Mr John Jarndyce, my guardian or employer, has a room that he calls ‘the Growlery.’ It is where he goes to think or muse, when life becomes difficult, or the difficulties of life seem overwhelming.
I expect we all have somewhere like that for the times when we need to retreat from the world!
We are calling this page the Growlery because it is a place to retreat to to consider where to go next, in the complex world of scholarship on Bleak House and Mr Dickens’s work. Here, I provide for you a number of lists and links. The lists are lists of scholarly work that is useful, wise, profound, and relevant. The links take you to other websites, where scholars, fans, teachers, and students are doing excellent work, curating information and providing summaries and thoughtful directions.
I hope that this material will make the Growlery a happy place!
You may read the novel online, if you wish (though I myself prefer to hold a printed book in my hands! Online Edition of Bleak House
You may find the serialised version of the novel here, in the ‘Dickens Journals Online’ website: just search for Household Words, 1852-53.
Some rather lovely digitised maps of London: Greenwood’s Map of London, 1827, and Charles Booth’s Descriptive Map of London Poverty, 1889. Though they refer to periods slightly before and slightly after Bleak House, we may remember that things do not always change very quickly in the geography of a place.
These are databases of primary material from the nineteenth century. If you are searching for writings, images, and other material from the nineteenth century, you would be wise to consult these sites. Nineteenth-Century Scholarship Online and London Low Life
Here, we find selected resources that assist you with finding useful material about Mr Dickens, the London in which he lived and wrote, and nineteenth-century culture more generally. David Perdue’s Dickens’ London Map provides a very useful map of London, in which locations from Mr Dickens’s novels are pointed out and discussed. Patrick Leary manages a comprehensive website called The Victorian Research Web, in which links to very many useful resources can be found. George P. Landow developed a fascinating resource called The Victorian Web, in which many articles about nineteenth-century life and culture can be found. Mitsue Matsuoka’s The Dickens Page, is a wide-ranging and useful website devoted to the work of Mr Dickens. And The Dickens Project, a consortium of scholars of nineteenth-century culture, and of Mr Dickens’s work, which meets annually in California, has a very useful page of links, here.
Mr Dickens has many admirers and supporters; indeed, I am sometimes amazed at their number and variety. Two of the best are The Dickens Project and The Dickens Fellowship. Each of them provides comprehensive resources for the student of Mr Dickens’s work!