Mr. Boythorn is a close friend of Mr. Jarndyce’s and was once engaged to Miss Barbary, Esther Summerson’s aunt, in his youth. Mr. Boythorn is an extremely boisterous and aggressive man but is very gentle and kindhearted underneath. He lives next door to Sir Leicester Dedlock’s country house, Chesney Wold, and is engaged in a furious dispute with the nobleman about a pathway which he thinks belongs to his property, and Sir Leicester thinks belongs to his. Despite this feud, Mr. Boythorn is very noble and keeps the dispute between Sir Leicester and himself. He does not criticize Lady Dedlock for his dislike of her husband and is very generous with his friends. He insists that Esther go to stay at his house after her illness so that she has peace in the countryside to recover. Mr. Boythorn enjoys sparring with Mr. Skimpole, with whom he disagrees on everything, and even continues his fight with Sir Leicester, long after his interest has waned and after Sir Leicester has had a stroke, because he does not want Sir Leicester to feel patronized or that Mr. Boythorn thinks he is incapable of participating in this battle.
Mr. Boythorn Character Timeline in Bleak House
The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Boythorn appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...Mr. Guppy is shown in. He is very smartly dressed, and Esther tells him that Mr. Boythorn is upstairs. Mr. Guppy leaves and returns sometime later, looking shaken by his meeting with... (full context)
...says that he would be very happy to be patronized by such a wealthy man. Mr. Boythorn indignantly tells says that Mr. Skimpole has no principles, but Mr. Skimpole lightly disagrees and... (full context)
...herself as Mr. Jarndyce introduces her. Sir Leicester has come to apologize on behalf of Mr. Boythorn and to assure them that, when they are in Lincolnshire, they are welcome to visit... (full context)