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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Desperate remedies: a novelUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Hardy launched his writing career with this 1871 novel, which actually was published anonymously. Its sexuality, including lesbianism, was apparently too much of a Victorian eyebrow-raiser for him to attach his name. This edition includes a map, a glossary, and scholarly notes. Read full review