Charles John Huffam Dickens, an English writer and social critic, was born in Portsmouth, Dickens left school to work in a factory when his father was incarcerated in a debtors' prison. Despite his lack of formal education, he became the most popular novelist of his time and remains one of the best-known English authors. Dickens wrote his ninth novel Bleak House at that perfect hinge in his career when he was finally able to channel his creative exuberance into a sustained and sophisticated piece of narrative art. At the centre of Bleak House is a long-running legal case in the Court of Chancery, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, which came about because a testator wrote several conflicting wills. In a preface to the 1853 first edition, Dickens claimed there were many actual precedents for his fictional case. In the novel, Sir Leicester Dedlock and his wife Honoria live on his estate at Chesney Wold. Unknown to Sir Leicester, before she married, Lady Dedlock had a lover, Captain Hawdon, and had a daughter by him. Lady Dedlock believes her daughter is dead. The daughter, Esther, is, in fact, alive and being raised by Miss Barbary, Lady Dedlock's sister. Esther does not know Miss Barbary is her aunt. After Miss Barbary dies, John Jarndyce becomes Esther's guardian and assigns the Chancery lawyer "Conversation" Kenge to take charge of her future. After attending school for six years, Esther moves in with him at Bleak House. You can listen online to free English audiobook “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens on our website.