For “full seven happy years,” Esther has been the mistress of the new Bleak House. She and Allan have two daughters. Ada’s child, Richard, was born very shortly after his father’s death. The boy and his mother “throve” and, in doing so, made Esther “the happiest of the happy.” Mr. Jarndyce tells Ada that both Bleak Houses are her home but that “the older . . . claims priority.”
Esther’s maid, Charley Neckett, has married a miller; her younger sister Emma is now Esther’s helper. Dissatisfied with the results of her efforts on behalf of Africa, Mrs. Jellyby has turned her energies in support of the right of women to sit in Parliament. Caddy is fresh and happy despite the fact that her husband, Prince, is lame and her child deaf and dumb. Peepy Jellyby “is in the Custom-House and doing extremely well.” Old Mr. Turveydrop remains a Model of Deportment. Esther and Allan have built a “little Growlery” for Mr. Jarndyce’s visits. Mr. Jarndyce is as helpful and happy as ever. Esther finds Ada “more beautiful than ever,” and, according to Allan, Esther herself is prettier than ever before.
A last look at several minor characters ties up all remaining loose ends. Dickens’ conclusion is written in such a way as to evoke poignantly the sense of time past linking up with time present; the final note is that of the continuity and strength of the goodness that dominates in the survivors and successors and makes the future propitious.