Mrs. Woodcourt is Mr. Woodcourt’s mother and becomes the mother-in-law of Esther Summerson. She is a friend of Mr. Jarndyce’s and often visits his house. Mrs. Woodcourt is a proud woman and claims that she comes from a noble Welsh family which is not recognized by the British aristocracy. When she realizes that Mr. Woodcourt is in love with Esther, Mrs. Woodcourt is initially convinced that Esther is not good enough for her son. She tries to put Esther off by subtly suggesting this and implying that her son is not really in love with Esther. She changes her mind, however, towards the end of the novel, when she discovers that Esther is Lady Dedlock’s daughter. Although Lady Dedlock is not really from a noble family, Mrs. Woodcourt does not realize this and assumes that Esther is a member of the aristocracy because of Lady Dedlock’s marriage to the noble Sir Leicester Dedlock.
Mrs. Woodcourt Character Timeline in Bleak House
The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Woodcourt appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.