Authors & Events
Aug 14, 2001
| ISBN 9780375757419
Mar 01, 1985
| ISBN 9780553211917
Dec 15, 1992
| ISBN 9780679409939
Aug 26, 2008
| ISBN 9780553905540
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Aug 14, 2001 | ISBN 9780375757419
Mar 01, 1985 | ISBN 9780553211917
Dec 15, 1992 | ISBN 9780679409939
Aug 26, 2008 | ISBN 9780553905540
Upon its first appearance in 1895, Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure shocked Victorian critics and readers with a frank depiction of sexuality and an unbridled indictment of the institutions of marriage, education, and religion, reportedly causing one Angli-can bishop to order the book publicly burned. The experience so exhausted Hardy that he never wrote a work of fiction again.Rich in symbolism, Jude the Obscure is the story of Jude Fawley and his struggle to rise from his station as a poor Wessex stonemason to that of a scholar at Christminster. It is also the story of Jude’s ill-fated relationship with his cousin Sue Bridehead, and the ultimate tragedy that causes Jude’s undoing and Sue’s transformation. Jude the Obscure explores man’s essential loneliness and remains one of Hardy’s most widely read novels.
In 1895 Hardy’s final novel, the great tale of Jude the Obscure, sent shock waves of indignation rolling across Victorian England. Hardy had dared to write frankly about sexuality and to indict the institutions of marriage, education, and religion. But he had, in fact, created a deeply moral work. The stonemason Jude Fawley is a dreamer; his is a tragedy of unfulfilled aims. With his tantalizing cousin Sue Bridehead, the last and most extraordinary of Hardy’s heroines, Jude takes on the world—and discovers, tragically, its brutal indifference.The most powerful expression of Hardy’s philosophy, and a profound exploration of man’s essential loneliness, Jude the Obscure is a great and beautiful book. “His style touches sublimity.” —T. S. Eliot
Jude’s story — his futile desire to better himself through education, his failed marriage and doomed love for the free-spirited Sue Bridehead — shows with heartbreaking clarity the devastating effects of prejudice and oppression upon innocent minds, and forms a passionate plea for tolerance.Because of its frank treatment of human sexuality and its unflinching fatalism, Jude the Obscure aroused such a storm of controversy upon its publication in 1895 that, partly in response, Thomas Hardy abandoned the art of novel-writing altogether and devoted the rest of his life to poetry. Though we have come a long way in our social attitudes in the ensuing century, nothing about Hardy’s masterpiece has lost its power to shock us and disturb our dreams.
Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840. In his writing, he immortalized the site of his birth—Egdon Heath, in Dorset, near Dorchester, England. Delicate as a child, he was taught at home by his mother before he attended grammar school…. More about Thomas Hardy
"The greatest tragic writer among English novelists."–Virginia Woolf
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