Desperate Remedies

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Penguin Books Limited, 1998 - Fiction - 460 pages
4 Reviews
Hardy described Desperate Remedies as a tale of 'mystery, entanglement, surprise and moral obliquity'. Cytherea has taken a position as lady's maid to the eccentric arch-intriguer Miss Aldclyffe. On discovering that the man she loves, Edward Springrove, is already engaged to his cousin, Cytherea comes under the influence of Miss Aldclyffe's fascinating, manipulative steward Manston. Blackmail, murder and romance are among the ingredients of Hardy's first published novel, and in it he draws blithely on the 'sensation novel' perfected by Wilkie Collins. Several perceptive critics praised the author as a novelist with a future when Desperate Remedies appeared anonymously in 1871. In its depiction of country life and insight into psychology and sexuality it already bears the unmistakable imprint of Hardy's genius.

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User Review  - jeffome - LibraryThing

A late 1800's English countryside romance of sorts that is chock-full of curious mysteries that kept me in the dark until clarified at the end. And this book has deceit, death, bigamy, murder, suicide ... Read full review

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User Review  - gypsysmom - LibraryThing

I have joined a Thomas Hardy reading group and this is the first book we have read because it was the first one he published. In form it is somewhat like Woman in White by Wilkie Collins rather than ... Read full review

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About the author (1998)

Thomas Hardy 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 D'Urbervilles andJude 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 Poet's 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.

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