Bleak House, a novel by Charles Dickens, was first published as a serial between March 1852 and September 1853, and is considered to be one of Dickens' finest novels, containing vast, complex and engaging arrays of characters and sub-plots. The story is told partly by the novel's heroine, Esther Summerson, and partly by an omniscient narrator. Memorable characters include haughty Lady Honoria Dedlock, the menacing lawyer Tulkinghorn, the realistic John Jarndyce, and the childish and disingenuous Harold Skimpole, as well as the imprudent Richard Carstone. At the novel's centre is long-running litigation Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which has far-reaching consequences for all involved. This case revolves around a testator who apparently made several wills. Dickens' satirization of the English judicial system is based in part on his own experiences as a law clerk, and in part on his experiences as a litigant seeking to enforce copyright on his earlier books. George Gissing and G. K. Chesterton are among those literary critics and writers who consider Bleak House to be the best novel that Charles Dickens wrote. Several adaptions for the screen have been made including a hugely popular fifteen episodes BBC TV-serial from 2005.
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