Bleak House: “In Mr. Tulkinghorn’s Room”

Chapter 41 “In Mr. Tulkinghorn’s Room”

Summary: Tulkinghorn and Lady Dedlock meet in his room at Chesney Wold. Lady Dedlock is prepared to disappear in the night now that her secret is out, but Tulkinghorn tells her to stay. He wants only to protect Sir Leicester (his source of money and business), and he knows that Leicester will be ruined socially, emotionally, and, most importantly, monetarily, so he tells her she has to stay and keep up the lie she’s been living.

Reaction: The meeting I expected took place. All the characters acted pretty much as I expected.

Prediction: This is not the end of the issue. There are other characters at work here and they will force someone’s hand, whether Lady D or T. Nothing in a novel can stay the same for long (or it would be boring).

Why This Book Is a Classic: Secret meetings like this over affairs and money can happen in any novel about the rich and privileged, but they happened in classics first.

Our Lesson: If you’re going to have an illegitimate child, be prepared to keep that secret forever.

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