Esther has been the “mistress of Bleak House” for seven years. Ada gives birth to a healthy baby, and the child helps her survive her grief for Richard. Mr. Jarndyce invites her and her son to live with him, and she gratefully accepts. Esther has two little girls, and her daughters are great friends with Ada’s son. Charley marries a miller who lives nearby, and her little sister Emma becomes Esther’s maid. Tom, Charley’s brother, also gets a job in the mill.
Ada’s child gives her hope for the future and allows her remember Richard fondly rather than be consumed by grief. Mr. Jarndyce’s kindness to Charley, Emma, and Tom, as children, has paid off and improved their prospects in adult life.
Caddy and Prince are very happy and industrious. Caddy’s little girl is deaf and cannot speak, but Caddy is a devoted and tireless mother. Mrs. Jellyby’s plans for the African province have failed because the king of that nation was not very receptive to her efforts at establishing trade. She has taken on a new mission and hopes that women will soon be allowed in Parliament. Peepy is now the servant of Mr. Turveydrop.
Mrs. Jellyby’s plans did not take into account what the ruler of the African country might want and, therefore, were completely pointless. It would take a long time for women’s rights to advance to the point that Mrs. Jellyby hopes. Although Dickens is critical of Mrs. Jellyby, he seems to consider this at least a slightly more worthwhile cause than the colonialization of Africa.
Esther is always grateful to Mr. Jarndyce for his kindness to everyone. She still mourns for Richard and sees his likeness in his son’s face. Mr. Woodcourt is much beloved by the people in the village and at the hospital where he serves. They are not rich, but they are very happy, and this is all Esther has ever wanted to be. Sometimes, she looks at herself in the mirror and is startled by the change in her face. She thinks it is curious how she does not miss her old looks at all.
Mr. Woodcourt’s hard work and Esther’s kindness and diligence have paid off, and they are rewarded with the love of everyone they encounter. This more than compensates, Esther feels, for their lack of wealth or the loss of her beauty, which no longer seems to matter at all.