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.
Jude the Obscure (World’s Classics S.)
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