Bleak House: “The Young Man”

Chapter 29: “The Young Man”

Summary: The young man in question is Guppy. He visits my Lady, having found out some interesting information. 1: that Esther looks just like my Lady, and 2: that her real name is Esther Hawdon. Guppy informs her that he will be reading some interesting letters that were found in the late Hawdon’s room and that he will let her know what they say. Then my Lady has a rare emotional moment when she realizes that her daughter had not died at birth as she’d been told by her sister.

Reaction: Now we’re getting somewhere! Mysteries and suspicions have now been mostly confirmed. I should have known that opium man had been the father with all the interest she showed in him, but he’d seemed so scummy and lowly that I couldn’t see him with her, let alone anyone else. Though if Jo had liked him, that should have been a clue at least. Now we just need to get the rest of the story and see what she’s going to do with this information.

Prediction: How long will it be before Esther is told of this? I feel like Lady Dedlock is going to make some more effort with Esther now. I’m sure she won’t admit who she is right away, but she’s at least going to try to learn more about Esther. She obviously wishes she’d never lost her. Oh, and who would have thought Guppy would have been the first to figure it out? I knew he was creepy and sneaky, but I didn’t know he was smart.

Why This Book Is a Classic: Classic orphan drama. Orphans who are really children of rich women–though illegitimate. Anymore your sister can’t just say that your baby died and hide her away. I think the personnel at the hospital might have something to say about that. And I can see Guppy trying to get some kind of marriage arrangement to poor Esther out of it as some kind of twisted blackmail.

Our Lesson: Do you possibly have an illegitimate child out there? Now’s a good time to find out–before some creepy law clerk comes to you with possible blackmail to come.

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