Victorian-style Dickens Readalong - Bleak House #dickensalong discussion

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OMF Chapter by Chapter > Book 1, Chapters 8-10 (July)

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message 1: by Katie (new)

Katie Lumsden (katie-booksandthings) | 113 comments Mod
And so July begins... As always, let everybody know what you think of this month's chapters.


message 2: by Debra (new)

Debra (dhanff) | 9 comments This month's chapters highly readable. I'm really hooked now. It's going to be difficult to obey the schedule!


message 3: by Lara (new)

Lara (lara_s) | 18 comments After Mr and Mrs Boffin visits I am beginning to predict what will happen next, but I could be wrong ;) I'm wanting the orphan to be adopted by them to be Charlie... I hope so, because I think he would do well.


message 4: by Lara (new)

Lara (lara_s) | 18 comments IAmBroke wrote: "Lara wrote: "After Mr and Mrs Boffin visits I am beginning to predict what will happen next, but I could be wrong ;) I'm wanting the orphan to be adopted by them to be Charlie... I hope so, because..."

I have more faith in Charlie, I can't imagine him being arrogant, at least not to Lizzie...


message 5: by Rroswell86 (new)

Rroswell86 | 2 comments I thought that if Mr. Harmon had been a couple of years later sitting on the park bench, he would have named Lavinia in the will. I love those sisters!

I also love the Lammles, I bet they scheme up something good.

Its very much like a soap opera, I think waiting for the next installment in Dicken's time must have been like waiting the next episode of a TV show in ours.


message 6: by Caroline (new)

Caroline (sommertiara) | 10 comments The Lammels!! When I watched the adaptation I wanted an entire spin off series of their antics. Their premise is just so good, and I hope to see more of them in the novel than I felt I did in the series.

I loved the discussion on respectability in your video covering the previous set of chapters Katie. I could now see so clearly in these chapters the different aspirations Mr and Mrs Boffin has after coming into money and ah the Victorian period is my favourite.

The writing of the society scene was a little over the top for me. I far preferred the more down to earth narrative about the Boffins etc and the way he does comedy within that style.


message 7: by Gabrielle (new)

Gabrielle Did I completely miss/forget about George Sampson from a previous chapter, or was he introduced for the first time in Ch 9?

The Boffins seem wonderfully good-natured, if perhaps a bit misdirected at times. Also, on the speculation that John Rokesmith is in fact John Harmon (which seems...fairly obvious to me at this point, especially given his interactions with Mr. Boffin), the poor guy must have been rather horribly surprised to hear Mrs. Boffin talking about introducing Bella to John Harmon! It's going to be doubly strange for him if they DO adopt a child and name him that, especially if he's working there every day.


message 8: by Katie (new)

Katie Lumsden (katie-booksandthings) | 113 comments Mod
I'm glad to see everyone's enjoying these chapters this month!

I'm especially enjoying reading everyone's predictions for the future.

IAmBroke wrote: "Very intrigued with what the Lammles will be up to now ;>) Is it me or is the theme of unhappy marriages very prominent in late Victorian novels?..."

Yep, I'd say it's a pretty common theme, and especially in Dickens. A lot of commentary on Victorian marriage!

Caroline (sommertiara) wrote: "The Lammels!! When I watched the adaptation I wanted an entire spin off series of their antics...."

Caroline, you're in luck - they have a lot more plots going on for them in the book than in the adaptation and you'll get to see a fair bit of them.

I'm a big fan of Dickens's Society scenes but I do see what you mean. They're a very different style, which I think is quite interesting in terms of how he tries to differentiate one class from another. We have down to earth writing but down to earth characters, and then the floral over the top writing for the characters who are all show and facade.


Gabrielle wrote: "Did I completely miss/forget about George Sampson from a previous chapter, or was he introduced for the first time in Ch 9?...."

He was mentioned before, as a suitor Bella threw over when she heard about the will, but he never appears before this chapter, no.


message 9: by Maddy (new)

Maddy | 4 comments I red those chapters twice to be sure that I would not miss any important information and I loved their contents.In chapter 10 we were introduced to the Lammles, a newlywed couple who seemed to be part of the society. But we discover that it is all pretence thanks to the veneering's interference and pretences to properties. They managed to creat another unhappy married couple. I loved the marriage contract which was agreed, sealed and signed by the Lammles at the end of the chapter and looking forward to hear about their future skims in the novel. It was nice to see Mortimer, his clerc and Eugene conversations with Mr boffin as they are so funny, unserious and unprofessional, specially Eugene pretending to be offended with reference to the bees. He made me laugh with ( not really liking the law). Mortimer is little more professional when he deals with a client. I am so happy to see John rokesmith again because he is a little more open but still awkward and complicated as ever in chapter 9. I enjoyed his conversation with Mr boffin and later with Bella wilfer about the boffins. We had also the opportunity to see George Sampson that we head about by Bella in chapter 4 and I found him and Mrs wilfer so proud and fool of themselves considering their current fortune and place in society . Mr and Mrs boffin are such a lovely couple very open minded, kind and not at all changed due to their new situation in life. Finally I loved the reference made by Mr boffin about John Rokesmith when he called him Our mutual friend to Bella wilfer a hint to the title of the novel . John Rokesmith reaction to Mrs boffin's intention of introducing John Harmon to Bella is just priceless. I think I know who is really John Rokesmith and why he was so choked at that moment. I am excited for our next meeting with these characters.


message 10: by Μαρία (new)

Μαρία | 4 comments I'm a little behind in the read-along, as I just got back from holidays and I'm trying to catch up. I did enjoy these three chapters, even though I got a little confused at the beginning of chapter 10. Poor Lammles, I almost feel sorry for them!

One of my favourite moments in these chapters is Eugene's speech in chapter 8 about the bees and four-footed animals, I thought it was actually on point!

The other part that I loved is the little paragraph in chapter 10, during the Lammle wedding, when Twemlow is all sad and gloomy, thinking about his old love. Dickens's comments, especially the ones in the parentheses, are gold!

I do have a small question though (which comes from english being my second language): when Boffin first mentions "our mutual friend", my Wordsworth edition has a note that says "Boffin's ungrammatical and colloquial rendering of the term, 'a mutual friend'". So is "our mutual friend" actually grammatically wrong?


message 11: by Katie (new)

Katie Lumsden (katie-booksandthings) | 113 comments Mod
Μαρία wrote: "I'm a little behind in the read-along, as I just got back from holidays and I'm trying to catch up. I did enjoy these three chapters, even though I got a little confused at the beginning of chapter..."

I'm glad you enjoyed Eugene's speech - I do love his dialogue. I loev Mr Twemlow too.

I've no idea about the grammatical issue of Mr Boffin's - I would have thought 'our mutual friend' would be grammatical. I'll have to research!


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