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Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Jude the Obscure

by Thomas Hardy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,43798471 (3.87)2 / 409

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Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
A criticism of the institution of marriage, education and religion in England. Unflinching and brutal in places. Enjoyed this much more than expected. ( )
  kale.dyer | Apr 6, 2017 |
This book was published in 1895 to such adverse criticism that Hardy didn't write another novel. Clearly it wasn't the done thing to question the institution of marriage, the influence of the church on society and to speak up for the poor. Never mind the (extremely mild) references to sex, which by the standards of the day, were considered too much. The story focuses on a young man with ambitions to better himself by striving to make it to a college at the university town of Christminster. However, the mistakes he and (his cousin / lover) Sue, make in their youth are not forgiven in the eyes of the community - wherever they go. Unable to free themselves, things begin to spiral.

Usually regarded as the most depressing of Hardy's novels but it would be wrong to dismiss it on those terms as there is a lot going on in this book and it keeps you turning the pages. But yes, it does contain probably the most shocking scene I have ever read. ( )
1 vote Lord_Boris | Feb 21, 2017 |
This Hardy novel tells the tale of Jude, a rural stonemason whose ambition is to better himself through the higher education of Christminster (Oxford), and his tragic love affair with his cousin Sue. Their relationship made for an enthralling read, particularly as it was very modern, daring and unconventional for it's time.

Sue is a fabulously complex heroine who derives both feelings of admiration and frustration in the reader as she stays resolute to her convictions however misplaced, whilst Jude is a typical Hardy protagonist who makes you root for him the whole way through the novel.

Unlike the other two Hardy's I've read to date, this one felt like it took quite a while to get going, and I would say it was only about halfway in that I got properly hooked. For that reason I'm deducting a star, but nonetheless it was a great read and the second half was a definite page-turner. I enjoy that Hardy gives such a real sense of place in rural England through the eyes of the lower and middle classes especially, and he's the grand master of social tragedy.

4 stars - not my favourite Hardy so far, but another wonderful Wessex tale. ( )
2 vote AlisonY | Dec 22, 2016 |
Not just about 1895 social mores. Also applies to now. Sue Bridehead is an advanced woman .and the exploration of class issues is at ground level, as people experience them. ( )
1 vote linenandprint | Sep 26, 2016 |
I read this book as part of the 1001 books to read list and loved it. What a beautifully written tragedy. Jude the Obscure tells the sad tale of Jude Fawley, a young man full of ideals and aspirations who is thwarted at every turn by the social constraints of his time.

This is not a book for those looking for a light and fun read. Hardy takes on issues of social class, marriage, & religion. I find it amazing to think about when this book was written. Yes, it's cliche to say he was ahead of his time but it was astounding for me to read the passages that seemed like early feminist theory! Jude and Sue are two characters who struggle because they challenge against Victorian ideals of marriage, religion, and convention. It is through their story that we can see Hardy's criticism of Victorian rigid social convention. It is little surprise that this book received so much criticism and was his last novel. ( )
1 vote JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (45 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hardy, Thomasprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bayley, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Brown, RosellenIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hynes, SamuelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Luciani, GiovanniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monzó, QuimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, Agnes MillerIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Reddick, PeterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sisson, C. H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thorne, StephenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, Cedric ThomasEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Jude (1996IMDb)
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"The letter killeth"
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The schoolmaster was leaving the village, and everybody seemed sorry.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486452433, Paperback)

Hardy's masterpiece traces a poor stonemason's ill-fated romance with his free-spirited cousin. No Victorian institution is spared — marriage, religion, education — and the outrage following publication led the embittered author to renounce fiction. Modern critics hail this novel as a pioneering work of feminism and socialist thought.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:07 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Hardy's last novel caused a public furore when it was first published, with it's fearless and challenging exploration of class and sexual relationships. 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 it's critical reception that led Hardy to abandon novel writing.… (more)

» see all 14 descriptions

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Average: (3.87)
0.5 7
1 46
1.5 5
2 72
2.5 23
3 251
3.5 62
4 470
4.5 57
5 420

Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140435387, 0141028890, 0141199830

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