Knockout Narratives Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    Original Essays | January 5, 2015

    Frances E. Jensen: IMG What You Don't Know about the Teenage Brain

    Things were changing in our household: the teen years had intruded into our otherwise harmonious, do-as-mom-tells-you relatively orderly world. As... Continue »


On Order

New Mass Market
Currently out of stock.
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
- Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales


The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Thomas Hardy's short stories reveal a literary persona, a creative intelligence and an imaginative vision uniquely and unmistakably his own.

Those contained within this volume are among his finest and most representative and include The Withered Arm, one of his best known and most gripping; Barbara of the House of Grebe, said by T. S. Eliot to portray 'a world of pure evil'; The Son's Veto, regarded by Hardy as his best story; and, of course, The Distracted Preacher, possible the most flawless of all. Like the novels, the short stories reveal Hardy's preoccupation with affairs of the heart, with love requited and frustrated, fulfilled or doomed. They contain many of his most powerful portraits of women; they are streaked with the grotesque, the macabre and bizarre; and they are permeated by that atmosphere, narrative power, and vivid sense of place and its intimate relation to character which are the essentials of Hardy's genius.

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.

Table of Contents

Hardy's Life and Works: a Chronology


1. Thomas Hardy as a Short Story Writer

2. The Selected Stories

Hardy's Wessex


Key to Place-Names

The Distracted Preacher

A Mere Interlude

The Withered Arm

A Tragedy of Two Ambitions

The Melancholy Hussar of the German Legion

Barbara of the House of Grebe

On the Western Circuit

The Son's Veto

The Fiddler of the Reels

An Imaginative Woman

The Grave by the Handpost

Hardy's General Preface to the Wessex Edition of 1912

Bibliographical Note

Note on the Text

Explanatory Notes

Product Details

Hill, Susan
Hill, Susan
Hardy, Thomas, Defendant
Hardy, Thomas
Penguin Books
Short Stories (single author)
British and irish fiction (fictional works by
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
7.74x5.14x.90 in. .60 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. In Praise of the Stepmother Used Mass Market $1.95
  2. The Fruit of the Tree (Literary... Used Trade Paper $6.95
  3. Troublesome Offspring of Cardinal Guzman Used Trade Paper $5.50
  4. If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem: The... Used Trade Paper $8.50
  5. The Children Sale Trade Paper $7.98
  6. The Complete Tales of Nikolai Gogol,... Used Trade Paper $13.00

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

The Distracted Preacher and Other Tales New Mass Market
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.25 Backorder
Product details 368 pages Penguin Books - English 9780140431247 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at