Course: Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Date / Time

  • April 28, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • May 12, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • May 26, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • June 9, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  • June 23, 2018
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19103, United States


  • Registration will open to Delancey Society members on December 12, to members on December 19, and to the public on December 26.
  • Tuition for this reading group is $250.
  • Rosenbach members at the Contributor level and above receive a 10% discount on tuition. Please call 215-732-1600 x123 or email [email protected] to register at the discount.
  • Not a member? We invite you to join upon registration. Click here for more information about membership.

Bleak House: The Dark Heart of Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens’ Bleak House lives up to its title, exploring the bleakest parts of London and the dark desires of its inhabitants. The novel opens in fog, then takes the reader into the circuitous byways of the slum Tom-all-Alone’s and the through the interminable legal case of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce. With Dickens’ usual flair for names, we encounter Lady Dedlock, Inspector Bucket, Summerson, Skimpole, Tulkinghorn and Krook. Mysteries of identity and murder need to be solved before the end. Even spontaneous combustion makes an appearance as one character suddenly bursts into flame. Bleak House is the novel to read when you want to wander through the dark streets of Dickens’ imagination.


Syllabus – Bleak House taught by Edward Pettit

About the Instructor

Edward G. Pettit is the Manager of Public of Programs at the Rosenbach. In 2012, Pettit served as the Charles Dickens Ambassador for the Free Library of Philadelphia’s yearlong Bicentenary celebration of the author’s birth and wrote the Ebenezer Maxwell Mansion’s 2013 mystery play, Twisted, in which he played Dickens. He has lectured widely on Dickens and given public readings of Dickens’ Christmas stories. For the Rosenbach, Pettit has taught many courses, including Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Nicholas Nickleby.