Synopses & Reviews
Jude Fawley is a bright but impoverished stonemason who aspires to attend university and become a scholar. H is failure to fulfill the expectations of the two women he loves points to his final tragedy. Concerned with the destructive conventions of marriage and the English class system, Jude the Obscure is a raging indictment of Victorian society; the censure of this insightful book was almost without precedent in the history of English literature.
"The greatest tragic writer among English novelists."
The schoolmaster was leaving the village and everybody seemed sorry.
Concerned with the destructive conventions of marriage and the English class system, "Jude the Obscure" is a raging indictment of Victorian society; the censure of this insightful book was almost without precedent in the history of English literature. Includes a new Afterword. Revised reissue.
About the Author
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.
Jay Parini who teaches English at Middlebury College, is the author of five novels including Benjamin's Crossing and The Last Station.