JUDE THE OBSCURE
Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Patricia Ingham
Jude the Obscure (1895) was Hardy’s last and most controversial novel,
provoking such widespread and bitter attacks, that, he claimed, it
silenced him as a novelist.
The parallel stories of working-class Jude rejected by the University of
Christminster and Sue Bridehead outcast by society for her social and
sexual rebellion focus dominant issues of the period. But the technique is
far in advance of its time: Hardy presents what he calls ‘a series of
seemings’, alternative and conflicting visions never resolved.
This edition is the first truly critical one, based on a detailed study of
textual transmission. It presents a ‘clean’ text by restoring Hardy’s own
characteristically light punctuation. The notes include variant readings
which show startling changes made in the characterization of Sue during
composition and revision .
• INTRODUCTION • TEXTUAL NOTE • BIBLIOGRAPHY
• CHRONOLOGY • EXPLANATORY NOTES
THOMAS HARDY was born in Higher Bockharnpron, Dorset, on 2
June 1840; his father was a builder in a small way of business, and he
was educated locally and in Dorchester before being articled to an
architect. After sixteen years in that profession and the publication
of his earliest novel Desperate Remedies (1871), he determined to
make his career in literature; not, however, before his work as an
architect had led to his meeting, at St Juliot in Cornwall, Ernrna
Gifford, who became his first wife in 1874.
In the 1860s Hardy had written a substantial amount of
unpublished verse, but during the next twenty years almost all his
creative effort went into novels and short stories, Jude the Obscure,
the last written of his novels, came out in 1895, closing a sequence
of fiction that includes FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (1874) , THE
RETURN OF THE NATIVE (1878), TWO ON A TOWER (1882), THE MAYOR
OF CASTERBRIDGE (1886), and TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES (1891).
Hardy maintained in later life that only in poetry could he truly
express his ideas; and the more than nine hundred poems in his
collected verse (almost all published after 1898) possess great indi-
vidualiry and power.
In 1910 Hardy was awarded the Order of Merit; in 1912 Emma
died and two years later he married Florence Dugdale, Thomas
Hardy died in January 1928; the work he left behind–the novels,
the poetry, and the epic drama THE DYNASTS–forms one of the
supreme achievements in English imaginative literature.
PATRICIA INGHAM is a Fellow and Tutor in English at St Anne’s
College, Oxford. She has written the definitive analysis of how Jude
the Obscure evolved during composition, as well as several other
articles and chapters on Hardy.
Softcover in good preloved condition. No creasing on straight spine. Cover in good to very good condition but with a 30mm tear toward the bottom of the back cover (repairable on request with tape). Minor foxing, gift inscription inside front cover. Contains: Introduction, Textual notes, Bibliography, Chronology, Explanatory Notes, map of Hardy’s Wessex.