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Thomas Hardy and the proper study of mankind

Author: Simon Gatrell
Publisher: Charlottesville : University Press of Virginia, 1993.
Series: Victorian literature and culture series.
Edition/Format:   Book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Simon Gatrell offers a fresh and stimulating exploration of Hardy's account in fiction of the individual man or woman's relationship with various aspects of the encompassing world - with other men and women, with the aggregation known as society, with the natural and artificial environment, and with the supernatural. He focuses on the importance of community in Hardy's fiction, especially on the ability of rural  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Thomas Hardy; Thomas Hardy; Thomas Hardy
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Simon Gatrell
ISBN: 0813914353 9780813914350
OCLC Number: 26160947
Description: ix, 195 pages ; 22 cm.
Contents: Prelude: Hardy's Titles --
1. Under the Greenwood Tree or The Mellstock Quire? --
2. Hardy's Dances --
3. The Return of the Native: Character and the Natural Environment --
4. The Trumpet-Major, A Laodicean and Two on a Tower: The Man-Made Environment --
5. The Mayor of Casterbridge: The Fate of Michael Henchard's Characters --
6. Tess of the d'Urbervilles --
7. Angel Clare's Story --
8. Sex, Marriage and the Decline of Traditional Community in Jude the Obscure, together with a Digression on the Evils (or otherwise) of drink --
9. 'From the White Sea to Cape Horn': Thomas Hardy and the Wider World.
Series Title: Victorian literature and culture series.
Responsibility: Simon Gatrell.

Abstract:

Simon Gatrell offers a fresh and stimulating exploration of Hardy's account in fiction of the individual man or woman's relationship with various aspects of the encompassing world - with other men and women, with the aggregation known as society, with the natural and artificial environment, and with the supernatural. He focuses on the importance of community in Hardy's fiction, especially on the ability of rural villages and towns to withstand the stresses of industrialized agriculture and the national standardization of education and culture. He also proposes that the full titles Hardy gave to a number of his novels have not been sufficiently attended to as signs instinct with meaning. The title of the book alludes, in part, to Pope's Essay on Man. Simon Gatrell writes, "In his examination of humankind Pope considers how we stand as individuals in relation to divine power, to Nature, and to each other. It is my suggestion that Hardy considers essentially the same questions in his novels: what external to us causes things to happen - God, fate, destiny, the Immanent Will? how do individuals stand in relation to their environment [and] society? and what part do individuals' own natures play in what occurs to them?" Thomas Hardy and the Proper Study of Mankind concentrates on eight of Hardy's fourteen novels, ranging from the early Under the Greenwood Tree, through neglected middle-period works like Two on a Tower, to the final masterpieces Tess of the d' Urbervilles and Jude the Obscure. Of particular note is the author's provocatively imaginative reconstruction of the story of Angel Clare, which follows the chapter on Tess. There are also chapters on the role dance plays in Hardy's fiction and on how his writing encompasses the wider world beyond Wessex and England. A feature of the critical inquiry is the illumination afforded by the study of Hardy's often substantial revisions.

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