely small…

The service being concluded, Sir Leicester gave…

I always wondered on these occasions…

She seemed to respect him and even to wish…

Chapter 19: Moving On: It is the long vacation…

There are offices about the Inns of Court…

Mr Chadband is a large yellow man…

The persecutors denied that there was any…

Enter Mr Guppy, who nods to Mr Snagsby…

Mrs Chadband whispers Mrs Snagsby…

At this threatening stage of the discourse…

Chapter 20: A New Lodger: The long vacation…

Jobling looks hungry and also has the appearance…

Mr Jobling is buttoned up closer than…

Mr Guppy comes more fully into the conversation…

Mr Jobling, Mr Guppy, and Mr Smallweed all lean…

The old man still sits, often smacking his dry lips…

On the morrow, in the dusk of evening…

Chapter 21: The Smallweed Family: In a rather ill-favoured…

Beside him is a spare cushion with which he is…

Judy, with her brother’s wink, shakes her head…

Charley is accordingly introduced…

Mr George sits, with his arms folded…

Mr George, who has been looking first…

‘In the first place,’ returns Mr George…

The theatre over, Mr George comes across the water…

Chapter 22: Mr Bucket: Allegory looks pretty cool…

Mr Snagsby drinks and murmurs…

‘I am sure I am much obliged to you… ‘

As the unseen wretch goes by…

‘It’s brought into my head, master,’…

A female figure, closely veiled, stands…

Chapter 23: Esther’s Narrative: We came home…

So ended our conference, which I was very glad…

We were in a solitary place…

‘You see, Esther,’ said Caddy…

Prince was teaching, of course.

Mr Turveydrop underwent a severe internal struggle…

I thought of the one family so near us…

I was so unprepared for the perfect coolness… 0

As I rode quietly home at night after the day’s bustle…

Chapter 24: An Appeal Case: As soon as Richard…

‘So much the easier what I have to say,… ‘

It was strange to me that Richard should not…

His once more reddening through his brown…

To see everything going on so smoothly…

Turning as he spoke and making an easy way…

‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ said Mr Bucket…

He drew the hand Miss Flite held…

Chapter 25: Mrs Snagsby Sees It All: There is disquiet…

He has no respect for Mr Chadband.

It happens that Mr Chadband has a pulpit habit…

The present effect of this flight of oratory…

Mrs Snagsby replies by delivering herself…

Chapter 26: Sharpshooters: Wintry morning…

Governor and commander are interchangeable… 05:01

Resigning himself to which condition…

Grandfather Smallweed refers to Phil…

When Judy has by these means set him up again…

‘My dear friend, he is a lawyer, and a famous one.’

Chapter 27: More Old Soldiers Than One: Mr George…

Mr George sits squared in exactly the same attitude…

Mr Smallweed, hearing that this authority…

The trooper, without remarking on this welcome…

Both father and son salute the trooper heartily.

This Mr George does with great discretion…

Chapter 28: The Ironmaster: Sir Leicester Dedlock…

Such the guests in the long drawing-room…

Miss Volumnia with a third little scream takes flight…

Sir Leicester snorts a little to hear the law laid down…

The visitor pauses a moment to give my Lady…

Chapter 29: The Young Man: Chesney Wold is shut…

The man’s mind is not so well balanced…

My Lady turns a little round and says…

A kind of angry smile just dawns upon my Lady’s face.

There are diamonds glittering on the hand…

Chapter 30: Esther’s Narrative: Richard had been gone…

I said I should have thought it hardly possible…

As soon as her papa had tranquillized his mind…

Over and above this Caddy was very anxious...

The next question was how Mrs Jellyby…

Mr Jellyby groaned and laid his head against the wall… 05:15

We duly came back to breakfast…

And then Prince took her arm in his and turned…

Chapter 31: Nurse and Patient: I had not been at home…

I had no thought that night – none, I am quite sure…

The other woman came hurriedly in as she spoke…

My guardian stopped and looked at him…

Ada being in our room with a cold…

I heard Ada’s voice outside, and I hurried to the door…

And Charley did not die.

Chapter 32: The Appointed Time It is night in Lincoln’s Inn…

It is no phenomenon that Mr Snagsby should be…

If Mr Snagsby hastens home to save…

Tony again entreats that the subject may be…

The light vivacious tone of fashionable life…

‘How did he first come by that idea, though?’

Chapter 33: Interlopers: Now do those two gentlemen...

Thus night pursues its leaden course…

Mr Snagsby casts his eye forlornly round the bar,…

While they are so conversing, a hackney-coach…

Mrs Smallweed instantly begins to shake her head…

At last come the coroner and his inquiry…

Chapter 34: A Turn of the Screw: ‘Now, what,’ says Mr George…

The old girl never appears in walking trim…

Mrs Bagnet ceasing, Mr Bagnet removes his hand…

The trooper returns that this is kindly said…

Grandfather Smallweed smiles in a very ugly way…

He vociferates this so loudly that Mr Bagnet…

The lawyer sits down in his easy-chair and stirs the fire.

Boiled beef and greens constitute the day’s variety…

Chapter 35: Esther’s Narrative: I lay ill through several weeks…

How well I remember the pleasant afternoon…

‘Is it possible, guardian,’ I asked, amazed…

And my guardian put a letter in my hand…

‘If you please, miss,’ said Charley…

I tried to assure her that this was not so.

I was obliged to confess that I did not quite know…

Chapter 36: Chesney Wold: Charley and I did not…

I took care to be up early in the morning…

The air blew as freshly and revivingly upon me…

I raised my mother up, praying and beseeching her…

My mother, who until this time had made no change…

These are the real feelings that I had.

For I saw very well that I could not have…

Chapter 37: Jarndyce and Jarndyce: If the secret…

I put my veil up, but not quite.

I began seriously to think that Richard could…

I could almost have believed in the attraction…

‘Indeed?’ replied Richard, softening.

‘Richard,’ said I, ‘you place great confidence in me…’ 04:53

As they were to remain with us that day…

His further consideration of the point was prevented…

Chapter 38: A Struggle: When our time came…

All this presented the art to me in a singular light…

There was something in the picture of Mr Turveydrop…

I gave him a little time to recover.

I must say for Mr Guppy that the snuffling manner…

Chapter 39; Attorney and Client: The name of Mr Vholes…

The respectability of Mr Vholes has even been cited…

‘Again nothing done!’ says Richard.

Mr Vholes gives it a rap, and it sounds…

Vholes finally adds, by way of rider…

Is Richard a monster in all this…?

Never since it has been a court has it had…

Mr Guppy, slightly nudging his friend…

Chapter 40: National and Domestic: England has been…

But the fire of the sun is dying.

Daily the cousins trot through dust…

Volumnia had thought he might have been employed.

‘A proposal which, as you correctly informed me…’

Her head concedes it, and Volumnia is enchanted.

Chapter 41: In Mr Tulkinghorn’s Room: Mr Tulkinghorn arrives

‘Sir,’ she says, for the moment obliged to set her lips…

He promptly says again, ‘Have the goodness… ‘

She stands looking out at the same stars without a word.

Chapter 42: In Mr Tulkinghorn’s Chambers: From the verdant…

Mr Tulkinghorn had listened gravely to this…

‘Having said this, have you anything else… ?’

Chapter 43: Esther’s Narrative: It matters little now…

Ada, glancing at me, said she thought it was a pity…

My guardian looked at us with a smile,…

Hearing that his examination (as he called it)…

Ada and I conversed with these young ladies…

The visitor was in the room while it was yet…

Sir Leicester Dedlock coughed…

Chapter 44: The Letter and the Answer: My guardian called me…

He took it in his, holding me lightly…

But he did not hint to me that when I had been… 06:38

Chapter 45: In Trust: One morning when I had done…

It appeared to us that Mr Vholes said…

But when we got into a warm room…

He was in that mood in which I thought it best…

I will not repeat what I said to Richard.

I felt as if he had greater commiseration for me…

Chapter 46: Stop Him!: Darkness rests upon Tom-all-Alone’s.…

A habit in him of speaking to the poor…

Allan Woodcourt pauses to look after him…

Jo looks all round the court again…

‘Aye!’ says Allan. ‘Why, what had you been doing?’

Chapter 47: Jo’s Will: As Allan Woodcourt and Jo…

Miss Flite, mighty proud of the compliment…

As he puts the question, he becomes aware…

Phil Squod and Jo are sent out immediately…

Mr Snagsby is behind his counter in his grey coat…

The softened stationer deposits another half-crown…

After watching him closely a little while…

Chapter 48: Closing in: The place in Lincolnshire…

The pretty face is checked in its flush of pleasure…

Therefore there is not much that Lady Dedlock…

‘I beg your pardon,’ interposes Mr Rouncewell’s…

Sir Leicester considers himself evoked…

‘If, sir,’ she begins, ‘in my knowledge of my secret – ‘…

She removes her hand, turns her pale face towards him…

A fine night, and a bright large moon…

Has Mr Tulkinghorn been disturbed?

Chapter 49; Dutiful Friendship: A great annual occasion…

Quebec and Malta here exclaim, with clapping of hands…

Mr George produces his present, which is greeted with…

These blandishments have entirely won the family heart.

Nothing could be more acceptable to the little circle…

‘Now, George,’ says Mr Bucket…

Chapter 50: Esther’s Narrative: It happened that…

I felt in this short conversation…

Then there was old Mr Turveydrop…

I have not counted Mr Woodcourt among our visitors…

As there was a little pause here…

Chapter 51: Enlightened: When Mr Woodcourt arrived…

Mr Woodcourt rather sternly rejoined…

Afterwards, when Mr Woodcourt came to reflect…

His hopefulness had long been more painful to me…

Thus the time went on until it became necessary…

Chapter 52: Obstinacy: But one other day…

He scarcely seemed to be the prisoner.

‘Pray think, once more, Mr George,’ said I.

The door had been opened to admit…

For an instant I felt such a shudder as I never felt before…

Chapter 53: The Track: Mr Bucket and his fat forefinger…

Not another word does Mr Bucket say…

With that he returns to finish his dinner…

Volumnia gives Mr Bucket to understand…

The cousin, who has been casting sofa-pillows…

The doors are thrown open…

Chapter 54: Springing a Mine: Refreshed by sleep…

Sir Leicester, leaning back in his chair…

Sir Leicester sits like a statue…

‘You don’t happen to know why they killed the pig…?’

Mr Smallweed is quite clear that he had better not.

While this exordium is in hand…

Mr Bucket follows them to the door…

Mademoiselle complies, saying in a concentrated voice…

‘I went home, Sir Leicester Dedlock, Baronet…’

Two things are especially observable… 05:17

Mademoiselle Hortense, casting an indignant eye…

Chapter 55: Flight: Inspector Bucket of the Detective…

All this Mrs Bagnet now relates for the twentieth time…

She can ask, and he can answer…

Mrs Rouncewell, drawing up her stately form…

‘Take her, my old friend, and take my gratitude…’

Lady Dedlock raises her without one word…

‘What have I to do with that, or what have you?’

Chapter 56: Pursuit: Impassive, as behoves its high breeding…

After making a survey of the room…

The velocity and certainty of Mr Bucket’s interpretation…

He completes his observations…

Chapter 57: Esther’s Narrative; I had gone to bed…

He gave me his arm, and the two officers…

He had gone into every late or early public-house…

We were now in front of the house…

We set off again immediately.

After another silence, the husband of the absent woman…

I could eat nothing and could not sleep…

A good endearing creature she was.

Chapter 58: A Wintry Day and Night: Still impassive…

And not the least amazing circumstance…

The old housekeeper and her son remain…

He is lying thus, apparently forgetful…

‘I was about to add,’ he presently goes on…

Overpowered by his exertions, he lays his head back…

An effect of these horrors is that Volumnia finds…

Chapter 59; Esther’s Narrative: It was three o’clock…

‘Now, Miss Summerson,’ he said to me…

The last police-officer with whom he had conferred…

As they went out, Mr Bucket made me sit down…

It had been written in portions, at different times.

It was necessary for her mistress to comfort her…

I have the most confused impressions of that walk.

Chapter 60: Perspective: I proceed to other passages…

He checked himself in glancing towards the window…

We said no more about it…

The poor soul kissed me with the most troubled look…

‘Pardon me,’ returned Mr Vholes…

They left my dear girl still sitting at the piano…

Chapter 61: A Discovery: The days when I frequented…

I was coming to the point with great difficulty…

‘Observe the case, my dear Miss Summerson.’

I was there, as I have mentioned, at all hours.

‘Dear Mr Woodcourt,’ said I…

Chapter 62: Another Discovery: I had not the courage…

A servant came to the door to announce Mr Bucket…

Mr Bucket eyed the old man for a moment…

He unbolted the door, called in the bearers…

Chapter 63: Steel and Iron: George’s Shooting Gallery…

George, full of the idea of iron…

‘My dear George,’ returns his brother…

‘There it is, brother,’ cries the trooper…

Chapter 64: Esther’s Narrative: Soon after I had…

Because he was so dear, so good, so admirable.

I was cold, and I trembled violently…

What happiness was ours that day…

Mr Jobling said ‘Certainly’ and withdrew a little…

Chapter 65: Beginning the World: The term had commenced…

At this juncture we perceived Mr Kenge…

I would not let him take me to a coach…

My guardian, the picture of a good man, sat down…

Chapter 66: Down in Lincolnshire: There is a hush…

Volumnia, growing with the flight of time pinker…

Chapter 67: The Close of Esther’s Narrative: Full seven…

With the first money we saved at home…

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