Jude the Obscure

Front Cover
Perfection Learning Corporation, 1999 - 428 pages
Thomas Hardy's deterministic art achieves fanatic intensity and raw perfection in the characterization of Jude Fawley, an impoverished stone mason who aspires to the ministry. Throughout his agonized existence, the cloistered halls and facades of Christminster -- where Jude wishes to study -- tempt and mock him to rid himself of ignorance. His failure to fulfill the expectations of either of the two women he loves, and the violent deaths of his children thwart him in his ideal and lead to his destruction. Concerned with the annihilation of innocence, Jude the Obscure is a scathing portrait of 19th-century British society.

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About the author (1999)

Thomas Hardy was born on June 2, 1840, in Higher Bockhampton, England. The eldest child of Thomas and Jemima, Hardy studied Latin, French, and architecture in school. He also became an avid reader. Upon graduation, Hardy traveled to London to work as an architect's assistant under the guidance of Arthur Bloomfield. He also began writing poetry. How I Built Myself a House, Hardy's first professional article, was published in 1865. Two years later, while still working in the architecture field, Hardy wrote the unpublished novel The Poor Man and the Lady. During the next five years, Hardy penned Desperate Remedies, Under the Greenwood Tree, and A Pair of Blue Eyes. In 1873, Hardy decided it was time to relinquish his architecture career and concentrate on writing full-time. In September 1874, his first book as a full-time author, Far from the Madding Crowd, appeared serially. After publishing more than two dozen novels, one of the last being Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Hardy returned to writing poetry--his first love. Hardy's volumes of poetry include Poems of the Past and Present, The Dynasts: Part One, Two, and Three, Time's Laughingstocks, and The Famous Tragedy of the Queen of Cornwall. From 1833 until his death, Hardy lived in Dorchester, England. His house, Max Gate, was designed by Hardy, who also supervised its construction. Hardy died on January 11, 1928. His ashes are buried in Poet's Corner at Westminster Abbey.

Alvarez is the author of numerous books and anthologies of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and criticism. He is also a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the New York Review of Books and perhaps the only published poet ever to participate in the World Series of Poker.

Jay Parini was born in Pittston, Pennsylvania in 1948. In 1970 he graduated from Lafayette College and he received a doctorate from the University of St. Andrews in 1975. Before becoming a professor of Engliah and Creative Writing at Vermont's Middlebury College in 1982, Parini taught at Dartmouth College. Parini writes poetry, novels, biographies, and criticism, and he has published numerous reviews and essays in major journals and newspapers. He co-founded the New England Review in 1976. In 1995, he was appointed literary executor for author Gore Vidal. A film version of The Last Station, his 1990 novel, was released in 2009. Parini's novel, One Matchless Time: A Life of William Faulkner, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2015.

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