Dr. Charlotte Mathieson, an Associate Fellow in the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, speaks with Penelope Jenkins from The Warwick Knowledge Centre about travel in Bleak House. Dr. Mathieson discusses the wider context of travel in the mid-nineteenth century and its importance in the novel; her academic interest in Bleak House; the theme of mobility, and mobility's connection to social status and how it highlights social inequality.
As one of the urban poor, Jo is mobile as a result of his poverty. He's always been moved on from one place to another. He has nowhere to go and says at one point, "I've always been moving and moving on ever since I was born, where can I possibly move to?" So this mobility is engendered by his social position, but it's this that makes him instrumental within a number of different networks and positions him as one of the key characters in the novel.
Dr Charlotte Mathieson