Readalong: Bleak House, instalments 19 and 20, ch60-67

At last, rather later in the month than intended, we reach the final push to the end of Bleak House. As with Dickens’ original publication schedule in September 1853, we finish with a double dose of instalments, covering Chapters 60 to 67.

I wonder why Dickens published both instalments at once? Nowadays, we tend to see bumper double-issues of periodicals on a seasonal basis — for example, for summer reading, or for the winter holiday period. But I can’t imagine that there is anything particularly special about September in that respect. Perhaps some of the individual plot lines will be wound up in instalment 19 and Dickens wanted to make sure that people kept reading through to the end, without losing his audience (and sales of the final issue) early?

Whatever the reason, the end is in sight. Tally-ho!

The full text of Bleak House can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg and Standard Ebooks, and audiobook versions are available from LibriVox.

You can find our previous discussions on Bleak House as follows: