Bleak House By Charles Dickens Summary and Analysis Chapter 48 - Closing In

In the peril of her life, Lady Dedlock is resolved never to yield or droop. She continues to appear, as before, in high society and arranges for Rosa to leave. This latter action surprises and dismays Tulkinghorn, and he tells Lady Dedlock that their agreement is no longer in force. He will not, he says, reveal her secret past to Sir Leicester tonight, but he feels free to inform him at any time after this. Just before ten o'clock the same night, Tulkinghorn is found dead; he has been "shot through the heart."


Summary

In the peril of her life, Lady Dedlock is resolved never to yield or droop. She continues to appear, as before, in high society and arranges for Rosa to leave. This latter action surprises and dismays Tulkinghorn, and he tells Lady Dedlock that their agreement is no longer in force. He will not, he says, reveal her secret past to Sir Leicester tonight, but he feels free to inform him at any time after this. Just before ten o'clock the same night, Tulkinghorn is found dead; he has been "shot through the heart."

Analysis

Without a confidant or a confessor, lonely Lady Dedlock nevertheless continues to show admirable strength of character. The demise of the vicious Tulkinghorn balances that of the likable Jo and provides some much-needed relief from what seems, through the book thus far, an almost uninterrupted triumph of gloom, trouble, and bad ends. Of course, the lawyer's death immediately causes the story to become, in part, a "murder mystery."

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