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Inspired Correspondent
Maria_H
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
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Recommended Reading

Recommended Reading

Tess of the d'Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy
Using richly poetic language to frame a shattering narrative of love,seduction, betrayal, and murder, Hardy tells the story of Tess Durbeyfield, a beautiful young woman living with her impoverished family in Wessex, the southwestern English county immortalized by Hardy. After the family learns of their connection to the wealthy d’Urbervilles, they send Tess to claim a portion of their fortune. She meets and is seduced by the dissolute Alec d’Urberville and secretly bears a child, Sorrow, who dies in infancy. A very different man, Angel Clare, seems to offer Tess love and salvation, but he rejects her—on their wedding night—after learning of her past. Emotionally bereft, financially impoverished, and victimized by the self-righteous rigidity of English social morality, Tess escapes from her vise of passion through a horrible, desperate act.

Far From the Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy
Far From the Madding Crowd tells the storyof beautiful Bathsheba Everdene, a fiercely independent woman who inherits a farm and decides to run it herself. She rejects a marriage proposal from Gabriel Oak, a loyal man who takes a job on her farm after losing his own in an unfortunate accident. He is forced to watch as Bathsheba mischievously flirts with her neighbor, Mr. Boldwood, unleashing a passionate obsession deep within the reserved man. But both suitors are soon eclipsed by the arrival of the dashing soldier, Frank Troy, who falls in love with Bathsheba even though he’s still smitten with another woman. His reckless presence at the farm drives Boldwood mad with jealousy, and sets off a dramatic chain of events that leads to both murder and marriage.

Jude the Obscure
Thomas Hardy
A poor villager, Jude Fawley longs to study at the elite University of Christminster, but his ambitions are thwarted by class prejudice—and an earthy country girl who tricks him into marriage by pretending to be pregnant. Entrapped in a loveless marriage, he becomes a stonemason and falls in love with his cousin—the intellectual, free-spirited Sue Bridehead, who is also unhappy in marriage. Sue leaves her husband to live with Jude and eventually bears his children out of wedlock. Their poverty and the weight of society’s disapproval begin to take their toll on the couple, forcing them into a shattering downward spiral that ends in one of the most shocking scenes in all of literature.

The Return of the Native
Thomas Hardy
Clym Yeobright, the native of the title, returns to Hardy’s fictional Egdon Heath determined to be a force for socialprogress. Dazzled by the beauty of Eustacia Vye, he imagines they’re soul mates, woos and wins her, and enters into what is at first a passionate marriage. He soon discovers that what she really wants is a passport to a more exciting and sophisticated life, away from provincial England. Surrounding them are Clym’s mother, strongly opposed to his marriage; Damon Wildeve, in love with Eustacia but married to Clym’s cousin, Thomasin; and the oddly ambiguous observer Diggory Venn, whose frustrated love for Thomasin turns him into either a guardian angel or a jealous manipulator—or perhaps both. This stew of curdled love and conflicting emotions can only boil over into tragedy, and the book’s darkly ironic ending marks it as both a classically Victorian novel and a forerunner of the modernist fiction that followed it.


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Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Recommended Reading

Re: Far from the Madding Crowd, the statement is made "But both suitors are soon eclipsed by the arrival of the dashing soldier, Frank Troy, who falls in love with Bathsheba even though he’s still smitten with another woman." Isn't it more that at the time of Troy's arrival on the scene Troy has moved on from Fanny and it's she who is still smitten with him rather than the other way round?
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