Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Mr. Boythorn Character Analysis

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.
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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.
Chapter 9
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...pair fall in love. One morning, Mr. Jarndyce receives a letter from his old friend Mr. Boythorn . The letter announces that Mr. Boythorn will come to visit and will arrive that... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
Mr. Boythorn arrives later, after some difficulty with his carriage, and Esther, Ada, and Richard find him... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Mr. Boythorn has great respect for Lady Dedlock, however, and will say nothing against her. Mr. Boythorn... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...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)
Chapter 12
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
Mr. Tulkinghorn discusses Sir Leicester’s running feud with Mr. Boythorn , who Sir Leicester feels should be hanged for making such a nuisance of himself.... (full context)
Chapter 15
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...them one night that he has been invited to go with them to stay with Mr. Boythorn , and that the man who tried to arrest him at Mr. Jarndyce’s has died.... (full context)
Chapter 18
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...Jarndyce reluctantly leaves Richard to it and takes Ada, Esther, and Mr. Skimpole to visit Mr. Boythorn . (full context)
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
On the coach on the way up to Mr. Boythorn ’s house, Mr. Skimpole tells them that the landlord has confiscated all of his furniture... (full context)
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
It is a beautiful summer afternoon when the group arrives in Lincolnshire. They meet Mr. Boythorn , who has ridden out to greet them in his own carriage and find him... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
As they enter the village, they pass Watt sitting outside a pub. Mr. Boythorn tells them that he works at Chesney Wold and that he is engaged to Rosa,... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...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)
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...The rain lets up soon after this and Esther, Ada, and Mr. Jarndyce return to Mr. Boythorn ’s house. (full context)
Chapter 23
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Esther does not see Lady Dedlock again while she is at Mr. Boythorn ’s, except in church on Sundays. When she does see her, she has the strange... (full context)
Chapter 35
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...Ada again, and tells her of the many well-wishers she has had during her delirium. Mr. Boythorn has written to insist that she must go and rest at his house when she... (full context)
Chapter 36
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
Esther and Charley travel together to Mr. Boythorn ’s house in Lincolnshire. Mr. Boythorn is away, so they have the house to themselves.... (full context)
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...time outside as possible, and she and Charley spend all day riding the pony that Mr. Boythorn has left for them. (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
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Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
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...which is crowded with violets. Esther has heard the legend of the Ghost’s Walk from Mr. Boythorn and though she is fascinated by the house, and by the Dedlock family history, she... (full context)
Chapter 37
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
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Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...suit because he finds it very poetic. Esther leads Richard and Mr. Skimpole back to Mr. Boythorn ’s house and shows Richard into the living room where Ada is seated. Ada is... (full context)
Chapter 43
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...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)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...Mr. Jarndyce is confused and asks her if she knows that this sister was once Mr. Boythorn ’s fiancée. Esther says that she knows this, and that this woman was also the... (full context)
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Esther asks why Mr. Boythorn and Miss Barbary separated. Mr. Jarndyce says that he doesn’t know, but that, one day,... (full context)
Chapter 57
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...mother. She tells him that she met Lady Dedlock when she was a guest at Mr. Boythorn ’s house. (full context)
Chapter 66
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
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Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...about the grounds with George by his side. Sir Leicester still maintains his dispute with Mr. Boythorn , but Mr. Boythorn pursues his claims on the land more out of a sense... (full context)