Catalogue


Jude the obscure /
Thomas Hardy ; edited with an introduction and notes by Dennis Taylor.
imprint
London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1998.
description
xliii, 484 pages : map ; 20 cm.
ISBN
0140435387, 9780140435382
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
series title
imprint
London ; New York : Penguin Books, 1998.
isbn
0140435387
9780140435382
contents note
General editor's preface -- Chronology : Hardy's life and works -- Map : The Wessex of the novels -- Bibliographical note -- Introduction -- Further reading -- A note on the history of the text -- Jude the obscure -- Appendix I: 'Postscript' to 1912 Wessex edition -- Appendix II: A note on the serial illustrations -- Appendix III: A note on the novel's chronology -- Appendix IV: List of place name parallels -- Glossary.
general note
Includes bibliographical references (pages xxxv-xxxvi).
catalogue key
2130765
A Look Inside
First Chapter

The boy stood under the rick before mentioned, and every few seconds used his clacker or rattle briskly. At each clack the rooks left off pecking, and rose and went away on their leisurely wings, burnished like tassets of mail, afterwards wheeling back and regarding him warily, and descending to feed at a more respectful distance.

He sounded the clacker till his arm ached, and at length his heart grew sympathetic to the birds' thwarted desires. They seemed, like himself, to be living in a world that did not want them. Why should he frighten them away? They took upon them more and more the aspect of friends and gentle pensioners - the only friends he could claim as being in the least degree interested in him, for his aunt had often told him that she was not. He ceased his rattling and they alighted anew.

'Poor little dears!' said Jude, aloud. 'You shall have some dinner - you shall. There is enough for us all. Farmer Troutham can afford to let you have some. Eat, then, my dear little birdies, and make a good meal!'

They stayed and ate, inky spots on the nut-brown soil, and Jude enjoyed their appetite. A magic thread of fellow-feeling united his own life with theirs. Puny and as sorry as those lives were, they much resembled his own.

His clacker he had by this time thrown away from him, as being a mean and sordid instrument, offensive both to the birds and to himself as their friend. All at once he became conscious of a smart blow upon his buttocks, followed by a loud clack, which announced to his surprised senses that the clacker had been the instrument of offence used. The birds and Jude started up simultaneously, and the dazed eyes of the latter beheld the farmer in person, the great Troutham himself, his red face glaring down upon Jude's cowering frame, the clacker swinging in his hand.

'So it's 'Eat, my dear birdies,' is it, young man? 'Eat dear birdies' indeed! I'll tickle your breeches if you say, 'Eat dear birdies' again in a hurry! And you've been idling at the schoolmaster's too, instead of coming here, ha'n't ye hey? That's how you earn your sixpence a day for keeping the rooks off my corn!'

Whilst saluting Jude's ears with this impassioned rhetoric, Troutham had seized his left hand with his own left, and swinging his slim frame round him at arm's-length, again struck Jude on the hind parts with the flat side of Jude's own rattle, till the field echoed with the blows, which were delivered once or twice at each revolution.

'Don't 'ee, sir - please don't 'ee!' cried the whirling child, as helpless under the centrifugal tendency of his person as a hooked fish swinging to land, and beholding the hill, the rick, the plantation, the path, and the rooks going round and round him in an amazing circular race. 'I - I - sir - only meant that - there was a good crop in the ground - I saw 'em sow it - and the rooks could have a little bit for dinner - and you wouldn't miss it, sir - and Mr. Phillotson said I was to be kind to 'em - O, O, O!'

This truthful explanation seemed to exasperate the farmer even more than if Jude had stoutly denied saying anything at all; and he still smacked the whirling urchin, the clacks of the instrument continuing to resound all across the field, and as far as the ears of distant workers - who gathered thereupon that Jude was pursuing his business of clacking with great assiduity - and echoing from the brand-new church tower just behind the mist, towards the building of which structure the farmer had largely subscribed, to testify his love for God and man.

Presently Troutham grew tired of his punitive task, and depositing the quivering boy on his legs, took a sixpence from his pocket and gave it to him in payment for his day's work, telling him to go home and never let him see him in one of those fields again.

Jude leapt out of arm's reach, and walked along the trackway weeping - not from pain, though that was keen enough; not from the perception of the flaw in the terrestrial scheme, by which was good for God's birds was bad for God's gardener; but with the sense that he had wholly disgraced himself before he had been a year in the parish, and hence might be a burden to his great-aunt for life.

With this shadow on his mind he did not care to show himself in the village, and went homeward by a roundabout track behind a hedge and across a pasture. Here he beheld scores of coupled earthworms lying half their length on the surface of the damp ground, as they always did in such weather at that time of year. It was impossible to advance in regular steps without crushing some of them at each tread.

Though Farmer Troutham had just hurt him, he was a boy who could not himself bear to hurt anything. He never brought home a nest of young birds without lying awake in misery half the night after, and often reinstating them and the nest in their original place the next morning. He could scarcely bear to see trees cut down or lopped, from a fancy that it hurt them; and late pruning, when the sap was up and the tree bled profusely, had been a positive grief to him in his infancy. This weakness of character, as it may be called, suggested that he was the sort of man who was born to ache a good deal before the fall of the curtain upon his unnecessary life should signify that all was well with him again. He carefully picked his way on tiptoe among the earthworms, without killing a single one.

Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-12-01:
Jude the Obscure created storms of scandal and protest for the author upon its publication. Hardy, disgusted and disappointed, devoted the remainder of his life to poetry and never wrote another novel. Today, the material is far less shocking. Jude Fawley, a poor stone carver with aspirations toward an academic career, is thwarted at every turn and is finally forced to give up his dreams of a university education. He is tricked into an unwise marriage, and when his wife deserts him, he begins a relationship with a free-spirited cousin. With this begins the descent into bleak tragedy as the couple alternately defy and succumb to the pressures of a deeply disapproving society. Hardy's characters have a fascinating ambiguity: they are victimized by a stern moral code, but they are also selfish and weak-willed creatures who bring on much of their own difficulties through their own vacillations and submissions to impulse. The abridgment speeds Jude's fall to considerable dramatic effect, but it also deletes the author's agonizing logic. Instead of the meticulous weaving of Jude's destiny, we get a somewhat incoherent summary that preserves the major plot points but fails to draw us into the tragedy. Michael Pennington reads resonantly and skillfully, his voice perfectly matching the grim music of Hardy's prose, but this recording can only be recommended for larger public libraries.--John Owen, Advanced Micro Devices, Sunnyvale, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
''His style touches sublimity'' --T.S. Eliot ''The greatest tragic writer among English novelists'' --Virginia Woolf
'His style touches sublimity' --T.S. Eliot 'The greatest tragic writer among English novelists' --Virginia Woolf
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This is the story of a young country workman obsessed by his ambition to become an Oxford student, interwoven with his fraught relationships with two women.
Main Description
Hardy's last and most controversial novel, Jude the Obscure caused much outrage when it was published in 1895. Jude Fawley, poor and working-class, longs to study at the University of Christminster, but his ambitions to go to university are thwarted by class prejudice and his entrapment in a loveless marriage. He falls in love with his unconventional cousin, Sue Bridehead, and their refusal to marry when free to do so confirms their rejection of and by the world around them. The shocking fate that overtakes them is an indictment of a rigid and uncaring society. This is the first truly critical edition, taking account of the changes that Hardy made over twenty-five years. Hardy's last, and most controversial novel, this revised edition has the first truly critical text, a new chronology and bibliography, and substantially revised notes.
Main Description
Hardy's novel about the trials of a poor stonemason excoriates convention -- particularly the institutions of marriage, religion, and education -- in a pioneering work of feminism and socialist thought.
Main Description
'I'm an outsider to the end of my days!' Jude Fawley's hopes of a university education are lost when he is trapped into marrying the earthy Arabella, who later abandons him. Moving to the town of Christminster where he finds work as a stonemason, Jude meets and falls in love with his cousin Sue Bridehead, a sensitive, freethinking 'New Woman'. Refusing to marry merely for the sake of religious convention, Jude and Sue decide instead to live together, but they are shunned by society and poverty soon threatens to ruin them. Jude the Obscure , Hardy's last novel, caused a public furor when it was first published, with its fearless and challenging exploration of class and sexual relationships. This edition uses the unbowdlerized text of the first volume edition of 1895, and also includes a list for further reading, appendices and a glossary. In his introduction, Dennis Taylor examines biblical allusions and the critique of religion in Jude the Obscure , and its critical reception that led Hardy to abandon novel writing.
Main Description
Jude Fawley is a rural stone mason with intellectual aspirations. Frustrated by poverty and the indifference of the academic institutions at the University of Christminster, his only chance of fulfilment seems to lie in his relationship with his unconventional cousin, Sue Bridehead.
Main Description
Jude Fawley, the stonemason excluded not by his wits but by poverty from the world of Christminster privilege, finds fulfilment in his relationship with Sue Bridehead. Both have left earlier marriages. Ironically, when tragedy tests their union it is Sue, the modern emancipated woman, who proves unequal to the challenge. Hardy's fearless exploration of sexual and social relationships and his prophetic critique of marriage scandalised the late Victorian establishment and marked the end of his career as a novelist.
Main Description
The schoolmaster was leaving the village and everybody seemed sorry.
Main Description
Thomas Hardy's last novel, Jude the Obscure is a fearless exploration of the hypocrisy of Victorian society, edited with an introduction by Dennis Taylor in Penguin Classics. Jude Fawley's hopes of an education at Christminster university are dashed when he is trapped into marrying the wild, earthy Arabella, who later abandons him. Moving to Christminster to work as a stonemason, Jude meets and falls in love with his cousin Sue Bridehead, a sensitive, freethinking 'New Woman'. Refusing to marry merely for the sake of religious convention, Jude and Sue decide instead to live together, but they are shunned by society, and poverty soon threatens to ruin them. Jude the Obscure, with its fearless and challenging exploration of class and sexual relationships, caused a public furore when it was first published and marked the end of Hardy's career as a novelist. This edition uses the unbowdlerized first-volume text of 1895, and includes a list for further reading, appendices and a glossary. In his introduction, Dennis Taylor examines biblical allusions and the critique of religion in Jude the Obscure, and its critical reception that led Hardy to abandon novel writing. Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), born Higher Brockhampton, near Dorchester. Though he saw himself primarily as a poet, Hardy was the author of some of the late eighteenth century's major novels: The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891), Far from the Madding Crowd (1874), and Jude the Obscure (1895). Amidst the controversy caused by Jude the Obscure, he turned to the poetry he had been writing all his life. In the next thirty years he published over nine hundred poems and his epic drama in verse, The Dynasts. If you enjoyed Jude the Obscure, you might also like Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles, also available in Penguin Classics. 'Visceral, passionate, anti-hypocrisy, anti-repression ... Hardy reaches into our wildest recesses'Evening Standard
Main Description
Upon its first appearance in 1895, Thomas Hardy'sJude the Obscureshocked Victorian critics and readers with a frank depiction of sexuality and an unbridled indictment of the institutions of marriage, education, and religion, reportedly causing one Angli-can bishop to order the book publicly burned. The experience so exhausted Hardy that he never wrote a work of fiction again. Rich in symbolism,Jude the Obscureis the story of Jude Fawley and his struggle to rise from his station as a poor Wessex stonemason to that of a scholar at Christminster. It is also the story of Jude's ill-fated relationship with his cousin Sue Bridehead, and the ultimate tragedy that causes Jude's undoing and Sue's transformation. Jude the Obscure explores man's essential loneliness and remains one of Hardy's most widely read novels.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgementsp. vi
General Editor's Prefacep. vii
Map of Hardy's Wessexp. viii
Introductionp. xi
Note on the Textp. xxii
Select Bibliographyp. xxvi
A Chronology of Thomas Hardyp. xxix
Jude the Obscurep. 1
Explanatory Notesp. 399
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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