This stunning BBC production, starring Diana Rigg and Denholm Elliott, brings to life one of Dicken's finest works, an unflinching look at the absurdity of the legal profession, whose sole purpose seems to be lining the pockets of lawyers.
Young Esther Summerson, brought up as an orphan, is summoned to London by her guardian's solicitors. She is to meet the Wards of Court in Jarndyce and Jarndyce court case over a will, and become acquainted with her guardian John Jarndyce for the first time.
Esther is entrusted with the running of Bleak House.
Lady Dedlock ceases the case, Esther refuses an offer of marriage and Miss Flite collapses after a court hearing.
Lady Dedlock persuades Jo, a young crossing sweeper, to show her the haunts of the late Captain Hawdon. Richard's intended engagement to Ada perturbs Jarndyce, who considers it hasty, and they argue.
Smallweed presses George for documents in Captain Hawdon's handwriting, while Jo is questioned about the 'Lady' Tulkinghorn showed around London.
Esther becomes ill with smallpox, while Smallweed inherits Krook's property.
Esther, severely scarred, has recovered from smallpox. She meets Lady Dedlock, who confesses that she is her mother. Jo has been found desperately ill and living rough, but dies soon afterwards. The lawyer Tulkinghorn, has been murdered in his rooms.
Richard, now married to Ada, continues the legal cause of Jarndyce.