Unformatted text preview: On a raw November afternoon, London is enshrouded in heavy fog made harsher by chimney smoke. The fog seems thickest in the vicinity of the High Court of Chancery. The court, now in session, is hearing an aspect of the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce. A "little mad old woman" is, as always, one of the spectators. Two ruined men, one a "sallow prisoner," the other a man from Shropshire, appear before the court — to no avail. Toward the end of the sitting, the Lord High Chancellor announces that in the morning he will meet with "the two young people" and decide about making them wards of their cousin. This first chapter makes Dickens' social criticism explicit and introduces one of the book's principal themes: the ruin that the Chancery Court has made and will continue to make of many people's lives. Court costs and lawyers' fees have already exhausted all the inheritance money in Jarndyce lives....
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- Fall '08
- Shear, Chancery court, mad old woman