Subscribe for ad free access & additional features for teachers. Authors: 267, Books: 3,607, Poems & Short Stories: 4,435, Forum Members: 71,154, Forum Posts: 1,238,602, Quizzes: 344

Summary Chapter 30

At Mr. Jarndyce's invitation, Mrs. Woodcourt, who is eager to apprise the relevant people of her son's progress in China/India, pays Bleak House a vist. During her three week sojourn at Bleak House, Mrs. Woodcourt confides in Esther, telling her about her son's prospects of finding a wife. (Mrs. Woodcourt believes that her son will get married to a well-born heiress, ruling out Esther.) Inevitably, the talk touches on Esther's marriage propsects, which Esther finds both awkward and discomforting. Indeed, Esther is quick to point out that she is perfectly happy with her present circumstances.

Upon Mrs. Woodcourt's departure, Caddy Jellyby arrives at Bleak House with an anouncement and a special request: She will be married to Prince Turveydrop in a month, and it would mean the world to her if Esther and Ada wouldd consent to be Caddy's bridesmaids. Both the announcement and the request are well received, and arrangements are made for Caddy to stay at Bleak House for three weeks during which time the girls will contrive to cut, repair, and sew Caddy's wedding dress and bonnet with the help of a milliner. The three weeks pass pleasantly enough when Esther decides to accompany Caddy to Thavies Inn.

There at Thavies Inn, things are in their usual state of chaos and neglect. Mr. Jellyby mopes in his state of permanent resignation, the children while away their ours unattended and unsupervised, and Mrs. Jellyby indefatigabley attends to her charity work concerning Borrioboola-Gha. Nonethless, Esther and Caddy manage to tidy up the house for the post-wedding party.

The post-wedding party is attended by many of Mrs. Jellyby's associates who are involved in one philanthropic cause or another. Among them include a Miss Wisk whose cause is to emancipate Woman from the thraldom of her Tyrant Man and a lady who is so negligent of her looks that her dress has its ticketed price still attached to it. Because Mrs. Jellyby's associates are one and all tunnel-visioned when it comes to their repsective interests, the party seems doomed to failure. Mr. Jarndyce salvages it, however, as he skillfully steers the table conversation to Caddy's bright future and away from this or that philanthropic cause.

Presently, as Caddy and Prince prepare to go off on their honeymoon, Mr. Turveydrop reminds them they are to punctually return at a week's end and to take up residence at Hatton Garden, the apartment above the dancing school on Newman Street, from where the newlyweds will see to the operation of the dancing school as well as see to Mr. Turveydrop's welfare. Prince assures his father that his filial duty won't be neglected.

As Mr. Jarndyce and his wards return to Bleak House, they wonder if Caddy and Prince's marriage will turn out all right. On account of the wind, which hasn't been blowing form the East, Mr. Jarndyce reckons that they will get on just fine.

Charles Dickens