Bleak House: Chapter 63

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Summary of Chapter LXIII: Steel and Iron

 

George is letting his shooting gallery and moving to Chesney Wold to keep Sir Leicester’s hunting lodge. Meanwhile, he travels north the industrial town where his brother owns iron factories. He looks up Mr. Rouncewell but calls himself, “Steel.” At first his brother is fooled, but then he recognizes George.

 

The brothers joyfully reunite and make a visit home to find his son Watt and future daughter-in-law, Rosa, who will complete her education in Germany before getting married. George will give her away at the wedding. His brother offers him a job, but George says it isn’t in his line. George wants to help Sir Leicester now, but his brother is scornful of his joining “the household brigade” (p. 644).

 

George finally shows his brother the letter he is sending Esther. It is the letter of her father’s (Hawdon) that he had given Tulkinghorn. He tells Esther that if he had known her father was alive, he would have shared his last farthing with him, but he had been reported dead.

 

Commentary on Chapter LXIII

 

We get a few more details about the letter George had to give to Tulkinghorn from Captain Hawdon. It implies once more that if Hawdon had come back, Honoria would have married him instead of Sir Leicester. He was reported dead, and so she married someone else.

 

George’s simplicity and loyalty seem perfect for Sir Leicester at this time in his life, when all he has are his retainers around him to remind him of his once great house. George too is happy at Chesney Wold, the terrain of his boyhood, with his long lost mother. The elder brother is one of the new breed of businessmen who climbed out of a lower class and created his own higher rank, a self-made man who is his own boss. George is an old trooper who doesn’t mind taking orders if he has a place.

 

 

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