(Note – I read the book “blind”, that is with no idea what it contained. I wrote the essays immediately after reading, so they are first impressions.)
I have given a few character sketches as part of my posts over the last few days, so I want to do a few “stand alone” sketches, starting with Mr. Jarndyce (John Jarndyce).
Mr. Jarndyce was one of the main characters, in the top three or four (Esther and Lady Dedlock being the only two I’d put before him, though he might have a lot more “screen time” than “my Lady”), but who was he?
He was obviously rich. Bleak House wasn’t a giant manor like Chesney Wold, but it was multi-storied and rambling, so not small. It had full-time live-in servants, even when Mr. Jarndyce and his wards weren’t there, possibly quite a few. A half a dozen? A dozen? Two dozen? More? They are rarely talked about, but I would guess a minimum of half a dozen, though it could approach that biggest number. He didn’t seem to work and was able to afford to rent a large house in London for months at a time. He was very free and giving with his money, almost as if there was an endless supply.
Although he was not in the same class as the Lord and Lady Dedlock, Sir Leicester paid a visit to Bleak House to apologize for not being more welcoming when Mr. Jarndyce and his wards were close to Chesney Wold. I doubt Sir Leicester did that to everybody in England. Just saying…Continue reading