Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Rosa is a beautiful servant girl whom Lady Dedlock hires. She becomes engaged to Watt, Mr. Rouncewell’s son. Lady Dedlock hires Rosa because Rosa bears some resemblance to herself, and Lady Dedlock likes to imagine that Rosa is her daughter, who Lady Dedlock thinks has died at birth. Lady Dedlock dismisses Rosa from her service when Mr. Tulkinghorn reveals to her that her daughter, Esther Summerson, is alive. Although Lady Dedlock is attached to her maid and wants her to be happy, she is worried that the scandal surrounding her will negatively affect Rosa’s reputation and she wants to protect her from this.
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Rosa Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Rosa appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 7
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
...who he thinks is extremely pretty, and Mrs. Rouncewell tells him that her name is Rosa. (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
As they sit and talk, a carriage appears outside. Rosa enters the room and tells them that two men have come to view the house.... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...that he knows the lady’s face. When they pass the Ghost’s Walk terrace, Watt asks Rosa to tell them the ghost story attached to the house, but Mrs. Rouncewell says that... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
When Mr. Guppy and his friend have gone, however, Mrs. Rouncewell relates the story to Rosa and Watt. During the English Civil War, when Parliament rebels overthrew Charles I, Sir Morbury... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...asks Watt to wind up a clock in the corner of the room and takes Rosa to the window. The rain is still audible over the chimes of the clock. (full context)
Chapter 12
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...that even the birds in the trees seem to discuss their return. Mrs. Rouncewell and Rosa greet them, and Lady Dedlock is struck by Rosa’s beauty. She compliments the girl and... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
...a Frenchwoman named Mademoiselle Hortense, is jealous of the attention that Lady Dedlock gives to Rosa. She mocks Lady Dedlock slyly when she isn’t looking, while she serves the guests who... (full context)
Chapter 16
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...that the rain is very loud on the Ghost’s Walk. Mrs. Rouncewell agrees and tells Rosa that she has never heard it so distinctly before. (full context)
Chapter 18
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...Boythorn tells them that he works at Chesney Wold and that he is engaged to Rosa, Lady Dedlock’s maid. The house is quaint and the garden is very pretty. The walkway... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...handmaiden. Lady Dedlock is indignant with the French woman and says that she sent for Rosa. She gets into the carriage with Rosa and directs the coach to drive on, leaving... (full context)
Chapter 28
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...Lady Dedlock, and Volumnia are in the drawing room, when Volumnia comments on how pretty Rosa, Lady Dedlock’s maid, is. Lady Dedlock says that Mrs. Rouncewell discovered Rosa and Volumnia asks... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
 In fact, says Sir Leicester, Mr. Rouncewell is waiting downstairs to speak to them about Rosa. Volumnia and the other cousins hurry to bed and Mr. Rouncewell is shown in. Sir... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
That night, as Rosa helps her prepare for bed, Lady Dedlock asks her maid if she is in love... (full context)
Chapter 40
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...address Lady Dedlock. She cuts him off and tells him that she will not dismiss Rosa, but Sir Leicester says that this is not what he meant. Instead he was going... (full context)
Chapter 48
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
The Dedlocks are in London, and Lady Dedlock is in her sitting room with Rosa. She calls Rosa to her side and tells her that she has brought much comfort... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...long after this, Mr. Rouncewell arrives and Lady Dedlock informs him that he must take Rosa away because she is still in love with his son. Mr. Rouncewell is clearly offended... (full context)
Chapter 63
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...and Mr. Rouncewell takes George home for dinner and invites him to Watt’s wedding to Rosa, which will take place in a year’s time. (full context)