Jude the Obscure

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1985 - Adultery - 451 pages
In 1895 Hardy's final novel, the great tale of "Jude The Obscure," sent shockwaves 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

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User Review  - Kristelh - LibraryThing

I read this in 2009 and it was my first Hardy. I really liked it. I guess it was his last novel. The main character, Jude, wants to be a scholar. The other character is Sue, his cousin and his love. The novel is concerned with issues of class, education, religion, morality and marriage. Read full review

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User Review  - vlodko62 - LibraryThing

Tragic, heartbreaking. Either the last great novel of the 19th Century, or the first modern novel. I have not read this book in over 30 years, but my heart aches every time I think about it. Read full review

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About the author (1985)

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 Two years later, while still working in the architecture field, Hardy wrote the unpublished novel The Poor Man and the Lady.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.

Patricia Ingham is Fellow and Senior Tutor in English at St. Anne's College, Oxford, and Times Lecturer in English Language.

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