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Bleak House

Charles Dickens

Summary and Analysis Chapter 16 - Tom-all-Alone's

Sir Leicester Dedlock is abed, suffering with gout at Chesney Wold. Lady Dedlock, unsuccessfully disguised as a servant, goes to London and locates Jo, the crossing sweeper of a dilapidated street called Tom-all-Alone's. He takes her on a tour of the places mentioned in news accounts of Nemo's death and inquest, and she gives him a gold coin afterward. At Chesney Wold, Mrs. Rouncewell tells Rosa that the "step on the Ghost's Walk" has never been "more distinct than it is tonight."



Suspense increases as readers wonder why Lady Dedlock is so intent upon learning all that she can about the deceased Mr. Nemo. In Jo and in the vivid descriptions of his street and Nemo's graveyard, Dickens creates a powerful image of the wretched folk of London and their grotesquely squalid environs.