Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Mr. Snagsby Character Analysis

Mr. Snagsby, Mrs. Snagsby’s husband, runs a law stationer’s shop near the court of Chancery and hires many freelance law writers, including the elusive Nemo, or Captain Hawdon. Mr. Snagsby is a mild-mannered, overweight man who is naturally very sympathetic to the suffering of others. He often gives money to Jo, the urchin who sweeps the streets outside his shop. The neighbors believe that Mrs. Snagsby bullies her husband, because she is left in charge of the business and is an aggressive and volatile woman. However, Mr. Snagsby is quite happy with this relationship and prefers to daydream and to have a quiet life than to make his wife unhappy. He is often dismayed by his wife’s suspicions; she is very imaginative and accuses him of being caught up in all sorts of conspiracies against her. Mr. Snagsby becomes embroiled in the Dedlock mystery when Mr. Bucket takes him to find Jo, whom Lady Dedlock has been to visit in secret because she wants him to show her the location of Captain Hawdon’s grave. Mr. Snagsby never understands his role in the situation—Mr. Bucket knows that Jo is friendly with Mr. Snagsby and thinks the boy is more likely to come with him if he is with a friend—and becomes paranoid and anxious until Mr. Bucket sets him right at the novel’s end.
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Mr. Snagsby Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Snagsby appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Mr. Snagsby owns a law stationer’s shop, which stocks all sorts of office and legal supplies, in... (full context)
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Guster has come to the Snagsbys’ from a workhouse and is a thin, unfortunate woman who is subject to seizures. When... (full context)
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Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Mrs. Snagsby manages the money and business side of the shop. When they gossip among themselves, the... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
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Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...He tells his manservant that he is going out and makes his way to Mr. Snagsby’s. Guster fetches Mr. Snagsby, who appears with a slice of bread and butter in his... (full context)
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Mrs. Snagsby lurks on the stairs, eager to discover what Mr. Snagsby is up to. Mr. Snagsby... (full context)
Chapter 11
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...what he thinks of these events. He does suggest, however, that they send for Mr. Snagsby, as he sometimes gave the man work. (full context)
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Mr. Snagsby arrives, and Mr. Tulkinghorn asks him if he knows anything of the deceased writer, but... (full context)
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Mr. Tulkinghorn then directs Mr. Snagsby to inspect the room and draws his attention to an old chest which Mr. Tulkinghorn... (full context)
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...money. The death is ruled as accidental and dismissed. As Jo leaves the court, Mr. Snagsby gives him a half-crown. That night the singers and actors of the local troupe perform... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
At Mr. Snagsby’s shop, Guster has seizures all night and keeps the household awake. Meanwhile, Nemo’s body is... (full context)
Chapter 16
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...location, without glancing back. She gives him some money, and Jo leads her to Mr. Snagsby’s, then to Krook’s, and then on to the cemetery. The graveyard is blocked off by... (full context)
Chapter 19
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In Mr. Snagsby’s house, they prepare to have guests. Mr. Chadband, a minister, and his wife, Mrs. Chadband,... (full context)
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Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
The guests arrive slightly late, much to the dismay of Mr. Snagsby, who is hungry. Mr. Chadband is a large but simpering man with very oily hair... (full context)
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...once more, drops a plate on Mr. Chadband’s head by accident, and stammeringly tells Mr. Snagsby that he is needed in the shop. Mr. Snagsby finds Jo in the shop, in... (full context)
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...on” to, and the policeman says that this is not his business. He asks Mr. Snagsby if he knows the boy and Mrs. Snagsby, who has been listening on the stairs,... (full context)
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...young man, Mr. Guppy, arrives at this moment and joins the conversation. He greets Mr. Snagsby and tells him that he thought he’d better intervene on Jo’s behalf. The policeman knows... (full context)
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The constable is skeptical about Jo’s story but leaves him with Mr. Snagsby. Jo’s story has piqued Mr. Guppy’s interest, and he wishes to interrogate the boy. Mrs.... (full context)
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...but that he must return the next day for instruction. Jo shuffles off and Mr. Snagsby slips him some scraps from the table as he goes. (full context)
Chapter 20
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...money from a bad source. Mr. Guppy suggests that Mr. Jobling should go to Mr. Snagsby for writing work and to Krook to rent a room, as he knows that Krook... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...He drinks a glass of fine wine, which he keeps in his cellar, and Mr. Snagsby sits opposite him at his desk. Mr. Snagsby tells Mr. Tulkinghorn that he has not... (full context)
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Mr. Tulkinghorn offers Mr. Snagsby a glass of wine, and Mr. Snagsby repeats Jo’s statement for Mr. Tulkinghorn. When he... (full context)
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When Mr. Snagsby hears this, he agrees to go with the inspector. Mr. Bucket takes him aside and... (full context)
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...pair walk through the city, and when they reach Tom-all-Alone’s, another policeman joins them. Mr. Snagsby notices that Mr. Bucket never walks entirely in a straight line and that he makes... (full context)
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...room. She believes the child has no hope of a good life or future. Mr. Snagsby, who has waited outside, coughs to tell Mr. Bucket that Jo has arrived and, once... (full context)
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...too. Mr. Bucket confirms that Jo has been consistent in his story. He thanks Mr. Snagsby and allows him to go; Mr. Snagsby is worried that his wife will be anxious.... (full context)
Chapter 25
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In Mr. Snagsby’s house, Mrs. Snagsby’s imagination goes to work. She can see that a change has come... (full context)
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The next evening, Jo arrives for his lesson from Mr. Chadband. Mrs. Snagsby is convinced that Jo is Mr. Snagsby’s son and watches for signs throughout the evening.... (full context)
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...know nothing of where they came from. On Jo’s way out of the house, Mr. Snagsby gives him a half-crown, and Mrs. Snagsby watches silently from the stairs. (full context)
Chapter 32
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...down the stairs anxiously and hovers by the door as though waiting for something. Mr. Snagsby, who also has a strange, anxious feeling that night, walks the Court and passes Mr.... (full context)
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Mr. Weevle says that the dense air gives him “the horrors,” and Mr. Snagsby says that this is not surprising given the room he lives in and what happened... (full context)
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...the shop below. Mr. Guppy wants to know why Mr. Weevle was speaking to Mr. Snagsby, but Mr. Weevle complains that Mr. Guppy is too mysterious. (full context)
Chapter 33
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...to repeat the story many times. Two policeman guard the door of the shop. Mr. Snagsby rushes to the Sol’s Arms when he hears the news but is forced to leave... (full context)
Chapter 42
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...the hot city to Lincoln’s Inn and his apartment. When he arrives, he finds Mr. Snagsby in the hall and asks the stationer what he wants. Mr. Snagsby meekly explains that... (full context)
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...not know what Mademoiselle Hortense wants and thinks she might be mad. He tells Mr. Snagsby to send her to him the next time she comes. Mr. Snagsby leaves satisfied, and... (full context)
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...and tells her that if she ever comes to him again, or goes to Mr. Snagsby’s, he will have her thrown in jail. Mademoiselle Hortense spits back that she dares him... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...not know where he comes from but that he hangs around the area because Mr. Snagsby gives him money. As for leaving the lady’s house, Jo says that he was “took”... (full context)
Chapter 47
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After this brief conversation, Mr. Woodcourt decides to take Jo to see Mr. Snagsby, because Jo has mentioned the name so frequently. Mr. Snagsby is very troubled when Mr.... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
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...take good care of him, many people come to visit. Esther, Mr. Jarndyce, and Mr. Snagsby all come to see Jo, but he is confused and delirious. One day, Jo sits... (full context)
Chapter 54
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A servant interrupts them, and Mr. Smallweed is carried into the room, followed by Mrs. Snagsby and Mr. and Mrs. Chadband. Mr. Bucket introduces himself and Sir Leicester seems amazed by... (full context)
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Mrs. Snagsby comes forward next, in floods of tears. She tells Mr. Bucket the tragic and convoluted... (full context)
Chapter 59
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...accompany them wherever they are going. Mr. Bucket enthusiastically agrees and leads them towards Mr. Snagsby’s house. (full context)
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...servant who has fallen into a fit and sits Esther down by the fire. Mrs. Snagsby glares at her. Mr. Snagsby imploringly tells his wife that he has no idea why... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket then tells Mrs. Snagsby—who still peers menacingly at Esther—that she has made a mistake and that she should be... (full context)
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...that this is the place where Captain Hawdon was buried and grows upset until Mrs. Snagsby comforts her. (full context)