About the BookHardy'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.
Book SynopsisPowerful and controversial from its 1895 publication to the present, Jude the Obscure scandalized Victorian critics, who condemned it as decadent, indecent, and degenerate. Between its frank portrayals of sexuality and its indictments of marriage, religion, and England's class system, the novel offended a broad swath of readers. Its heated reception led the embittered author to renounce fiction, turning his considerable talents ever afterward to writing poetry.
About the Author
Tragedy haunts the works of Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), whose fiction abounds in star-crossed lovers and other characters thwarted by fate or their own shortcomings. Hardy's outspoken criticism of Victorian society excited such profound controversy that the author abandoned fiction and in the 20th century published only poetry.