Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Liz is a very poor woman, the wife of a brickmaker, and a friend of Jenny’s. Liz meets Esther Summerson and Ada Clare when they visit the house with Mrs. Pardiggle soon after Jenny’s baby has died. Later in the novel, Liz gives birth to her own child, who lives, but she laments sorrowfully that she almost wishes the child had died when she thinks of the poor life it will lead. Like Jenny, Liz also is in an abusive relationship. He husband beats her, but she has no way to earn money or to improve her situation. She is entirely reliant on her husband for money and can do nothing when he spends it all on gin.

Liz Quotes in Bleak House

The Bleak House quotes below are all either spoken by Liz or refer to Liz. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Wordsworth edition of Bleak House published in 1993.
Chapter 8 Quotes

‘I’ll save you the trouble. Is my daughter a-washin? Yes, she is a-washin. Look at the water. Smell it! That’s wot we drinks. How do you like it, and what do you think of gin, instead! An’t my place dirty? Yes, it is dirty—it’s nat’rally dirty, and it’s nat’rally onwholesome; and we’ve had five dirty and onwholesome children, as is all dead infants, and so much the better for them, and for us besides. Have I read the little book wot you left? No, I an’t read the little book wot you left. There an’t nobody here as knows how to read it; and if there wos, it wouldn’t be suitable to me. It’s a book fit for a babby, and I’m not a babby.’

Related Characters: The Brickmaker (speaker), Esther Summerson, Ada Clare, Jenny, Liz, Mrs. Pardiggle
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:

Mrs. Pardiggle, who had been regarding him through her spectacles with a forcible composure, calculated, I could not help thinking, to increase his antagonism, pulled out a good book, as if it were a constable’s staff, and took the whole family into custody. I mean into religious custody, of course; but she really did it, as if she were an inexorable moral Policeman carrying them all off to a station-house.

Related Characters: Esther Summerson (speaker), Ada Clare, Jenny, Liz, The Brickmaker, Mrs. Pardiggle
Page Number: 94
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Bleak House LitChart as a printable PDF.
Bleak House PDF

Liz Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Liz appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 22
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...men, both drunk, and two women, who lie on the floor. They call each other Liz and Jenny, and Jenny cradles Liz’s baby. The men tell Mr. Bucket that they have... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
While they wait for Jo, Liz tells Jenny that, although she loves the child, she sometimes wishes it would die. Mr.... (full context)
Chapter 31
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...she does and asks Charley what she knows of her. Charley says that Jenny and Liz have returned to London and that she met Jenny outside a physician’s house. She was... (full context)
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
Jenny tells Esther that Liz has gone out to see if anyone will take Jo in; he cannot stay with... (full context)
Chapter 57
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...Bucket suggests that he and Esther should go there immediately. They find the brickmakers and Liz in another cottage nearby, but Jenny is not with them. Esther asks if they can... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...said no. She did not go towards London. Esther asks how her mother looked and Liz answers timidly that she looked ill and exhausted. (full context)