The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and The Well-Beloved

The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and The Well-Beloved


Editor/introduction:
Notes by:

Format
Paperback
Price
$16.00
 
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140435191
  • 416 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult

Overview

In The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved (1892) and The Well-Beloved (1897), Hardy writes two different versions of a strange story set in the weird landscape of Portland.

The central figure is a man obsessed both with the search for his ideal woman and with sculpting the perfect figure of a naked Aphrodite. The pursuit finally fixes on three women called Avice Caro – grandmother, mother and daughter – in a way that mixes tragedy and high farce.

The books were written one before and one after his ‘last’ novel, Jude the Obscure (1895). Both stories are richly ambiguous but the first shows the successful exercise of masculine power and the second shows women triumphant. The double work, coming at the end of Hardy’s long career as a novelist, anticipates modernist writing by offering not merely alternative endings but alternative plots. This edition is the first to provide both separate texts and separate commentaries.

In her introduction, Patricia Ingham explores Hardy’s preoccupation with contingency and ‘might-have-beens’ in female-male relationships.

The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and The Well-Beloved

The Pursuit of the Well-Beloved and The Well-Beloved

Thomas Hardy, Editor/introduction: Patricia Ingham, Notes by: Patricia Ingham

Penguin Hotline
Brightly
promo_EditorsDesk
promo_StaffPicks
promo_FirsttoRead_Small