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The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and the Well-Beloved (Penguin Classics)

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The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and the Well-Beloved (Penguin Classics) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (1892) and The Well-Beloved (1897), Hardy writes two different versions of a strange story set in the weird landscape of Portland.

The central figure is a man obsessed both with the search for his ideal woman and with sculpting the perfect figure of a naked Aphrodite. The pursuit finally fixes on three women called Avice Caro – grandmother, mother and daughter – in a way that mixes tragedy and high farce.

The books were written one before and one after his 'last' novel, Jude the Obscure (1895). Both stories are richly ambiguous but the first shows the successful exercise of masculine power and the second shows women triumphant. The double work, coming at the end of Hardy's long career as a novelist, anticipates modernist writing by offering not merely alternative endings but alternative plots. This edition is the first to provide both separate texts and separate commentaries.

In her introduction, Patricia Ingham explores Hardy's preoccupation with contingency and 'might-have-beens' in female-male relationships.

Synopsis:

Containing the 1892 serial version as well as the version that appeared in book form in 1897, this volume makes available one of Thomas Hardy's lesser-known works. At the center of the story is a sculptor obsessed with the ideal woman, who falls in love with three women in the same family, each of a different generation. Considering the storyline's possibilities, Hardy presents two different "what-ifs".

About the Author

Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840. In his writing, he immortalized the site of his birth—Egdon Heath, in Dorset, near Dorchester. Delicate as a child, he was taught at home by his mother before he attended grammar school. At sixteen, Hardy was apprenticed to an architect, and for many years, architecture was his profession; in his spare time, he pursued his first and last literary love, poetry. Finally convinced that he could earn his living as an author, he retired from architecture, married, and devoted himself to writing. An extremely productive novelist, Hardy published an important book every year or two. In 1896, disturbed by the public outcry over the unconventional subjects of his two greatest novels—Tess of the DUrbervilles and Jude the Obscure—he announced that he was giving up fiction and afterward produced only poetry. In later years, he received many honors. He died on January 11, 1928, and was buried in Poets Corner, in Westminster Abbey. It was as a poet that he wished to be remembered, but today critics regard his novels as his most memorable contribution to English literature for their psychological insight, decisive delineation of character, and profound presentation of tragedy.

Patricia Ingham is senior research fellow and reader at St. Anne's College, Oxford. She is the general editor of Thomas Hardy's fiction in Penguin Classics and edited Gaskell's North and South for the series.

Patricia Ingham is senior research fellow and reader at St. Anne's College, Oxford. She is the general editor of Thomas Hardy's fiction in Penguin Classics and edited Gaskell's North and South for the series.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780140435191
Editor:
Ingham, Patricia
Introduction:
Ingham, Patricia
Author:
Hardy, Thomas, Defendant
Author:
Hardy, Thomas
Author:
Ingham, Patricia
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Location:
London ;
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Subject:
British and irish fiction (fictional works by
Subject:
Man-woman relationships
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Sculptors
Subject:
Portland
Subject:
Man-woman relationships -- Fiction.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Series:
Penguin Classics
Series Volume:
CY986
Publication Date:
19980431
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
7.82 x 5.14 x 1 in 0.69 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and the Well-Beloved (Penguin Classics) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140435191 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Containing the 1892 serial version as well as the version that appeared in book form in 1897, this volume makes available one of Thomas Hardy's lesser-known works. At the center of the story is a sculptor obsessed with the ideal woman, who falls in love with three women in the same family, each of a different generation. Considering the storyline's possibilities, Hardy presents two different "what-ifs".

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