Written in 1895. the editors kindly put a map of Wessex (out by Cornwall) in the front.
FROM THE BACK COVER: Thomas Hardy's deterministic art achieves fanatic intensity and raw perfection the the characterization of Jude Fawley, an impoverished stonemason who aspires to the ministry. Throughout his agonized existence, the cloistered halls and facades of Christminster, where Jude would study, sadistically invite him to rid himself of ignorance. His failure to fulfill the opposite expectations of the two women he loves and the violent deaths of his children thwart him in his ideal and point his distrution. concerned with the annihilation of innocence, Jude the Obscure is a raging indictment of Victorian society. The censure attending its appearance was almost without precedent in the history of English literature.
A dark tale about fate, marriage, love, and society.
First published in 1896, it has endured the test of time. Jude and his cousin, both married to someone else, fall in love. The ensuing scandal brings them tragedy.
I can vouch only that this is a great work of literature, and that it is very painful, though not from any deficiency of writing. The pain stems from the headache in having to follow Jude blindly trudging from birth to death in ignorance. Although.. (wistfully) .. I suppose thats all of us.
The reader does a great job bringing this classic to life. It has everything that a tragic love story should have. It also introduces the life that was lead for that time period, and what the socail nuances were.
So sad. You really hope Jude will catch a break but he never does.
Thomas Hardy is a thinker.