Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Bleak House can help.
Volumnia Dedlock is a distant cousin of Sir Leicester Dedlock’s and often comes to stay with him at his house in Chesney Wold. Volumnia pretends to be much younger than she is, and is an old-fashioned minor aristocrat who has been raised to do nothing but attend dances and live an idle life of leisure. She cares for Sir Leicester during his illness after the shock of Lady Dedlock’s death, and she is keen to ingratiate herself with her cousin so that he will leave her an inheritance after his death.

Volumnia Dedlock Quotes in Bleak House

The Bleak House quotes below are all either spoken by Volumnia Dedlock or refer to Volumnia Dedlock. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Wordsworth edition of Bleak House published in 1993.
Chapter 28 Quotes

Service, however (with a few limited reservations; genteel but not profitable), they may not do, being of the Dedlock dignity. So they visit their richer cousins, and get into debt when they can, and live but shabbily when they can’t, and find—the women no husbands, and the men no wives—and ride in borrowed carriages, and sit at feasts that are never of their own making, and so go through high life. The rich family sum has been divided by so many figures, and they are the something over that nobody knows what to do with.

Page Number: 335
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Bleak House LitChart as a printable PDF.
Bleak House PDF

Volumnia Dedlock Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Volumnia Dedlock appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 28
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...weather is bad, however, and Sir Leicester’s cousins have come to visit. Among them are Volumnia Dedlock and Bob Stables, elderly yet eminent members of Bath society. These cousins are lesser,... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Lady Dedlock is very popular with these cousins. One evening, Sir Leicester, Lady Dedlock, and Volumnia are in the drawing room, when Volumnia comments on how pretty Rosa, Lady Dedlock’s maid,... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...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 Leicester... (full context)
Chapter 40
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...often join the cousins, who engage in many pleasurable pursuits to keep their spirits up. Volumnia takes an interest in the nation’s fortunes and often talks privately with Sir Leicester about... (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
While Sir Leicester, Volumnia, and Lady Dedlock are in the library one evening, discussing the state of the country,... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...that Mr. Rouncewell has taken this seat. Sir Leicester thinks this is most improper, and Volumnia is very put out. Mr. Tulkinghorn remarks that Mr. Rouncewell had help from his son,... (full context)
Chapter 53
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
Mr. Bucket is summoned to the drawing room after dinner and finds Sir Leicester with Volumnia and another aged cousin. Mr. Bucket flirts a little with Volumnia and then listens gravely... (full context)
Chapter 56
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
In Sir Leicester’s townhouse, Volumnia is wandering about when she stumbles Sir Leicester, face down on the library floor. Lady... (full context)
Chapter 58
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Volumnia sits with Sir Leicester when Mrs. Rouncewell is absent but is easily bored with her... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Later that afternoon, Sir Leicester tells Volumnia that, if he grows worse and loses his powers of speech or movement, that she... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
George keeps watch all through the night and Volumnia stalks the halls, wondering forlornly what will happen to her inheritance if Sir Leicester dies.... (full context)
Chapter 66
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Volumnia has been written into the will so that, in the event of Sir Leicester’s death,... (full context)