This essay argues that Emily Lawless’s 1892 Irish novel Grania: The Story of an Island borrows explicit images and style from the opening of Charles Dickens’s 1853 novel Bleak House in order to write nineteenth-century Irish fiction into a Victorian realist tradition that excluded it. Lawless does so not by trying to reproduce mid-century socially cohesive realist plots and forms, but instead by exposing and extending the queer resistances to developmental marriage plots extant even in popular Victorian realist novels. Grania’s self-conscious alignment with Bleak House invites us to reconsider the narrowly colonial terms through which literary history has viewed Irish realism as a failed endeavor. This essay argues for a nineteenth-century realist tradition in Ireland that is as malleable, as various, and as fundamentally unconventional as we have long understood England’s to be.