Jude's story -- his futile desire to better himself through education, his failed marriage and doomed love for the free-spirited Sue Bridehead -- shows with heartbreaking clarity the devastating effects of prejudice and oppression upon innocent minds, and forms a passionate plea for tolerance.
Because of its frank treatment of human sexuality and its unflinching fatalism, Jude the Obscure aroused such a storm of controversy upon its publication in 1895 that, partly in response, Thomas Hardy abandoned the art of novel-writing altogether and devoted the rest of his life to poetry. Though we have come a long way in our social attitudes in the ensuing century, nothing about Hardy's masterpiece has lost its power to shock us and disturb our dreams.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
About the Author
Thomas Hardy was born in 1840 in Dorchester, Dorset. He enrolled as a student in King s College, London, but never felt at ease there, seeing himself as socially inferior. This preoccupation with society, particularly the declining rural society, featured heavily in Hardy s novels, with many of his stories set in the fictional county of Wessex. Since his death in 1928, Hardy has been recognised as a significant poet, influencing The Movement poets in the 1950s and 1960s.
"His style touches sublimity."—T.S. Eliot
From the Paperback edition.