Jude the Obscure, the last completed of Thomas Hardy's novels, began as a magazine serial in December 1894 and was first published in book form in 1895. Its protagonist, Jude Fawley, is a working-class young man, a stonemason, who dreams of becoming a scholar. The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest. The novel is concerned in particular with issues of class, education, religion and marriage.
The novel tells the story of Jude Fawley, who lives in a village in southern England (part of Thomas Hardy's fictional Wessex), who yearns to be a scholar at "Christminster", a city modelled on Oxford. As a youth, Jude teaches himself Classical Greek and Latin in his spare time, while working first in his great-aunt's bakery, with the hope of entering university. But before he can try to do this the naïve Jude is seduced by Arabella Donn, a rather coarse and superficial local girl and, because she erroneously believes she is pregnant, he marries her. The marriage is a failure, and they separate by mutual agreement, and Arabella later emigrates to Australia, where she enters into a bigamous marriage. By this time, Jude has abandoned his classical studies.
After Arabella leaves him, Jude moves to Christminster and supports himself as a mason while studying alone, hoping to be able to enter the university later. There, he meets and falls in love with his free-spirited cousin, Sue Bridehead. But, shortly after this, Jude introduces Sue to his former schoolteacher, Mr. Phillotson, whom she eventually marries. However, she soon regrets this, because in addition to being in love with Jude, she is physically disgusted by her husband, and, apparently, by sex in general. Sue soon leaves Phillotson for Jude. Because of the scandal Phillotson has to give up his career as a schoolmaster.
Sue and Jude spend some time living together without any sexual relationship, because of Sue's dislike both of sex and the institution of marriage. Soon after Arabella reappears and this complicates matters. But Arabella and Jude divorce and she legally marries her bigamous husband, and Sue also is divorced. However, following this, Arabella reveals that she had a child of Jude's, eight months after they separated, and subsequently sends this child to his father. He is named Jude and nicknamed "Little Father Time" because of his intense seriousness and moroseness.
|Product dimensions:||7.00(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.67(d)|
About the Author
Date of Birth:June 2, 1840
Date of Death:January 11, 1928
Place of Birth:Higher Brockhampon, Dorset, England
Place of Death:Max Gate, Dorchester, England
Education:Served as apprentice to architect James Hicks