When people come to bleak House, I have a very hefty horror section, for sure, but the biggest section is comedy.
Preston was an impoverished and bleak place—so much so that Charles Dickens based his novel Hard Times on the city.
Also on display is a bleak landscape of an Ireland hit particularly hard by the recession.
c.1300, "pale," from Old Norse bleikr "pale, whitish, blond," from Proto-Germanic *blaika- "shining, white," from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)). Later "bare, windswept" (1530s). Sense of "cheerless" is c.1719 figurative extension. The same Germanic root produced Old English blac "pale," but this died out, probably from confusion with blæc "black;" however bleak persisted, with a sense of "bare" as well as "pale."