Jude the Obscure

A novel by Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) originally printed in abridged and bowdlerized form in Harper's New Monthly Magazine. When the novel was published in an unexpurgated version in 1895, it was attacked as grossly indecent and overly pessimistic. The Pall Mall Gazette labelled it Jude the Obscene, and the Bishop of Wakefield was so disgusted that he burned a copy. Although Hardy lived for another 33 years, he did not write any more novels. Jude Fawley dreams of studying at university, but this aspiration proves unattainable. Both he and his cousin, Sue Bridehead, become trapped in unhappy marriages. Their decision to flout convention and live together leads to social ostracism and a tragic dénouement.

Thomas Hardy
Full title:
The Simpletons; Hearts Insurgent
Victorian literature
Literary period:

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