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Bleak House, Dickens's most daring experiment in the narration of a complex plot, challenges the reader to make connections--between the fashionable and the outcast, the beautiful and the ugly, the powerful and the victims. Nowhere in Dickens's later novels is his attack on an uncaring societymore imaginatively embodied, but nowhere either is the mixture of comedy and angry satire more deftly managed.
Stephen Gill is Reader in English Literature at Oxford University and Fellow and Tutor at Lincoln College.