A Research Guide for Students

Understanding "Jude the Obscure"
A Novel by Thomas Hardy

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Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928 - Author of Jude the Obscure
Analysis, Critique and General Resources on Jude the Obscure
Study Guides and eBooks on Jude the Obscure
Hyper-Concordance to Jude the Obscure
Book Reviews on Jude the Obscure
Lesson Plans and Webquests on Jude the Obscure
Movies, Videos, Images, Music Sites on Jude the Obscure
Special Topics Relating to Jude the Obscure
Miscellaneous Links Relating to Thomas Hardy and/or Jude the Obscure

Note: Some topics may be overlapped.

Jude the Obscure
by Thomas Hardy

Jude the Obscure (Penguin Classics) by Thomas Hardy
Jude the Obscure:
An Authoritative Text,
Backgrounds and
Sources, Criticism
(A Norton
Critical Edition)

Jude the Obscure: An Authoritative Text, Backgrounds and Sources, Criticism (A Norton Critical Edition)
Jude the Obscure:
A Paradise of Despair
Masterwork Studies)
by Gary Adelman

Jude the Obscure: A Paradise of Despair (Twayne's Masterwork Studies)

Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure - Movie
Jude the Obscure
(Barnes & Noble
by Thomas Hardy

Jude the Obscure (Barnes & Noble Classics) (Paperback) by Thomas Hardy (Author)

Cliffs Notes:
Jude the Obscure

Cliffs Notes: Jude the Obscure (Paperback)
Jude the Obscure:
A Paradise of Despair
(Twayne's Masterworks
Series, No. 94)
by Gary Adelman

Jude the Obscure: A Paradise of Despair (Twayne's Masterworks Series, No. 94)
Jude the Obscure
by Lauren

Jude the Obscure (MAXNotes Literature Guides) (MAXnotes) by Lauren Kalmanson

Thomas Hardy, 1840-1928 - Author of Jude the Obscure

Thomas Hardy, Google image orig. 29k from findonvillage.com Thomas Hardy, Google image orig. 8k from www.poetryconnection.net Thomas Hardy, Google image orig. 10k from www.vam.ac.uk Thomas Hardy, Google image orig. 6k from www.photoaspects.com Thomas Hardy, Google image orig. 17k from www.findonvillage.com

Hardy, Thomas from Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed., 2001-2005.

Thomas Hardy. Portrait, 1923. Oil on canvas by Reginald Grenville Eves R.A. (1876-1941). From The Victorian Web.

Thomas Hardy. Resource Library by Mark Simons. Contents: Texts, Biography: Thomas Hardy's Lifeline - A Chronology - 1840-1930, Media, Dorset, Links. "1928: Winter Words is published posthumously: Hardy died on January 11. His ashes are buried in Poet's Corner, Westminster Abbey, and his heart is buried in Emma's grave. The Early Life of Thomas Hardy is published under Florence's name. 1930: The Later Years of Thomas Hardy published under Florence's name.

Thomas Hardy from Bibliomania. "He left the rural South West at the age of 22 and travelled to London ... In the metropolis his passion for reading continued but he lived amid the bustle of city life and like many 19th century intellectuals he lost his faith and became an agnostic."

Thomas Hardy from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Thomas Hardy (2 June 1840 – 11 January 1928) was a novelist, short story writer, and poet of the naturalist movement, who delineated characters struggling against their passions and circumstances. Contents: Biography, Novels, Poetry, Bibliography, References, External links. Includes photo of Burial site of Thomas Hardy's heart.

Thomas Hardy: Biographical Information from The Victorian Web. Includes portrait of Thomas Hardy. Contents include: A Chronology of the Life and Works of Thomas Hardy by Philip V. Allingham, Lakehead University, Thunder Bay, Ontario. A Thomas Hardy Gallery (Photographs) -- Places Important in His Life and Writings.

Thomas Hardy Biography includes portrait from ClassicReader.

Thomas Hardy Biography from BritainExpress. "Hardy was frail as a child, and did not start at the village school until he was eight years old."

Thomas Hardy Biography and Works from The Literature Network. "Thomas Hardy (1840-1928), English poet and novelist, famous for his depictions of the imaginary county "Wessex". Hardy's work reflected his stoical pessimism and sense of tragedy in human life."

Analysis, Critique and General Resources on Thomas Hardy and/or Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Contents: Reviews, Description, Films, External links. "Called 'Jude the Obscene' by at least one reviewer, Jude the Obscure received so harsh a reception from scandalized critics that Hardy stopped writing fiction altogether, producing only poetry and drama for the rest of his life."

"Jude the Obscure, the last of Thomas Hardy's novels, began as a magazine serial and was first published in book form in 1895. Its hero, Jude Fawley, is a working-class young man who dreams of becoming a scholar. The other main character is his cousin, Sue Bridehead, who is also his central love interest. The themes in the novel revolve around issues of class, education, religion, and marriage.

The book was burned publicly by William Walsham How, Bishop of Wakefield, in that same year.

Jude the Obscure by Esther Lombardi, About.com Guide, Classic Literature. ". . . why was it so controversial?"

Why did Little Father Time write: "Done because we are too menny"?

In Jude the Obscure, Thomas Hardy writes: "Their lives were ruined...; ruined by the fundamental error of their matrimonial union: that of having based a permanent contract on a temporary feeling."

Jude the Obscure. From The Victorian Web: Chapter Eight: Century's End: "The Coming Universal Wish Not to Live" - Discussion by Barbara T. Gates, Alumni Distinguished Professor of English, University of Delaware.

Triablogue: Jude the Obscure by Steve Hays. Jude the Obscure: The Apparent Problem. A Problem for Whom? Inerrancy. Inspiration. Potential Solutions. Enoch. The Assumption of Moses.

Study Guides and eBooks on Jude the Obscure

Hardy, Thomas. Jude the Obscure / by Thomas Hardy. The entire work (eText, eBook). Table of Contents for this work, from Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library.

● Novel Map of Wessex by Hardy
● Part 1 Part First AT MARYGREEN
● Part 2 Part Second AT CHRISTMINSTER
● Part 3 Part Third AT MELCHESTER
● Part 4 Part Fourth AT SHASTON

Includes links to All on-line databases from this Electronic Text Center.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Parts 1-9 from Full Books.

Jude the Obscure. Bibliomania Study Guide. Summary,
● Part First - At Marygreen (Chapters i to xi),
● Part Second - At Christminster (Chapters i - vii),
● Part Third - At Melchester (Chapters i - x),
● Part Fourth - At Shaston (Chapters i - vi),
● Part Fifth - At Alkbrickham and Elsewhere (Chapter i - viii),
● Part Sixth - At Christminster Again (Chapters i - xi).

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy full text of novel from ClassicReader.

Jude the Obscure. SparkNotes Study Guide. Contents: Context, Summary, Characters, Part I: At Marygreen, Part II: At Christminster, Part III: At Melchester, Part IV: At Shaston, Part V: At Aldbrickham and Elsewhere, Part VI: At Christminster Again, Overall Analysis and Themes, Study Questions, Quiz.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Complete text online from Project Gutenberg etext. Free download. Note: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See also: Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy eBook.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. MonkeyNotes Study Guide edited by Diane Sauder. Contents: Key Literary Elements - Setting, Characters, Conflict, Plot, Themes, Mood, Background Information; Chapter Summaries with Notes, Overall Analysis - Characters, Themes, Plot, Style, Irony, Hardy's Use of Symbols; Study Questions; Comment on the Study of Literature.

Jude the Obscure Questions for Study and Discussion by Esther Lombardi, About.com Guide, Classic Literature.

Jude the Obscure Quotes by Esther Lombardi, About.com Guide, Classic Literature. "I can't bear that they, and everybody, should think people wicked because they may have chosen to live their own way!" ~ Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure, Part Fifth, At Aldbrickham and Elsewhere, Ch 6.

Jude the Obscure Summary & Essays. eNotes Study Guide. Contents include: Jude the Obscure: Introduction (The Life and Works of Thomas Hardy), List of Characters, Historical Background, One-Page Summary, Summary and Analysis, Quizzes, Suggested Essay Topics, Sample Essay Outlines, Bibliography and Further Reading.

Thomas Hardy: Jude the Obscure. Summary by Michael McGoodwin, prepared 1999. Detailed summary.

Hyper-Concordance to Jude the Obscure

A Hyper-Concordance to the Works of Thomas Hardy. Select Jude the Obscure from list of Hardy's works. From The Victorian Literary Studies Archive: Concordances - Thomas Hardy. Program identifies the concordance lines as well as the words occurring to the left and the right of the word or phrase searched. Also reports the total number of text lines, the total word count and the number of occurrences of the word or phrase searched. The full text of the book is displayed in a box at the bottom of the screen. Each line of the text is numbered, and the line number and the term(s) searched provide a link to the full text. Right click on hypertext, open in new window to view full text.

Book Reviews on Jude the Obscure

Amazon.com - Jude the Obscure (Penguin Classics). Extracts of Editorial Reviews:

● From Library Journal: "Jude the Obscure created storms of scandal and protest for the author upon its publication. Hardy, disgusted and disappointed, devoted the remainder of his life to poetry and never wrote another novel. Today, the material is far less shocking ... Hardy's characters have a fascinating ambiguity: they are victimized by a stern moral code, but they are also selfish and weak-willed creatures who bring on much of their own difficulties through their own vacillations and submissions to impulse."

● From AudioFile: "Author Thomas Hardy espoused Shakespeare's dictum (from King Lear): 'As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport.' He particularly exhibits this pessimism in Jude the Obscure, his tragedy about Jude Fawley, a stonemason torn by ambitions both intellectual and carnal ..."

● From The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature: "... published in book form in 1895. Hardy's last work of fiction, Jude the Obscure is also one of his most gloomily fatalistic, depicting the lives of individuals who are trapped by forces beyond their control."

Book Review: Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy from Chapters.indigo.ca community readers.

Thomas Hardy - Jude the Obscure - Book Review. YouTube vide, 3:07 min.

Book Reviews from Good Reads. "Jude is every man. He is obscure, in that his choices make no sense, and yet complete sense. He manages to impregnate a local woman he has no aspirations to marry, and yet does. He abandons hope for a rewarding and successful career . . .

Jude the Obscure is bleak and haunting. But it's also so brilliantly written, memorable and beautiful in its tragedy . . .

No; the real tragedy of the book is not the injustice of the class divide, but the plight of Jude and Sue, whose minds were simply a century or so too liberal and progressive for their time . . .

Jude is the male version of Tess of the D'Urbervilles: witless, gullible, and uber-dramatic. He wallows in self pity while stumbling through his highly improbable, moronic existence, which reads like a twisted version of 'A Series of Unfortunate Events.' Suicide? It's a given. Adultery? You bet. Incest, polygamy and infectious disease? Yes indeedy. I was so hardened by the grisly events of previous chapters that I found myself rejoicing as the characters kicked the bucket, one by one. Each corpse meant I was closer to the end of this stupid, stupid book. Ugh."

Code the Obscure: About Thomas Hardy by Andrew Oram, editor at O'Reilly Media, a book publisher and technology information provider. Under Hardy’s concerns and its relation to today’s conflicts - "While Hardy offers many pleasures, including a superbly evocative style and a grand sense of tragicomic irony, what I find most relevant today are his protests over what was wrong in the society of his time: the harsh and unjust life led by the poor, the oppression of women, and ... the generally stultifying conformity of Victorian morality." Under The Victorian Hardy and the modern Hardy - "In Jude the Obscure Hardy ... places the causes of events squarely on the psychological motives and counter-motives of his characters." Under Why do Julian and Sharon have such a hard time? - "There is no doubt that social forces barred Jude from his youthful goal, which was to get into Oxford University. The opportunities for poor people to enter a university were, in fact, increasingly restricted during the 19th century in England."

Jude the Obscure (Bantam Classics) by Thomas Hardy: Synopses & Reviews. "In 1895 Hardy's final novel, the great tale of Jude The Obscure, sent shockwaves of indignation rolling across Victorian England ... The stonemason Jude Fawley is a dreamer; his is a tragedy of unfulfilled aims ... The most powerful expression of Hardy's philosophy, and a profound exploration of man's essential loneliness, Jude The Obscure is a great and beautiful book." From Powell's Books.

Jude the Obscure …being the book that outraged conventional pieties. Review by Macdonald Daly, from New Internationalist magazine on-line. (Scroll down the page to Classic to read review). "The publication of Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure in 1895 caused something of a scandal. One of the novel’s two main themes, that of misery in marriage, was widely regarded as blasphemous ... Hardy later wrote that the novel’s message was simply ‘that marriage should be dissolvable as soon as it becomes a cruelty so either of the parties - being then essentially and morally no marriage’, but this did not prevent Blackwood’s Magazine depicting him as a devilish apostle of free love. The New York Bookman called it ‘simply one of the most objectionable books that we have ever read in any language whatsoever’ ..."

'Jude the Obscure' Review by James Topham, from About.com Classic Literature. "Despite his longing to attend the university, Jude is tricked into marrying a local country girl called Arabella. She leaves him soon after their marriage, so he sets off to Christminster (a nearby university town) to become a scholar. While he's in Christminster, he meets Sue, his cousin. She is an intellectual and free-spirited woman. She leaves her husband, lives with Jude, and they have children.

. . . Jude the Obscure could be seen as a conservative moral. Certainly, the novel is an impassioned plea for rationality, freedom between men and women, and enlightenment from religious dogmatism. However, it also hammers home the tragic consequences of swimming against the dominant tide of society's norms . . .

Jude the Obscure is a terribly dark work of art . . . The central tragic murderous act--committed by a child--is probably one of the most heart-breaking passages in literary history . . ."

Jude the Obscure (Modern Library Classics) by Thomas Hardy: Synopses & Reviews. "Rich in symbolism, Jude the Obscure is the story of Jude Fawley and his struggle to rise from his station as a poor Wessex stonemason to that of a scholar at Christminster." From Powell's Books.

Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy. Reviewed by Paul L. "This novel was one of the most distressing pieces of work I have ever read ... What grips me the most is Hardy's depiction of 'love' ... Hardy shows how forlorn Romanticism is in a Victorian age." From ReadLiterature.com.

Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - Review - A controversial and enthralling read. Review by drewish. "The book completely fails to live up to the expectations of the Victorian novel, and as such it was revolutionary ... This book was ahead of its time, and it still has the power to shock. It is not surprising that it was so derided ... The story is one of failed ambition, rejection and disillusionment. Cheery stuff! ... This is an uncompromising novel, with great characterisation. Hardy draws the reader skilfully into his world and makes you care about the protagonists. It is all the harder, therefore, to take the bitter truth that life is unfair and harsh. A brilliant book." From Ciao.co.uk.

Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy - Review - The pessimism of tragic circumstances. Review by Alex Mayer. "The suicide of Father Time and his murder of the other children was however too much for me - so gruesome as to seem unreal. Normally I defend Hardy strongly on the grounds that pessimism is realism but here I cannot. Overall though I enjoyed the novel very much." From Ciao.co.uk.

Review: "Jude the Obscure" By Thomas Hardy. Blog posted by Christopher Harris at ProSe (pro se = Latin. "for oneself"). "This novel took Hardy sometime to write. He started with an outline in 1890, and did not complete the book until 1894. It was first published serially in Harper's New Monthly Magazine from December 1894 to November 1895, and then it was published in book form. Hardy took a lot of heat for the novel from reviewers and critics, other authors, as well as the general public . . .

In Jude the Obscure, Hardy addresses the prevailing Victorian attitudes associated with social class and standing, educational opportunities, religion, the institution of marriage, and the influence of Darwinism on modern thought . . .

First and foremost, this is a novel of ideas and ideals . . .

Issues associated with Love and Marriage also dominate much of the novel's landscape . . .

Modernization has come and displaced the old world romanticism of Jude Fawley and Thomas Hardy. Jude-the-Dreamer and Jude-the-Idealist have no place in this new order . . . Unfortunately for Jude, even Arabella is present to witness his final suffering and agony. Jude's story has become, in a very real sense Hardy's modern retelling of the 'Book of Job.' [Note the word play too -- the "J" from 'Jude' and the "Ob" from 'Obscure']"

Scroll down this page to find article:
The Modernity of Hardy's Jude the Obscure by Robert C Schweik, Ph.D., Professor of English, State University of New York. "But if the influence of Hardy's Jude on the history of the novel is unquestionable, its 'modernity' has been sharply disputed."
It is with great sadness to inform you that Dr. Robert Schweik passed away in 2006. IN MEMORIAM: ROBERT C. SCHWEIK. Joanne Lovell Schweik, 82, wife of Robert C. Schweik, formerly of Fredonia, died at her home in Amherst, Massachusetts after a brief illness, October 2010.

Please Don't Bother to Entertain Me. Blog posted by Aaron Hamburger. "... After finishing the first few chapters, I noticed the experience I was having was much different from the one to which I'd become accustomed when reading fiction, watching movies, looking at art, even riding in the subway. At first I couldn't put my finger on what was so strange about the book. Then it hit me. I wasn't being entertained. ... Jude the Obscure is not so much a slice of life as it is a slice out of life. Its mix of Biblical references and antiquated rustic slang can sometimes be impenetrable; the characters' hemming and hawing can be infuriating; the bleakness of their world is overpowering. As readers, we don't know quite what to make of Hardy's vision. ..."

Review Summary of Jude the Obscure. Brief review summaries by Bryn Pearson and Katie Williams, Resident Scholars.

Lesson Plans and Webquests on Jude the Obscure

Thomas Hardy Lesson plans and teaching ideas @Web English Teacher.

Movies, Videos, Images, Multimedia Sites on Jude the Obscure

Abridged Classics: Jude the Obscure. YouTube video, 5:04 min.

Cottage at Cresscombe. "This cottage was the model for the description of the home of Arabella Don, and here Jude first met her." From The Victorian Web.

Jude (film) from Wikipedia. "Jude is a 1996 English film, based on the novel Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy and directed by Michael Winterbottom. The screenplay is written by Hossein Amini. The original music score is composed by Adrian Johnston.
The majority of the film was shot in late 1995 in Edinburgh and locations in Country Durham including Durham Cathedral, Durham City, Ushaw College, Blanchland village and Beamish museum." Plot Summary, Main Cast.

Jude - Kate Winslet - Thomas Hardy Classic. YouTube video, 3:18 min.

Jude: My Skin. YouTube video, 5:33 min.

Jude Part 1. YouTube video, 9:50 min.

Jude Part 2. YouTube video, 9:17 min.

Jude Part 3. YouTube video, 9:46 min.

Jude Part 4. YouTube video, 9:12 min.

Jude Part 5. YouTube video, 9:10 min.

Jude Part 6. YouTube video, 9:10 min.

Jude Part 8. YouTube video, 9:39 min.

Jude Part 10. YouTube video, 9:59 min.

Jude Part 11. YouTube video, 9:05 min.

Jude Part 12. YouTube video, 7:41 min.

Jude Part 13. YouTube video, 8:59 min.

Jude the Obscure: A Summary. YouTube video, 6:27 min. English project. "Jude the Obscure, and why it's the most ridiculously emo thing ever."

Jude the Obscure [1971 BBC Production] [VHS]. Rated: Parental Guidance | Format: VHS Tape. Review by a Customer: "This BBC drama serial is a faithful adaptation of Thomas Hardy's final novel. It tells the story of the tragic Jude Fawley, who is denied the education he longs for and happiness with his beloved cousin Sue. Robert Powell gives a very good performance as Jude and the rest of the cast - including Fiona Walker as Sue - are also good. However, this is one of the least entertaining dramas I have seen . . . However, 'Jude the Obscure' is not only tragic, it is very depressing."

Marygreen Church. "This is the new church at Great Fawley, the Marygreen of the novel, where Phillotson and Sue were remarried after she had parted from Jude." From The Victorian Web.

Old Grove's Place, Shaston. "Old Grove's Place, the residence of Phillotson and Sue after their marriage, is just beyond Bimport Street, Shaftesbury, near where the roads branch off to Motcombe and East Stower." From The Victorian Web.

On the farther side of the stream three women were kneeling by William Hatherell. Illustration (December 1894) for Thomas Hardy's The Simpletons later republished in book form as Jude the Obscure. Hatherall's illustrations with commentaries. From The Victorian Web.

Special topics

Jude the Obscure and Victorian Attitudes toward Suicide. Jude the Obscure (1895): "After the disappointment of his bitter and foolish first marriage, Jude hears of his mother's suicide by drowning and tries to imitate her. Stepping onto a large frozen pond, he jumps up and down on the ice, trying to crack it and plunge to a frigid death. When the ice refuses to yield, he wonders why he has been spared."

'Romanticism' in Jude the Obscure by Holly Davis, University of Otago, Department of English. Excerpt from MA thesis: Hardy and the Romantics.

Miscellaneous Links Relating to Thomas Hardy and/or Jude the Obscure

Images of Dorset. Photographs from stock library of landscape and lifestyle photography themed on the Dorset region, UK. Site owned and managed by John and Katharine Allen.

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Hypertext Meanings and Commentaries from the Encyclopedia of the Self. See also Classical Authors Index. Portraits, biographies and pictures of 460 classic authors. 1258 online books of classical literature extensively enhanced with 2,510,227 annotations from the Encyclopedia of the Self.

Recent Forum Posts on Jude the Obscure. Posted on the Literature Network: Topics include Marriage, English / History - "One must be alert to the word obscure when reading 'Jude'. What is obscure about him, what is there to be obscure about?" "Why the last novel? The depressing nature of Jude is surely a reflection of Hardy's own attitude at the time of writing it. It expresses a negative view of marriage, ambition, the church and the education system, all of which are part of Jude's dream that eventually becomes Jude's nightmare."