The daughter of a wealthy railway magnate, Paula Power inherits De Stancy Castle, an ancient castle in need of modernization. She commissions George Somerset, a young architect, to undertake the work. Somerset falls in love with Paula but she, the Laodicean of the title, is torn between his admiration and that of Captain De Stancy, whose old-world romanticism contrasts with Somerset's forward-looking attitude. Paula's vacillation, however, is not only romantic. Her ambiguity regarding religion, politics and social progress is a reflection of the author's own. This new Penguin Classics edition of Hardy's text contains an introduction and notes that illuminate and clarify these themes, and draws parallels between the text and the author's life and views.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.