79 pages 2 hours read

Charles Dickens

Bleak House

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1853

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Chapters 41-50Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 41 Summary: “In Mr. Tulkinghorn’s Room”

Tulkinghorn stays in his room in Chesney Wold. As he looks up at the stars with satisfaction, Lady Dedlock comes to visit. He confesses that he knows her secret but insists that he is the only person who does; unlike the story he told, Rosa’s family and neighbors have not heard any rumors about Lady Dedlock’s reputation. She explains that she wants to “save the poor girl from injury” before anyone finds out (596). Lady Dedlock plans to run away from Chesney Wold. Tulkinghorn says that she will not do this: A sudden disappearance would raise everyone’s suspicions. Lady Dedlock questions why she should continue to keep up appearances according to Tulkinghorn’s “pleasure.” He reiterates that doing so is necessary and says he will not reveal her secret without first warning her of his intentions. Lady Dedlock leaves without agreeing to anything.

Chapter 42 Summary: “In Mr. Tulkinghorn’s Chambers”

Tulkinghorn travels from Chesney Wold to London. He is visited by Snagsby, who complains that Mademoiselle Hortense has been “hovering” around him and demanding to see Tulkinghorn. Her presence has made Mrs. Snagsby very jealous. Tulkinghorn agrees to see Hortense and retires to his chambers. Hortense confronts him, complaining that she has done exactly as he asked by dressing as