From the March/April, 2018 issue of Touchstone
Ashibag Unscripted by Patrick Henry Reardon

As It Is Written . . .

Abishag Unscripted

by Patrick Henry Reardon

Early in the first autobiographical account in Bleak House, Esther Sommerson speaks of Mrs. Rachael, a domestic servant of Miss Barbary, who is Esther’s aunt and guardian. Mrs. Rachael, a fairly non-descript person in the early part of the novel, disappears after the death of Miss Barbary, nor is there any reason to suppose, at that point, that we should ever hear about her again.

Later in the book, nonetheless, Dickens brings the same lady back, now the wife of a pompous preacher named Chadband. At a crucial point in the narrative, it is this Mrs. Chadband who recognizes Esther’s name in a context that throws light on her parentage. Thus, Dickens uses an otherwise minor character, who appears in only two s . . .


This article is only available to subscribers.

Login to Touchstone Online

Not a subscriber? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of content!

subscription options

Purchase
Online Subscription

Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. NEW: Download PDF of issues! That's only $1.66 per month!

Purchase Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access for only $39.95. NEW: Download PDF of issues! That's only $3.34 per month!

Transactions will be processed on the secure server of The Fellowship of St. James website, the publisher of Touchstone.

OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)

Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.


more from the online archives

24.1—January/February 2011

Secular Grendel

Ruminations on the Monstrous Envy of the Soul-Devouring State by Anthony Esolen

22.2—March 2009

The Good Father

on the Manly Character of St. Joseph by Joseph R. Fornieri

30.6—Nov/Dec 2017

Odious & Deplorable

on C. S. Lewis, Brideshead Revisited & the Middle Things by Ben Reinhard

Touchstone is published by

All content The Fellowship of St. James — 2018. All rights reserved.
Returns, refunds, and privacy policy.