The Pursuit Of The Well-beloved And The Well-beloved

Paperback | April 1, 1998

byThomas HardyIntroduction byPatricia InghamNotes byPatricia Ingham

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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.

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.

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From Our Editors

Containing the 1892 serial version as well as the version that appeared in book form in 1897, this volume makes available one of Thomas Hardy's lesser-known works. At the center of the story is a sculptor obsessed with the ideal woman, who falls in love with three women in the same family, each of a different generation. Considering th...

From the Publisher

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...

Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) wrote novels and poetry, much of which is set in the semi-imaginary county of Wessex. His novels include Far From the Madding Crowd (1874), The Return of the Native (1878), The Mayor of Casterbridge(1886), Tess of the D'Urbervilles(1891) and Jude the Obscure (1895). He published his first volume of poetry, Wess...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 7.76 × 5.07 × 0.96 inPublished:April 1, 1998Publisher:Penguin Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0140435190

ISBN - 13:9780140435191

Appropriate for ages: 18 - 18

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From Our Editors

Containing the 1892 serial version as well as the version that appeared in book form in 1897, this volume makes available one of Thomas Hardy's lesser-known works. At the center of the story is a sculptor obsessed with the ideal woman, who falls in love with three women in the same family, each of a different generation. Considering the storyline's possibilities, Hardy presents two different "what-ifs"