So Rhoda Brook, the abandoned mistress of Farmer Lodge, is jealous to discover details of his new bride in ‘The Withered Arm’, the title story in this selection of Hardy’s finest short stories. Hardy’s first story, ‘Destiny and a Blue Cloak’ was written fresh from the success of Far From the Madding Crowd. Beautiful in their own right, these stories are also testing-grounds for the novels in their controversial sexual politics, their refusal of romance structures, and their elegiac pursuit of past, lost loves.
Several of the stories in The Withered Arm were collected to form the famous volume, Wessex Tales (1888), the first time Hardy denoted “Wessex” to describe his fictional world. The Withered Arm is the first of a new two-volume selection of Hardy’s short stories, edited with an introduction and notes by Kristin Brady.
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About Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy, whose writing immortalized the Wessex countryside and dramatized his sense of the inevitable tragedy of life, was born at Upper Bockhampton, near Stinsford in Dorset in 1840, the eldest child of a prosperous stonemason. As a youth he… More about Thomas Hardy
Published by Penguin Classics Nov 01, 1999| 464 Pages| ISBN 9780140435320