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Jude the Obscure (Second Edition):
(Norton Critical Editions)

by Thomas Hardy

ISBN 039397278X / 9780393972788 / 0-393-97278-X
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Language English
Edition Softcover
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Book summary

The text reprinted in this volume is based on Hardys final revision for the 1912 Wessex Edition and includes his Preface and Postscript.

The novel is fully annotated and is accompanied by Hardys map of Wessex and a plan of late Victorian Oxford (the Christminster of the novel).

The textual history of Jude the Obscureincluding an account of the surviving manuscript showing Hardys major change of intention during its composition, of the pressure to bowdlerize the novel, and of the subsequent restoration and revisionsis traced in a series of extracts from Hardys writings as well as from those of his contemporaries and of modern scholars Richard Little Purdy, John Paterson, and Robert C. Slack.

Selections from Hardys poems, autobiography, letters, and journalistic writings provide a background to the novel.  Autobiographical elements and the social climate of the period in which Hardy lived and wrote are discussed by C. J. Weber and W. R. Rutland, and Hardys use of locale is explored in a section prepared specially for this edition.

"Contemporary Reception" provides a selection of reviews.  "Modern Criticism" is provided by Irving Howe, Arthur Mizener, A. Alvarez, J. I. M. Stewart, Harvey Curtis Webster, D. H. Lawrence, Albert J. Guerard, Robert Gittings, Frederick P. W. McDowell, and Emma Clifford.

A Selected Bibliography is included. [via]