A terrifying encounter with an escaped convict in a graveyard on the wild Kent marshes; a summons to meet the bitter, decaying Miss Havisham and her beautiful, cold-hearted ward Estella; the sudden generosity of a mysterious benefactor --- these form a series of events that change the orphan Pip's life forever, as he eagerly abandons his humble origins to begin a new life as a gentleman.
The case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce—a dispute over a vast fortune left by a miser who died intestate—has occupied the Court of Chancery for years. When Lady Dedlock faints upon recognizing the handwriting in one of the documents pertaining to the case, her sinister lawyer, Tulkinghorn, immediately suspects a hidden secret, and an opportunity for blackmail—but he is playing a dangerous game, and is soon found dead: a victim of murder. It is down to Detective Inspector Bucket to solve the mystery. Dickens was fascinated by the sensational crime cases of his day. His preoccupations—with crime and the legal system, with social injustice—are dramatically evident in Bleak House: at once a classic crime novel and a classic of world literature.