Bleak House in Australian Reasons for Judgment

69 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2008 Last revised: 5 May 2022

Date Written: May 4, 2022


The paper deals with some allusions to Dickens's Bleak House in Australian reasons for judgment. It identifies a real-life case on which Dickens may have relied in writing about Jarndyce v Jarndyce. Also discussed are a number of other real-life cases that have been suggested to be Dickens's model for Jarndyce v. Jarndyce and eight occasions post-Bleak House in which Dickens either brought legal proceedings for either copyright infringement or defamation or contemplated doing so.

The paper contains numerous contemporaneous illustrations.

Keywords: literary allusions in Australian reasons for judgment, Charles Dickens, Bleak House, blacking, Charles Day

Suggested Citation

Katz, Leslie, Bleak House in Australian Reasons for Judgment (May 4, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

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