I firmly Believe That Mr. Tulkinghorn Likes Muffins

Hello! Welcome to I firmly Believe That Mr. Tulkinghorn Likes Muffins, a site dedicated to the muffiney truths of Charles Dance's portrayal of Mr. Tulkinghorn from a BBC adaptation of Bleak House.


Look at him, he loves that muffin. And so should you. Because muffins are great. And so is Tulkinghorn.




Muffin includes two types of breadstuffs, one a yeast-leavened item, and another "quick" bread raised with baking powder.


Charles Dance

Some adjectives you may use to describe Charles Dance are “Tall”, “Bipedal”, “Carbon-Based” and “Clothed” . Some adjectives you may use but probably shouldn’t are “Lenticular”, “Stringy”, “Backlit”, “A’Fire” and “Yokel”. You also shouldn’t use words like “Doorknob”, “Clasp” or “Lymph Node” either.

He has been breathing since 1946, and doing acting-type-movements for over two decades. He trained as a graphic designer and photographer, but decided acting was more suited to him (lucky for us).

Were you to cover him in blue paint, he would look quite blue. The same applies to red, yellow and green paint. Purple is the only exception, really, owing to his strange biological ability of absorbing purple substances, the existence of which hasn’t actually been observed or proven. The ability, that is, not the substances.

Charles Dance is not a substance.

He should not be smoked, eaten, or absorbed through the skin under any circumstances. Should he come into contact with your eyes, bathe them immediately and call an ambulance.

Charles Dance has done many things, such as tying shoe laces and putting food in his mouth with the aid of a fork. But the things he is best known for are costume dramas.

In Fingersmith he was Man With Gloves And Sideburns Who Sits A Lot And Collects Dirty Books (better known as “Uncle Lilly”). Perhaps the best thing about this character was that he was strictly against naked knuckles.


But Dance’s career isn’t all evil men with strange clothing habits. He’s been nice men with strange clothing habits, too.


... If you actually want to know the facts, go to his IMDB filmography.

Perhaps you missed the subtleties of what occurred during each jam-packed (strawberry jam, I assume) episode. In case you did, I have tirelessly written out exactly what happened to dear Mr. Tulkinghorn. This is Dickens at his best. (This is a lie, Dickens is probably much better than any of this).

Episode 1

Mr. Tulkinghorn was sitting in court, and was enjoying himself immensely. Not because he had a chance to hone is sharp wit, or grind a couple more little people into the dust, but because of the place upon which he had parked his posterior.

“I like this chair, this is a really nice chair,” he thought to himself, “It’s wooden yet comfy. I must buy a chair like this so I can be comfy all the time.” Before he could continue thinking about how wonderful the chair was, someone said his name and he sadly abandoned his mental chair-related list of superlatives and turned to say the silliest word he could think of.

“Milud” he said, which was a very silly word indeed. He was quite proud of himself until he realised that “milud” was a common term used to address the silly man in the wig. He dearly wished he had said “giraffe” or “libido”, but the moment was lost.

Later on, back at his desk, Mr. Tulkinghorn had forgotten all about the comfy chair. He was rifling through several recipes, searching for his grandma’s favourite quiche-based concoction. There was a lot of paper on his desk, and he was pouting mightily at the effort searching took, until he remembered that he had an assistant.
“Clamb!” he called, oblivious to how amusing his little spectacles appeared.

Clamb was an odd man who stored his entire family in his sideburns. When the room was quiet enough, you could hear his wife call out on the subject of potatoes.
“Potatoes!” said Clamb’s wife, voice very faint but audible.
“No potatoes,” said Clamb, who had taken to standing on one leg whenever he wasn’t walking. Tulkinghorn tried not to look at Clamb, because he thought that standing on one leg was an incredibly stupid exercise that could only end in tears and/or yoghurt.

“I cannot find my grandmother’s quiche recipe”, said Mr. Tulkinghorn, trying to suppress the urge to paw at his ink blotter.
“I shall find it for you at once, sir”, said Clamb, falling over twice whilst speaking the sentence. Tulkinghorn was about to admonish him for his unsteadiness, but the ink blotter finally won and he began to poke at it with a well-manicured finger.

This poking continued for many days and many nights, until the credits got sick of waiting for a decent ending and started to forcibly roll.

Episode 2

Months later, having poked the blotter until it was well and truly dead, Mr. Tulkinghorn found himself in the Deadlock’s mansion.
“Wow, I have very nice ankles” he said, looking down at himself in amazement “and this nose isn’t half bad either. But my ankles will help me up all these stairs."

The last statement was based upon the fact that he was walking up a lot of stairs.

"How are you, Tulkie?" asked Lord Dedlock in his irritatingly cutesy manner.
"I found me", said Mr. Tulkinghorn, pointing triumphantly at his torso.
“Very nice,” murmered Lady Dedlock, who was eating muffins.
“Did you get the quiche recipe?” asked Lord Dedlock, bobbing merrily against the ceiling. Before Tulkinghorn could answer, Lady Dedlock fell over.
“Oooh look, she fell over” said Lord Dedlock. Swiftly he picked up a stick and poked her in the ribs “maybe she ate too many muffins”

The mere thought of muffins made Tulkinghorn experience a sudden need for baked goods, and so he rang the servant’s rope.

Much to his disappointment, the when the servants arrived they completely ignored him and instead rushed to the fallen Lady Dedlock’s aid. “Typical,” he thought to himself, “not one person has offered me a muffin today. You’d think they’d be more considerate. Oh well, at least I have this paper with good quiche recipe on it.” And so he contented himself with reading the quiche recipe.

"That would make some lovely quiche," he said, but no one was listening.

Later that day, he decided he should look in to the muffins that made Lady Dedlock faint, reasoning that they must be really good muffins because she ate so many. He visited a nice chap with fluffy grey hair.

The man said he had no muffins, dogs, or parrots called Jerry. Tulkinghorn was disappointed, but hid it expertly behind a three meter thick shoe he carried for the express purpose of hiding his disappointment.

Putting the shoe away, he decided to try the establishment across the road. The drunkard (who was a communist tomato in disguise) gave him a candle and told him to go up the stairs, where there was a pile of muffins.
"Lucky I have these ankles," thought Mr. Tulkinghorn as he skipped merrily up the stairs, "they sure come in handy when I want to move from one place to another". He saw a door with "MUFFINZ" written on it, and hurredly pushed it open. His jaw dropped at the sight within, so terrible it was to behold.

There were no muffins. THE ROOM WAS EMPTY. The communist tomato had LIED. Before Mr. Tulkinghorn could utter a word, the credits covered him up and some nice music began to play.

Episode 3

“Clamb, why are you standing in that pudding?”
“It looked lonely, sir.”

Mr.Tulkinghorn didn’t even justify his clerk’s inane excuse of a response with an answer. There was no way the pudding looked lonely that morning, and not much change had occurred since then. Obviously the sun agreed, and it promptly set, inexplicably taking all of the oil lamps in England with it.
“Ooh,” said Crook, who woke up to find himself passed out on Tulkinghorn’s office carpet.
“That is a very lonely looking pudding,” he said, flailing wildly until he somehow managed to pull himself into a sitting position.
“Stop standing in that pudding and get some candles, Clamb” said Mr. Tulkinghorn, utterly vexed by this point. Clamb promptly did so, and soon Crook and Tulkinghorn were examining the pudding.

“I maintain that there was no reason for Clamb to stand in that pudding” said Tulkinghorn authoritatively.
“Wait, you’re talking about that pudding? I was talking about this one” said Crook.

“Come to think of it, what are you doing here?” Clamb asked Crook. Crook turned to Clamb crookedly, clammy crooked crook clams clinging to his creationist communist tomato exterior like clams on crooked crew causation bank loans.
“I dunno” he said.

Tulkinghorn could take no more and decided to go on a walk rather than contend with the convoluted excuse for a narrative that was taking place within his office. As he strolled through the busy and rather smelly city streets, a sudden feeling of loss overtook him. He still hadn’t eaten a muffin since he saw Lady Dedlock faint.

He decided to go on a quest, and left the safety of his office with the intent to journey far and wide in search of a muffin.

Episode 4

He pouted holes through small children in the wilderness...

Looked mildly psychotic at men in the city...

He even squinted out of carriges, pointedly ignoring men with expansive sideburns.

He searched and searched, until one day he finally gave up and came home. But Clamb had been busy in his absence, and Mr. Tulkinghorn found a surprise upon his desk. Hastily he scoffed the treat.

"You sir, are the very bestest in the whole wide world" he said matter-of-factly once he had completed his muffin consumament (like a firmament only more muffiney). Clamb smiled happily, glad the forelorn pudding was gone, so now he didn't have to stand in it.

Immediate need sated, Mr.Tulkinghorn set his mind to more elevated things, such as the remarkable nature of an ibex's horns, or exactly what kind of muffin Lady Dedlock had eaten. He took it upon himself to find out the magical muffin recipe, no matter what horrific ramifications its discovery may have (such as the formation of a slight paunch). Another mytical quest had begun, even more exacting than the last. This was a quest for a specific muffin.

Episode 5

“I got that tag for ya, Mr.Tulkinghorn” said Smallweed, who was in actual fact a small weed. Tulkinghorn wasn’t used to dealing with diminutive dandelions, but since he had set fire to that lying communist tomato, there was no one else whom he could deal with. One of Smallweed’s assistants handed him a little gift tag.
“Take me out you cloroplastless ruffians!” screeched Smallweed. His two assistants hefted his overlarge pot and scuttled from Tulkinghorn’s office. Tulkinghorn looked at the tag intently.

“I got that tag for ya, Mr.Tulkinghorn” said Smallweed, who was in actual fact a small weed. Tulkinghorn wasn’t used to dealing with diminutive dandelions, but since he had set fire to that lying communist tomato, there was no one else whom he could deal with. One of Smallweed’s assistants handed him a little gift tag.
“Take me out you chloroplastless ruffians!” screeched Smallweed. His two assistants hefted his overlarge pot and scuttled from Tulkinghorn’s office. Tulkinghorn looked at the tag intently.

Immediately he picked up his quill and primly began drawing stick figure men all over Tulkinghorn’s correspondence. Tulkinghorn sighed, then remembered that he was a practising lawyer and thus had work to do. He'd have to continue his quest the following week, after he had settled the case of Squishy and Banana (a tragic story by all means).

Episode 6

The next week, Clamb looked up from his stick figures and spotted a letter.
“Ooh look, Mr. Jarndyce has written you a letter,” he paused, frowning disappointedly “and it looks like someone has already covered it in little stick men. How rude.”
Tulkinghorn ignored this and snatched up the letter, which read:

Dear Mr. Tulkinghorn,
My eyebrows are beginning to alarm small children. I have heard word that you are an expert in the field of alarming small children, and would appreciate your expertise in changing the nature of my eyebrows.
Yours worriedly,
Jarndyce (Mr., Mrs., soon-to-be-ordained-cable-system)

“Right, that settles it, I’m going to Bleak House” said Tulkinghorn resolutely, folding the letter into a smart top hat.
“Right you are, sir” said Clamb, casually hurling his bottle of ink at Tulkinghorn’s new hat. It exploded on impact, instantly turning the hat to a deep black.
“Where shall I say you are, if anyone asks?” asked Clamb.
“Say that I am joining a Tahitian cult in northern Lithuania, and shan’t be back until Sunday.”

And so Mr. Tulkinghorn set out on his big adventure.

Five minutes later he returned. With an amazingly straight face, Clamb handed him his pants without comment. Then Tulkinghorn set off again, this time with his pants on. This was a far superior start.

Episode 7
Episode 8
Episode 9
Episode 10
Episode 11
Episode 12